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BOC Update on the Coronavirus

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The Board of Certification (BOC) is diligently monitoring the developing situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). The BOC is communicating with its strategic partners to maintain operations while keeping the safety and well-being of all stakeholders the top priority. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) have also issued statements regarding the impact of COVID-19.

For the safety of BOC volunteers and staff, the BOC is restricting travel in and out of the BOC office through April 2020 and will reassess the situation at that time. Currently, BOC staff is working remotely and recommends sending all correspondence and documentation electronically if possible, as we have limited access to postal mail during this time. The BOC strives to process documents related to candidates, ATs and BOC Approved Providers in a timely manner, but there may be a delay. We understand the impact this may have, but the health, safety and welfare of our employees, AT community and candidates must remain a priority. We are committed to maintaining the operations conducted by the BOC staff as smoothly and efficiently as possible.


BOC Exam Candidates, Program Directors and Employers

The BOC and CAATE recognize a variety of scenarios resulting from COVID-19 may lead to a delay in the normal time of program completion for students, including students being ill or quarantined, difficulty finding appropriate clinical sites and institutions temporarily closing. We further recognize that delays in a student’s program completion may impact BOC exam eligibility and entry into the workforce. Should a change in a graduation date occur, candidates must submit the “AT105 - Graduation Date Change” form in BOC Central™.

Exam Candidate FAQs

Q. What is the status of the March/April BOC exam?

A. The BOC canceled the March/April 2020 BOC exam.

  • Candidates who were registered for the March/April 2020 exam window have already been transferred to the extended May/June 2020 exam window and no further action is needed until scheduling opens. See more information about the extended May/June 2020 exam window below.
  • Any candidate whose eligibility expired in the March/April 2020 exam window has had their eligibility extended through the May/June 2020 exam window. See more information about the extended May/June 2020 exam window below.

Q. What is the status of the May/June BOC exam?

A. The May/June 2020 exam window will open as outlined below and has been extended with an additional week to accommodate larger numbers of candidates. In addition, the July/August 2020 exam dates have been adjusted to provide timely exam results for candidates.


*Extended May/June

2020 Exam Window

*July/August

2020 Exam Window

1. Apply

April 27 (5:00 p.m. CDT)

June 22 (5:00 p.m. CDT)

2. Register

April 24 – May 4 (5:00 p.m. CDT)

June 19 – July 1 (5:00 p.m. CDT)

3. Schedule

May 12 – June 11

July 7 – July 30

4. Exam

May 23 – June 13

July 18 – August 1

5. Results

June 26 – July 1

August 15 – August 29

*BOC reserves the right to make future changes due to the dynamic COVID-19 situation. May/June exam deadlines can be found at on the BOC website.

The following applies for the extended May/June 2020 exam window:

  • The BOC will extend expiration dates for candidates whose eligibility expired to accommodate the extended May/June 2020 exam window.
  • Candidates who were registered for the March/April 2020 exam window have already been transferred to the extended May/June 2020 exam window and no further action is needed until scheduling opens.
    • Candidates unable or unwilling (due to COVID-19) to sit during the extended May/June 2020 exam window, must email Exam@bocatc.org no later than May 4, 2020 5 p.m. CDT requesting to reschedule to an exam window beyond the extended May/June 2020 exam window. The BOC will waive any rescheduling fees for this exam window.
  • If a candidate is not successful on the May/June 2020 exam, the next opportunity to retake the exam will be the July/August 2020 exam window.

Q. What exam sites are currently open for the May/June exam?

A. Due to the dynamic nature of COVID-19, exam sites and seats could be limited and change daily for the extended May/June 2020 exam window. The BOC will waive any rescheduling fees for this exam window. Please see the table below for a summary of May/June exam sites.

May/June Exam Site Updates

Date

Exam Sites

Open May 23-June 13

Number of Exam Site States

4/9/2020

348

48 and Puerto Rico

4/14/2020

333

48 and Puerto Rico

4/22/2020 310 48 and Puerto Rico
4/22/2020 22 7 Canada Provinces
4/29/2020 303 47 and Puerto Rico
4/29/2020 21 7 Canada Provinces
5/6/2020 294 47 and Puerto Rico
5/6/2020 18 5 Canada Provinces
5/18/2020 235 45 and Puerto Rico
5/18/2020 1 5 Canada Provinces
5/20/2020 218 43 and Puerto Rico
5/20/2020 14 5 Canada Provinces
5/27/2020 200 44 States
5/27/2020 11 5 Canada Provinces
6/3/2020 170 41 States
6/3/2020 9 4 Canada Provinces

NOTE: Scheduling opened May 12, 2020 and of the total number of exam candidates registered, 98.1% have scheduled an exam. Prior to the most recent report (5/6), Scantron had been providing data through June 16 and the exam window closes June 13, which may account for a portion of the decrease in numbers on this week’s report.

In the US, the 170 sites represent:

  • 9,550 available seats during the window
  • 1,602 available testing events (site, date, and time combinations)
  • Since the report was received

In Canada, the 11 open sites represent:

  • 610 available seats during the window
  • 117 available testing events (site, date, and time combinations)

Daily updates of exam site closures are posted at https://www.scantron.com/site-closures-delays/. Candidates should direct any questions regarding exam locations to Scantron at candidatesuport@scantron.com or (919) 572-6880.

