Archive for the ‘BOC News & Events’ Category

Do You Really Know the ECC Requirement?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Posted December 22, 2016

Avoid common audit problems like completing the wrong course, letting your ECC certification lapse or tossing old documents too soon.

The Card Code is highlighted in yellow.

The BOC regularly conducts audits of ATs to verify compliance with certification requirements – a critical part of assuring public safety. Our audits sometimes reveal lapses in maintaining an Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC) credential due to mistaken beliefs about the requirement. Other times, ATs report ECC certification at a lower level than the minimum BOC requirement (see sidebar).

Following are common but unacceptable reasons given for a lapse in ECC certification:

- I’m not currently practicing as an AT

- I’m not working in the field

- I’m in school

- I didn’t know what level of CPR I need

- I didn’t keep all my cards, whether expired or current

The Certificate ID is highlighted in yellow.

In an effort to help with lost cards, we have added a field to the continuing education reporting form in your BOC Central™ profile. The new field, under the “Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC)” section, asks for the certificate ID or card code (see screenshot).

This information allows the BOC and other organizations to access American Red Cross and American Heart Association systems to verify ECC certification – which allows us to help you in the event of an audit. We encourage you to enter ECC information in your profile as soon as you receive a new card or certificate.

What Level Is Your ECC Certification?

 ECC certification must include all of the following:

- Adult CPR

- Pediatric CPR

- Second rescuer CPR


- Airway obstruction

- Barrier devices (e.g., pocket mask, bag valve mask)

Full details of this category are located in the Certification Maintenance Requirements starting on page 3.

Finally, remember that ECC documents must be kept for 2 years after expiration. The only acceptable documents are original certification cards, original certificates of completion, or photocopies (front and back) of certification cards or certificates of completion. The instructor and card holder must sign cards or certificates of completion if a QR code is not provided. Letters provided by instructors are not acceptable.





Where did your state rank in votes for BOC Athletic Trainer Director?

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Posted October 17, 2016

During the election for BOC Athletic Trainer Director, we have been keeping track of the percentage of Athletic Trainers in each state who voted during the election. Online voting closed on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 11:59pm ET.

Congratulations to Montana for taking first place! Texas was in second place, and Nebraska was close behind in third place. New Mexico, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Indiana, Oklahoma and North Dakota all made the Top 10 list. Thank you to everyone who voted in this election!

The BOC is pleased to announce the election of 2 new Athletic Trainer Directors to the Board of Directors. Michael Carroll, MEd, LAT, ATC, and Neil Curtis, EdD, LAT, ATC, will take office in January 2018, following a year of mentorship and learning as AT Directors-elect. Learn more at


Who is the Current BOC Board?

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Posted September 29, 2016

Athletic Trainers have the opportunity to vote for 2 new Athletic Trainer Directors to join the BOC Board of Directors. As you consider the candidates you might wonder, who is the current BOC Board? Take a look below to see who makes up the current BOC Board and their responsibilities. For more information on the BOC Board visit

Then, don’t forget to vote! Online voting opens September 6 and closes October 13, 2016, 11:59pm ET. Learn more about the candidates by visiting





How does the BOC Board advocate for you?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Posted September 2016

Athletic Trainers (ATs) have the opportunity to vote for 2 new AT Directors to join the BOC Board of Directors. As you consider the candidates you might wonder, how does voting for the BOC Board affect Athletic Trainers? Take a look below to see how the BOC Board advocates for you.

Then, don’t forget to vote! Online voting opens September 6 and closes October 13, 2016, 11:59pm ET. Learn more about the candidates by visiting


Did your state make the top 10 list?

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Posted September and October 2016

The BOC Athletic Trainer Director election is now open. That means you can choose 2 new representatives to the Board of Directors. As the votes come in, we’ll keep you updated on which states are on top in Athletic Trainer (AT) votes for the election.

Take a look at the major ways this election affects you.

1. BOC Board members make decisions on certification standards for ATs.

2. BOC Board members make decisions on continuing education (CE) requirements.

3. BOC Board members’ decisions on certification standards and CE requirements ultimately affect an AT’s ability to work within the profession.

