OLR Research Report

October 6, 2009




By: John Kasprak, Senior Attorney

You asked for information on the licensing of chiropractors in Connecticut, particularly the requirement concerning “Part IV” of the national examination.

In order to be licensed as a chiropractor by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), an applicant must have (1) completed at least 60 semester hours of pre-professional college education; (2) graduated from a college of chiropractic accredited, at the time of the applicant's graduation, by the Council on Chiropractic Education; and (3) completed Parts I, II, III and IV and the physiotherapy examinations administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE; CGS 20-27 and 28).

Part IV of the NBCE examination is a practical examination and tests individuals in three major areas: (1) diagnostic imaging, (2) chiropractic technique, and (3) case management. Results of the Part IV examination may be used by state licensing authorities in lieu of other practical examinations for licensure, according to the NBCE. The examination is administered annually in May and November. As of July 1, 2009, 48 states and the District of Columbia accept or require the Part IV examination at the NBCE recommended passing score. Two states, North Carolina and West Virginia, accept or require a score other than the NBCE recommended passing score. Illinois is the only state that does not currently accept or require Part IV. (More information on the examination is attached.)

Connecticut law does allow DPH to license, without written examination, a currently practicing, competent licensee from any state having licensure requirements substantially similar to, or higher than, those of Connecticut if the individual (1) is a graduate of an accredited school of chiropractic approved by the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners with the consent of the DPH commissioner, (2) provides satisfactory evidence of completion of two academic years or 60 semester hours of study in a college or scientific school approved by the board with the commissioner's consent, and (3) successfully completed the practical examination as required by law.

The practical examination must require the applicant “to demonstrate clinical competency in basic chiropractic principles and procedures, including orthopedics, neurology, diagnosis, x-ray, vertebral palpation and adjustment” (CGS 20-27(c), 20-28(a)). As noted above, Connecticut requires the NBCE Part IV as the practical examination.