S-0754.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5598



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senators Shin, Roach, Horn, Swecker, Kohl‑Welles, Thibaudeau, Franklin, Rasmussen, B. Sheldon, Eide, Costa, McAuliffe, Prentice and Jacobsen


Read first time 01/26/2001.  Referred to Committee on Health & Long‑Term Care.

Certifying athletic trainers.

    AN ACT Relating to athletic trainers; amending RCW 18.130.040 and 7.70.020; and adding a new chapter to Title 18 RCW.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  This act may be known and cited as the Washington athletic trainer's act.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  The legislature finds it necessary to regulate the practice of athletic training at the level of certification in order to establish professional standards of competence and conduct that ensures the public health and safety.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

    (1) "Athletic injury" means an injury sustained by a person as a result of that person's participation in sports, games, recreation, exercise, or skill activities utilizing physical strength, flexibility, agility, range of motion, speed, or stamina.

    (2) "Athletic trainer" means a person who practices athletic training.

    (3) "Athletic training" means the practice of prevention, recognition, evaluation, management, disposition, treatment, rehabilitation, physical conditioning, or physical reconditioning of athletic injuries under the direction of an authorized health care practitioner and including the use of physical modalities.

    (4) "Authorized health care practitioner" means physicians, osteopathic physicians, naturopaths, podiatric physicians and surgeons, dentists, and, in clinical settings, physical therapists and occupational therapists.

    (5) "Department" means the department of health.

    (6) "Physical modalities" means the use of physical, chemical, electrical, and other noninvasive modalities including, but not limited to heat, cold, air, light, water in any of its forms, sound, massage, and therapeutic exercise.

    (7) "Secretary" means the secretary of health or the secretary's designee.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  No person may represent oneself as a certified athletic trainer nor use any title or description of services that includes the words certified athletic trainer or training without applying for certification, meeting the required qualifications specified in this chapter, and being certified by the department.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  (1) The secretary shall issue a certificate to any applicant who demonstrates to the secretary's satisfaction that the following requirements have been met:

    (a) The applicant is at least eighteen years of age;

    (b) The applicant has graduated with a baccalaureate or postgraduate degree from an educational program with an athletic training curriculum recommended by the secretary;

    (c) The applicant has successfully completed an approved examination.  The examination must test the applicant's knowledge of the basic and clinical sciences relative to athletic training theory and practice, including professional skills and judgment in the utilization of techniques and methods; and

    (d) The applicant has paid any required fee.

    (2) The secretary shall establish by rule what constitutes adequate proof of meeting the requirements in subsection (1) of this section.

    (3) Applicants are subject to the grounds for denial of a certificate or issuance of a conditional certificate under chapter 18.130 RCW.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  The secretary shall establish by rule the standards and procedures for approval of educational programs in athletic training.  The secretary may utilize or contract with individuals or organizations having expertise in the profession or in education to assist in the evaluations.  The secretary must establish by rule the standards and procedures for revocation of approval of education programs.  The standards and procedures set must apply equally to educational programs in the United States and in foreign jurisdictions.  The secretary may establish a fee for educational program evaluations.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.  (1) The secretary shall establish the date and location of examinations.  Applicants who have been found by the secretary to meet the other requirements for certification must be scheduled for the next examination following the filing of the application.  The secretary shall establish by rule the examination application deadline.

    (2) The secretary or the secretary's designees shall examine each applicant, by means determined most effective, on subjects appropriate to the scope of practice, as applicable.  The examinations must be limited to the purpose of determining whether the applicant possesses the minimum skill and knowledge necessary to practice competently.

    (3) The examination papers, all grading of the papers, and the grading of any practical work must be preserved for a period of not less than one year after the secretary has made and published the decisions.  All examinations must be conducted under fair and wholly impartial methods.

    (4) Any applicant failing to make the required grade in the first examination may take up to three subsequent examinations as the applicant desires upon prepaying a fee determined by the secretary under RCW 43.70.250 for each subsequent examination.  Upon failing four examinations, the secretary may invalidate the original application and require remedial education before the person may take future examinations.

