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Satisfactory completion of a Post-graduate Orthopedic Program or Masters of Science degree program in orthopedic science, approved by the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists (ACO), will qualify a doctor of chiropractic / chiropractic physician as eligible to sit the orthopedic specialty board certification examination; as administered by the ACO leading to the Diplomate, Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists (DACO) certification status.

Orthopedic program graduate level studies provide the Chiropractic Physician / Doctor of Chiropractic an advanced level of clinical skill sets in orthopedics, diagnostic imaging, neurology, rehabilitation, clinical laboratory, case management, treatment techniques, physiological therapeutics, evidence based practice outcomes and more.

Orthopedic Diplomate program structures may vary and consist of both all live and live/online sessions. Doctors are able to earn Diplomate eligibility in 2 to 3 years.

Important Updates and Announcements

Click here to view videos concerning certification and recertification hours and options!



Part 1 - Computer based examination for Part I is anticipated late summer or early fall 2015.

Part 2 - Bloomington, Minnesota (early September 2015....exact date TBA)


Please visit the new Personal bio-page for Academy members!

Members will be able to put information on the members page about their practices as well as a link to their personal office website.  This will be a benefit for patients to find a chiropractic orthopedist near them or for a referring doctor to find a doctor in a specific location.


The University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic (UBCC) has an ongoing Diplomate class for Chiropractic Orthopedics. This robust program for the advanced learner has classroom and practical application of orthopedics as well as a large online component is available to start at anytime.

A candidate is able to sit the Academy Board for Diplomate status after an accumulation of 300 acceptable hours. Part I is an online multiple-choice question (MCQ) examination. Part I has to successfully passed before the Part II practical examination can be taken. Part I is expected to be available late summer or early fall 2015.

UBCC's class extends beyond 300 hours for additional training in neuromusculoskeletal medicine (NMS). At the end of that subspecialty training, the Academy will certify the doctor in the advanced NMS subspecialty.

The University is planning additional venues in 2015 for classroom credits. Watch the Academy website for further details as they become available.


Contact UBCC here: Click here




RE: Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists

       Diplomate Examinations - 2012

Dear Postgraduate Director,

The reason for this letter is to inform you and your departments of important changes in the Academy Diplomate examination process.  These changes are the result of 1) The Academy’s compliance with NCCA “Standards”, 2) changing chiropractic orthopedic graduate demographics, 3) examination economic realities, 4) technological advancements in examination processes, and 5) continuing development and refinement of the examination process.

The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists (ACO) has been part of the chiropractic orthopedic landscape since 1979 and has conferred Diplomate certification (DACO) since 2004.  The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists is an active member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence and complies with the NCCA STANDARDS FOR THE ACCREDITATION OF CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS.

In recent years, the Academy has examined approximately 175 candidates from multiple college and university programs.  The great majority of these candidates have been stellar; The Academy commends your programs for this academic pursuit

The Academy is working on the possibilities of having an online Part I examination. It is in the development stages with our IT group. Once the candidate passes Part I or written examination, they are eligible to participate in the Part II, OSCE examination.  Essentially, with this format, the Academy is seeking to determine candidate knowledge base and competency before allowing participation in the skills based clinical examination settings. Until this process is complete, the current examination protocols will be continued. We continue to evolve the examination process.

The next Diplomte examination will be administered September 2015 at NWHSU in Bloomington, MN. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Academy at 612-454-1472612-454-1472 .


Jerry Wildenauer DC, FACO

Executive Director,

Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists



The Committee on Programmatic Accreditation is pleased to report that the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists achieved full organizational membership in the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), as of April 21, 2011. 

As the Academy and this committee understands, in 1977, the National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies (NCHCA) was formed, in cooperation with the federal government, to develop standards of excellence for voluntary certification programs. Credentialing processes for chiropractic orthopedics began in the mid 1960's, well ahead of NCHCA activities.  

In 1989, the scope of those standards was broadened to include certifications for individuals in all professions and occupations. At that time, the standard-setting and accrediting organization NCHCA became the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), and the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) was formed as the membership association for credentialing bodies. This coincides with the participation of chiropractic orthopedics certifying bodies in the continuing discussions and conferences on assessment of clinical competence.  These conferences took place at the Royal Academy of Physicians and Surgeons, Ottawa, CN, and culminated in presentations concerning OSCE refinements in chiropractic orthopedics, at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee Scotland in 1992 by Drs. Ronald Evans and James Brandt.  It is encouraging to note that a great deal of the guiding principles espoused by the chiropractic orthopedic certifying body at that time exists in today's national and international credentialing literature.

For more than 30 years, NOCA, NCCA, and their predecessor have promoted excellence in credentialing through education, research, advocacy, standard setting, and accreditation. As NOCA became the worldwide leader in providing knowledge and information to assist certification professionals in developing and managing high-quality certification programs, the Board of Directors recognized its broadening scope and the need to redefine the organization. In 2009, the Board proposed a name change for the organization that was approved by the membership and NOCA became the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).

