South Carolina and New York Update AT Licensure Laws
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On June 19, 2023, Governor McMaster signed into law the Athletic Trainers Act which amends the South Carolina Code of Laws transferring the regulatory authority of Athletic Trainers (ATs) to the Board of Medical Examiners (BME). This action updates the law from certification to licensure and establishes an Athletic Trainers' Advisory Committee under the state BME. South Carolina is the 47th state in the country with such a requirement in place.
Senator Katrina Shealy, R – Lexington was the lead sponsor of the legislation. The South Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association (SCATA) advocated for this new law, saying it changes how the state regulates them, moving authority from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
According to Amy Fraley, PhD, SCAT, ATC, CSCS, current president of SCATA, their association and the ATs of South Carolina are grateful for Senator Shealy’s advocacy for athletic training as our bill sponsor, as well as the support of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s (NATA) Governmental Affairs and the BOC.
“This initiative would not have been successful without all of the dedicated ATs, BOC and NATA staff, legislators and lobbyists working to advocate for this impactful legislation,” said Fraley.
Earlier this year in New York, state licensure related to athletic training was changed to licensure with the passing of the Practice Act (S942A/A219A). After 10 years the licensure bill has officially passed the Senate and the Assembly and will be signed by the governor. Their 31-year-old practice act is being updated to licensure. In addition, ATs are being added to the list of persons required to report cases of suspected child abuse or maltreatment: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2023/A219/amendment/A.
The Practice Act was sponsored by Senator Jamaal Bailey and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages. The act received a great deal of support from ATs and allies in the form of phone calls, emails and office visits, in addition to attendance at the state’s Lobby Day.
“We are thrilled to have finally passed this legislation after a decade of work with all stakeholders”, said Aimee Brunelle, MS, ATC, government affairs committee co-chair for the New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association. “This legislation will update the practice act recognizing the evolution in education and practice, acknowledging the settings where ATs now practice across the country, and clarify language with respect to the types of injuries/conditions within the AT scope of practice. Adoption of this bill will assist ATs in providing quality health care and much-needed services to physically active individuals of New York State. Additionally, mandatory licensure and mandatory continued competence will protect the public and ensure that all practicing ATs have met strict licensing requirements.”