POST-PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM STANDARDS
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.
Current Standards for Post-Professional Programs
- 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.
Changes and Updates
CAATE acknowledges that the dynamic nature of Athletic Training Education requires continuous evaluation and updating of the educational standards. This may require the addition of new standards. Within the latest Standards document (2018), you will see some of the significant changes enacted in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The document is inclusive of a full Glossary.
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