Q: Why should I choose the BOC specialty certification instead of other certificates?
specialty certification is a board-certified credential rather than a certificate and awarded by an industry
recognized certification body. A certificate is awarded by education and training providers, employers and
associations. The credential demonstrates higher public safety and accountability as a result of a testing procedure
independent of education and training. The credential denotes that the participant possesses particular knowledge,
skill mastery or competencies.
- Demonstrate that they meet the standards through successful completion of the assessment process and are granted a
- Maintain continued competence to retain credential
Q: Will ATs who have earned the orthopedic specialty certification be similar to a physician assistant in the
A: ATs are unique compared to other health care professionals in the orthopedic setting.
The AT’s background and education in treating active patient populations in sports medicine and orthopedics means they
have the knowledge and skills that are both practical and valuable within the orthopedic setting.
Q: Who will want the orthopedic specialty certification? Who is it being created for?
orthopedic specialty certification is intended for ATs in both traditional and non-traditional employment settings.
Orthopedics is part of what ATs do, and we’d like to see ATs with a passion for orthopedics obtain this specialty.
Q: Would the orthopedic specialty certification be good for someone who works in a collegiate setting or is
it intended specifically for those who work in orthopedic offices?
A: The orthopedic specialty
certification is not based on practice setting, but rather on the role and responsibilities of the practitioner for
their patient population. If an AT employed in a collegiate setting identifies that their knowledge and skills align
with the “BOC Orthopedic Practice Analysis” they may want to consider pursuing the orthopedic specialty.
Q: Did the BOC consult with orthopedists to see how they feel about orthopedic specialty certification? Do
they want it?
A: The BOC has received feedback from both physicians and ATs in physician-practice settings. Their feedback identified support for an athletic training orthopedic specialty certification.
Q: Will there be assurances that specialization in orthopedics will enhance the athletic training profession
and drive it towards becoming a mid-level health care provider, and not become a financial burden like other
A: Specialty certification is not required. Employers with orthopedic positions within
their organizations were surveyed and indicated that post-certification education was important to them. In fact,
additional specialized skills in the orthopedic clinical setting appear to hold considerable value for employers and
supervisors. The additional skills gained, combined with employer desire to improve patient outcomes and their
practice, will push mid-level health care providers with an orthopedic specialty into the forefront of our evolving
health care system.
Q: Will this specialty certification in orthopedics be recognized by the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)?
A: Athletic training leadership, such
as members of the AT Strategic Alliance, continuously work to have ATs, entry-level and specialists, recognized by
regulators, such as CMS, as well as third-party payors.