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Orthopedic Specialty Resources

Specialty Certification Support and Promotion

As a BCS-O credential holder, the BOC encourages you to promote your credential among your employer, colleagues and co-workers to help spread the word about the value of the orthopedic specialty. The BCS-O demonstrates to potential employers and co-workers an increased understanding of the unique value a specialist brings to health care teams. The road to continued success with the BCS-O credential is ongoing advocacy and education. Use the tools provided below to help support and promote BOC Orthopedic Specialty Certification.

Maintain Specialty Certification

BCS-O Credentialed Athletic Trainer Continuing Specialty Certification Requirements
Once an applicant achieves the specialty certification, they are authorized to use the BCS-O credential and will receive an email with instructions on how to access their electronic orthopedic specialty certificate and certification card, along with information about the BCS-O credential. A series of informational emails will follow. The series will include links on how to:

  • Request official verification of the orthopedic specialty certification for state regulation and/or employment.
  • Order a professional plaque or certificate to proudly display status as holding the BCS-O credential.
  • Market the specialty.
  • Maintain the orthopedic specialty certification by completing certification maintenance requirements.
  • Register for a National Provider Identifier number.

Bolded requirements are in addition to the requirements established for Certified Athletic Trainers.


Dec 31, 2024

  • $30 non-refundable annual maintenance fee for BCS-O credential
    BCS-O credential remains, but late fee is imposed if not paid by Dec. 31, 2024

Dec 31, 2025

  • $30 non-refundable annual maintenance fee for BCS-O credential
    BCS-O credential remains, but late fee is imposed if not paid by Dec. 31, 2025

Dec 31, 2025

Total of 50 CEUs required to maintain both ATC and BCS-O credentials*

  • BCS-O certification earned in 2023
  • BCS-O certification earned in 2024
  • CEUs can fall within categories A-D for both ATC and BCS-O credentials
    • CAMs & QI options in Category A do not qualify for BCS-O CEUs)

Reinstate Certification

Option 1: Group A – If Expired for less than two CE reporting periods
  • Complete application and pay non-refundable application fee of $175
  • Provide documentation for the required number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • Provide proof of current certification in emergency cardiac care (ECC)

To begin the reinstatement process, log in and select your reinstatement path from your to do list and complete AT203: Reinstatement by CEU Application.

Option 2: Group A – If Expired for less than two CE reporting periods
  • Complete application and pay non-refundable application fee of $50
  • Successfully pass the Orthopedic Specialty exam: $500
  • Provide proof of current certification in emergency cardiac care (ECC)

Please Note: Once you have selected Option 2 and have taken the BCS-O exam, Option 1 is no longer an option for reinstatement. If you select Option 2, you must pass the BCS-O exam to be reinstated.

To begin the reinstatement process, log in and select your reinstatement path from your to do list and complete AT303: Reinstatement by Exam Application.

Group B – If Expired for two or more CE reporting periods
  • Complete application and pay non-refundable application fee of $50
  • Successfully pass the Orthopedic Specialty exam: $500
  • Provide proof of current certification in emergency cardiac care (ECC)

To begin the reinstatement process, log in and complete AT303: Reinstatement by Exam Application.

Note: Once your certification has been reinstated, you will also need to meet the current Specialty Certification Maintenance Requirements.

To verify your requirements and due date(s)

Log into your BOC profile

Resign Certification

BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) may resign their Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics (BCS-O) certification in conjunction with their ATC certification or by resigning only their BCS-O certification. To resign your BCS-O certification, please submit the request in writing by contacting the BOC office ( as this process cannot be completed in your BOC profile. Resignation means the AT has retired or discontinued practice as a Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics. The individual’s status will be listed as “Expired.” Please review the information below to see if resigning certification is the right choice for you.

  1. A BOC Certified BCS-O credential holder who wishes to resign their BCS-O certification and have their status changed from Certified to Expired must notify the BOC in writing (
  2. The status of Certified is defined “as certification in good standing; individuals may practice as authorized by the BOC”
  3. The status of Expired is defined “as certification voluntarily resigned for reasons unrelated to disciplinary proceedings”
  4. You will agree to discontinue:
    • Presenting yourself to the public as a practicing BOC Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics
    • Using the initials “BCS-O” after your name
    • Serving as an exam item writer for the Orthopedic Specialty certification exam

**Please note, completing “AT299 – Retirement/Resignation Request” in your BOC profile only affects the ATC® certification.

Standards Of Professional Practice

Athletic Trainers holding the BCS-O credential are required to comply with the “BOC Standards of Professional Practice,” which consists of Practice Standards and the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Download BOC Standards of Professional Practice-Effective Jan 2024
Download BOC Standards of Professional Practice Effective-Jan 2022

Continuing Specialty Certification FAQs

Q: What will the Continuing Specialty Certification requirements be?
A: The Continuing Specialty Certification requirements can be found here.
Q: Do continuing education opportunities currently exist for orthopedic Continuing Specialty Certification?
A: Continuing education or any Continuing Specialty Certification requirements will need to align with the “BOC Orthopedic Practice Analysis” and do currently exist. Continuing Specialty Certification opportunities that align with the “BOC Orthopedic Practice Analysis” will be searchable in the BOC program directory.
Q: Will online educational programs be accepted for Orthopedic Specialty Certification or will the BOC only accept live educational programs?
A: Live and online educational programs will be accepted. The Continuing Specialty Certification requirements can be found here.

