ATC: Correct Terminology

NATA News, June 2009 issue

NATA and the Board of Certification are joining forces to remind athletic trainers how to use “ATC” correctly. “ATC” refers to the credential held by a certified athletic trainer, or AT. “ATC” should not be used in singular or plural form (ATC or ATCs) when referring to an individual athletic trainer or a group of ATs.

The proper acronym to use when referring to a certified athletic trainer is AT. The proper acronym to use when referring to two or more certified athletic trainers is ATs (with no apostrophe). It is appropriate to list ATC (without the registered trademark symbol) after the name of a certified athletic trainer.

√ Correct: John Doe, ATC, passed the certification exam.
√ Correct: John Doe is an AT in the secondary school setting.
X Incorrect: John Doe is an ATC.

Do not use the following terms: ATCs, ATC’s, A.T.C., ATC/L (or any variation of ATC in combination with another phrase). These constitute trademark violation.

NATA Policy on ATC Terminology:
“NATA’s policy is not to use the ATC acronym as a noun. ‘ATC’ is an acronym that describes a credential, not a person, and it should only be used following the name of a certified individual. Using the ATC acronym as a noun inhibits the Board of Certification’s ability to protect the ATC credential against misuse.”