License Requirements

Specialist Assistant

General Requirements | Fees | Partial Refunds | Education and Examination Requirements | Additional Practice Requirements

General Requirements

Registered Specialist Assistants are skilled in a group of clinical procedures that make up a specialized clinical service. Registered Specialist Assistants work under the supervision of a New York State licensed, currently registered physician qualified to practice in the medical specialty that utilizes the Registered Specialist Assistants' specialized skills. Currently, there are three categories of specialist assistant licensed by the New York State Education Department: orthopedic specialist assistant, urologic specialist assistant and radiologic specialist assistant.

Any use of the title "Registered Specialist Assistant" within New York State requires licensure.

To be licensed as a Registered Specialist Assistant in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character
  • be at least 21 years of age
  • meet education, examination, and experience requirements

You must submit an application for licensure and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 131-B, Section 6541, Education Law, and Part 60 of the Commissioner's Regulations. Print

You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.


Fees

The fee for licensure is $115.

Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.

  • Do not send cash.
  • Make your personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department.
  • Your cancelled check is your receipt.
  • Mail your application and fee to:

    NYS Education Department, Office of the Professions
    Division of Professional Licensing Services, Fee Section
    89 Washington Avenue
    Albany, NY 12234-1000

PLEASE NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.


Partial Refunds

Individuals who withdraw their licensure application any time prior to a determination may be entitled to a partial refund equal to the initial registration portion of the fee they paid.

To withdraw your application and secure a refund of the initial registration fee paid, request a refund by e-mail opunit2@nysed.gov, fax 518-402-2323 or letter to:

New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services, RSA Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234-1000

Please include your full name, address, social security number and the profession for which you are withdrawing your licensure application. We will send you a confirmation letter indicating the exact amount of your refund. Should you need additional information, contact the Registered Specialist Assistant Unit at (518) 474-3817 ext. 260.

If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure application and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.

Please note: The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.


Education and Examination Requirements

You must have completed a course of study in a secondary school whose program is acceptable to the New York State Education Department or have passed an equivalency test, AND meet the requirements for the specialist assistant title for which you are applying:

Orthopedic Assistant

Applicants must complete item 1 the Exam Requirement and either item 2, 3 (a. or b.) or 4.

  1. You must pass the National Board Certification Examination for Orthopedic Physician Assistants (NBCOPA) and have the Professional Testing Corporation send your exam results to the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions. Request an examination application handbook from:

    Professional Testing Corporation
    1350 Broadway, 17th Floor
    New York, NY 10018
    Phone: 212-356-0660
    or visit their web site: www.ptcny.com External Link Icon

    Note: If you have not yet passed the exam, contact the Professional Testing Corporation before submitting your application and fee for licensure to determine your eligibility to sit for the exam.

    AND

  2. You must complete a program for the training of orthopedic assistants or the equivalent that is approved by the New York State Education Department;

    OR

    1. Complete an educational training program through military experience leading to orthopedic specialist, orthopedic cast room technician or orthopedic clinic technician rating and complete two years of satisfactory experience as an orthopedic assistant working under the supervision of an orthopedic surgeon within the past five years, or

    2. complete medical corps school and five years of satisfactory experience as an orthopedic assistant working under the supervision of an orthopedic surgeon within the past eight years;

    OR

  3. Have completed an extensive health-oriented education and, within the past eight years, have completed five years of satisfactory experience as an orthopedic assistant working under the supervision of an orthopedic surgeon.

Urologic Assistant

Applicants must complete either item 1, 2 or 3.

  1. You must complete a program for the training of urologic assistants approved by the New York State Education Department,

    OR

  2. You must complete an educational training program through military experience leading to urologic surgical technician or urological technician or clinical specialist rating. You must also complete two years of satisfactory experience as a urologic assistant working under the supervision of an urologic surgeon within the five years before New York State licensure;

    OR

  3. You must complete medical corps school and five years of satisfactory experience as a urologic assistant working under the supervision of a urologic surgeon within the eight years before New York State licensure.

Radiologic Assistant

Applicants must complete items 1 and 2.

  1. You must be licensed as a radiologic technologist by the New York State Department of Health;

    AND

  2. You must complete a program for the training of radiologic assistants approved by the New York State Education Department.

Reasonable Testing Accommodations For Orthopedic Assistant Applicants

For specific information about reasonable testing accommodations for the NBCOPA Exam, contact Professional Testing Corporation at the address given above.


Additional Practice Requirements

Infection Control and Barrier Precautions:

Every practicing specialist assistant must complete approved coursework or training appropriate to the professional's practice in infection control and barrier precautions, including engineering and work practice controls, to prevent the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the course of professional practice. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.

Last Updated: April 7, 2014