By the Division of Professional Licensure

4.01: Definitions

Approved and Accredited Educational Program. A graduate or undergraduate athletic training educational program approved and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Athlete. An individual who prepares for or participates in sports activities.

BOC. The Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) is an independent accredited certifying body which sets and establishes national entry level certification requirements and maintains continuing education/competency requirements for Athletic Trainers.

BOC Certification. The certification granted by BOC based on the achievement of a passing score on the national certification examination for entry level practitioners of athletic training.

CAATE Equivalency. A foreign athletic training educational program determined by BOC as substantially equivalent in content and rigor to an Approved and Accredited Educational Program. Such CAATE Equivalency shall, for the purpose of 259 CMR 2.02(1), qualify as approval of the program by an entity acceptable to the Board.

CAATE. Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, which grants accreditation to educational programs for the athletic trainer.

Conditioning. Programs designed to enhance athletic performance or physical fitness in, but not limited to, the following areas: cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, neuromuscular coordination and strength.

Dentist. A licensed practitioner of dentistry, who is identified by the initials DDS or DMD.

Direction. The prescription, definition or order of a plan of care by a physician or dentist.

Discretion. A directing physician or dentist may permit the athletic trainer to render the following services:

(a) Initiate injury recognition procedures and management techniques for athletic injuries and/or conditions that effect athletic performance.

(b) Plan, implement, evaluate and modify appropriate pre-conditioning, conditioning and re-conditioning programs for athletes utilizing, but not limited, to the physical modalities described in M.G.L. c. 112, § 23A.

(c) Apply adhesive tape, elastic tape, protective devices, corrective devices, temporary splints, elastic bandages and other supplies for the prevention and/or treatment of athletic injuries.

(d) Design, construct and apply protective padding and supportive devices for the protection of soft tissue injuries to athletes.

Physician. A licensed practitioner of medicine, who is identified by the initials MD or DO.

Pre-conditioning. The preparatory conditioning programs which an athletic trainer utilizes to improve an athlete's fitness and performance.

Re-conditioning. The process of restoration of an athlete's injured body to a level of fitness that enables safes sports participation.

Team/Organization. Any group which sponsors athletic participation.


4.02: Rules

(1) The athletic trainer practices in accordance with the standards described in M.G.L c. 112, § 23A. The physical presence of a directing physician or dentist is not required.

(2) The athletic trainer, except in life-threatening emergencies and when no physician or dentist is available, advises an athlete that he is not a physician or dentist and that an athletic trainer renders athletic training services only under the direction of physician or dentist.

(3) The athletic trainer will provide to the directing physician or dentist the historical and physical data of an athlete in a timely manner.

(4) In an emergency, the athletic trainer renders emergency care necessary to avoid disability or death of an injured athlete until a transfer of medical responsibility is made to a directing physician or dentist or to recognized emergency medical services which have been summoned for such purpose by the athletic trainer.

(5)The ethical standards of practice shall be to the National Athletic Trainers Association Code of Ethics and BOC Standards of Professional Practice, each in their most recently approved form, as the same may be amended and republished. The Board may, whenever appropriate, consider other standards of practice or conduct for approval.


4.03: Licensure of Athletic Trainers

(1) License Application. The following apply to all applications for licensure:

(a) for the purposes of 259 CMR 2.02(2)(a)(1)(e), applicants for athletic trainer licensure must provide documentation of current BOC Certification;

(b) for the purposes of 259 CMR 2.02(2)(a)(1)(a), the approved/accredited educational program requires proof of either:

(1) graduation from an Approved and Accredited Educational Program;

(2) graduation from a foreign program determined by the BOC to meet CAATE equivalency or;

(3) graduation from another substantially equivalent program of study deemed acceptable by the Board.

(2) License Renewal. As a condition to renew an Athletic Training license, a licensee must meet the renewal requirements set forth in 259 CMR 2.04 and provide proof of the following certifications in effect for the entire renewal period:

(a) Emergency Cardiac Care certification; and

(b) BOC Certification.



4.04: Misrepresentation/Unlicensed Practice

No person may hold themselves out as an Athletic Trainer or as being able to practice Athletic Training or able to render athletic training services unless such person has been duly licensed by the Board.  ) No person may use in connection with their name or place of business the letters "A.T.", "A.T.C.", "L.A.T.", "L.A.T.C.", "Athletic Therapist", "Athletic Trainer", "Licensed Athletic Trainer", or "Licensed Athletic Therapist" when such person has not been duly licensed by the Board, or any other words, letters, abbreviations or insignia indicating that they are an Athletic Trainer when such person has not been duly licensed by the Board.


4.05: Athletic Training Students

(1) Students as defined in section 259 CMR 2.01 must be supervised by a person who holds a current unrestricted license issued by the Board authorizing such person to practice Athletic Training.

(2)  The supervising Athletic trainer must be physically present and have the ability to intervene to provide on-going and consistent education to the athletic training student at the site of the clinical experience. For the purposes of this section “site” means within the same facility or area and within close enough proximity to intervene on behalf of the student or respond to an emergency.

(3) The supervising Athletic Trainer must co-sign the documentation of athletic training students for all entries in an athlete’s record regarding their status. Documentation written by an athletic training student must be followed by the designation AT/s.


259 CMR 4.00: M.G.L. c. 112, § 23M.