The Standards for the Accreditation of Post-Professional Athletic Training Degree Programs (Standards) are used to prepare athletic trainers for advanced clinical practice through a structured didactic and clinical experience. Each institution is responsible for demonstrating compliance with these Standards to obtain and maintain recognition as a CAATE-accredited post-professional athletic training degree program. A list of accredited programs is published and available to the public.

These Standards are to be used for the development, evaluation, analysis, and maintenance of post-professional athletic training degree programs. Via comprehensive and annual review processes, the CAATE is responsible for the evaluation of a program’s compliance with the Standards. The Standards provide minimum academic requirements; institutions are encouraged to develop sound innovative educational approaches that substantially exceed these Standards. The Standards include two different types of accreditation standards that are important to differentiate. The majority of the standards are Compliance Standards, which are denoted by the verb “must”. Compliance Standards represent the minimum education standards for quality that are required to demonstrate accreditation compliance. Accreditation decisions are only made by the CAATE based upon program compliance with Compliance Standards. Standards denoted by the verb “should” are Aspirational Standards. In contrast to Compliance Standards, Aspirational Standards are not required to ensure minimum educational quality. Instead, Aspirational Standards are provided in instances where the CAATE feels that it is important to note a desired state beyond the minimum required for accreditation compliance. While Compliance Standards must be attained to ensure minimum educational quality and compliance, Aspirational Standards are only recommendations and are NOT utilized to determine program compliance and are NOT used to make accreditation decisions. However, Aspirational Standards are important and any non-compliance with an Aspirational Standard must be justified. To assist in the interpretation of individual standards a glossary of terms is provided at the end of the document.

Clarification to Standards and Glossary
The clarifications listed below were approved by the Commission and were released to the public in November 2015.

  • Inherent in any Standards that pertain to establishing policy is the assumption that the programs must also abide by those policies. Failure to do so will be cited as non-compliant with the associated Standard.
  • Associated Faculty (Glossary): Associated faculty – Individual(s) with a split appointment between the program and another institutional entity (e.g., athletics, another program, another institutional department). These faculty members may be is evaluated and assigned responsibilities by multiple two different supervisors.

Clarification to Standards and Glossary
The clarifications and revisions listed below were approved by the Commission in September 2016 and were released to the public in November 2016.

  • Preceptor (Glossary): A certified/licensed professional who teaches and/or evaluates students in a clinical setting using an actual patient base.
  • (EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2017) New Standard: The institution must demonstrate honesty and integrity in all interactions that pertain to the athletic training program.
  • (EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2018) Standard 15. Assessment Measures: The program’s aggregate institutional data (as defined below by the CAATE) for the most recent three years must be provided.
    • The program’s employment/placement rate for the most recent three graduating cohorts within 6 months of graduation.
    • The program’s retention and graduation rates for the most recent three academic years.

    (Retention rate (modified from United States Department of Education): Measures the percentage of enrolled students who are seeking post-professional degrees who return to the institution to continue their studies the following fall.)

    (Graduation rate (taken from United States Department of Education): Measures the progress of students who began their studies as full-time, first-time degree- or certificate-seeking students by showing the percentage of these students who complete their degree or certificate within a 150% of “normal time” for completing the program in which they are enrolled.)

This edit impacts Standard 16. The wording of Standard 16 remains the same.

CAATE 2014 Standards for Accreditation of Post-Professional Degree Programs

2014 Standards for Accreditation of Post-Professional Degree Programs