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School of Health & Human Performance

Enda Whyte

Athletic Therapists Expand their International Reach

At the recent World Federation of Athletic Therapy and Training (WFATT) World Congress and Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine Annual Scientific Conference hosted in DCU, the mutual recognition agreement was signed. This heralds a major development for students and graduates of the BSc. In Athletic Therapy and Training programme in DCU.

The signing of the mutual recognition arrangement. From left to right Paul Berry, BSc, ARTC, President of Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland, Susan McGowen, PhD, ATC, President of Board of Certification, Inc. and Richard DeMont, PhD, CAT(C), President of Canadian Athletic Therapists Association.

Irish athletic and rehabilitation therapists work with world-class athletes in their daily practice. Now they will have an easier time practicing their craft on the international stage.  The national certification bodies for athletic therapy (AT) in the Canada, Ireland, and athletic training in the United States, have agreed to recognize each other’s educational and certification standards.

Under this new International Mutual Recognition Agreement, signed at the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy (WFATT) World Congress in Dublin, Ireland on September 4th, 2014, a certified professional in one country is eligible to practice in another signatory nation following the successful completion of the respective nation’s examination. All national regulations such as immigration and federal laws will still apply, but the national organizations have now made the situation easier.

Expanding upon a mutual recognition agreement signed in 2005 by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Certification (BOC, Inc.) and the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA), this new agreement ensures common recognition among those organizations and Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland (ARTI).

“This is something we’ve been working towards since 2012,” said Paul Berry, President of ARTI . “We saw how the 2005 agreement was benefitting the United States and Canada, and knew we held our athletic and rehabilitation therapists to the same high standard. This agreement benefits our members and Irish athletes as well.”

As standards continue to align globally, Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland, in cooperation with our current partners and the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy, look forward to future agreements with other organizations of like-minded professionals around the world dedicated to the prevention and care of injuries to the physically active individual.

Enda Whyte

Professor Mike Ferrara (University of New Hampshire) congratulates Enda Whyte (DCU and secretary of ARTI) on the signing of the MRA.

About ARTI and Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy

Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland (ARTI) is the national governing body for certified Athletic and Rehabilitation Therapists (ARTC). It aims to promote the highest standards of professional care, conduct, and education of its members. This results in protecting the high performing athlete and the general public and ensures the provision of the highest standards of the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries.

 A certified member of ARTI, an Athletic and Rehabilitation Therapist, Certified (A.R.T.C.), is a health care professional that has specialised in the management of musculoskeletal injuries with a strong emphasis on the high performing athlete. ARTCs specialise in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries related to physical activities. In order to become an ARTC, a candidate must have the minimum of an honours degree from an accredited programme, maintain emergency care certification and pass an independently developed certification examination. This system helps to fulfil ARTI’s aim to promote and maintain the health and physical wellbeing of individuals in sporting and physical activities. 

About BOC and certified Athletic Trainers

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences.

The Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) was incorporated in 1989 to provide a certification program for entry-level Athletic Trainers (ATs). The BOC writes the national exam, establishes and regularly reviews both the standards for the practice of athletic training and the continuing education requirements for BOC Certified ATs. The BOC now serves over 43,000 certified ATs.

About Athletic Therapy

Certified Athletic Therapists are experts in treating acute and chronic injuries to the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, and joints).  Best known for providing immediate on-field emergency care of professional and national athletes, Athletic Therapists are skilled in returning athletes to competition and maximizing their performance potential as fast as possible after an injury.  Those same skills and techniques also make Athletic Therapists very effective in treating the injuries sustained by everyday active Canadians, and quickly returning them to work and play. The Athletic Therapy scope of practice includes prevention, assessment, emergency and acute care, rehabilitation and re-conditioning.

Certified Athletic Therapists are recognized by the credential CAT(C).

About CATA

The Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA) is the national governing body for Certified Athletic Therapists practicing in Canada. Established in 1965 by a small group of athletic trainers working with professional hockey and football teams, CATA now represents over 1500 certified and 600 candidate members. At the forefront of Canada’s sports medicine community, CATA is dedicated to the advancement and growth of Athletic Therapy through advocacy, education, and research. 

For more information or to arrange an interview:

Enda Whyte, Secretary ARTI, +353-1-7007378


6th October, 2014