Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) is a non-profit organization that provides accreditation for athletic training education programs. For more insights, read the blog given below.

TCM Staff

27th August 2020

What is CAATE?

The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) is a non-profit association headquartered in the State of Texas. It is approved by the Council of Higher Education (CHEA). 

CAATE provides accreditation for Professional, Post-Professional, and Residency Programs in Athletic Training Education after evaluating these educational programs with the established standards.

The Commission aims to enhance health care practices for the betterment of the general public and professionals in the field through the improvement of AT Education. 

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education

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Standards of CAATE accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) has established two categories of standards for accreditation. One is the Compliance Standards which include the minimum requirements that must be met by the programs seeking accreditation.

The accreditation status is granted based on these compliance standards. 

The Adaptive Standards include the word should and are evaluated only when the Commission feels that the program needs to be assessed against these standards. 

The basic eligibility requirements for seeking CAATE accreditation is given here. 

  • The foundation must be certified by the United States Department of Education or approved by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation.

  • It must be regionally accredited or approved to provide post-secondary training.

  • CAATE certified proficient programs must award a professional degree in Athletic Training.

  • The program Director ought to be a full-time workforce and must have full staff status, specialists, and obligations.

  • The faculty resources ought to be delegated and be learned of the course content, have aptitudes, and capacities.

  • Adequate faculty and staff based on the student enrollment in the AT education programs.

  • Foundational and professional knowledge in athletic training must be imparted to the students for the attainment of better health care practices.

  • The institution must have a central mission and accessible resources to achieve the same.

  • The institution must exhibit honesty and integrity in matters pertaining to athletic training.


source - adobe stock

Process for CAATE accreditation 

Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental peer review process that strives to ensure quality and accountability, and encourage programmatic improvement.  By requesting accreditation, the sponsoring institution of the degree program agrees to be assessed against the Standards.

CAATE is responsible for defining, assessing, and maintaining educational Athletic Training programs.

The process of accreditation adopted is rigorous and is given as follows.

  • The programs must submit an application via E-Accreditation and pay the required fees, for instance, the fees for 2019-2020 accreditation for professional AT programs is $1,500.

  • The program is required to submit a self-study to begin the accreditation process.

  • A site visit is scheduled based on the self-study report.

  • Submission of self-study and completion of site-visit does not guarantee accreditation.

  • A site visit report is prepared and the program is reviewed to assess whether it meets the comprehensive standards or not.

  • In case the program meets the benchmark, it is granted accreditation. An institution should not identify itself to be CAATE accredited unless it receives a formal accreditation status.

  • Via an annual and comprehensive review process, CAATE evaluates the program's compliance with the standards. 

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education logo

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Guiding Values of CAATE

The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education aims to achieve accreditation excellence in athletic training education and enhance clinical practice.  Its purpose is to explicitly define the requirements to achieve and maintain CAATE accreditation of professional athletic training programs.

Assure accreditation excellence across the continuum of AT Education enhancing clinical practice.

Following are some of the values imbibed by the commission to keep up with its vision.

  • Accountability - The commission is accountable for all decisions regarding accreditation status. It receives complaints against all matters pertaining to compliance with standards. 

  • Transparency - The commission ensures that information related to policies and procedures is made available to the public.  

  • Integrity and Excellence - It strives towards achieving excellence in the accreditation of AT programs and works to improve the educational quality imparted in these study areas. 

  • Collaboration - CAATE works in collaboration with other certifying agencies and organizations to achieve excellence across the continuum of AT Education, for instance, CAATE partnered with Liasion International to launch a service called ATCAS.

Decision-making bodies of CAATE

The purpose of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) is to develop, maintain, and promote appropriate minimum education standards for quality for professional, post-professional, and residency athletic training programs.

The Commission, the Committees, and the Staff work together for the attainment of high educational quality and professionalism in Athletic Training. 

The decision making groups are as follows:


The prime leadership Commission consists of 12 members who are responsible for all the decisions regarding accreditation status.

The Commission consists of the President, the President-Elect, a Treasurer, 5 Athletic trainer members, Administrative member, AAP Representative, Physician, and AAFP Representative. Besides the prime members, there are other members and working groups such as the Office Staff.

The Commission has the final authority for all activities and actions of the CAATE.


In addition to the members of the commission and the office staff, there are members from various committees, groups, and site visitors that make recommendations and offer guidance to the commission. 

The Standing Committee includes the Review Committee, Ethics & Professional Standards Committee, Quality assurance Committee, Standards Committee, and the Quality Assurance Committee.

The Ad-Hoc Committee is the nominating committee that is convened to elect candidates to CAATE.

CAATE decision making bodiessource - adobe stock

Universities under CAATE accreditation

The Standards for Accreditation of Professional Athletic Training Programs, (Standards) outline the specific standards that must be met by all accredited programs. CAATE is responsible for granting accreditation status to Athletic Training Programs which meet the benchmark and standards.

Here is a list of a few universities that are accredited by CAATE. 

List of CAATE accredited institutions

Ashland University

Boston University

California State University - Northridge

Drake University

Liberty University

Michigan State University


The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) has tried to improve the standards of training given in Athletic Education.

The training institutes go through the rigorous process of accreditation set by CAATE, which assures that the quality of educational training provided in these institutes is on par with the standards set by the Commission.

As the agency targets professional, post-professional, and residency athletic training programs, the students can trust these programs as they follow the standards for quality.

You may also like to read;

Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA)

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.Does the CAATE provide a program in Athletic Training?

    No, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education is not an educational institution. It provides accreditation to colleges and universities offering programs in Athletic Training.

  • 2.What is the process to submit a question to the CAATE?

    In case of program-specific queries, you can submit the question via an email to the CAATE office.

  • 3.If I have a change in my Medical Director, do I need to notify the CAATE office?

    You can update the changes online through e-Accreditation. All program official changes with the exception of the Program Director can be made online.

  • 4.What is the self-study/site visit fee?

    The programs are required to submit a flat fee of $5000 along with the self-study. All the expenses pertaining to the site visit are covered from these funds.

  • 5.What is the process for submitting a self-study?

    All programs can now submit the self-study through e-Accreditation. 

  • 6.Does CAATE keep a tabulation of the number of athletic trainers graduating by the state annually? 

    No, it does not keep track of the athletic training graduates of the state. 

  • 7.Where are the Headquarters of CAATE located?

    The headquarters of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education or the CAATE is located in the state of Texas.

  • 8.Does the CAATE accept credit cards?

    Yes, you can use credit cards for program transactions.

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