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Upon inception in 1969, the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC), became an entity of the professional membership organization of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and as such was solely responsible for certification of athletic trainers. However, in 1989, the BOC transitioned into an independent not-for-profit corporation to provide a certification program for athletic trainers and recertification standards for maintaining status as a certified athletic trainer. The BOC is currently the only accredited certification granting association for athletic trainers in the United States. The BOC is governed by an eight-member board of directors consisting of five certified athletic trainers, one licensed physician, one person from the general public, and one member of a corporation or educational institution.

The mission of the BOC is “to certify Athletic Trainers and to identify, for the public, quality health-care professionals through a system of certification, adjudication, standards of practice, and continuing competency programs.” To identify quality athletic trainers, the BOC administers a certification program known as the BOC examination for athletic trainers. The purpose of this examination is to assess candidates’ knowledge in the domains of athletic training as defined by the BOC Practice Analysis, the document that delineates into domains and tasks the knowledge and skills of athletic trainers.


According to the January 2017 BOC Exam Candidate Handbook, to become a BOC certified athletic trainer and obtain the certified athletic trainer (ATC®) credential, you must complete both of the following: (1) earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree, in no less than 2 academic years, from a Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredited athletic training program or meet the eligibility requirements for Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland (ARTI) or Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA) certified individuals and (2) pass the BOC examination.

Candidates are eligible to sit for the BOC examination when enrolled and/or registered in their final semester (or quarter) of their CAATE-accredited athletic training program, provided that the candidate’s program director, as recognized by the CAATE, confirms on the candidate’s examination application that all academic and clinical requirements of the CAATE-accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree program have been satisfied or will be satisfied during this last semester (or quarter). It is important to note that if a candidate’s bachelor’s or master’s degree program is undergoing the CAATE accreditation process, the candidate must be enrolled in the program during the semester of the CAATE visit to the program’s location. Therefore, candidates who graduate from a bachelor’s or master’s degree program before the site-visit component of the program’s CAATE accreditation process are not eligible to sit for the BOC examination.

The BOC complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who supply appropriate documentation. The BOC follows the guidelines set forth in the Principles of Fairness...

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