President’s Message


The ACBSP™ represents the largest body of recognized chiropractic specialists with more than 2,000 Doctors of Chiropractic who hold current certificates of additional qualification as either a DACBSP® or CCSP®. Since the early nineteen eighties the ACBSP™ has led the development and implementation of chiropractic sports medicine certifications and has succeeded in offering validated credentialing processes. These processes ensure that ACBSP certified sports chiropractors meet competency standards to effectively work with and care for athletes and active people from all walks of life.

The ACBSP™ also offers an annual sports science symposium that provides evidence guided continuing education and research directly related to sports chiropractic. The 2022 ACBSPSports Science Symposium will meet at the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City with a theme of “Complex Considerations for the Athlete.” The symposium starts Thursday April 28, 2022 and closes on Sunday May 1, 2022. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn and visit with your peers in person in sunny California. The targeted outcome of the symposium is to facilitate the dissemination of the latest scientific knowledge, treatment trends and best practices for patient care. Click Here for more information.

Society is experiencing historic transitions within the health care industry with some shift toward more technology. The ACBSP continues to explore how we can best position the ACBSP and you the certificant to better leverage technology to help in examination delivery and development and promoting sports chiropractic.

The ACBSP is at a crossroads of developing the strategic plan for the future of the ACBSP. We need to be creative while developing clarity regarding how to best preserve what we do well and to creatively adapt to both challenges and solutions. Last month the ACBSP board of directors, examinations chairs and key leaders of the ACBSP met for a strategic summit to best identify the future priorities and strategies for our certificants.

At the meeting we focused on identifying the role of the ACBSP board of directors, how to help the ACBSP build process and policy to provide for a planned consistent forward movement of the institutional directive while also maintaining the fiduciary duty all ACBSP officers and staff are required to honor. Experience seems to indicate the course of the ACBSP is tactically identified by the board of directors at the time which does not necessarily equate to meeting ACBSP strategic initiatives. One position, which I support, is the need to focus on building organizational structure to optimize the role of the ACBSP board of directors to best oversee, or manage, the actions of the implementors of ACBSP strategy: the ACBSP home office staff, examination committees and other committees.

Financially the ACBSP is currently in a solid position. The BOD is slowly building an emergency reserve fund to ensure the financial security and thus the longevity of the ACBSP.

Over the past three decades, the ACBSP has studied and developed new definitions for the certificates of additional qualifications of a DACBSP® and CCSP® on a five-year rotating basis. Please make sure you participate in these surveys when you see these next surveys in a couple years.  The job analysis provides the blueprint for guidance to keep the certification process current and reflective of today’s needs for the Doctor of Chiropractic with a certificate of additional qualification in sports. Then academic programs are notified of the updates.

Over the coming months, the ACBSP will continue to work to better define the ACBSP committee structure and scope of responsibilities and share this information with you. If you see a committee that is interesting to you and you would like to be considered to help please notify the ACBSP home office.

To meet evolving needs of patients, the ACBSP position papers on concussion and the periodic health examination (PPE) will be updated in 2022. We look forward to sharing the updated positions with you.

Your work in health care is embodied in daily patient impact where you spread the word of sports chiropractic. Providing best of class health care to patients from all backgrounds expands upon the good works already done. Patients seek health care experiences where they feel listened to and empowered, and where health care teams collaborate with patients to deliver customized patient centered care informed by evidence, clinical experience, and patient preferences. 

The ACBSP continues to lead the charge for chiropractic specialties and chiropractic practice. The steps forward that we have taken together are still just the beginning. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers: The Story of Success shared “Working really hard is what successful people do…”. The ACBSP appreciates that you are working hard every day and the ACBSP is working hard to support you. Tomorrow’s solutions will arise from fresh ideas and creative innovations, not from replicating the strategies of the past. I invite you to join with the ACBSP as we continue to design and deliver a plan for the future.

ACBSP™ Certificant Presidential Update September 2021

The ACBSP home office, committee members and board of directors have continued to press forward to the benefit of the ACBSP, the ACBSP certificants and the patients who are served by the certificants. This President’s message serves as an update to recent board related activities.

The ACBSP has formed one examination committee to help ensure that best practices regarding the ACBSP examinations continues to grow for the written and practical examinations. Holly Westbrook, DC, DACBSP®, EMT, CSCS was appointed as the chairperson of the newly formed ACBSP examination committee. The written examination chair is Scott Vanina, DC, DACBSP and the practical examination co-chairs are Todd Petersen, DC, DACBSP and Annie Babikian DC, DACBSP.

The new computer-based testing is moving forward providing examinees a comfortable at home setting to write the examinations and saving funds related to travel to write the written examinations. Both examinations continue to provide solid psychometric data regarding the validity of identifying competency in the candidates. The pass/fail scores are determined based upon the pass score (cut-score) as determined by the examination committees using the expertise of the ACBSP psychometrician. The examinations are designed to identify entry level competencies related to the work of the DACBSP® or CCSP®.

We all recognize that diversity and inclusion are important to society as a whole as well as the ACBSP. Inclusion is important for the ACBSP because diversity improves the fabric of what we do. We provide for all patients who enrich our lives. The various barriers and opportunities for the implementation of diversity in healthcare practices are known. There is a lack of consensus regarding how healthcare professionals work with diversity. A “neutral approach” does not meet today’s standards. To raise the awareness and enhance the competence of ACBSP related healthcare professionals, related educational programming, examination fairness and sports medicine networks a definitive pathway forward is required. To move forward the ACBSP will create a Diversity and/or Inclusion statement.