Thank you to all ATs who have already voted in the election. Please encourage others in your state to vote in this election.

To ATs who haven’t voted yet, there is still time!  Don’t delay! Online voting closes October 13, 2016, 11:59pm. Learn more about the candidates by visiting












Guidelines on Listing and Abbreviating Degrees, Licenses and Credentials

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Posted June 14, 2016

By Melissa Breazile, Content Coordinator

Proper treatment of degrees, licenses and credentials has been a source of confusion and misuse for years. Many Athletic Trainers are unsure how to list or abbreviate the qualifications that follow their names.

Consistency in how Athletic Trainers identify themselves alleviates confusion and lends credibility to the profession. The following is intended to provide clarity as you identify yourself in signatures, business cards, letterhead or any other written format.

A 2003 article by Ken Knight, Chad Starkey and Chris Ingersoll established guidelines for displaying degrees, licenses and credentials, and this information is still valid today.

The article says it is proper to list academic degrees first, licenses second and credentials last. Here, credentials include BOC certification. For instance, a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer holding a master’s degree and working in a state where licensure is not required should write, “Sally Snow, MS, ATC” – not “ATC, MS.”  The same BOC Certified Athletic Trainer working in a state with licensure would correctly write, “Sally Snow, MS, LAT, ATC.” See the illustration for an example.

What do these qualifications mean? Licensure provides a legal right to practice, while certification, which is voluntary, states that a professional body – in this case, the BOC – has determined that your knowledge and skills have met a pre-determined standard. If you use more than one credential, list them in order of difficulty of obtaining them. With credentials of similar difficulty, such as ATC and PT, list them in chronological order.

Common Errors and Exceptions
Because confusion has persisted over the years, we know of several common errors. One such error involves listing licensure and certification as a single abbreviation; such incorrect examples include ATC/L, LATC and ATC/R. The first example implies that certification is more important than licensure, which is not the case. The second and third examples improperly append the ATC® credential, which is a registered trademark and cannot be modified.

- In Texas, everyone is an LAT because not all Texas ATs have to be certified. Texas has its own set of requirements to earn a license, BOC certification and/or the Texas licensing exam.

So as far as BOC and our protection of the credential, we do not regulate against the improper treatment of licensure and regulation. However, we do regulate against those who use the ATC® credential and are not currently certified.

Finally, we offer one more note on usage. Despite the common misconception, ATC is not a noun. An AT is the person who holds the credential, while ATC is the credential. For this reason, it would be inappropriate to say, “Bob Jones is the ATC for the Cardinals.” Instead, it is correct to say, “Bob Jones is the AT for the Cardinals.”

Access the article by Knight, Starkey and Ingersoll at, and click on the “Public Relations” tab.

Correction January 2017:

This guideline is no longer true: Wisconsin, by state law, does not allow you to use ATC®; the law specifies the use of LAT.




What can PA7 do for you?

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Posted May 9, 2016

By Cherie Trimberger

Communications Coordinator

Imagine a Hollywood movie premiere event with red carpet, camera lights flashing and celebrities and press everywhere. It’s easy to picture the excitement and eagerness everyone shows before being allowed to experience and enjoy the final product.

I’ll admit, the Board of Certification (BOC) releasing the new Practice Analysis, 7th Edition (PA7) may not seem as glamorous as a movie premier. However, the important role PA7 plays in identifying essential knowledge and skills for the athletic training profession more than makes up for any lack of glitz and glamour.

PA7 depicts the current knowledge and skills entry-level Athletic Trainers (ATs) should possess within domains and tasks. This document is also one of the methods used to identify and prioritize the critical tasks of the profession and the essential competence an individual should possess to perform the required functions satisfactorily.

For certification purposes, PA7 is used to establish a defined set of domains, tasks and associated knowledge and skills necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the job to the standards required for certification. This document serves as a blueprint for exam development and continuing competence programming. PA7 will become effective for BOC exams beginning April 2017 and for continuing education beginning January 1, 2018.

In addition to the previous mentioned benefits, PA7 has many other uses for many difference audiences.

