What are the qualifications required to practice athletic training in theCommonwealth of Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, only individuals licensed by the Board of Registration of Allied Health Professions may use the title athletic trainer. In order to be licensed, the Board requires a specific educational preparation and documentation of competency practice as evidenced by passing a national certification examination for athletic trainers.

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What is an athletic trainer?

State law (MA General Laws, Chapter 112, section 23A) defines "athletic trainer" as any person who is duly licensed….and who limits his practice to schools, teams or organizations with whom he [or she] is associated and who is under the direction of a physician or dentist…" The same law define "athletic training" as the application of principles, methods and procedures of evaluation and treatment of athletic injuries, preconditioning, conditioning and reconditioning of the athlete through the use of appropriate preventative and supportive devices, temporary splinting and bracing, physical modalities of heat, cold massage, electrical stimulation, sound, exercise and exercise equipment under the direction of a physician. Athletic training includes instruction to coaches, parents, medical personnel and communities in the area of care and prevention of athletic injuries."

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What kind of educational preparation is required for licensure as an athletic trainer?

Licensed athletic trainers must be graduates of a college or university program of academic education and clinical training as athletic trainers. Such programs must be accredited by CAATE or approved by the Board. .A Board approved course of study must include the following required courses:  Prevention of Athletic Injuries/Illnesses; Evaluation of Athletic Injuries/Illnesses; Therapeutic Modalities; Therapeutic Exercise; Administration of Athletic Training Programs; Human Anatomy; Human Physiology; Exercise Physiology; Kinesiology/Biomechanics; Nutrition; Psychology; Personal/Community Health; Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation; and Red Cross First Aid Certificate or Emergency Medical Technician certificate.

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My Athletic Trainer license has expired. I moved and never received a renewal notice. How do I renew? or I had a MA Athletic Trainer license in the past. If I want to practice in MA again, what do I need to do to renew the old license?

It is not legal for you to practice in MA after your license expires or lapses.

The requirements for renewal or reactivation of your MA license depend on how long ago the license was last active, and your professional practice since that time.

  • If lapsed for one renewal cycle or less, you must pay the past due license fee, a late fee, and the current license fee ( Fees and License Renewal).
  • If lapsed for more than one renewal cycle, and still practicing in MA you must pay all past due license fees, a late fee, and the current license fee ( Fees and License Renewal). You must sign a statement acknowledging that you have practiced without a valid license. You may be required to appear before the Board to explain your unlicensed practice; Board regulations stipulate that you may also be required to achieve a passing score on the licensing examination.
  • If lapsed for more than one renewal cycle AND if not practicing during the period the license was lapsed, you must pay an application fee, the late fee, and the current license fee ( Fees and License Renewal). You must sign an affidavit, under the penalties of perjury, that you have not practiced while the license was lapsed. You may be required to appear before the Board to explain your unlicensed practice; Board regulations stipulate that you may also be required to achieve a passing score on the licensing examination.
  • If practicing in another state during the period the MA license was lapsed, you must pay an application fee, the late fee, and the current license fee ( Fees and License Renewal). You must provide an official "record of standing" or "certified statement" [license verification] indicating the license is in good standing in the state of current licensure as well as a "record of standing" or "certified statement" indicating the status of the license in every state in which you have been licensed.

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Do I need continuing education (CE) to renew my Athletic Trainer license?

Athletic Trainers must verify to the Board at the time of license renewal that they are currently certified in CPR and hold current National Athletic Trainers Board Of Certification (BOC) certification.

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Can an Athletic Trainer work in an outpatient practice setting?

Yes. An Athletic Trainer may work as a physical therapy aide or as an Athletic Trainer. When employed as an Athletic Trainer, he/she must work only with athletes and must work under the supervision of a physician or dentist. In addition, Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 112, section 23A stipulates that an Athletic Trainer's practice must be limited to athletes of the school, team or organization with whom the Athletic Trainer is associated.

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I will soon graduate from an athletic trainer program but the next certification/licensing examination will not be held for several months. How do I get a temporary license?

As a new graduate you are eligible for a temporary license if you are eligible for, and have registered for the next available certification examination. Contact Professional Credential Services, Inc. (PCS) at (877) 887-9727 for an application packet. Your application for a temporary license requires official documentation of eligibility and registration from the National Athletic Trainers Board of Certification (NATABOC).

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For how long is a temporary license valid?

A temporary license is valid until you either pass the certification examination and are issued a permanent license, or until you fail to take, or fail to pass the certification examination on which the temporary license was granted. Upon failure to take, or failure to pass the examination, the license is rescinded immediately and you must stop practicing immediately. There is a limit of three temporary licenses; each temporary license requires completion of an application, including documentation of eligibility and registration for the next available examination.

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As a temporary license holder, do I need to practice under supervision?

Holders of a temporary athletic trainer license are required to be supervised by a fully licensed athletic trainer.

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While I am working under a temporary license must my supervisor be physically present at all times?

No. Only those individuals working under a third temporary license must have DIRECT supervision (on the premises and available to provide aid, direction and instruction when procedures or activities are performed).

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I have a temporary license. What part of my documentation must be signed by a supervisor?

A supervisor must co-sign ALL treatment documentation.

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How do I get an application for a license (temporary and/or permanent)?

Contact Professional Credential Services at 877-887-9727 for a license application packet.

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I have an athletic trainer license in another state. What do I need for a license in MA?

MA law and regulations require: graduation from high school or a passing score on a high school equivalency test; satisfactory proof of good moral character; graduation from a Board-approved or CAATE-accredited educational program leading to professional qualification); official documentation of a passing score on the licensure examination; and verification of licensure status from every state in which you have ever been licensed.

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Revised February 28, 2013