Athletic trainers (ATs) are nationally board certified and state-licensed to provide a broad spectrum of healthcare services to meet the growing demands of the physically active population. ATs are specialized in orthopedics and work collaboratively with physicians to execute a comprehensive healthcare plan across the continuum of patient care including emergency services, diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, reconditioning, and return to a high level of function.

Professional, or entry-level Athletic Training education, uses a competency-based approach in both the classroom and clinical settings. Using a medical-based education model, Athletic Training students are educated to provide comprehensive client/patient care in five domains of clinical practice: prevention; clinical evaluation and diagnosis; immediate and emergency care; treatment and rehabilitation; and organization and professional health and well-being. The educational requirements for CAATE-accredited Athletic Training education programs include acquisition of knowledge, skills, and clinical abilities along with a broad scope of foundational behaviors of professional practice. Students complete an extensive clinical learning requirement that is embodied in the clinical integration proficiencies (professional, practice-oriented outcomes) as identified in the Athletic Training Education Competencies.

Students receive formal instruction in the following specific subject matter areas identified in the Competencies:

  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Clinical Examination and Diagnosis
  • Acute Care of Injury and Illness
  • Therapeutic Interventions
  • Psychosocial Strategies and Referral
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Professional Development and Responsibility


The ATC® credential and the BOC requirements are currently recognized by 47 states for eligibility and/or regulation of the practice of athletic trainers. The credibility of the BOC program and the ATC® credential it awards are supported by three pillars: (1) the BOC certification examination; (2) the BOC Standards of Professional Practice, and Disciplinary Guidelines and Procedures; and (3) continuing competence (education) requirements. BOC certification is recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and is the only accredited certification program for athletic trainers. To be certified, an individual must demonstrate that he/she is an athletic trainer capable of performing the required duties without threat of harm to the public. The BOC traditionally conducts annual examination development meetings during which athletic trainers and recognized experts in the science of Athletic Training develop, review and validate examination items and problems. The knowledge, skills, and abilities required for competent performance as an entry-level athletic trainer fall into three categories: 1. Understanding, applying, and analyzing; 2. Knowledge and decision-making; 3. Special performance abilities.

BOC-certified athletic trainers are educated, trained and evaluated in five major practice domains:

  1. Prevention
  2. Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis
  3. Immediate and Emergency Care
  4. Treatment and Rehabilitation
  5. Organization and Professional Health and Well-Being