Petition For A New Specialty

Any individual or group of individuals may petition the BOC Specialty Council to recognize a specific area of athletic training practice as a specialty. Petitioners are encouraged to communicate with all individuals in the proposed specialty area who may have an interest in filing a similar petition, to consolidate resources and coordinate information so that one complete and comprehensive petition is submitted for a proposed specialty. Detailed instructions on submitting a petition for an Athletic Trainer specialty are available in the “BOC Specialty Petitioner’s Guide” below.

Download BOC Specialty Petitioner’s Guide


Petition Fees

The petitioner is responsible for all costs associated with the development of the petition, unless other approved arrangements have been made by the Specialty Council. The non-refundable fee must accompany the submission of a petition.

Non-refundable petition fee: $5,000

Checks can be made payable to the BOC or contact the BOC office directly to pay by credit card. The fee does not include the expenses associated with the petitioner appearing at interviews or open hearings. Should the petition be approved, the petitioner may be responsible for assisting in securing the funding needed for the practice analysis.

Certification Verification

Official verification of current athletic training certification status can be ordered for state licensure or employment purposes. There is a $30 processing fee and verifications are sent immediately.

Please note that verification is sent directly to the state regulatory agency or the employer.

Order Certification Verification


Anyone may request verification of an AT’s certification. If official verification is not needed, search the online registry.

Search Online Registry

Certificate and Plaque

The BOC offers a Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics certificate with a blue embossed BOC specialty logo and seal. Each certificate is professionally personalized with the Athletic Trainer’s name, BCS-O credential, certification number and date of certification. The certificate may be purchased on a 12 x 16 inch hardwood plaque protected by plexiglass or ordered as the certificate of certification only.

The Athletic Trainer’s first name, middle initial, last name, and suffix will appear exactly as they appear in their BOC profile. If an update is needed a name change request can be submitted prior to ordering a certificate or plaque through your BOC profile.

The BOC will notify you once the name change has been made. You may then submit your certificate or plaque order once your BOC profile displays your correct information.


The certificate may be purchased alone, printed on fine paper.

Order Certificate

The certificate can be mounted on a 12 x 16 inch hardwood plaque protected by Plexiglass.

Order Plaque
*Includes shipping and handling within the continental US (Alaska, Hawaii and international customers must call for a shipping quote). Nebraska residents add 7% sales tax. Allow 10 to 12 weeks for delivery once order is submitted.

Listing Credentials

Sally Snow, 







Sally Snow,









Consistency in how Athletic Trainers identify themselves alleviates confusion and lends credibility to the profession. List academic degrees first, licenses second and credentials last. Here, credentials include BOC certification. For instance, a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer holding a master’s degree and working in a state where licensure is not required should write, “Sally Snow, MS, ATC” – not “BCS-O, ATC, MS.” The same BOC Certified Athletic Trainer working in a state with licensure would correctly write, “Sally Snow, MS, LAT, ATC, BCS-O.” See the illustration for an example.

What do these qualifications mean? Licensure provides a legal right to practice, while certification, which is voluntary, states that a professional body – in this case, the BOC – has determined that your knowledge and skills have met a pre-determined standard. If you use more than one credential, list them in order of difficulty of obtaining them. With credentials of similar difficulty, such as ATC and PT, list them in chronological order.

View NATA News: Proper Treatment of Degrees, Licenses and Credentials


We have created a tool kit that includes marketing resources just for you.

Your tool kit includes:
  • Flyer to communicate the value of your certification to your employer.
    Social media post graphics to share the news of this achievement with your network.

Press release to customize and share with your employer and/or local media.
Template for a new business card that you can customize and print.
These tools are available through your BOC profile to help you share the news that you have earned the BCS-O credential and to promote your value to current and future employers.

State Licensure FAQs

Q: Do Athletic Trainers need to have the orthopedic specialty certification before being a manager/supervisor of other Athletic Trainers?
A: Specialty certification is not required to manage/supervise other Athletic Trainers. That decision would be dependent on the employer’s criteria.
Q: Do states have certifications/specializations (e.g. ortho tech) that we could encourage Athletic Trainers to earn different credentials instead?
A: Because states do not have certifications in specialties or regulate specializations, the BOC is creating athletic training specializations. The BOC wants to keep specialty certifications within the profession so that the physician the Athletic Trainer works under can bill and receive reimbursement.
Q: Will this new orthopedic specialty certification be compliant with state laws or will this be up to the practitioner to find out for their state?
A: Athletic Trainers should refer to their state practice act that regulates athletic training to determine compliance.

Continuing Competence

According to NCCA, continuing competence is defined as  “demonstrating specified levels of knowledge, skills, or abilities throughout an individual’s professional career. Related to recertification, maintaining competence, and continuing education.” In line with this definition, the BOC CE requirements are intended to promote continued competence, development of current knowledge and skills and enhancement of professional skills and judgment not only at the time of certification but throughout their career. The BOC supports the ongoing professional development and maintenance of BOC certification by:

  • Requiring reasonable and appropriate continuing education activities.
  • Encouraging the ongoing professional development of ATs.
  • Providing a standardized, objective and straightforward process for attaining and recording CE programs.

As a part of continuing competence, the BOC requires ATs to complete a predetermined number of continuing education units (CEUs) within a given time period. CE programs must be intended for credentialed health care providers and wellness professionals.

As information continually changes, it is important for professionals to learn the latest about athletic training. CE requirements are meant to ensure that ATs continue to:

  • Stay on the cutting edge in the field of athletic training.
  • Obtain current professional development information.
  • Explore new knowledge in specific content areas.
  • Master new athletic training-related skills and techniques.
  • Expand approaches to effective athletic training.
  • Further develop professional judgment.
  • Conduct professional practice in an ethical and appropriate manner.
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