Main Menu

BOC’s Orthopedic Specialty Certification Increases Access to Patient Care

The Board of Certification launched its Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics (BCS-O), the only board-certified specialty for ATs with advanced knowledge, skills and experience in orthopedics, for Athletic Trainers (ATs) in 2021. This credential not only represents a major step on the pathway toward improved working conditions, compensation, advancement and respect in the health care community, it also provides patients with increased access to care. For ATs, this means a viable, long-term career filled with opportunities to distinguish themselves in the delivery of patient care and earning recognition and respect for the experience, focus and skills they demonstrate. For patients, access to health care increases and wait times to see a qualified health care provider decrease.

State Regulators Should Review the BOC Orthopedic Practice Analysis

The BOC Orthopedic Specialty Exam (OSE) is developed by experts in the orthopedic field based on the content of the Orthopedic Practice Analysis, creating an exam beyond the entry-level content of the ATC® exam. The OSE is developed with the highest standards, validity and reliability, and the BOC is seeking third-party accreditation from the National Commission on Certifying Agencies for this specialty certification.

The basis of this exam is a boost above entry-level and includes content a step above in the orthopedic world. The BOC’s orthopedic specialty is much more than a certificate earned after a day-long seminar. This is the only board-certified orthopedic specialty for ATs with advanced knowledge, skills and experience in orthopedics.

To gather more information about this specialty credential, access the Orthopedic Practice Analysis (OPA) Content Outline. The OPA identifies the domains and skills specialty-trained ATs in orthopedics must possess in order to provide proficient care for their patients and improve the health and welfare of the public. The OPA serves as the blueprint for determining the content of the Orthopedic Specialty exam. Exam questions represent all three domains, with weighting distributed across domains as outlined below:

  • Domain 1 – Medical Knowledge 46%
  • Domain 2 – Procedural Knowledge 46%
  • Domain 3 – Professional Practice 8%

The complete OPA is available in your secure portal, AT Regulatory Connect, under Resources.

Once you’ve had a chance to review the OPA, consider if there is anything in your practice act that prevents an AT who has earned the BCS-O credential from practicing in accordance with the domains and task identified in the OPA?

Start a conversation on the BOC State Regulatory Network.

If you have questions, please reach out to use at

Skip to content