Do You Know the Difference
Between AT and ATC?
Proper Term Usage
1. May be listed after the name of a Certified
(without the registered trademark symbol)
acronym as a noun inhibits the Board of Certification’s
ability to protect the ATC credential against misuse.
In other words, NATA and the BOC cannot protect
the copyright on the ATC mark if it becomes known
as a common noun.”
(Excerpt from Athletic Training Terminology,
retrieved from the National Athletic Trainers’
Association website: http://www.nata.org/
about_AT/ terminology.htm, April 15, 2009)
Correct: John Doe, ATC
Over the past 40 years, Certified Athletic
Trainers have referred to themselves in many
different ways. Credentials are added because
of state licensure, additional education and
added qualifications, and individuals are often
confused about the proper way to present their
credentials. One of the most common “bad
habits” developed over the years is using ATC
as an acronym for a Certified Athletic Trainer.
2. May be used to refer to the credential
(with the registered trademark symbol)
Correct: John Doe earned the ATC® credential.
3. Should not be used to refer to the certified
Incorrect: John Doe is an ATC.
ATC refers to the credential held by a Certified
Athletic Trainer (AT). ATC should only be used
when referring to the credential, and it should
not be used in singular or plural form (ATC or
ATCs) when referring to an individual Athletic
Trainer (AT) or a group of Athletic Trainers
Athletic Trainer (AT) or Certified Athletic Trainer (AT)
May be used to refer to an individual ATC® Correct: John Doe is an AT.
Athletic Trainers (ATs) or Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs)
May be used to refer to a group of ATC® Correct: John and Jane Doe are 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.
Please do not use the following terms:
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