Frequently Asked Questions


Since 1980, the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians™ (ACBSP™) has led the development of sports medicine certification and has managed a world-class credentialing process that ensures certified sports chiropractors meet competency standards to effectively work with and treat athletes and those engaged in athletic activities. In addition, ACBSP offers continuing education and research seminars to facilitate the dissemination of the latest scientific knowledge, treatment trends, and best practices for patient care. ACBSP is the certifying agency for chiropractic sports medicine and the sole chiropractic sports medicine certifying agency recognized by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). There are two levels of post-graduate chiropractic sports medicine certification. The first is the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician® (CCSP®). The second is the advanced sports medicine certification, the Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physician® (DACBSP®).  ACBSP is the certifying board for chiropractic sports medicine doctors while the American Chiropractic Association Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness (ACA Sports Council) is a trade organization like the ACA. The purpose of a trade organization is to assist its members to develop business. ACBSP does not have members, rather it has certificants. The purpose of the ACBSP is to determine and maintain minimum competency evaluation standards for chiropractic sports medicine and to ensure the integrity of the CCSP and DACBSP certifications. ACBSP governs and administers the CCSP and DACBSP certifications. Various accredited chiropractic colleges offer the curricula and training leading to qualification for taking the certification exams. The ACBSP governs the administration of the examinations and certifications. These certifications are designed for chiropractic doctors who want to specialize in chiropractic sports medicine. The CCSP certification is pre-requisite to the DACBSP certification. Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician®The CCSP certification requires post-graduate education in chiropractic sports medicine or a closely related discipline. Licensed doctors of chiropractic who satisfy one of the following, and are able to provide official documentation demonstrating such, are eligible to take the CCSP examination. 

  1. Completed a minimum of 100 hours of postgraduate education in the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians® program from an accredited chiropractic college.
  2. Possess a current Athletic Trainer (ATC) Certification
  3. Completed a Masters of Science (MS) program in exercise and sport science or equivalent program from an accredited college
  4. Completed the first year of a sports medicine residency program with an accredited college

All candidates must have completed a hands-on emergency procedures course and a healthcare-provider level CPR certification course with a hands-on component as part of their program or study or in addition to their program. Online CPR courses that do not include a live assessment component are not acceptable. Candidates must provide documentation of successful completion of both courses prior to sitting for the exam. The CPR certification must be valid on the exam date. Once these requirements are met the doctor may submit application to the ACBSP national office to take the CCSP written exam. The exam consists of 250 multiple-choice questions and is administered in two parts on the same day. The entire exam, including the instruction period and mid-exam break, is typically scheduled for a five-hour session. CCSP certification candidates may attempt the exam up to three times and must pass the exam within three years of the date of completion of the qualifying post-graduate education program. Diplomate American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians® The CCSP certification is pre-requisite to earning the DACBSP certification. Earning the DACBSP certification requires successful completion of a written exam, a six-station practical exam, a written project, and 100 hours of practical experience in the field. Licensed doctors of chiropractic who satisfy one of the following, and are able to provide official documentation demonstrating such, are eligible to sit the DACBSP examination: 

  1. Active Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician/Practitioner® (CCSP®) with completion of minimum of 200 hours postgraduate education in the DACBSP Program, from an accredited chiropractic college
  2. Active Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician/Practitioner® (CCSP®) with completion of a Masters of Science (MS) degree in an equivalent program in the domain of sports medicine.
  3. Completion of a sports medicine residency program in its entirety.

DACBSP candidates must maintain their CCSP certification in a current and active status with the ACBSP. If the doctor’s CCSP certification is found to not be in good standing with the ACBSP that status of the certification must be rectified prior to be permitting to taking the exams or acceptance of field hours or the written project. DACBSP certification candidates may attempt the written and practical exams up to three times and must pass both of the exams and complete the practical experience (field hours) requirement within three years of the date of completion of the post-graduate education program. The candidate must successfully complete the written project requirement within five years of the date of completion of the post-graduate education program. Certification Maintenance and Continuing Education RequirementsWhile the ACBSP™ certifications do not have an expiration date, the doctors who hold the certifications must meet an annual continuing education requirement to remain active. The ACBSP maintains continuing education and CPR certification standards so that all active certificants maintain their competency in their specialty field of chiropractic sports medicine. These standards are designed to protect the integrity of ACBSP certificants and the patients they serve. The ACBSP Board of Directors reserves the sole and exclusive right to revise the certification maintenance requirements. Currently the certification maintenance requirements are as follows. 

