JUSTIFICATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE RULE ADOPTION

Athletic Trainers

16 Texas Administrative Code, amendments to Chapter 110, §110.24 and §110.25

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 110, §110.24 and §110.25, regarding the Athletic Trainers Program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the September 25, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 6660).

EXPLANATION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE RULES

The rules under 16 TAC Chapter 110 implement Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 451.

The adopted rules are necessary to implement House Bill (HB) 2059, 86th Legislature, Regular Session (2019). HB 2059 requires athletic trainers and other health care practitioners to complete a human trafficking prevention training course in order to renew their license. The Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) approves human trafficking prevention courses, including at least one course that is available without charge, and posts a list of approved courses on the HHSC website. The statutory provisions created by HB 2059 are located in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 116. The adopted rules implement this training requirement and allow the training to count toward the required minimum continuing education for athletic trainers.

The adopted change to §110.24 was presented to and discussed by the Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers (Advisory Board) at its meeting on June 22, 2020. The Advisory Board did not make any changes to the proposed amendment. The Advisory Board voted and recommended that the proposed change to §110.24 be published in the Texas Register for public comment. Additionally, the Advisory Board discussed allowing the training to count toward continuing education requirements.

SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY

The adopted rules amend §110.24 by requiring athletic trainers to complete the human trafficking prevention training required under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 116 and to provide proof of completion as prescribed by the Department.

The adopted rules amend §110.25 by allowing an HHSC-approved human trafficking prevention training course to count toward continuing education requirements. The adopted rules would allow licensees to claim one clock-hour of credit for each clock-hour spent on the training course.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

The Department drafted and distributed the proposed rules to persons internal and external to the agency. The proposed rules were published in the September 25, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 6660). The deadline for public comments was October 26, 2020. The Department did not receive any comments from interested parties on the proposed rules during the 30-day public comment period.

ADVISORY BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS AND COMMISSION ACTION

The Athletic Trainers Advisory Board met on November 2, 2020, to discuss the proposed rules. The Advisory Board recommended that the Commission adopt the proposed rules as published in the Texas Register. At its meeting on December 8, 2020, the Commission adopted the proposed rules as recommended by the Advisory Board.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The adopted rules are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 451, which authorize the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, the Department’s governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adopted rules are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 451. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposed rules.

§ 110.24. License Renewal.

(a) Licenses are valid for two years from the date of issuance.

(b) A licensee must renew the license on or before the expiration date or pay a late renewal fee.

(c) For each license renewal on or after September 1, 2020, the licensee must complete the human trafficking prevention training required under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 116, and provide proof of completion as prescribed by the department.

(d) Expiration of license.

(1) A person whose license has expired may not hold himself or herself out as an athletic trainer; imply that he or she has the title of "licensed athletic trainer," "athletic trainer" or "sports trainer," or use "LAT," "AT," or "LATC" or any facsimile of those titles in any manner.

(2) A person whose license has expired may not perform the activities of an athletic trainer.

§ 110.25. Continuing Education Requirements.

(a) To renew a license, a licensee must complete 40 clock-hours of continuing education during each license term.

(1) The continuing education must include two clock-hours of training in concussion management.

(2) In addition to the number of continuing education clock-hours required under this subsection, a licensee must also show proof of current Emergency Cardiac Care certification at the Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers/Professional Rescuers and Healthcare Providers level or beyond, which shall be maintained throughout each license term.

(b) Continuing education taken by a licensee for renewal shall be acceptable if the experience falls in one or more of the following categories:

(1) academic courses at a regionally accredited college or university related to sports medicine;

(2) clinical courses related to athletic training and/or sports medicine;

(3) in-service educational programs, training programs, institutes, seminars, workshops and conferences in sports medicine or athletic training;

(4) instructing or presenting education programs or activities without compensation at an academic course, in-service educational programs, training programs, institutes, seminars, workshops and conferences in athletic training or sports medicine, not to exceed five clock-hours each continuing education period;

(5) publishing a book or an article in a peer review journal relating to athletic training or sports medicine, not to exceed five clock-hours each continuing education period;

(6) serving as a skills examiner at the state licensure examination, not to exceed one clock-hour of continuing education credit for each examination date for a maximum of four clock-hours of credit each continuing education period;

(7) successful completion of an online or distance education program in athletic training or sports medicine; or

(8) a human trafficking prevention training course approved by the Health and Human Services Commission in accordance with Occupations Code, Chapter 116.

(c) Continuing education experience shall be credited as follows:

(1) Completion of course work at or through an accredited college or university shall be credited for each semester hour on the basis of two clock-hours of credit for each semester hour successfully completed for credit or audit, as evidenced by a certificate of successful completion or official transcript.

(2) Parts of programs which meet the criteria of subsection (b)(2), (3), or (8), shall be credited on a one-for-one basis, with one clock-hour of credit for each clock-hour spent in the continuing education experience.

(3) Successful completion of courses described in subsection (b)(7), is evidenced by a certificate of completion presented by the sponsoring organization of the online or distance education program.

(4) Approval by the department must be obtained for each continuing education program as described in subsections (b)(1)-(7), unless continuing education credit is granted by a national, regional or state health care professional association.

(5) Successful completion of courses related to athletic training and/or sports medicine as described in subsection (b)(2) and (3), is evidenced by a certificate of completion or attendance that is issued by the sponsoring organization of the course.

(d) Requests for approval of continuing education experience should address the following criteria:

(1) relevance of the subject matter to increase or support the development of skill and competence in athletic training;

(2) objectives of specific information or skill to be learned;

(3) subject matter, educational methods, materials, and facilities utilized, including the frequency and duration of sessions and the adequacy to implement learner objectives; and

(4) sponsorship and leadership of programs; including the name of the sponsoring individual(s) or organization(s), and program leaders or faculty, if different from sponsors and contact person.

(e) The department shall employ an audit system for continuing education reporting. The license holder shall be responsible for maintaining a record of his or her continuing education experiences. The certificates, diplomas, or other documentation verifying earning of continuing education hours are not to be forwarded to the department at the time of renewal, unless the license holder has been selected for audit.

(f) The audit process shall be as follows:

(1) The department shall select for audit a random sample of license holders for each renewal month. License holders will be notified of the continuing education audit when they receive their renewal documentation.

(2) If selected for an audit, the licensee shall submit copies of certificates, transcripts or other documentation satisfactory to the department, verifying the licensee's attendance, participation and completion of the continuing education. All documentation must be provided at the time of renewal.

(3) Failure to timely furnish this information or providing false information during the audit process or the renewal process are grounds for disciplinary action against the license holder.

(4) A licensee who is selected for a continuing education audit may renew through the online renewal process. However, the license will not be considered renewed until the required continuing education documents are received, accepted and approved by the department.

(5) Licenses will not be renewed until continuing education requirements have been met.

(g) The department may not grant continuing education credit to any licensee for:

(1) education incidental to the regular professional activities of a licensee, such as learning occurring from experience or research;

(2) professional organization activity, such as serving on committees or councils or as an officer;

(3) any continuing education activity completed before or after the period of time described in subsection (a); or

(4) performance of duties that are routine job duties or requirements.

REVIEW BY AGENCY COUNSEL

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency’s legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, on December 22, 2020.

Brad Bowman
General Counsel
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation