Athletic Training Continuing Education

athletic training continuing education

Every few years, Athletic Trainers must renew their AT licenses by completing a certain number of continuing education units. Requirements for athletic training continuing education are set by the Board of Certification (or BOC), and the next renewal deadline is coming up on December 31, 2021

In this article, you’ll learn the BOC continuing education requirements for Athletic Trainers as well as the many legitimate ways you can complete your CEUs. I’ll even throw in a helpful discount for a cheap and convenient way to recertify your AT license this year. 

How Many CEUs Do Athletic Trainers Need?

That depends on how recently an AT was certified. Most Athletic Trainers will need to complete 50 BOC-approved CEUs by December 31, 2021, the end of the 2-year certification period.

However, ATs who were licensed within 2 years of the current certification period are required to complete only 25 CEUs.

ATC Before 2019: Athletic Trainers certified in 2019 or earlier must complete 50 CEUs, 10 of which must be EBP courses from BOC (see below).

ATC After 2020: Athletic Trainers certified in 2020 or later must complete 25 CEUs, 5 of which must be EBP courses (see below).   

Besides the recency of an AT’s certification, requirements for athletic training continuing education may vary by state. 

“So how many CEUs do I as an athletic trainer need?” Short answer: At least 25 or even 50, but your state may require more.  

Most states allow you to complete online continuing education for athletic trainer certification renewal. Read below for discounts on the best online continuing education for athletic trainers.

Athletic Training Continuing Education Requirements

CEUs come in many formats, and as a recertifying AT, you’ll need to track what kinds of CEUs you accrue. 

In the eyes of the BOC, there are two general levels of CEUs, with multiple categories within each level. 

  • Level 1 refers to BOC-approved courses: Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) and Category A.
  • Level 2 refers to CEU courses that are not BOC-approved: Categories B, C, and D.

You won’t need to complete a CEU course in every category; however, the BOC does specify a minimum number of EBP courses and a maximum number of non-EBP courses. The tables below display those requirements by category. Later we’ll look more closely at the different categories themselves.

Minimum out of 50Minimum out of 25
EBP Courses105
Maximum out of 50Maximum out of 25
Category A4020
Category B3317
Category C4020
Category D2814
BOC ATC CEU requirement
Image Source: BOC

How to Report Athletic Training CEUs

The fastest way to track and report your BOC-approved AT CEUs is through their online portal.

Through the BOC Central™ portal you may report your completion of CEUs, pay your fees, and submit any necessary forms for renewing your Athletic Training certification. You can also track your current certification status and know when it’s time to recertify again. 

Instead of going online, you could submit a paper form to record your Athletic Training continuing education. Just be aware that this form will require a $25 processing fee and a December 1st postmark deadline. 

What if my Athletic Training Certification Expires?

According to the BOC, if your certification expired within the last two reporting periods, you have two options for renewal:

Option 1: 

  • Complete your application and pay a non-refundable fee of $175
  • Submit proof of your completed CEUs
  • Provide proof of a current certification in emergency cardiac care (ECC)

Option 2: 

  • Complete your application and pay a non-refundable fee of $60
  • Pass the BOC exam (cost: $330)
  • Provide proof of a current certification in Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC)

To start this process, log in to the BOC Central™ portal and complete AT302 – Reinstatement Request form.

Types of Athletic Trainer Certification CEUs 

You have options not only in how you recertify, but also in what courses you take. The 5 categories of CEUs will help you meet standard requirements while allowing for a variety of courses you’ll enjoy.

BOC Approved Evidence Based Practice Courses and Training

EBP or Evidence-Based Practice courses focus on clinical decision-making, with a strong emphasis on current research and clinical application. As a Level 1 CEU, an EBP course must be approved by BOC to be legitimate. 

Minimum Required: 10 if 50 CEUs are due; 5 if 25 CEUs are due.  

Note: Unlike other CEU categories, there is no limit to how many EBP courses you can count towards your recertification. Take as many as you want! 

You can find BOC-approved EBP courses both online and in-person through various workshops, seminars, and conferences. You may also earn EBP CEUs through the following activities:

  • Completing coursework from a CAATE-accredited Athletic Training post-professional program
  • Authoring a peer-reviewed journal article on a clinically-relevant topic
  • Presenting or authoring a BOC-Approved EBP Program
  • Undergoing an accredited residency or fellowship with an ATC focus

BOC-Approved Category A CEUs

As another Level 1 CEU, all Category A courses must be approved by the BOC to be legitimate. These “BOC Approved Provider Programs” focus on your competency as an AT. 

Maximum Allowed: 40 if 50 CEUs are due; 20 if 25 CEUs due.

Note: Unlike EBPs, there is no minimum requirement for Category A courses.

There are a wide variety of activities that can count toward Category A CEUs, such as live events and BOC-approved education, online and at home. 

Level 2 CEU Categories 

Category B

The BOC considers Category B CEUs “professional and scholarly activities.” Although they aren’t BOC-approved like those in Level 1, they’ll still count towards your overall CEU requirement.

Maximum allowed: 33 if 50 CEUs are due; 17 if 25 CEUs are due.

Note: There is no minimum requirement for Category B.

The following activities may count as Category B CEUs: speaking engagements, poster presentations, and contributions to articles or textbooks.

Category C

The BOC counts some post-certification college/university coursework as Category C CEUs.

Maximum allowed: 40 if 50 CEUs are due; 20 if 25 CEUs are due.

Note: There is no minimum requirement for Category C.

Not all post-certification coursework will be eligible for Category C. The institution you’re attending must be accredited by the US Department of Education, and your coursework must fall within the scope of AT practice.

Category D

Most CEUs are provided through BOC-approved entities, but you can still receive CEU credit for some activities done through a Non-Approved Provider Program.

Maximum allowed: 28 if 50 CEUs  are due; 14 if 25 are due.

Note: There is no minimum requirement for Category D.

Eligible Category D CEUs may include watching/listening to relevant videos or audiotapes and attending webinars directly related to AT practice.

BOC Approved Provider List

In order for the CEUs to count towards your overall renewal, you must choose providers whom the BOC approves for athletic training continuing education. You can find a full list of BOC-approved providers by logging into the BOC Central™ portal. 

When choosing a BOC approved provider, you’ll need to consider multiple factors such as cost, convenience, and quality of the courses.

For instance, if a provider offers inexpensive access to training but has only 25 to 50 courses available, it may not be worthwhile. You’d have to pay another platform to complete missing CEUs.

Another factor to consider is the quality of the courses. How is the material delivered? Is the platform burdensome or clunky? If the presentation is shoddy or user-unfriendly, it may not be worth your time. 

Just because the BOC approves an athletic training continuing education course doesn’t mean it’s the best one for you to take. Consider your interests and clinical needs, and choose a provider that offers a wide variety of courses to develop your skills and knowledge.

Online Continuing Education for Athletic Trainers

MedBridge Promo Code

I recommend that athletic trainers look online for their continuing education. Online CEUs offer quick, convenient access to affordable, high-quality lectures. 

The largest provider of online athletic trainer CEUs is MedBridge Education. With over 250 BOC-approved courses and over 97 hours of  EBP CEUs, MedBridge provides the widest, most relevant training available today.

With MedBridge for Athletic Trainers, you can complete unlimited CEUs for just $200 when you use the promo code PTProgress.

MedBridge Promo Code for ATC:  “PTProgress

Tim Fraticelli DPT, MBA, CFP®

Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of PTProgress.com. He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.