RESNA > Certification > Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) > SMS Exam Outline 2023

SMS Exam Outline

Effective January 1, 2024,  the Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) Examinations will based upon the the exam outline below.

“Assistive technology” may include—but is not limited to:

  • AAC (Augmentative and alternative communication)
  • Accessible transportation (public and private)
  • ADL (aids to daily living / activities of daily living)
  • Cognitive aids
  • Computer access
  • EADL (electronic aids to daily living)
  • Environmental aids
  • Learning and study aids
  • Recreation and leisure
  • Seating, positioning and mobility
  • Sensory (e.g. hearing, vision, physical) aids and accommodations
  • Vocational aids and accommodations

SMS Reference Materials

Click here to access the SMS reference materials.

2024 Seating and Mobility Job Task Domains

1. Assessment of Need – 33%

1.1 Review the referral to determine the focus of the seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility assessment (e.g., identifying assessment team and prioritizing assessment needs)
1.2 1.2. Inform client and other stakeholders of the seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility process, their rights and responsibilities, and obtain consent to proceed
1.3 Review settings of anticipated use to assemble assessment team (e.g., home, work, school, community)
1.4 Consult with client and other stakeholders as needed (e.g., caregivers, educational team, family, medical professionals, therapeutic, vocational, and workforce)
1.5 Analyze relevant records (e.g., medical record, functional evaluation report, psychosocial report, individualized education plan, life care plan, individualized family service plan)
1.6 Assess the complexity of the client in order to schedule an assessment that accommodates their needs
1.7 1.7. Collaborate with other stakeholders to assess the client's current functional abilities, capacities, and limitations (e.g., body functions and structures, activities and participation)
1.8 Assess anticipated environments of use for seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility interventions
1.9 Analyze use of current seating, positioning, and/or wheeled mobility devices by means of observation, interviews, and quantitative measures
1.10 Inform the client on the components of the seating, positioning, and/or wheeled mobility service provision process
1.11 Identify services outside of resources available and refer to other qualified professionals 
1.12 1.12. Perform, assist, or collaborate in a physical and functional seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility assessment utilizing appropriate tests and measurement tools and document results
1.13 1.13. Perform, assist, or collaborate in an equipment assessment/review of potential seating, positioning, and/or wheeled mobility device options and document results
1.14 Use tests and measures to define baseline function to document the effectiveness of intervention
1.15 Interpret pertinent data relating to the tests and measures
1.16 Integrate information gained from the assessments to identify priorities, goals, needs, and desired outcomes
1.17 Hypothesize use of specific seating, positioning, and/or wheeled mobility devices to support functional capacities and limitations
1.18 Communicate pre-intervention assessment findings and outline/demonstrate potential interventions with the client and other stakeholders in an accessible and appropriate format
1.19 Facilitate the decision-making process with the client and other stakeholders to determine potential intervention strategies

2. Development of Intervention Strategies - Action Plan – 26%

2.1 Define potential intervention products, services, and strategies
2.2 Identify areas of integration for seating, positioning, and/or wheeled mobility devices with other assistive technologies and equipment needs
2.3 Match technology features and benefits to the client's functional abilities, capacities and limitations, as well as goals, desired outcomes, personal preferences, environmental factors, and applicable standards
2.4 Analyze differences between technology being considered and client's current and/or previously used technology
2.5 Conduct demonstrations, trials, simulations, and basic training of devices/strategies with the client and applicable stakeholders when possible
2.6 Identify appropriate tests and measures and conduct subsequent analyses of data to select possible technology solutions
2.7 Identify issues of integration crossing all anticipated environments of use
2.8 Obtain, integrate, and document client and stakeholders feedback throughout trial process (as appropriate)
2.9 Identify or assist in determining training, services, and support needs
2.10 Assist the client in making final selections by explaining the relevant aspects of seating, positioning, and/or wheeled mobility solutions
2.11 Document recommendations in the appropriate records
2.12 Identify and advise the client and other stakeholders of the procurement process
2.13 Submit recommendations for procurement of seating, positioning, and/or wheeled mobility recommendations

3. Implementation of Intervention (Once Funded) – 26%

3.1 Review and confirm the implementation plan with client and other stakeholders
3.2 3.2. Initiate, monitor, and/or advocate for the procurement process
3.3 Perform and/or participate in the preparation, assembly, and installation of the seating, positioning, and/or wheeled mobility components and other associated technology
3.4 Verify product for safety, function, performance, and quality
3.5 Analyze set-up and configuration process to compare with assessment recommendations
3.6 Perform and/or participate in set-up, fitting, adjustment, and modification of technology to meet client requirements to ensure safety and maximum functional use
3.7 Verify that product specifications, integration, and compatibility of components meet the needs, goals, and desired outcomes of the client
3.8 Perform or assist in training the client and other stakeholders in device operation, adjustment, care, maintenance, and the troubleshooting process
3.9 Provide information on device warranty, scheduled maintenance, and follow-up needs
3.10 Provide or make recommendations regarding ongoing training and/or services to achieve goals and desired outcomes
3.11 Verify and document the client's ability to use equipment consistent with their goals and desired outcomes once training has been completed
3.12 Educate client and other stakeholders about changes which may necessitate follow-up, adjustments, modifications, or referral to appropriate team members
3.13 Document the implementation process and progress, and communicate to the client and other stakeholders

4. Evaluation of Intervention (Follow-up) – 15%

4.1 Document outcomes (both qualitative and quantitative) and communicate to the client and other stakeholders to determine if goals were met
4.2 Develop, maintain, and document plan to review achievement of client goals and desired outcomes
4.3 Identify changes in client functions, capacities, limitations, goals, desired outcomes, or equipment performance that may necessitate reassessment
4.4 Assess outcome and/or modify intervention strategy, as appropriate, ensuring follow-up is in place to address changing client goals, environments of use, desired outcomes, and/or needs 

5. Professional Conduct

Note: there is no assigned weight for this domain on the examination blueprint due holistic and integrated nature on the topic. Candidates should consider all other domains through the lens of Professional Conduct.


5.1. Maintain compliance to RESNA's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
5.2. Participate in opportunities to advance the field of seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility (e.g., mentoring/supervision, education, research, industry affairs, advocacy, policy, and legislation)
5.3. Advance expertise in the field by keeping abreast of latest research, best practices, and technological advances in the field of seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility

The exam questions are written to the job tasks listed above.  These job tasks are the result of a job analysis study that was conducted by a panel of subject matter experts and subsequently validated by practitioners.

SMS Job Knowledge

The job analysis study also yielded a list of knowledges relevant to performing assistive technology provision work. Click here for the 2024 SMS Job Knowledge list.

Recognized Acronyms

The Recognized Acronyms list features common acronyms that are recognized in the field of assistive technology. Certification candidates are expected to be familiar with these acronyms, as they may appear in the exam. Click here to view the Recognized Acronyms list.