Posts Tagged ‘candidates’

Exam Security: Protect Athletic Training Candidates and Yourself

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Posted January 26, 2017

Sharing is usually a good thing, but this is not the case when preparing students for the BOC exam or discussing it with them after. It is illegal and unethical to memorize and discuss questions that are on the BOC exam, and both candidates and Program Directors are reminded to keep exam information confidential.

Prior to sitting for the BOC exam, candidates agree in the Candidate Attestation to not disclose information about items or answers in any format to anyone. This includes, but is not limited to:

- Educators

- Past or future examinees

- Co-workers

- Test preparation companies

The Candidate Attestation asserts that no part of the exam may be copied or reproduced in any way before, during and after exam. This includes, but is not limited to, emailing, copying or printing electronic files, reconstructing content through memorization and/or dictation.

BOC exam content is exclusive copyrighted property of the BOC and protected by federal copyright laws. The BOC will prosecute violations of this agreement. Violation of the agreement is also a violation of BOC Standards of Professional Practice, which can result in suspension or revocation of certification, if applicable, or suspension or denial of a candidate’s eligibility for future exams. It can also do the same for a candidate’s colleagues.

The below table presents common scenarios that could violate exam confidentiality. Read on for guidance in each scenario. More information is also available in the BOC Exam Candidate Handbook.

Scenario When it’s OK When it’s not OK Bottom line

1. Educator asks candidates to “stop by” after the exam to “let me know how it went.”

If the invitation and the feedback to the educator relates to their general experience (“I thought the test was not as difficult as I expected…”).

This type of invitation from an educator may be misinterpreted by the candidate – and the student may think that the educator is asking the student to reveal copyrighted information.

If the candidate is asked to reveal questions or their answer options, then he or she will need to report the educator to the BOC. The educator should stop the candidate immediately from revealing any exam content, since doing so may subject both the candidate and educator to the BOC’s ethics process.

2. Candidate tells another candidate, “The test was very difficult – I felt like I didn’t have enough time.”

The candidate is simply telling another candidate how they felt about the exam. This is all right because the candidate is not revealing any of the questions or the answer options.

One candidate (or potential candidate) asks another candidate about the specific questions.

If the questions or answer options are shared, these individuals may find themselves part of a BOC ethics investigation and/or legal complaint.

3. Candidate to educator: “You didn’t teach me about this question that asked [specific question]. I felt unprepared.”


It is not all right and it will never be all right to reveal the BOC’s copyrighted questions (or answer options) to anyone.

Candidates sign documentation stating that they will not share exam questions, and the BOC expects the candidates to abide by this contract. Those who don’t may find themselves part of a BOC ethics investigation and/or legal complaint.

4. A future candidate learns from a past candidate that, "Your BOC exam will have both multiple choice and the new multiple response kind of items. I think there were a little over 100 questions on each session.”

Candidates are welcome to discuss any information that is found on the BOC website, including the TYPES of items used on the various exams.

If the conversation goes beyond exam format and the past candidate begins to describe exam questions and answers to the future exam-taker, a breach of ethics has occurred.

As long as the conversation is limited to public information that anyone can read on the BOC website, such as exam format and style of item presentation, there is no problem. However, the past candidate should refrain from sharing specific exam content with the future candidate to protect not only the past exam-taker but also the future one.

5. A future candidate is in class when the professor announces, "Everyone pay attention to this example. It came from a BOC exam. It will show up on another exam someday soon." In another class, the professor insisted that, "This is ALWAYS guaranteed to be a BOC exam question. This is one concept that you don’t want to forget.”

There is no acceptable circumstance in which it is OK for an educator to offer to any class or audience any item or material directly linked to any BOC exam.

Since all BOC exam material including all items (questions and answers) is copyrighted, it is illegal for anyone to reproduce and use these items in any manner whatsoever. Candidate exposure to BOC exam items is legally and ethically limited to candidates' time spent taking BOC exams. Sample items available on the BOC website are not active items and may be shared.

All candidates should be aware that unsolicited classroom exposure to BOC exam material may result in cancellation of their own exam scores and/or may lead to being barred from taking the BOC exam in the future. It also should be remembered that new exam items constantly are being generated and can deal with any topic in the BOC practice analysis.

Sources: Scenarios 1-3 are from American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Scenarios 4 and 5 are from National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Inc. Content has been adapted for the BOC.

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


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:


BOC Call for Candidates

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Every non-profit organization like the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) must have a board of directors. But, beyond this legal requirement, a well-informed and well-trained board is absolutely essential. To provide accountability and ensure protection of the public, a nine member volunteer board of directors governs the BOC and includes six Athletic Trainer Directors, one Physician Director, one Public Director and one Corporate/Educational Director. 

The benefits of serving on a board are endless. The distinguishing benefit of serving on a non-profit board is the satisfaction felt in contributing to the common good and making an impact on the athletic training profession and the public. The role provides professional development along with an expanded network of contacts.  Being elected or appointed to sit on the board can raise prestige by having name recognition in the field. 

The Nominating Committee of the BOC is now accepting applications from BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) interested in serving as an Athletic Trainer Director on the BOC Board of Directors. 

In past years, the BOC has highlighted areas the board feels are under-represented. The same is true this year. The board encourages ATs who have either or both of the following backgrounds to consider applying:

  • State regulatory/governmental affairs
  • International affairs

The Nominating Committee will weigh these areas as well as the qualifications found in the job description as they prepare the slate of candidates for the fall election.

If you are interested in submitting your name as a potential candidate, please visit the BOC website. The application, bylaws and a detailed job description outlining the qualifications, responsibilities and time commitment can be found in the Board of Directors section of the BOC website. All application materials are due by July 2, 2012.

Applications, resumes and additional information will be reviewed by the Nominating Committee. Following the review, the Nominating Committee will conduct interviews to select the slate of candidates who will be placed on the election ballot that will be presented to ATs at large.

If there are any questions about this process, please contact Valerie Herzog, EdD, LAT, ATC, Chair of the BOC Nominating Committee, at or Shannon Leftwich at

Written by: Brittney Ryba