Education and Certification
CATA oversees the certification process of Certified Athletic Therapists across the country. In addition to completing a Bachelor’s degree, Athletic Therapists must complete the Athletic Therapy program at one of eight CATA-accredited institutions in Canada, including on-field and in-clinic practical training. Certification Candidates must hold a valid First Responder certificate* and, after graduating, must successfully pass the National Certification Examination.
And it doesn’t stop with certification. An Athletic Therapist must demonstrate they remain up-to-date with current trends and new research in the areas of rehabilitation, orthopedic assessment and emergency care. This is done through professional development, which is why AT’s are required to achieve 21 continuing education credits every three years and maintain a valid BLS* in order to continue to be certified by CATA.
Once certified, Candidates receive the title Certified Athletic Therapist, designated by the letters CAT(C).
*Effective June 1, 2022, all CATA members who certified on or before December 31, 2019, will be required to hold a valid Canadian Red Cross BLS or FR (or CATA equivalent) Certificate to maintain their CATA certification. All CATA members who certified on or after January 1, 2020, are required to hold a valid Canadian Red Cross BLS and FR (or CATA equivalent) certificate to maintain their CATA certification.
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 BLS certificate, or CATA approved equivalent
- Complete the Online Application for Certification Candidate Membership
- Anyone wishing to attempt the National Certification Exam must maintain their membership status with the CATA for a minimum of 18 months immediately preceding attempting the CATA NCE.
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
- Obtain a valid First Responder certificate, or CATA equivalent. First Responder certification is required to attempt the certification exam
- Maintain valid BLS certificate, or CATA approved equivalents
- Apply for and pass the National Certification Examination. Candidates must attempt the exam within two years of graduating from an accredited institution
- Maintain status with CATA and adhere to the Scope of Practice, By-laws, and Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct
- Successfully complete and pass the 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 Competencies in Athletic Therapy
The Competencies in Athletic Therapy are divided into five domains:
- Practice Management
- Professional Responsibility