  1. All CCSP® certificants are required to attend 12 hours of continuing education specific to the topic of sports medicine each calendar year.
  2. All DACBSP® certificants are required to attend 24 hours of continuing education specific to the topic of sports medicine each calendar year.
  3. All certificants must maintain active healthcare provider level CPR certification at all times from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or equivalent certification.
  4. All certificants must pay an annual maintenance fee set by the board of directors.
  5. All certificants must complete a certification maintenance registration form annually. The web-based registration form requires each active certificant to:
    1. Provide current personal and business demographic data.
    2. Attest to his/her current compliance and continued compliance with the requirements of the ACBSP Certification Maintenance and Continuing Education Policy.
    3. Attest to his/her acceptance of the Certificant and Candidate Agreement and Release.
  6. All ACBSP certificants are required to maintain personal records as evidence of meeting the requirements described here.

Failure to comply with ACBSP™ certification maintenance policies will result in the individual’s certification being designated as inactive. Once the certification is placed into inactive status, the doctor is prohibited using the certification marks of the ACBSP and from identifying themselves as certified by the ACBSP, until such time as active certification status has been granted by ACBSP, within its sole and exclusive authority. Once the certification is designated as inactive the doctor’s information will be removed from the online Certificant Directory on the ACBSP website.  The annual maintenance fees paid by active certificants support board and organizational business operations including direct and indirect costs related to providing certificant and certification management services. Functions of the business operations include but are not limited maintaining the integrity of the certification exams and the certification process as well as certificant services and management. The fee for the 2016 certification maintenance period is $125 when paid prior to January 31, 2016 and $150 when paid February 1, 2016 or after. If a certificant allows his/her certification to lapse into inactive status and wishes to reactivate his/her certification a $50 administrative fee will be assessed in addition to all certification maintenance fees due.

The CCSP® and DACBSP® certification written exams are typically offered twice each year, in April and November. The November exams are typically offered the first Saturday of the month and are offered at multiple locations across the country. The testing sites for the November exams are determined based on current regional demand.  The April exams are offered at the location ACBSP™ Chiropractic Sports Science symposium and are typically scheduled for the Friday morning of that week. The DACBSP®  certification practical exam is also offered at the symposium location and is typically scheduled for the Thursday of that week. Currently, there is no practical exam requirement for the CCSP® certification. The symposium travels each year and therefore the April exams also travel each year. See our Events page for more information.

No more than 10% of the CCSP® coursework (typically one class) may be taken in the final 3 months of chiropractic college. It has been determined that it is best to learn and process the basics of chiropractic before adding post-graduate coursework.

There is a bit more to reporting the results for the written exams than simply grading the Scantron answer sheets. Please allow 4-8 weeks to receive your results. Please do not call the national office requesting your results. We will not provide results over the phone. You will receive official notification of your results as an attachment to an email sent to the email address you listed on your exam application form.

The requirements to remain current and maintain the active status of the ACBSP certificiaton are as follows: a) Pay the annual certification maintenance fee: $125 when paid before January 31 of the current year. The fee increases to $150 when paid February 1 or after of the current year.The annual fee will be assessed to all active certificants each maintenance period and must be paid by January 31 each year. A late fee will be assessed to all certificants who neglect to pay the maintenance fee prior to January 31. In order to maintain an active certification status certificants must pay the maintenance fee and applicable late fee no later than June 30. Certificants not in compliance by June 30 will receive a notification of non-compliance via email and will required to comply within 30 days and be assessed an additional penalty fee. Certificants who do not comply within 30 days will be removed from the online ACBSP™ Certificant Directory on the ACBSP™ website and their certifications will be placed in an inactive status. If a certificant allows his/her certification to lapse into inactive status and wishes to reactivate his/her certification a $50 administrative fee will be assessed in addition to all certification maintenance fees due. b) Maintain a valid healthcare provider level CPR certification.c) Continue your education in chiropractic sports medicine. CEUs must be completed by December 31 of the current year*

*Maintenance of the CCSP® certification requires completion of 12 CEUs each calendar year*Maintenance of the DACBSP® certification requires completion of 24 CEUs each calendar year