Today, ICE is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing educational, networking and advocacy resources for the credentialing community.  ICE’s accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), evaluates certification organization for compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA's Standards exceed the requirements set forth by the American Psychological Association and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing credentialing and educational resources for the chiropractic orthopedic community. The Academy ascribes to the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.  Academy applications for program accreditation are in process.

ICE is accredited by the American National Standards Institute as a Standards Developer.

This committee recognizes that certification of specialized skill-sets affirms a knowledge and experience base for practitioners in a particular field, their employers, and the public at large.  Academy certification represents a declaration of a particular individual’s professional competence.  In some professions, certification is a requirement for employment or practice; doctors, mechanics, accountants, professional secretaries, surveyors and many others are all required to go through a certification process of some kind.  In all instances, certification enhances the employ-ability and career advancement of the individual practitioner or employee.

Many organizations in today’s competitive and challenging economy have recognized their workforce as their most valuable asset.  Likewise, individuals, whether employed or self-employed, know that now more than ever before they must acquire and maintain more comprehensive skill-sets to ensure their own attractiveness and ability in the workplace. 

Certification affects employers, employees, and consumers. These groups can appreciate the following benefits:

  • Employers recognize the establishment of a professional standard for individuals in a particular field
  • Employers can make better informed hiring decisions based on these professional standards
  • Employers experience a more productive, highly-trained workforce
  • Employees gain prestige and a competitive advantage over non-certified individuals in the same field
  • Employees gain employment opportunities as a result of this competitive advantage
  • Employees may receive higher wages in the form of bonuses, education assistance, or higher salaries
  • Consumers can make more informed decisions about qualified providers
  • Consumers are protected from incompetent and unfit practitioners

Equal to the benefits of certification is the importance of establishing an underlying certification program based on best practices and recognized processes and procedures developed by the field of certification.  ICE serves as the member-based organization for the field of certification to enhance professional excellence and ensure the competency of certification.

The following certifying boards are members of ICE:

  • Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists
  • American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians
  • American Chiropractic Registry or Radiology Technicians
  • National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
  • American Chiropractic Neurology Board


The Academy helps to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through its certification program that assess professional competency in chiropractic clinical orthopedics. The ACO uses a peer review process to:

  • Establish proficiency standards;
  • Evaluate individual competency within the specialty standards, and
  • Serve as a resource on quality chiropractic clinical orthopedic certification.

 The Academy is an administratively independent resource recognized as the authority on professional certification in chiropractic clinical orthopedics . Based on sound principles, Academy standards are optimal and comprehensive criteria for competency examinations.




Fellowship Defined:

The designation of Fellow of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists recognizes board certified chiropractic orthopedists who are active members of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists.  Fellows of the Academy have distinguished themselves among their colleagues through advanced training and high levels of clinical excellence.  They are committed to the specialty of Chiropractic Orthopedics and their communities through their dedication to ongoing research, continuing education and improved clinical outcomes. 

The title of Fellow was established in 1980 by the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists as a means for recognition of those members who have demonstrated a dedication to the established goals and ideals of the Academy. Fellows are committed to the advancement of Chiropractic Orthopedics as a non-operative alternative to surgical orthopedic healthcare relative to treatment of disorders of the human spine and extremities. 

Upon meeting the requirements of advanced post-graduate training and successful completion of Chiropractic Orthopedic specialty board examinations, Fellows of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists are entitled to all privileges and honor bestowed by the Fellow designation (FACO).



The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists
ATTN: Executive Director
Jerrold R Wildenauer DC, FACO
1859 Warrior Drive
Mendota Heights, MN  55118

TEL: 612-454-1472612-454-1472 
FAX: 651-846-5590


American College Of Chiropractic Orthopedists Symposium

Las Vegas

Tropicana Hotel

April 23-25, 2015

contact the ACCO at for more details







James R. Brandt DC, MPS, FACO

Coon Rapids, Minnesota


Kim Skibsted DC, FACO

West Des Moines, Iowa


Loren C. Miller DC, FACO

Spokane, Washington


Paul Lombardi DC, FACO

Cocoa, FL


Jaroslaw (Jerry) Grod DC

Etobicoke, Ontario Canada


Steven A. Wells MA

Minneapolis, Minnesota


Thomas A. Wicks PhD, DC, FACO

Davenport, Iowa


Jerry Wildenauer DC, FACO

Mendota Heights, Minnesota



Stan Bacso DC, FCCO (C) FACO

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Steven Kleinfield DC, FACO

Dallas, Texas

B. Timothy Harcourt DC, FACO

Fort Myers, Florida


Editor-in-Chief JACO

Bruce Gundersen DC, FACO

Salt Lake City, UT

Associate Editors

James Demetrious DC, FACO

Wilmington, NC

David Swenson DC, FACO

Melrose, MA 

Alicia Marie Yochum, R.N, D.C

Chesterfield, MO