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Current State Law
On February 19, 2014, the California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA) with Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-
Berkeley), introduced AB 1890 otherwise known as the “Athletic Trainers Practice Act.”
The cost-neutral bill would regulate athletic trainers and prohibit any person without the proper credentials from engaging in the practice of athletic training.
Athletic trainers are uniquely qualified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists who work at schools, hospitals, military facilities, clinics, corporations and more. They provide acute injury treatment, a continuum of care from injury and illness prevention and return-to-activity clearance for athletes and other physically active individuals.
Despite the vital role athletic trainers play in our safety, the lack of regulation creates a great risk that people who have lost or are unable to obtain licensure in other states will come to California to practice, putting the public in danger and degrading the standards of the profession as a whole.
Nowhere else is this more crucial than at the secondary school levels. As kids begin to specialize in a particular sport there has been a growing incidence of serious injuries and complications resulting from overuse and intensive over-training.
The bill is designed to be cost-neutral (meaning no cost would be passed onto taxpayers), with all fees associated with applications and renewals covering the costs of maintaining the bill. Essentially, athletic trainers will be paying for their own licensure.
AB 1890 would directly impact the safety of athletes and consumers by mandating specific requirements for licensure:
• Must have completed athletic trainer certification eligibility requirements from an athletic training education program at a four-year college or university approved by the Athletic Training Licensing Committee
• Must pass a comprehensive nationally accredited certification exam approved by the Athletic Training Licensing Committee
• Must possess an emergency cardiac care certification
• Pay application fees established by the Athletic Training Licensing Committee
The bill would also specify that a license expires in two years and is subject to renewal upon payment of a renewal fee and the completion of continuing education hours in order to keep athletic trainers’ knowledge and skills current.
California Athletic Trainers Fight for Licensure to Keep Athletes Safe
Tommy and Beth Mallon are just two California individuals affected by the presence of an athletic trainer. Thankfully, their athletic trainer was fully qualified to respond to their life-threatening emergency. However, not all California athletes are so lucky. Watch their story here.