Becoming an Athletic Therapist

Becoming an Athletic Therapist

Step 1: Complete a post-secondary Athletic Therapy recognized degree program.

One must enroll and complete an accredited Athletic Therapy curriculum offered in one of the 7 accredited post-secondary institutions across Canada.

In Quebec, in Montreal, Concordia University, offers a Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Science with a Specialization in Athletic Therapy.  This program is a four year undergraduate degree program.

The students receive intensive practical and theoretical training in:

  • assessment, treatment and management of musculoskeletal conditions
  • emergency care and first responder skills
  • injury prevention and prophylactic support techniques
  • strength and conditioning
  • therapeutic electrical modalities
  • human anatomy and physiology
  • exercise physiology
  • biomechanics
  • nutrition
  • statistics and research design

The program also incorporates 4 practical internships (2 in field settings and 2 in a clinical setting) that total a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised clinical and field experience.

Although the faculties and composition may vary across accredited institutions and provinces, the curriculum remains the same and is enforced by the Program Accreditation Committee of the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association.


Step 2: Complete the Sports First Responder Course.


Step 3: Pass the National Certification Exam

Once a student completes their degree program and received their Sports First Responder Certification, the candidate is eligible to apply to attempt the National Certification exam, developed and administered by the Certification Board of the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association.

The exam process is one of the most stringent in the Canadian healthcare system. The exam itself is comprised of:

  • a 250 multiple-choice question written exam
  • a 3-hour practical scenario based exam that incorporates both field and clinical scope of practice fundamentals.

Upon successful completion of the exam, the certification candidate becomes a Certified Athletic Therapist who is a member of the CTSQ and the CATA.

To remain a practicing member in good standing within these associations, each Certified member must maintain a valid CPR or Sports First Responder certification, pay their annual membership dues, and advance their skillsets by participating in various continuing education opportunities on a regular basis.