Equipment Managers Week

September 16, 2018

Today marks the start of National Equipment Manager Recognition Week. Here's a look at the certification process used by the Athletic Equipment Managers Association.

In 1991, the Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) initiated its Certification program for Equipment Managers. Through a survey of its membership, a series of job descriptions and studies, hours of discussions and meetings, and evaluations of testing procedures and protocols, the organization developed a program to enhance the professionalism and knowledge level of those engaged in the issue, care, and development of athletic protective equipment. 

Through the years, the standards and requirements for this professional Certification have been renewed and adjusted to the ever-changing needs of the sports participation arenas of every sport. The AEMA has been a leader in better, safer, more durable equipment and apparel.

Led by Certification pioneer Jeff Boss, who worked at Louisiana State University, the AEMA pushed for yearly testing, continuing education of those certified, and the publication of a Certification Manual that prospective applicants could study in preparation for the exam. Members with 10 years of service in the profession were grandfathered in to Certification (five remain active in the AEMA). The first exam was given at the National Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., In 1992. 

The AEMA also secured outside funding for a yearly Journal, which offers insight into current topics and issues. This publication is free to all members and remains a benefit through online publications from the AEMA website. The first Journal was published in the fall of 1992. The AEMA lost Jeff Boss to brain cancer in 2003. The Equipment Room at LSU bears his name.

Today, there are over 900 Certified Equipment Managers (EM,C) scattered across the United States, Canada, and Japan. Most colleges now require applicants to possess the AEMA Certification and programs are underway to extend this education into the high school and youth leagues in the very near future. 

For more information, please check out the AEMA website at:

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