Context: Acquiring input from all stakeholders on the importance of existing competencies and suggestions for new ones is essential to competency-based pedagogical design quality.

Objective: To survey athletic trainers (ATs) employed in clinical settings to assess their perceptions of the competencies most pertinent to their settings and whether additional specific competencies are necessary.

Design: Survey.

Setting: Clinic Job Setting.

Participants: A total of 554 ATs listed under the Clinic Job Setting category.

Main Outcome Measures: The level of importance clinical ATs assign to competencies in the Athletic Training Educational Competencies document (4th edition) that pertain most to clinical settings, the relationship between demographic factors and the importance level clinical ATs assign to these competencies, and additional competencies suggested by clinical ATs were measured. The importance of competencies was rated on a 4-point Likert type scale ranging from not important (1) to very important (4).

Results: The average ratings of level of importance from all the competencies surveyed ranged from 2.50 to 3.87, with an overall mean of 3.27. The demographic data demonstrated significant differences in perceived importance of specific competencies between groups within factors, including gender, age, highest degree, years as a AT, years in a clinical setting, clinical practice settings, and percentage of total working hours spent within the clinic. Additional competencies related to communication and documentation skills were recommended most frequently.

Conclusion: Although not of equal importance, arguably, all the competencies included in this study are needed in athletic training education programs to prepare students for careers in clinical settings

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Author notes

Dr. Schilling is currently an assistant professor and the rehabilitaton coordinator for the University of Southern Maine Athletic Training Education Program. Please address all correspondence to Jim Schilling, PhD, ATC, CSCS, 37 College Ave, Gorham, ME 04038.