U.S. Council for Athletes' Health
Athletics Healthspace



Three Reasons You Should Welcome An Independent Risk Management Audit For Your Athletic Department

Organizations and institutions may invest time reviewing their own processes, procedures, and best practices to ensure their athletic programs are compliant for their athletes’ health. However, the reality of relying on these internal audits is the inherent influence on the audit’s results coupled with “you don’t know what you don’t know.” An associated, often unintentional, personal bias is always an underlying factor in this scenario leaving your institution vulnerable to healthcare and compliance mistakes.

If your organization identifies with the above “internal audit” situation, there is a solution.

Partnering with a third-party organization and enforcing an independent analysis of all aspects of your institution can help eliminate the inherit influence and provide you with best practices to bring those obstacles to light, eliminating any blurry lines.

 Here are three ways an independent risk management audit can help your organization:


In the world of athletic medicine, living by the motto “but this is the way we’ve always done it,” does not support a proactive or healthy environment for student-athletes.   

A third-party reviewer acts as an additional set of eyes positioned to hold the department accountable to the things they should be doing. The scheduled independent review helps to identify blind spots before they inflict a financial or legal burden on an institution.


For some time, institutions have fallen into a cycle that allows athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches to align themselves with the team’s head coach, rather than the proper medical reporting chains. While the proper alignment can vary based on an organization’s size and offerings, when set up correctly this alignment allows the institution to ensure it is operating compliantly and in the student-athletes best interest.

Third-party providers also provide the proper healthcare education to not only athletic trainers and team physicians, but all coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, and student-athletes.


While a third-party reviewer will not operate as a full-time set of eyes into your institution, the third-party reviewer will assist in interviews and honest dialect that allow conversational freedom for your student-athletes, medical staff, administrators  and other key stakeholders at your institution. That means hearing from and asking for a perspective from these individuals that may have never been explored before.

Creating a culture of accountability is easy, you just need a little help (and an extra set of eyes) to make it happen… and now you have a deadline to get it done.

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