The CATA Educational Process
Accredited Programs of the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association
The Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA) grants accreditation to educational programs in Athletic Therapy at Canadian post-secondary institutions upon the recommendation of the Program Accreditation Committee (PAC) to the CATA Executive and their subsequent ratification of that recommendation. The post-secondary institution and affiliates, if any, must, as the initial minimum standard, be accredited by the Association of University and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) (for universities) or the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) (for colleges that have formed consortia in athletic therapy programs with universities.)
These minimum educational standards are the Competencies developed by the Education Committee. Other standards as outlined in the PAC documents also serve as guidelines for accrediting programs that prepare individuals to enter the profession of Athletic Therapy. These standards are evaluated through examination of a self-study provided by the institution as well as a site visitation by certified athletic therapists selected by the PAC and the institution. The extent to which a program complies with these standards determines its accreditation status
Institutions Accredited by the CATA for Their Athletic Therapy Programs:
- Sheridan College - Oakville, Ontario
- York University - North York, Ontario
- Concordia University - Montreal, Quebec
- Mount Royal University - Calgary, Alberta
- University of Winnipeg - Winnipeg, Manitoba
- University of Manitoba - Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Camosun College - Victoria, British Columbia
The Competencies in Athletic Therapy:
The Competencies in Athletic Therapy document is divided into six (6) domains. These domains are:
Domain I Prevention
Domain II Recognition and Evaluation
Domain III Management, Treatment and Disposition
Domain IV Rehabilitation
Domain V Organization and Administration
Domain VI Education and Counseling
(Note: for a complete review of the Competencies please see Members Manual Section 6 at www.athletictherapy.org)
Domain I – Prevention
Identifies injury / illness risk factors associated with participation in competitive athletics and plans and implements all components of a comprehensive athletic injury / illness prevention program.
Domain II – Recognition and Evaluation
Conducts and thorough initial clinical evaluation of injuries and illnesses commonly sustained by the competitive and recreational athlete or sports participant, and formulates an impression of the injury/illness for the primary purposes of (1) administering proper first aid and emergency care and (2) making appropriate referrals to physicians for diagnosis and medical treatment.
Domain III – Management, Treatment and Disposition
Provides appropriate first aid and emergency care for acute athletic injuries / illnesses according to accepted standards (St. John Ambulance, Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Heart Foundation, or equivalent) and refers injured / ill athletes to appropriate medical / paramedical personnel for evaluation / diagnosis and follow-up care.
Domain IV – Rehabilitation
Plans and implements a comprehensive rehabilitation / reconditioning program for injuries / illnesses sustained by the competitive and recreational athlete.
Domain V – Organization and Administration
Plans, coordinates and supervises all administrative components of an athletic therapy/training program including those pertaining to: 1) health care services (physical examinations and screening, first aid and emergency care, follow-up care and rehabilitation, etc.), 2) financial management, 3) training/therapy room management, 4) personnel management, and 5) public relations.
Domain VI – Education and Counseling
Provides health care information and counsels, athletes, parents and coaches on matters pertaining to the physical, psychological and emotional health and well-being of the athlete. Interprets the role of the certified athletic therapist as a health care provider, promotes athletic therapy as a professional discipline and provides instruction in athletic therapy/sports medicine subject matter areas.
Certification Candidacy in the CATA:
To become a member of the CATA as a Certification Candidate you must:
In order to achieve the status of Certified Athletic Therapist CAT(C), a Certification Candidate member of the CATA must meet the following criteria:
- Be enrolled in a CATA accredited institution
- Must hold a valid First Aid and CPR-HCP certificate
- Submit the online application available on the CATA website
After successful completion of the certification examination, the Candidate will receive the title "Certified Athletic Therapist - CAT(C)".
- Must have maintained their standing with the National Association as well as the Regional Chapter
- Abide by the CATA Scope of Practice, Code of Ethics and the guidelines as oulinined in By-Law No. 1.
- Must hold a valid CPR-HCP certificate
- Successfully complete and maintain a valid First Responder (or CATA approved equivalent) certificate prior to applying for and attempting the certification examination. The certification must be valid at the time of the examination.
- Application must be supported by at least one certified athletic therapist while working under the supervision of a Supervisory Athletic Therapist (SAT). This includes 600 hours of field training at athletic events and 600 hours of clinical training.
- Apply for and pass the CATA comprehensive examination. Certification Candidates must attempt at least one (1) portion of certification exam (written, clincal or field) within two (2) years of graduating from a CATA accredited institution.
The Certification Process:
The CATA Certification Examination
The written examination consists of two hundred (200) single-answers multiple choice questions. To be successful on the written portion of the certification examination, the certification candidate must achieve a score equal to or higher than the Nedelsky value determined for that particular examination.
The written examination reflects the Competencies in Athletic Therapy document.
Oral Practical Examination
The oral practical examination is evaluated on a pass/fail basis. To be successful on the oral practical portion of the certification examination, the certification candidate must receive a “pass” in both the field and the clinical components.
The design of the practical examination will incorporate five situations in the field component. All situations will relate to one sport (i.e., basketball) or one group of activities in a sport (i.e., aquatics including diving, swimming, water polo etc.)
On-field Urgent Care Assessment, Management & Transportation
On-field Non-Urgent Assessment, Management & Transportation
On-field Assessment, Management and Return to Play Decision
Prophylactic Support Techniques
The time allotted for a Certification Candidate to complete:
- Urgent care station: 20 minutes.
- Non-urgent section: 20 minutes.
- Sideline return to play: 15 minutes.
- Support techniques: 20 minutes (with a maximum of 10 minutes per support technique).
This portion of the practical examination will incorporate an orthopedic physical assessment of an injury and the complete rehabilitation of that injury utilizing therapeutic modalities and other appropriate techniques to assist in the rehabilitation process.
At this station, a Certification Candidate is expected to simulate a clinical situation. An assessment of an injury will be performed and two rehabilitation programs will be designed for different phases of healing. The goal is to progress the individual, ultimately, to return to participation. As part of the rehabilitation program, a Certification Candidate must demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively use two specified therapeutic modalities. The therapeutic modalities will be specified in the examination.
The time allotted for a Certification Candidate to complete:
CATA Educational Process
- Orthopedic physical assessment: 30 minutes
- Rehabilitation + Modality application #1: 25 minutes
- Rehabilitation second phase + Therapeutic Modality application #2: 25 minutes