Prior to July 1, 2015, athletic trainers practicing in Colorado were regulated by the director of the division of professions and occupations (director) in the department of regulatory agencies. In the 2015 legislative session, the general assembly did not enact legislation to continue the director's authority to regulate athletic trainers, resulting in the repeal of the director's authority on July 1, 2015.
The bill reinstates the director's authority to regulate athletic trainers, requiring athletic trainers to obtain a registration from the director in order to practice athletic training in Colorado. The bill restores the "Athletic Trainer Practice Act", as it existed on June 30, 2015, with the following substantive changes:
- Deletes from the definition of what constitutes the practice of athletic training and moves to a provision specifying the requirements for engaging in the practice of athletic training in this state a requirement that an athletic trainer practice under the direction of a physician, dentist, or other licensed health care professional;
- Adds title protection for the abbreviation "A.T.C.", limiting its use to registered athletic trainers;
- Requires an applicant for an athletic trainer registration to provide evidence of current certification by the national certifying agency;
- Requires a registrant applying to renew his or her registration to submit, if requested by the director, evidence of current certification by the national certifying agency;
- With regard to exceptions to the requirements of the practice act, changes the term "student athletic trainer" to "athletic training student"; and
- Adds as grounds for discipline the failure of an athletic trainer to practice pursuant to the direction of a Colorado-licensed or otherwise lawfully practicing physician, dentist, or health care professional and the failure to practice in a manner that meets generally accepted standards of athletic training practice.
The bill repeals the regulation of athletic trainers on September 1, 2026, and requires the department of regulatory agencies, prior to the repeal, to conduct a sunset review of the regulation of athletic trainers.