Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


Graduate School of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael L. Cunningham

Second Advisor

Teresa R. Eagle

Third Advisor

Martha S. Spiker


The purpose of this study was to identify and describe (a) risk management practices of collegiate athletic trainers, (b) perceived risk management practices important to the collegiate athletic trainer, (c) risk management responsibilities of the head athletic trainer, and (d) resources utilized by collegiate athletic trainers in the development of a risk management plan. Risk management practices were divided into 13 categories: (a) periodic review, (b) consultation, (c) periodic in-services of policies, (d) periodic inservices for personnel, (e) methods for insuring against loss, (f) participation and consent of athletes, (g) emergencies, (h) care and treatment of injuries and conditions, (i) safety inspection and investigation, (j) supervision, (k) elimination of potential risk, (l) goals and objectives, and (m) administrative responsibilities. Participants were asked to identify the extent to which risk management practices were in writing and operation. Potential resources were separated into six categories: professional position statements, standards of practice, federal regulations, case law, state licensure, and athletic organization medical handbooks.

A random sample of 444 (n=444) college athletic trainers was obtained from a population of 5,157 certified members of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association who identified an employment setting of university and college. 229 surveys were returned for s response rate of 51%. The study utilized descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviation) and Spearman Rho correlation.

Findings suggest collegiate athletic trainers perceive all 13 categories to be important or very important risk management practices for inclusion in a policy and procedure manual. The extent to which athletic trainers engage in risk management practices in written and operation use is inconsistent. Head athletic trainers typically serve as the risk manager and are responsible for creating and implementing the policies and procedures. Utilization of professional position statements occurs more frequently than other available resources, including federal laws and professional standards of practice. College athletic trainers indicate a desire for national standards on policy and procedure development but are not as inclined to have an external accrediting organization regulate the operation of the athletic training facility.


Athletic trainers.

Athletic training - Risk management.