The NBCE is a not-for-profit, international testing agency that determines (with the help of college faculty, practitioners, and subject specialists) all aspects of the testing process, including test development, administration, analysis, scoring, and reporting of scores. The organization is overseen by 11 directors: five elected by their NBCE districts; four at large representatives; and two FCLB appointees.
The NBCE examinations are held semi-annually (March and September) with approximately 5,000 examinees participating at 16 test sites in the U.S. and four foreign countries. Successful completion of the NBCE part 1 (basic science) and part 2 (clinical subjects) enables the examinees to receive the NBCE Certificate of Attainment which is recognized in whole or part in all 50 states and some foreign countries.
The national board also has developed an elective exam (physiotherapy) and the Written Clinical Competency Examination (WCCE), sometimes referred to as part 3, which was developed at the request of the FCLB to enhance uniformity of chiropractic licensure. Many states now require the WCCE or accept it in lieu of the written state clinical competency examinations. The board also contracts with states to provide exams that are administered by the state, but produced, scored, and analyzed through the NBCE.
The NBCE was established in 1963 by the FCLB and was originally based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. At that time the NBCE did not have the computer capability to do their programming and statistical work and relied on the computer facilities of the nearby University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. When it was decided to make a permanent home for the NBCE, Greeley became the logical choice. The NBCE moved to Greeley in 1977 and by 1978 had constructed a new 8,500 square foot facility.
By 1988 the NBCE had acquired their own computer capabilities for processing and analysis and no longer needed to rely on the university. But it became apparent that a larger facility was necessary for the 22 full-time employees. Construction of the new building began in May of 1990 and by December 1990 the move was made.
All the monies for the new facility are the result of investments and developmental funds put aside over the last 10 years by the NBCE. No outside funding was sought.
The invocation to the dedication ceremonies was given by Titus Plomaritis, D.C., president of the NBCE. Also speaking were: Paul Tullio, D.C., chairman of the NBCE; Edward Saunders, D.C., president emeritus of the NBCE; U.S. Senator, Hank Brown (R-CO); Andre Audette, D.C., chairman of the Quebec chiropractic licensing board; and Brent Owens, D.C., president of the FCLB.
Horace C. Elliott, executive director of the NBCE since 1985, was previously director of administration for both a large law firm and a top CPA firm. Mr. Elliott was introduced to chiropractic at the age of six in his native Kentucky; he has two brothers who are DCs, O. M. Elliott, past president of the Kansas Chiropractic Association, and Shelby Elliott, who only recently stepped down from the ACA board.
Mr. Elliott told "DC" that the NBCE is a committed and cohesive group that wants to see more and better things happen for the profession and that he's had total cooperation and support from the national board. "There's been a lot of pride passed around today, but I have to thank the board for the commitment they make to do things right."
The new impressive home of the NBCE and the offices of the FCLB is witness to the tremendous strides chiropractic has taken. We need only look back to the humble beginnings of the NBCE as related by Dr. Saunders during the dedication ceremonies. The ICA and the ACA (then call the National Chiropractic Association) both donated $500 to begin a fund to create the NBCE. Today the new headquarters is testimony to the foresight, diligence, and commitment to excellence by a profession that continues to advance as a major health care provider.