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Assembly Bill 1510 Proposes Licensing of Athletic Trainers

The state Assembly for California is presently considering a measure to license athletic trainers. Assembly Bill 1510, introduced by Assemblyperson, Matthew Dababneh, would enact the Athletic Training Practice Act ("Act"). It would provide for the licensure and regulation of athletic trainers. Portions of the Act specifies the requirements for licensure, including education, examination, and the payment of a license application fee. Other specifics or requirements would be established by the Athletic Trainer Licensing Committee. Furthermore, it establishes the Athletic Trainers' Fund for the deposit of license application and renewal fees.

AB 1510 would define athletic training as: "Risk management and injury or illness prevention; the clinical evaluation and assessment of an injury sustained or exacerbated while participating in physical activity or a condition exacerbated while participating in physical activity. The rehabilitation and reconditioning from an injury sustained or exacerbated while participating in physical activity." In so doing, it would permit the following:

  • Provide for the licensure of athletic trainers, as defined, by the Athletic Trainer Licensing Committee
  • Allow athletic trainers to perform risk management and injury or illness prevention
  • Allow athletic trainers to perform clinical evaluations and assessments of an injury sustained or exacerbated while participating in physical activity or a condition exacerbated while participating in physical activity
  • Allow athletic trainers to perform rehabilitation and reconditioning of an injury sustained or exacerbated while participating in physical activity
  • Allow athletic trainers direct access to rehabilitate anyone that presents injury or illness.

The reasoning behind the Act is stated in its opening declaration and echoed by the California Athletic Trainers Association:

California is one of only two states that does not currently regulate the practice of athletic training. This lack of regulation creates the risk that individuals who have lost or are unable to obtain licensure in another state will come to California to practice, thereby putting the public in danger and degrading the standards of the profession as a whole. There is a pressing and immediate need to regulate theprofession of athletic training in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. 

On March 27, 2017, the California Physical Therapy Association wrote the authoring Assemblyperson outlining the reasons Physical Therapists ("PT") opposed the Act.Of primary significance was the very expansive scope of practice and diagnoses, general term of whom the athletic trainers could treat, the lack of supervision, and the overlap in services being already provided by a variety of licensed professionals.

Despite this and other PTs, as well as Physician Assistant, Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, and Occupational Therapist strong objections, the Assembly Arts, Entertainment & Sports Committee approved AB 1510 – Athletic Trainers on April 18.  The bill is now moving to the Assembly Business & Professions Committee for a hearing on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

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