Education and Certification
The Athletic Therapy certification process is one of the most stringent in the Canadian healthcare system. In addition to completing a Bachelor’s degree, Athletic Therapists must complete the Athletic Therapy program at one of seven CATA accredited institutions in Canada. Certification Candidates must hold a valid First Responder certificate and complete 1,200 hours of on-field and in-clinic practical training. Once qualified, Candidates attempt the National Certification Examination including a comprehensive written and practical exam.
After successful completion of the exam, Candidates receive the title Certified Athletic Therapist, designated by the letters CAT(C).
Becoming a Certification Candidate
To become a Certification Candidate, an individual must:
- Be enrolled at a CATA accredited institution
- Hold a valid First Aid and CPR-HCP certificate, or CATA approved equivalent
- Complete the Online Application for Certification Candidate Membership
Becoming a Certified Athletic Therapist
To achieve the designation of Certified Athletic Therapist, CAT(C), a Certification Candidate must:
- Successfully complete a CATA accredited program and have earned a Bachelor’s degree
- Complete an internship of 1,200 hours while working under the supervision of a Supervisory Athletic Therapist, including 600 hours of field experience at athletic events and 600 hours of clinical experience
- Obtain a valid First Responder certificate, or CATA equivalent. First Responder certification is required to attempt the certification exam
- Maintain valid CPR-HCP and Standard First Aid certificates, or CATA approved equivalents
- Apply for and pass the National Certification Examination. Candidates must attempt at least one portion of the exam within two years of graduating from an accredited institution
- Maintain status with CATA and the Regional Chapter and adhere to the Scope of Practice, By-laws, and Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct
- CATA National Certification Examination
The Board of Certification for Athletic Therapy creates and administers the NCE based on CATA’s Scope of Practice and Competencies in Athletic Therapy. This process ensures that successful Certification Candidates have demonstrated basic competence in Athletic Therapy and ensures the safety and care of the public when providing athletic therapy services to Canadians.
The written exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. To pass, the certification candidate must achieve a score equal to or higher than the Minimal Passing Level (MPL) calculated for that particular examination.
The practical examination is evaluated on a pass/fail basis. To be successful, the certification candidate must receive a “pass” in both the field and the clinical stations.
The field portion of the practical exam incorporates two pre-hospital environment simulations used to evaluate the Candidate’s knowledge and skills with evaluating, managing, treating, and preventing emergencies/injuries.
The clinical portion of the practical exam incorporates two simulations – one used to evaluate a Candidate’s clinical assessment skills, and the other to evaluate a Candidate’s ability to implement a rehabilitation program, including the use of therapeutic modalities.
The Competencies in Athletic Therapy
The Competencies in Athletic Therapy are divided into five domains:
- Practice Management
- Professional Responsibility