Candidates - Use PA7 as a study tool for exam preparation by looking at weak domain areas from a diagnostic report of self-assessment to get an idea of the content associated with them.1

Program Directors, educators and approved clinical instructors - Use PA7 in conjunction with competencies to develop athletic training education curriculum by seeing where the practice analysis corresponds with the NATA Executive Committee for Education’s competencies document.1

Employers - Use PA7 in conjunction with a state’s practice act to support the AT scope of practice. The practice analysis outlines the knowledge and skills entry-level ATs have been evaluated with.1

State regulators, state associations and legislators - Use PA7 as a resource to determine in what knowledge and skills entry-level ATs have been educated for the purpose of writing state and federal legislation.1

ATs – Use PA7 as a guide to identify areas in need of continuing education. If an AT knows they are weak in the domain of Injury/Illness Prevention and Wellness Protection, they can use the PA7 to identify the types of continuing education they should target. It can also be used to promote the profession by highlighting all the knowledge and skills ATs have.1

A full electronic version of PA7 is available for purchase from the BOC Store for $14.95.

The following supporting documents are available at no cost:

Content Outline for PA7

Comparison of PA7 to RD/PA6

How to Use PA7

The Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis, 6th Edition (RD/PA6) remains in effect for the BOC exam until January/February 2017 and for continuing education until December 31, 2017. You can also learn more on the BOC website.


1. How to Use PA7:


Athletic Trainers in a Physician Practice

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Posted May 4, 2016

By Kathy I. Dieringer EdD, ATC, LAT

District VI Director

One of the many outstanding aspects of being a part of the athletic training profession is recognizing the progress we have made over the years, and seeing the possibilities in front of us. We certainly have not remained stagnant, which is vital for any profession, but especially one in healthcare. At times, recognizing we need to change is difficult—implementing change even more difficult. Such is the case with the elimination of the use of the term: physician extender.

Athletic Trainers (ATs) have worked closely with physicians for decades, with the term physician extender becoming popular in the 1980s, primarily as a means to easily identify how the AT or anyone else was functioning in a physician practice. A physician extender worked alongside the physician, “extending their services,” but clearly functioning under the physician’s supervision. The term quickly became universally accepted in all areas of healthcare, including among hospital and practice administrators.

Unfortunately, healthcare is now moving away from using this term, as it was being used to describe too many different types of healthcare providers, all of whom have different training and levels of competence. Other healthcare professions have already stopped using the term and are choosing, instead, to be referred to according to their credential. Indeed, some hospitals and physician practices have eliminated the existence of the employee position known as physician extender.

Another great concern is many ATs are referring to themselves as physician extenders, rather than as Athletic Trainers. Our profession is experiencing a very important time in our history. We are becoming leaders throughout healthcare, increasing our market penetration in every setting and increasing our presence in legislative and regulatory issues. The NATA is committed to establishing and reinforcing the brand of Athletic Trainer and is doing an exceptional job. As we continue to gain momentum in the recognition of our profession in the healthcare market, it is imperative that we refer to ourselves as Athletic Trainers.

For the reasons above, this issue was brought to the NATA Board of Directors by the NATA Committee on Practice Advancement, after it was also considered and approved by the NATA Terminology Workgroup. The Board of Directors unanimously approved this request in January, and the NATA began to work toward eliminating the term throughout all marketing material, articles, etc. ATs in this setting are asked to refer to themselves as “Athletic Trainers in a physician practice.”  This description supports our brand and further enhances our profession.

It is up to each of us to be an advocate in everything we do, but especially in how we refer to our own profession. We are Athletic Trainers first and foremost, regardless of setting or patient population.



Finish 2015 on a High Note and Prepare for 2016

Friday, December 18th, 2015

By Cherie Trimberger

Communications Coordinator

The end of the year is only a few weeks away.  While your mind may be filled with family, holidays and travel, there are some important things for you to remember in order to start your new year on a high note.  Maintaining your certification and planning for your professional development are important steps to starting your year off right.  Below is a list of the top 5 items that should be on your radar as 2015 ends and 2016 begins.

1. The current reporting period ends December 31, 2015 at 11:59pm CT.

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are required to complete the following to maintain their certification.  Log in to BOC Central™ at to check your requirements.

