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Orthopedic Specialty Certification: Demonstrates Positive Impact

The BOC’s Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics (BCS-O) credential – the premier certification in orthopedics for Athletic Trainers (ATs) is moving into its second year. The most recent exam administration took place in August 2022 with a new set of ATs earning the BCS-O credential. There are now 32 BCS-O credential holders since the specialty’s launch in fall of 2021.

The BOC conducted an initial survey of the first cohort (included BCS-O credential holders from October 2021 and February 2022 exams) which resulted in some interesting results. The survey’s objective was to capture what motivated ATs to take the orthopedic specialty exam and what they hope to gain through earning the orthopedic specialty, as well as other insights. This initial feedback showed a variety of benefits including role enhancement, increased value and in some cases immediate increased salary. Data gathered will serve as baseline statistics for future comparison. In addition, responses will help the BOC capture a view of the tangible impact earning the BCS-O credential brings over time.

The cohort communicated a major benefit of the new credential as providing them with the ability to personally demonstrate advanced orthopedic expertise and help raise the level of their role. In addition to individual development, they see this new specialty driving advancement of the profession.

Survey respondents identified the following added value they would bring after earning the BCS-O credential.

Part of the survey included a measurement of ranked attributes that respondents felt were tied to achieving the credential. Top attributes included the following.

The BOC will reach out to these respondents over time to continuously gather feedback. This information will be used to educate ATs and employers on the career impact of the BCS-O credential.

Upcoming exam windows for 2023 are slated for February and August. Find out more about the orthopedic specialty certification and eligibility by visiting the Orthopedic Specialty section of the BOC website. In addition, you can opt-in to receive updates on specialties through your preferences in your BOC profile.

This article was originally published in the 2022 winter “Cert Update” newsletter.

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