    (5) The secretary may approve an examination prepared or administered by a private testing agency or association of licensing agencies for use by an applicant in meeting the credentialing requirements.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.  Applications for credentialing must be submitted on forms provided by the secretary.  The secretary may require any information and documentation that reasonably relates to the need to determine whether the applicant meets the criteria for credentialing provided for in this chapter and chapter 18.130 RCW.  Each applicant must pay a fee determined by the secretary under RCW 43.70.250.  The fee must accompany the application.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 9.  The secretary must waive the examination and credential a person authorized to practice within the state of Washington if the secretary determines that the person meets commonly accepted standards of education and experience for the profession.  This section applies only to those individuals who file an application for waiver within one year of the establishment of the authorized practice.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 10.  In addition to any other authority provided by law, the secretary may:

    (1) Adopt rules under chapter 34.05 RCW necessary to implement this chapter;

    (2) Establish all credentialing, examination, and renewal fees in accordance with RCW 43.70.250;

    (3) Establish forms and procedures necessary to administer this chapter;

    (4) Register any applicants, and issue certificates to applicants who have met the education, training, and examination requirements for certification and deny a credential to applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifications, except that proceedings concerning the denial of certification based upon unprofessional conduct or impairment shall be governed by the uniform disciplinary act, chapter 18.130 RCW;

    (5) Hire clerical, administrative, investigative, and other staff as needed to implement this chapter, and hire individuals certified under this chapter to serve as examiners for any practical examinations;

    (6) Determine minimum education requirements and evaluate and designate those educational programs from which graduation will be accepted as proof of eligibility to take a qualifying examination for applicants for certification;

    (7) Prepare, grade, and administer, or determine the nature of, and supervise the grading and administration of, examinations for applicants for certification;

    (8) Determine whether alternative methods of training are equivalent to formal education, and establish forms, procedures, and criteria for evaluation of an applicant's alternative training to determine the applicant's eligibility to take any qualifying examination;

    (9) Determine which states have certification requirements equivalent to those of this state, and issue certification to individuals credentialed in those states without examinations;

    (10) Define and approve any experience requirement for certification;

    (11) Implement and administer a program for consumer education;

    (12) Adopt rules implementing a continuing competency program;

    (13) Maintain the official department record of all applicants and persons credentialed under this chapter; and

    (14) Establish by rule the procedures for an appeal of an examination failure.

    The secretary must consult with representative athletic trainer organizations in implementing this chapter and in the adoption of any rules.  The consultation may take the form of an ad hoc committee.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 11.  The secretary must keep an official record of all proceedings.  A part of the record must consist of a register of all applicants for credentialing under this chapter and the results of each application.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 12.  An applicant holding a credential in another state may be credentialed to practice in this state without examination if the secretary determines that the other state's credentialing standards are substantially equivalent to the standards in this state.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 13.  The secretary must establish by rule the procedural requirements and fees for renewal of a credential.  Failure to renew invalidates the credential and all privileges granted by the credential.  If a certificate has lapsed for a period longer than three years, the person must demonstrate competence to the satisfaction of the secretary by taking continuing education courses, or meeting other standards determined by the secretary.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 14.  The uniform disciplinary act, chapter 18.130 RCW, governs the issuance and denial of certification, uncertified and unauthorized practice, and the discipline of persons certified under this chapter.  The secretary is the disciplining authority under this chapter.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 15.  (1) The provisions of this chapter relating to the regulating of athletic trainers are exclusive.  A governmental subdivision of this state may not enact a law or rule regulating athletic trainers, except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section.

    (2) This section does not prevent a political subdivision of this state from levying a business fee, business and occupation tax, or other tax upon athletic trainers, if the fee or tax is levied by the state on other types of businesses within its boundaries.

    (3) This section does not prevent this state or a political subdivision of this state from regulating athletic trainers with respect to activities that are not regulated under this chapter.


    Sec. 16.  RCW 18.130.040 and 1999 c 335 s 10 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) This chapter applies only to the secretary and the boards and commissions having jurisdiction in relation to the professions licensed under the chapters specified in this section.  This chapter does not apply to any business or profession not licensed under the chapters specified in this section.