The annual maintenance period coincides with the calendar year, January 1 to December 31 of each year. The annual maintenance fee is $125 when paid prior to January 31. Beginning in 2016, the fee will increase to $150 if paid after January 31. The annual maintenance fee must be paid no later than June 30 each year. Certificants not in compliance by June 30 will receive a notification of non-compliance via email and will be required to comply within 30 days and be assessed an additional penalty fee. Certificants who do not comply within 30 days will be removed from the online Certificant Directory on the ACBSP website and their certifications will be placed in an inactive status. If a certificant allows his/her certification to lapse into inactive status and wishes to reactivate his/her certification a $50 administrative fee will be assessed in addition to all certification maintenance fees due.

The ACBSP has employed the use of Constant Contact Event Management tools to allow for online registration and payment to occur for registration for 2015 certification maintenance, 2015 symposium registration, and exam application. Unfortunately, it seems that a few certificants have had a bit of difficulty. Constant Contact provided the following information to help prevent these problems.  If people are reporting that the form is being wiped of all data when they are attempting to pay for your event this indicates that they do not have cookies enabled on their web browser. Cookies are used to pass data from one site to another, In the instance of your event they are used to pass on payment information to your payment processor so that thy can bill your registrants appropriately. If they have cookies disabled there is no way for us to pass this information on to your payment processor and then our system will reload the registration form. Your registrants can turn on cookie comparability by following the steps listed below for each major browser.Internet Explorer

  1. Click on the gear icon at the top of the browser window.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. Click the Privacy tab and then the Advanced button on that tab.
  4. Ensure that "Override automatic cookie handling" is checked.
  5. Set the First and Third party cookies to "Accept".
  6. Check "Always allow session cookies".
  7. Click OK.
  8. Exit Internet Explorer and restart your browser

Mozilla Firefox

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  2. Select Privacy from the top of the window.
  3. In the History section, click the drop-down menu and select "Use custom settings for history."
  4. Check "Accept cookies from sites".
  5. Check "Accept third-party cookies".
  6. Click OK.

Safari

  1. Click the Wrench icon on the top right of the browser.
  2. Select "Preferences."
  3. Click on the Privacy tab.
  4. In the Block Cookies section, select Never.

ChromeNote: Steps are the same for both PC and Mac.

  1. Click on the Chrome menu button on the browser bar.
  2. Click "Settings"
  3. Click "Show Advanced Settings" at the bottom of the screen.
  4. In the Privacy section, click the Content Settings... button.
  5. Click the Manage Exceptions... button.
  6. Click the radio button next to "Allow local data to be set (recommended)". This allows 1st party and 3rd party cookies.
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  8. Click Done.

The certification maintenance fee is the same fee that has been required each year; it was previously called the recertification fee. The purpose of the fee is described on page 3 of the Certification Maintenance and Continuing Education policy (you can read the policy in its entirety by following the link). "The ACBSP will assess an annual maintenance fee to support board and organizational businessoperations including direct and indirect costs related to providing certificant and certificationmanagement services. The Board of Directors will determine the maintenance fee and penalty feeon an annual basis." Additional explanation of the annual fee and recent revisions to the above mentioned policy can be found at www.ACBSP.com. This article specifically states the following regarding the fee. "The annual maintenance fees paid by active certificants support board and organizational business operations including direct and indirect costs related to providing certificant and certification management services. Functions of the business operations include but are not limited maintaining the integrity of the certification exams and the certification process as well as certificant services and management. The fee for the 2016 certification maintenance period is $125 when paid prior to January 31, 2016 and $150 when paid February 1, 2016 or after. If a certificant allows his/her certification to lapse into inactive status and wishes to reactivate his/her certification a $50 administrative fee will be assessed in addition to all certification maintenance fees due." In addition, at this time, the fee also supports the ACBSP in providing a subscription to the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine for each active certificant.

All CEUs must completed between January 1 and December 31 of the current year. Maintenance of the CCSP® certification requires completion of 12 CEUs each calendar year. Maintenance of the DACBSP® requires completion of 24 CEUs each calendar year. Proof of course completion must be maintained by the certificant. The ACBSP reserves the right to request evidence of compliance with the continuing education requirement. Upon request by the ACBSP the certificant must submit evidence of completion of appropriate continuing education courses. Noncompliance will result in the doctor's certification being placed in inactive status.