This November the ACBSP will host a strategic planning retreat to set the agenda for the ACBSP in the upcoming years. The board of directors, home office staff and examination committee chairs will meet to identify where the organization needs to move forward in the future. If you have ideas of key areas that need to be considered please drop me an email and share your thoughts. A recap of the meeting outcomes will be provided in a future president’s letter.

The ACBSP president can appoint up to two advisors. We welcome Drs. Erica Witter Davis, DC, DACBSP and Annie Babikian, DC, DACSBP as the presidential advisors during my term as president. Additionally, the future of the ACBSP is represented by the first honorary student advisor to the president, Jasmine Piper. Jasmine is a former soccer athlete who is finishing her DC education with a commitment to obtain her CCSP as soon as possible. We need to hear all these great advisors thoughts. I encourage you to support the board and advisors as well as engage them with your ideas and thoughts to improve the ACBSP.

The ACBSP position statements on sports related concussion and the periodic health examination (PPE) are slated to be updated within the next year. The next international

concussion consensus was to have been held in Paris, France on October 28-30, 2020. The conference, like so many others, was cancelled because of COVID. The ACBSP position statement on concussion will be updated accordingly.

There is continuing contraction and in some cases expansion of the ACBSP certificants abilities to practice sports medicine. The most common areas are around the periodic health examination and sports related concussion. The ACBSP is seeking a certificant in good standing in each of the states, or jurisdictional areas, to monitor and report back to the ACBSP the current status of your ability to perform a PPE and evaluate and manage sports related concussion, including return to play decision making. Another area of interest is to identify opportunities for the ACBSP to support State related opportunities for our certificants to fully practice as you are trained to. Contact Cindy Hayter @ if you would like to volunteer to help the ACBSP monitor these activities for your state.

As always, feel free to drop me an email @ with your thoughts. Thank you for your continued support of the ACBSP.


Mid June 2021

Website and ACBSP…. ACA™ Sports Council …. FICS™

You may have noticed a new website for the ACBSP™. If not, you need to check it out. The website committee of Alicia Oswald, Kevin Bradley and Todd Narson worked with our Executive Director Cindy Hayter and webmaster Jay Ferguson at Xtomic to deliver your desires. This website is a lot easier because it has an actual search feature; it allows you to move through drop down screens without opening multiple tabs and most importantly it will allow you to update your practice information. 

The website is a work in progress.

Jay is currently developing the function of allowing active certificants to update specific practice information such as practice name, practice address and website address.  Once the functionality is in place, an email will be sent to all active certificants with login instructions. Certain items are set in stone and must be handled by the national office such as: CCSP® vs DACBSP®, certificate numbers, certificate dates and active/ inactive. More information will be coming on this feature, so remember to check your emails.

Thank you to everyone who completed the DACBSP® Job Analysis. This necessary tool enables the ACBSP™ to provide accurate testing to validate your credentials. What do we mean by this? Your credentials are important when working events in the United States. It ensures there is a minimal competency met when a CCSP® or DACBSP® comes to work an event. 

The question comes up frequently as to why there are three sports groups covering sports chiropractic – the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians™ (ACBSP™), ACA™ Sports Council™ (ACA™ Sports Council) and Fédération Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport™ (FICS™) To help you understand the purpose of each group and why each necessarily exists, here is an explanation:

The ACBSP™ is the only national certifying body for sports chiropractic in the United States. It is not an organization you join. You are either certified or you are not. You take the necessary coursework, meet the requirements by passing written examinations, complete on-field hours and take practical examinations depending on if you choose to become a CCSP® or a DACBSP®. You pay annual certification fees, maintain a current CPR and meet the annual CEU requirement of 12 for CCSP® or 24 for DACBSP®. If you choose to surrender your trademarked letters, you are no longer certified by the ACBSP™ and can no longer use or display the CCSP® or DACBSP® marks. 

The ACA™ Sports Council is the sports chiropractic division of the American Chiropractic Association™. You are not required to have a CCSP® or DACBSP® to belong. There is a requirement that you must be an ACA™ member also when joining the ACA™ Sports Council. Several CCSPs® and DACBSPs® belong to the ACA™ Sports Council. The only sports certifications the American Chiropractic Association™ (ACA) recognizes in the United States are the CCSP® and the DACBSP®.  The ACA™ Sports Council is a valuable organization providing many opportunities for those with interest in sports chiropractic to work in the field. There are student groups at each chiropractic college who enjoy the experience of working events with the doctors of the ACA™ Sports Council. A professional and educational trade/member organization for active chiropractors, the ACA™ Sports Council is committed to improving and promoting chiropractic treatment of athletes. By working with athletic organizations and allied health professionals there is a better understanding of the value of sports chiropractic care.

FICS™ is the sports chiropractic division who broadens the scope of sports chiropractic outside of the United States. With a worldwide membership, FICS™ strives to provide equitable access to sports chiropractic care, education, mentoring, and research to all athletes and sports chiropractors regionally, nationally, and internationally. FICS™ maintains relationships with international sporting federations, and educational institutions with chiropractic programs across the globe. Many international events are offered as experiences to share sports chiropractic with athletes of various nations. FICS™ promotes an international certificate in sports chiropractic (ICSC); they require this certification to work their international events. This is not related to the ACBSP™, CCSP® or DACBSP®. FICS™ does provide advanced placement for their international certification to those who hold a current CCSP® or DACBSP® certification. 

Each year meetings are held between ACBSP™, ACA™ Sports Council and FICS™ to ensure we all work as a team promoting the best care given to athletes in the world.

Anyone with interest to work in the specialty field of sports chiropractic in the USA should be encouraged to take the ACBSP™ certification exams as it makes our specialty field of sports chiropractic stronger for everyone – doctors, athletes, parents, coaches, etc.