Q. What rules have been put into place to reduce spread of COVID-19 at exam sites?

A. Safety is the BOC’s number one priority and the following applies to help keep candidates safe:

  • Ill candidates or candidates with an ill member in their household MUST reschedule to another exam window.
  • Candidates who arrive to a testing center showing any signs of illness will be asked to leave and must email Exam@bocatc.org to reschedule to a later exam window. The BOC will waive any rescheduling fees for this exam window.
  • If candidates are not comfortable with entering an environment where they will encounter other people, candidates must reschedule to another exam window.
  • Scantron has requested exam sites take the following preventative measures:
    • Seat candidates as far apart as possible leaving at least one empty seat between people.
    • Limit the number of candidates to no more than 10 per room.
    • Clean the exam room frequently and wipe down workstations.

Q: Has the BOC considered using live remote proctors to administer the exam?

A: The BOC continues to investigate this alternative method of exam delivery. However, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, BOC’s accreditation body, has not yet determined if live remote proctoring is consistent with its standards. As a result, the BOC’s accreditation may be at risk if an alternative delivery method is implemented.

Q. What are some tips candidates can use to be successful when taking the BOC exam?

A. Candidates can use the below tips to be successful for the BOC exam.

Q: What do I need to do if my anticipated date of graduation has changed?

A: If your graduation date changes after your “AT101 - Exam Application - Step 1” form is approved, you must complete the “AT105 - Graduation Date Change” form. This form can be found in your BOC Central profile.

Q. I have a job offer now; can my state offer a temporary license due to the canceled BOC exam?

A. The BOC is aware this may impact job offers, residency program and graduate assistant positions. BOC continues to work on additional alternatives all while considering the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, and any new developments will be communicated as soon as possible.

Some states provide a temporary license if an individual is eligible to take the BOC exam. For more information, please contact your state regulatory board or agency.

Q. My emergency cardiac care (ECC) certification is expired, and I cannot renew it safely. Will I still be able to complete my file and earn BOC certification with an expired ECC certification?

A. If ECC certification documentation meets BOC requirements outlined here and expires between 3/11/2020-8/31/2020 it will be accepted to complete the BOC file for certification. Submit ECC documentation to exam@bocatc.org.


Athletic Trainers

BOC is communicating with BOC Approved Providers who are facing the decision to cancel or modify their live continuing education (CE) programs. The BOC recognizes the need for Athletic Trainers (ATs) to have access to these CE programs and will continue to work with BOC Approved Providers.

Athletic Trainer FAQs

Q. My emergency cardiac care (ECC) course got cancelled (due to COVID-19), and I will have a lapse in certification, what should I do?

A. Take an ECC course as soon and safely as you can. The BOC will work with all ATs knowing there will be lapses in ECC certification and issues finding a class in the near future due to course cancellations.

When you log into BOC Central to report your continuing education on the “AT203 Continuing Education Reporting Form,” you will be asked about continuous ECC certification. If you have a lapse in continuous ECC certification, report this as such and lapses due to COVID-19 will not be considered a disciplinary matter. Visit the ECC section of the BOC website for more information.

Visit the American Red Cross for their course safety measures.


BOC Approved Providers

With many organizations facing similar situations needing to modify business practices for the safety of employees, business partners and customers, we want to provide BOC Approved Providers (APs) with the assurance that we are here to help.

Below outlines possible scenarios and options for those facing the decision to cancel or modify your live continuing education (CE) programs. Feel free to contact the BOC to discuss feasible solutions to scenarios not listed below.

Possible Scenarios

Category A

Evidence Based Practice (EBP)

Cancellation of live program, with no plan of rescheduling the program.

Contact the BOC to have the program directory listing inactivated.

Contact the BOC to have the program directory listing inactivated.

Change date of live program.

If reschedule date is known, program directory listing will need to be updated by AP.

If reschedule date is not known, contact the BOC to have the program directory listing inactivated. The BOC can make the listing active when a new date has been established.

Contact the BOC to have the program directory listing updated.

If reschedule date is not known, contact the BOC to have the program directory listing inactivated. The BOC can make the listing active when a new date has been established.

Live program to live stream on scheduled date (skype/zoom/go to webinar/ON24).

The program will remain a live event and no changes needed on program directory. The AP will need to ensure all standards are met for live event including attendance, statement of credit, participant assessment, program evaluation, etc.

The program remains a live event and no changes are needed on program directory. The AP will need to ensure all standards are met for the live event including attendance, statement of credit, participant assessment, program evaluation, etc.

Live event (either an actual live or live stream) and record live event then changes to a home study event.

APs will need to ensure all standards are still met.

Programs will have two entries in the program directory: one for the live event with specified date/time/location and one for the home study.

Need to ensure accuracy of program directory as well as accurate dates on home study statement of credit/program evaluation and participant assessment with accurate tracking of participants.

Category A has blanket approval for programs whether they are live or home study.

APs will need to ensure all standards are still met.

Programs will have two entries in the program directory: one for the live event with specified date/time/location and one for the home study.

Recorded program to have timestamps of start to finish for accurate continuing education unit (CEU) calculation.

APs can submit a separate application at a reduced fee to change live program to home study as CEU calculation and pedagogy can be different from live event and they will continue to charge for home study.

BOC enters all EBP programs on the program directory.

BOC Approved Provider FAQs

Q. If we convert our live program into a virtual program using a platform like Zoom or Skype, is this still considered a live event?

A. Yes, live events are programs that involve interaction between the program faculty and participant in real time. Programs may be in person or online, given attendance can be tracked. Conferences, conventions, grand rounds, labs, symposiums, webinars and workshops are acceptable methods for live events. As a part of the requirements for BOC Approved Providers, make sure you are tracking attendees and are able to confirm their attendance at the virtual event.


Resource Links

World Health Organization (WHO) – Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases Map

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – COVID-19 Situation Summary

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