    (2)(a) The secretary has authority under this chapter in relation to the following professions:

    (i) Dispensing opticians licensed under chapter 18.34 RCW;

    (ii) Naturopaths licensed under chapter 18.36A RCW;

    (iii) Midwives licensed under chapter 18.50 RCW;

    (iv) Ocularists licensed under chapter 18.55 RCW;

    (v) Massage operators and businesses licensed under chapter 18.108 RCW;

    (vi) Dental hygienists licensed under chapter 18.29 RCW;

    (vii) Acupuncturists licensed under chapter 18.06 RCW;

    (viii) Radiologic technologists certified and X-ray technicians registered under chapter 18.84 RCW;

    (ix) Respiratory care practitioners licensed under chapter 18.89 RCW;

    (x) Persons registered or certified under chapter 18.19 RCW;

    (xi) Persons registered as nursing pool operators under chapter 18.52C RCW;

    (xii) Nursing assistants registered or certified under chapter 18.88A RCW;

    (xiii) Health care assistants certified under chapter 18.135 RCW;

    (xiv) Dietitians and nutritionists certified under chapter 18.138 RCW;

    (xv) Chemical dependency professionals certified under chapter 18.205 RCW;

    (xvi) Sex offender treatment providers certified under chapter 18.155 RCW;

    (xvii) Persons licensed and certified under chapter 18.73 RCW or RCW 18.71.205;

    (xviii) Persons registered as adult family home providers and resident managers under RCW 18.48.020;

    (xix) Denturists licensed under chapter 18.30 RCW;

    (xx) Orthotists and prosthetists licensed under chapter 18.200 RCW; ((and))

    (xxi) Surgical technologists registered under chapter 18.215 RCW; and

    (xxii) Athletic trainers certified under chapter 18.-- RCW (sections 1 through 15 of this act).

    (b) The boards and commissions having authority under this chapter are as follows:

    (i) The podiatric medical board as established in chapter 18.22 RCW;

    (ii) The chiropractic quality assurance commission as established in chapter 18.25 RCW;

    (iii) The dental quality assurance commission as established in chapter 18.32 RCW;

    (iv) The board of hearing and speech as established in chapter 18.35 RCW;

    (v) The board of examiners for nursing home administrators as established in chapter 18.52 RCW;

    (vi) The optometry board as established in chapter 18.54 RCW governing licenses issued under chapter 18.53 RCW;

    (vii) The board of osteopathic medicine and surgery as established in chapter 18.57 RCW governing licenses issued under chapters 18.57 and 18.57A RCW;

    (viii) The board of pharmacy as established in chapter 18.64 RCW governing licenses issued under chapters 18.64 and 18.64A RCW;

    (ix) The medical quality assurance commission as established in chapter 18.71 RCW governing licenses and registrations issued under chapters 18.71 and 18.71A RCW;

    (x) The board of physical therapy as established in chapter 18.74 RCW;

    (xi) The board of occupational therapy practice as established in chapter 18.59 RCW;

    (xii) The nursing care quality assurance commission as established in chapter 18.79 RCW governing licenses issued under that chapter;

    (xiii) The examining board of psychology and its disciplinary committee as established in chapter 18.83 RCW; and

    (xiv) The veterinary board of governors as established in chapter 18.92 RCW.

    (3) In addition to the authority to discipline license holders, the disciplining authority has the authority to grant or deny licenses based on the conditions and criteria established in this chapter and the chapters specified in subsection (2) of this section.  This chapter also governs any investigation, hearing, or proceeding relating to denial of licensure or issuance of a license conditioned on the applicant's compliance with an order entered pursuant to RCW 18.130.160 by the disciplining authority.

    (4) All disciplining authorities shall adopt procedures to ensure substantially consistent application of this chapter, the Uniform Disciplinary Act, among the disciplining authorities listed in subsection (2) of this section.


    Sec. 17.  RCW 7.70.020 and 1995 c 323 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:

    As used in this chapter "health care provider" means either:

    (1) A person licensed by this state to provide health care or related services, including, but not limited to, a licensed acupuncturist, a physician, osteopathic physician, dentist, nurse, optometrist, podiatric physician and surgeon, chiropractor, physical therapist, psychologist, pharmacist, optician, physician's assistant, midwife, osteopathic physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, ((or)) physician's trained mobile intensive care paramedic, or athletic trainer, including, in the event such person is deceased, his or her estate or personal representative;

    (2) An employee or agent of a person described in ((part (1) above)) subsection (1) of this section, acting in the course and scope of his or her employment, including, in the event such employee or agent is deceased, his or her estate or personal representative; or

    (3) An entity, whether or not incorporated, facility, or institution employing one or more persons described in ((part (1) above)) subsection (1) of this section, including, but not limited to, a hospital, clinic, health maintenance organization, or nursing home; or an officer, director, employee, or agent thereof acting in the course and scope of his or her employment, including in the event such officer, director, employee, or agent is deceased, his or her estate or personal representative.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 18.  Sections 1 through 15 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 18 RCW.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 19.  If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.


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