What is Kinesiology?
Many Athletic Therapists complete a degree in kinesiology before beginning their Athletic Therapy education, and may or may not become Registered Kinesiologists as well as Certified Athletic Therapists.
- 4-year kinesiology program at the University level
- Online language and ethics modules
- Obtain a police CPIC Record Check
- Complete a written competency exam
*Individuals who graduated prior to 2013, and have worked in the field as a kinesiologist may be grandfathered into the profession, as the examination process is fairly new*
The scope of practice of a Registered Kinesiologist, according the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario is:
The assessment of human movement and performance and its rehabilitation and management to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement and performance. This includes but is not limited to:
-Application of electrical therapy techniques including:
-General nutritional counselling
-Fitness & Health Evaluations and Exercise prescription
-Athletic training and interventions
- Not all graduates of kinesiology or physed programs are Kinesiologists
- Not all kinesiology programs are created equal and skills vary greatly among individuals
- Not all kinesiologists have completed the written examinations
So how is an R.Kin different from an AT?
- Emergency care is NOT included in the education or registration of a Kinesiologist, unless the individual has completed continuing education
- While neither profession is permitted to diagnose an injury or condition, an Athletic Therapist learns extensive assessment skills that are not included in the scope of a Kinesiologist
- Kinesiology is offered at many educational institutions, and there is no standardization of curriculum. In contrast, Athletic Therapy is only offered at 7 institutions in Canada, and there is a stringent program accreditation process to ensure a high level of patient care upon graduation (When you hire an AT, you know what you are getting!)
- There are no practical exams to ensure skill when registering to become a Kinesiologist: For AT there are several!
So what does that mean?
Both professions also open the door for further designations such as Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Functional Movement Screening, various manual techniques and many other continuing education courses. The important questions to ask when hiring a professional include what their education included, and what they personally are skilled to provide. Often the medical staff supporting a sports team will include both an AT and an R.Kin.
When hiring a professional for your team, remember that there are no other professionals that are as qualified as Athletic Therapists to provide
- Onsite emergency care
- Preventative measures such as taping and bracing
- Assessment and Rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries in athletic individuals!