What can PA7 do for you?

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Posted May 9, 2016

By Cherie Trimberger

Communications Coordinator

Imagine a Hollywood movie premiere event with red carpet, camera lights flashing and celebrities and press everywhere. It’s easy to picture the excitement and eagerness everyone shows before being allowed to experience and enjoy the final product.

I’ll admit, the Board of Certification (BOC) releasing the new Practice Analysis, 7th Edition (PA7) may not seem as glamorous as a movie premier. However, the important role PA7 plays in identifying essential knowledge and skills for the athletic training profession more than makes up for any lack of glitz and glamour.

PA7 depicts the current knowledge and skills entry-level Athletic Trainers (ATs) should possess within domains and tasks. This document is also one of the methods used to identify and prioritize the critical tasks of the profession and the essential competence an individual should possess to perform the required functions satisfactorily.

For certification purposes, PA7 is used to establish a defined set of domains, tasks and associated knowledge and skills necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the job to the standards required for certification. This document serves as a blueprint for exam development and continuing competence programming. PA7 will become effective for BOC exams beginning April 2017 and for continuing education beginning January 1, 2018.

In addition to the previous mentioned benefits, PA7 has many other uses for many difference audiences.

Candidates - Use PA7 as a study tool for exam preparation by looking at weak domain areas from a diagnostic report of self-assessment to get an idea of the content associated with them.1

Program Directors, educators and approved clinical instructors - Use PA7 in conjunction with competencies to develop athletic training education curriculum by seeing where the practice analysis corresponds with the NATA Executive Committee for Education’s competencies document.1

Employers - Use PA7 in conjunction with a state’s practice act to support the AT scope of practice. The practice analysis outlines the knowledge and skills entry-level ATs have been evaluated with.1

State regulators, state associations and legislators - Use PA7 as a resource to determine in what knowledge and skills entry-level ATs have been educated for the purpose of writing state and federal legislation.1

ATs – Use PA7 as a guide to identify areas in need of continuing education. If an AT knows they are weak in the domain of Injury/Illness Prevention and Wellness Protection, they can use the PA7 to identify the types of continuing education they should target. It can also be used to promote the profession by highlighting all the knowledge and skills ATs have.1

A full electronic version of PA7 is available for purchase from the BOC Store for $14.95.

The following supporting documents are available at no cost:

Content Outline for PA7

Comparison of PA7 to RD/PA6

How to Use PA7

The Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis, 6th Edition (RD/PA6) remains in effect for the BOC exam until January/February 2017 and for continuing education until December 31, 2017. You can also learn more on the BOC website.


1. How to Use PA7:


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