Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android


An athletic trainer who is certified by the Board of Certification (BOC) is a highly qualified health care professional educated and experienced in dealing with the injuries that occur with participation in sports.1 Candidates for certification are required to have an extensive background of both formal academic preparation and supervised practical experience in a clinical setting, according to guidelines established by the Committee for Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).2


The guidelines listed in Focus Box B–1 have been established by the Board of Certification. Once the requirements have been fulfilled, applicants are eligible to apply for the certification examination. The certification examination is computer based. Successful performance on the certification exam leads to certification as an athletic trainer (ATC).

image FOCUS BOX B–1 Board of certification requirements for certification as an athletic trainer Purpose of Certification

The Board of Certification (BOC) was incorporated in 1989 to provide a certification program for entry-level athletic trainers and recertification standards for certified athletic trainers. The purpose of this entry-level certification program is to establish standards for entry into the profession of athletic training. Additionally, the BOC has established continuing education requirements that a certified athletic trainer must satisfy to maintain current status as a BOC-certified athletic trainer.

The Process

Annually, the Board of Certification reviews the requirements for certification eligibility and standards for continuing education. The BOC utilizes 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. Subsequently, the Board reviews and revises the certification examination in accordance with the test specifications of the BOC Practice Analysis, which is reviewed and revised every 5 years.

Procedures for Certification

Requirements for Candidacy for the BOC Certification Examination

  1. Candidates must successfully complete an entry-level athletic training program at either the bachelor's or master's level accredited by the Committee for Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

  2. Students who have begun their last semester or quarter of college are permitted to apply to take the certification examination prior to graduation, provided they have satisfied all academic and clinical requirements.

  3. A candidate will be permitted to take the examination on the date closest to his or her date of graduation.

  4. Endorsement of the examination application by the CAATE Accredited Program Director.

  5. Proof of current certification in CPR/AED. (Note: CPR certification must be current at the time of initial application and at any subsequent exam retake registration.)

©juliardi/Getty Images


To ensure ongoing professional growth and involvement by the certified athletic trainer, the BOC has established requirements for continuing education.1 To maintain certification, all certified athletic trainers must document a minimum of 50 CEUs* attained during each 2-year recertification term. CEUs may be awarded for attending symposiums, seminars, workshops, or conferences; serving as a speaker, panelist, ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.