Standards of Professional Practice - ATs are required to comply with the BOC Standards of Professional Practice, which consists of Practice Standards and the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Emergency Cardiac Care - ATs must maintain ongoing Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC) certification at the Basic Life Support/Professional Rescuer level or beyond.

Certification Maintenance Fee - ATs are required to pay an annual certification maintenance fee.

2. Start the new reporting period off right by taking the BOC self-assessment exam.

During the 2014-2015 reporting period, did you feel unsure of what continuing education (CE) programs would be the right fit for you?  The BOC self-assessment exams can help by determining your strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you plan for the 2016-2017 reporting period so you can select the best CE options for you.   To take a BOC self-assessment exam now, follow this link

3. Safety is the key for a great new year.  Is your athletic training facility safe?

An easy-to-use online resource can help you gauge your athletic training facility’s compliance with applicable regulations and best practices.  Available at, the BOC Facility Principles online tool lets you assess accessibility, privacy and confidentiality, employee safety, safe handling of hazardous materials, emergency preparedness and more. The information is also compiled in the BOC Facility Principles document, downloadable in PDF format from

4. Start planning for National Athletic Training Month in March.

National Athletic Training Month is coming up in March and 2016’s theme is “A safer approach to work, life and sport.”  Now is a great time to think about how you can promote the athletic training profession and your work as an AT.

Start by promoting certification and National Athletic Training Month on your social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other you might prefer.  Another simple way to get the word out about athletic training is to request our promotional images, which represent a variety of sports and activities.  Requests can be made at

5. Don’t miss out on the 67th National Athletic Trainers’ Association Clinical Symposia & AT Expo. Come check out the BOC exhibit at the 67th National Athletic Trainers’ Association Clinical Symposia & AT Expo.  The meeting will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 23-25, 2016.  Learn more and resister at

Assess Your Individual Learning Strategies

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

By Cherie Trimberger

Communications Coordinator

As an Athletic Trainer, you’ve spent years in school learning subject matter required for both your degree and BOC certification.  Throughout your education, it may not have occurred to you that your learning strategies might be different from the person sitting next to you.

Learning strategies are those techniques or specialized skills that the learner has developed to use in both formal and informal learning situations.1 There may have been subtle signs about your learning strategies, like your preference for a class or instructor, but you may not have really understood the reason behind your preferences.

Now as you work to finish your continuing education (CE) for the Board of Certification (BOC) reporting period ending December 31, 2015, it’s a good time to consider how your individual learning strategy could play a factor in your CE decisions.

For nearly 2 decades, educators studied the concept of learning styles to explore differences in learners with instruments to measure these differences.  Many in the field of adult education began to research the concept of learning strategies as a way to better understand individual differences among learners.1

Modern studies suggest that distinct groups of learners do exist. Inquiries at 2 universities in the United States led to research related to learning strategies and to the development of Assessing The Learning Strategies of AdultS (ATLAS).1  ATLAS can be used for self-assessment to quickly identify your approaches to learning a task.  According to Development of a user-friendly instrument for identifying the learning strategy of adults, ATLAS breaks down learners into 3 categories.

  • Navigators: Navigators are focused learners who chart a course for learning and follow it. These learners initiate a learning activity by looking externally at the utilization of resources that will help them accomplish the learning task and by immediately beginning to narrow and focus these resources.  Full description available at (893-894)
  • Problem Solvers: Problem Solvers rely on critical thinking skills. Like Navigators, Problem Solvers initiate a learning activity by looking externally at available resources; however, instead of narrowing the options available, they immediately begin to generate alternatives based on these resources. Full description available at (894)
  • Engagers: Engagers are passionate learners who love to learn, learn with feeling, and learn best when they are actively engaged in a meaningful manner with the learning task; ‘‘the key to learning is engagement – a relationship between the learner, the task or subject matter, the environment, and the teacher.’’ Full description available at  (894)

Understanding your learning strategies can help when selecting your CE program.  Consider taking the ATLAS evaluation to better understand your individual learning strategies.  You can find the ATLAS evaluation here:  The ATLAS evaluation is just one more tool you can use to help get the most out of your education.