OT-SC™ Examination Information


OT-SC Eligibility Route

The Orthopaedic Technologist-Surgery Certified (OT-SC) is not a stand alone certification.  A candidate must be a current OTC with a minimum of 1 year surgical experience in Orthopaedics.

The OT-SC must maintain the OTC certification to maintain the OT-SC certification.

Important Information for Those Planning to Take the OT-SC Examination

The OT-SC is not a stand alone certification.  It is NOT meant to replace the OTC certification, only to enhance your original OTC certification.  YOU must MAINTAIN the OTC Certification to keep your OT-SC certification.

Upon successfully passing the OT-SC examination you will have your initial OT-SSC certification pro-rated to correspond to your OTC expiration date.  For example: If your OTC certification lapses in 2021 and you take and pass the OT-SC examination in 2019, your OT-SC credential will be valid from the date of passing the OT-SC examination until 12/31/2021 (the period when your OTC lapses).  You will then be required to submit with your OTC CEU Submissions, a pro-rated number of Category 1A credits by using the following table based on the length of your initial OT-SC Certification.

1 year - 3 Category 1A credits

2 years - 6 Category 1A credits

3 years - 9 Category 1A credits

4 years - 12 Category 1A Credits

5 years - 15 Category 1A credits

6 years - 20 Category 1A credits

In the event that a certificant plans to retest for recertification of their OTC credential, that certificant will be encouraged to wait to take the OT-SC examination until the year they are due to retest for their OTC recertification, in doing so the OTC and the OT-SC expiration dates will coincide.

Following the initial OT-SC certification period, both the OTC and the OT-SC certifications will be valid for a period of (six) 6 years.  Review the CEU guidelines to obtain more information on the requirements of recertification for OTCs and OT-SCs.

OT-SC Examination References

 References for the OT-SC Examination can be found from the link on the bottom of this page.  Please note that there is not one text book that will insure a successful outcome of your Examination. Texts used in the creation of test questions are listed within the Examination Reference document. 

Important Notice Regarding NBCOT OTC Certification Examination Study Preperation Materials


NBCOT does not support, endorse, or have any type of affiliation with, any company advertising or selling study preparation materials for NBCOT Certification Examinations, and does not endorse their representations or products.

It has come to the attention of NBCOT that a number of companies advertise and sell study preparation materials to candidates preparing to take the OTC® and OT‐SC™ Certification Examinations.  In some instances, these companies represent that the product(s) identify specific examination content areas and "guarantee" to help a candidate successfully pass the OTC® or OT‐SC™ examination.  For example, one educational publishing firm offers the following study preparation materials on its company Internet site:  "Orthopaedic Technologist-Surgery Certified Exam Secrets Study Guide;" and, "Orthopaedic Technologist-Surgery Certified Exam Flashcard Study System."   

NBCOT does not support, endorse, or have any type of affiliation with, any of these companies, and does not endorse their representations or products.  Additionally, NBCOT has not authorized the use and/or display of the NBCOT trademarks, including the OTC® and OT‐SC™ marks.  Therefore, NBCOT does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the representations being made by these companies concerning NBCOT examinations, or the products and materials being sold. 

As explained in the OT-SC Examination Application and Candidate Handbook, "there is no one study guide, reference, or textbook that will solely guarantee that you will pass the OT-SC Certification Examination."  In order to prepare for the examination, NBCOT recommends that candidates review the examination preparatory references and materials identified on the NBCOT website, including, but not limited to:  "Exam Breakdown,""OT-SC JTA Results", "OT-SC References" located within this page

Please contact the NBCOT Executive Director at Executivedirector@nbcot.net with any additional questions concerning the NBCOT examinations. 

OT-SC™ Examination Breakdown

Pre-Operative Management 12 % 

• Scheduling Surgical Procedures.

• Ordering Equipment. 

• Facilitating Surgical Procedures. . 

Intra-Operative Management 52 % 

• Facilitating access to surgical site. 

• Obtaining an aseptic surgical site 

• Preparing yourself for the procedure 

• Ensuring proper site exposure and creating an acceptable sterile field. 

• Assisting surgeons to provide appropriate patient care. 

Post-Operative Management 25% 

• Applying postoperative dressings on wounds. • Positioning the patient to prevent postoperative complications. 

• Applying casts, splints and/or other Orthopaedic devices. 

• Assessing the patient for postoperative complications 

• Providing discharge instructions to the patient. 

Regulatory and Ethical Responsibility 11% 

• Adhering to regulations and policies in the operating room. 

• Adhering to ethical guidelines

How the OT-SC Examination is Scored


Scoring of the OT-SC Examination is based on the results of a Cut Score Study which was determined by a panel of OT-SCs throughout the country.    The passing score for the OT-SC examination is set at 108.

A more detailed explanation of how the examination is scored is found under the download section of this page under "How The OT-SC Examination Is Scored" tab.   You will also find a copy of the Job Task Analysis used to develop the OT-SC Examination.