CEUs must be completed prior to December 31 of each calendar year. A valid healthcare provider level CPR certification must be maintained at all time.

Generally courses that address sports medicine are accepted. Documentation, billing and coding, Philosophy, practice management, insurance and medicare, ICD-10 and manipulation technique classes are NOT accepted. If there is a question regarding the acceptability of a course, please contact the ACBSP National Office for assistance.   

ACBSP has transitioned to an annual audit process for CEUs and CPR.  Each active certificant is required to complete the necessary CEUs each calendar year.  In addition, a healthcare provider CPR certification is required to be current at all times.  Each January, the national office will perform a random audit selection for CEUs completed during the previous calendar year.  Those selected in the audit will be notified via email and will be required to submit proof of completion of the CEUs.  An updated CPR card may also be required if the one we have on file has expired. CEUs and CPR cards may be faxed or emailed to the national office: Email:info@acbsp.com Phone/fax: 844-327-2255 or 888-358-3088  If there are any questions regarding the information you submit or if any additional information is needed, please know that you will be contacted and notified at the email address you have supplied to the ACBSP.

While more courses are being offered online, the ACBSP requires that certificants maintain a healthcare provider level CPR certification that has a hands-on component. As healthcare provider status, hands-on training is of utmost importance.  The lecture portion may be completed online, but the certificant must also present to an instructor for the“hands-on” practical component.

The ACBSP Concussion Registry (ACR) is a list of healthcare professionals who have successfully completed specific training in the evaluation, treatment, and management of concussion in athletes. The specific training is provided in the online, self-paced concussion registry course provided by DConline.  ACBSP and DConline collaborate to offer the ACR and the associated concussion course. The ACBSP administers the registration for the concussion course and the listing of healthcare providers in the ACR on ACBSP.com and DConline provides the content and delivery platform for the course. Once the ACBSP receives a completed registration form the healthcare provider's certification status with the ACBSP if verified (if applicable) and payment for the ACR course is collected. The ACBSP then passes the healthcare provider's registration information on to DConline and they initiate access to the course. ACBSP certificants registering to take the ACR course must be current, up-to-date, and have their certification in an active status with the ACBSP to qualify for the certificant registration rates. If the certification is not current or has lapsed into an inactive status, the non-certificant registration rate will apply. The course is updated every two years to include the most recent, relevant research on the evaluation, treatment, and management of concussion in athletes. The course was most recently updated in April 2015.  Once a healthcare provider successfully completes the course their name, degree, ACBSP certification (if applicable), and date of expiration of their registration in the ACR are listed in the ACR on ACBSP.com. In addition, DACBSP candidates who successfully pass the head trauma station of the DACBSP practical exam are also listed in the ACR for two year's from the date of their practical exam. Each provider's registration expires two years from the day they successfully complete the concussion course. ACBSP certificants may earn CEUs to meet their annual continuing education requirement by completing the ACR course. CEUs are awarded 1 CEU/hour actively spent in the online training course. Upon successful completion of the course, DConline will report the actual hours the certificant spent in the course to the ACBSP national office.  Here is some specific information regarding the concussion course: 

  1. Time on Task: The average learner spends 12.45 hours in the course with an additional 1 hour in the mandatory CDC course. So the total time commitment is around 13.5 hours, and may change dependent upon many factors including prior knowledge, reading rate and technical comfort with distance based learning.
  2. Course Delivery: The course uses PowerPoint, video's, narrative lecture, PDFs, outside resources, etc.
  3. There are two learning outcome requirements that are comprised of T/F and MC questions.

Yes, the state of Florida does not recognize anything below a Diplomate level for medical professionals.  This is due to the frequent classification of medical professionals as “experts” in certain fields.  While the CCSP® certification is not recognized in Florida, it is a prerequisite of the DACBSP ® certification, which is recognized by the state of Florida. 

As long as a certificant remains current with the requirements for the CCSP® or DACBSP®, he or she may use the marks. Should a doctor's certification become inactive, use of the marks is prohibited.

No. The ACBSP™ logo and seal are used for official ACBSP business only. It is not intended for use by certificants. The logo is trademarked and improper use is unlawful.

If you have a question, first review the FAQ provided here. If you cannot find the answer you need and still need help from ACBSP National Office staff please contact us at (844) 327-2255 or (888) 358-3088.  You may also write an email to Info@acbsp.com.