Skip Nav

Athletic Training Terminology

NATA Mission Statement

"The mission of the National Athletic Trainers' Association is to enhance the quality of health care provided by certified athletic trainers and to advance the athletic training profession."

ATC Terminology

NATA’s policy is not to use the ATC acronym as a noun. ATC is an acronym that describes a credential, not a person, and it should only be used following the name of a certified individual. When referring to an athletic trainer in text, it is most appropriate to use the acronym, AT, or the terms "athletic trainer" or "certified athletic trainer."

Patient or Client Terminology

Athletes comprise a significant proportion of the population who receive care from athletic trainers. However, once an athlete (or any other individual) becomes injured, he or she is a patient. The term "client" should be used for situations where individuals receive athletic training services – usually preventive in nature – on a fee-for-service basis.

Certified Terminology

In medicine, the definition of "Board Certified" is a process to ensure that an individual has met standards beyond those required of licensure, indicating the passage of a specialty examination. While the term "Board Certified" is recognizable within the medical communities, the BOC examination does not fit the criteria of being Board Certified. The recommended term is "certified athletic trainer."

NATA Logo
Wisconsin Logo
Ohio Logo
Minnesota Logo
Michigan Logo
Illinois Logo
Indiana Logo