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COVID-19 FAQ

General Questions

Is there any one place I can look for the most up-to-date information shared by NCOPE regarding COVID-19?

NCOPE has running guidance documents for both the academic and residency community.  They can be accessed by selecting the appropriate link below:

Have the NCOPE Residency or CAAHEP Educational Standards changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The educational standards/requirements have not changed and the expectations for completion are the same.

To view the educational standards, please visit the appropriate links below:

Residents, Directors, and Mentors can also view information about requirements, role, and responsibilities by visiting the  Eligibility, Roles and Responsibilities page.

Academic Program Questions

The orthotist/prosthetist education program I am attending had to change parts of the program to an online format, will I still be able to do a residency when I finish?

NCOPE is aware of the rapid transition to online education for many programs.  It is important to remember that residency is the second half of a practitioner’s education.  We are working closely with the O&P school educators and residency directors to help ensure that upon completion of residency, individuals are well prepared to pursue credentialing and work independently.  

Residency Program Questions

I want to make sure that I am doing everything I am supposed to as my residency program has had to make some changes due to COVID-19, can you walk me through the process?

NCOPE recognizes there are many factors currently affecting residency programs.  To assist residents, directors, and mentors, we have created a flow chart to walk through some of the more common scenarios.

Is there anywhere I can look to find additional learning resources such as videos or documents to supplement the residency program?

Yes.  NCOPE has created a learning resource database for residency directors/mentors and residents.  To access the database, you must create a free account by visiting: https://ncope.org/index.php/login-page/

The number of patients available at my residency site have diminished, what can I do to meet the minimum number of patients?

The Orthotic/Prosthetic Residency Standards have never defined a minimum number of patients, but access to specific patient populations and treatment interventions.  There is no minimum number of patients that the resident should be seeing per week, but the resident must achieve competency for all required interventions and gain exposure to all required populations.  

My hours have been reduced at my residency site, but I am still employed. Will that affect my ability to finish the residency on the original end date?

It is possible that an extension may be needed if the resident is working fewer than 37.5 hours per week, which is the minimum number of hours to be considered a full-time resident.  NCOPE has created the Residency Program Duration and Experience Calculator to help determine if the reduction in hours can potentially be offset by working beyond 37.5 hours per week prior to and after the end of the pandemic.  NCOPE will only recognize hours accrued in excess of 37.5 if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. The resident can provide a PHI redacted schedule that clearly identifies scheduled hours beyond 37.5 and includes the visit type, intervention type, and appointment length.
  2. 100% of cases identified on the provided schedule are completely logged in NCOPE Tracker.
  3. The resident signs an attestation via NCOPE Tracker.
  4. The director/mentor providing supervision signs an attestation via NCOPE Tracker.

If the above criteria cannot be met, then the resident will be required to extend the residency to offset the period of time when their hours were reduced.  

This documentation will be submitted using the existing “Quarterly Evaluation of the Residency Program” and “Quarterly Evaluation of the Resident” forms.  

To help determine if an extension is required, and instances when residents can claim additional work hours to offset part-time status, please review the flow chart below:

Can I learn from other activities besides direct patient care now that there are fewer patients coming to the office?

Yes, so long as the activities are being guided by the residency program director and mentor(s).  Within NCOPE Tracker there is a new form designed to capture “Non-Clinical Activities” which cannot be logged the way patient encounters are (for example completing an online training module).  These activities must be done under the guidance of the residency program faculty and under no circumstances will they be recognized towards the completion of residency completed without proper oversight.  

My residency program had to lay me off before the end of my residency, but my director did document that I am competent. Can my residency be marked complete?

The minimum duration for a single-discipline residency is 12 months and dual-discipline residency is 18 months.  Once a resident loses supervision due to a loss of employment, the resident will pause until employment is resumed.  To document a loss of employment, please complete a Residency Status Change Form.  To restart the residency at a new site, please complete a new Resident Registration Form.  No additional fees will be assessed to continue the residency at a new location so long as it occurs within 12 months of the final day of employment at the previous site.  

I have been furloughed. What do I need to document and will that affect my ability to finish the residency on the original end date?

If the furlough will last more than 2 weeks or 10 business days, the resident must complete and submit a Residency Status Change Form.  An extension will be needed if the furlough in combination with days taken off for vacation/sick leave exceeds 20.  NCOPE has created the Residency Program Duration and Experience Calculator to help determine if an extension is needed based upon the duration of the furlough and the number of days the resident was absent from work for other reasons.

To help determine if an extension is necessary, please reference the flow-chart listed below: