Certification by ASCA is a process by which your credentials as a coach are scrutinized, and you are “accredited” at a certain level as a swim coach. So for example, Coach John Doe, ASCA Level 3 Age Group.
Your education, experience and achievements are considered and benchmarked against a globally recognised and pitched criteria, and you are awarded a certain status based on your personal profile.
Once you have been certified by ASCA, you will receive a new membership card reflecting your status, as well as a written document confirming ASCA’s certification decision.
As you progress in your career, you are able to submit evidence to ASCA, applicable to any of the three areas of (1) education, (2) experience and/or (2) achievement, and your permanent Certification Record will be updated. Your certification may from time to time be reconsidered and upgraded, on the basis of this evidence.
Certification by ASCA is very different from receiving a certificate of completion of an ASCA course. Each time you participate in an ASCA course as offered by SwimCoach, and achieve appropriate assessment results, you will be awarded a “Certificate of Completion” specifically for that course. This is a stand-alone recognition, and will count towards the education component of your Certification Record.
So for example, a certificate of completion for a level 2 course, does not automatically afford you status as an ASCA certified level 2 coach.
What are the components of certification?
Coaching is both an art and a science. Recognizing the above, you will earn units for virtually any education you have taken. You receive many more units for education that relates directly to coaching. Academic education is the first category, and you receive units for your major and/or your advanced degree work. As an example, a major in Exercise Physiology is awarded 40 units for an undergraduate degree, 20 more for a Masters and 20 more for a Ph.D. A major in Egyptian studies will naturally earn fewer units (actually the minimum, which is 10 per degree). List all academic education on your application form.
Clinical education is evaluated similarly. All coaching clinics should be sanctioned by the ASCA. This means that they meet specific criteria in terms of presented topics and use of appropriate speakers. If a clinic you attend is sanctioned, they will advertise “ASCA Units Available”, or similar verbiage. To receive credit for attending a clinic you must complete the clinic test, and you must send in an “UPDATE FORM” listing the clinic. Clinics other than swimming clinics can also receive credit if you list them on your update form (i.e., a program on “People Skills” put on by your school district).
Education Units and Experience Units must both be present on your Certification Application. They must be in reasonable balance. (You Need BOTH.) Home Study Schools are worth a variety of units from 7 on up. Clinical schools are typically worth 10 units, depending on the instructor. What you learn in your education is the “Tool Kit” of coaching and a vital part of the overall evaluation.
Remember, one or more of the ASCA Certification Schools, either on site or by home study is required.
Level 1 – Foundations of Coaching,
Level 2 – The Stroke School,
Level 3 – The Physiology School,
Level 4 – The Leadership School, and
Level 5 – The Administration School.
Career developmental coaches now have an opportunity for Level 3 and Level 4 certification. The new categories are called “Level 3 Education and Experience” and “Level 4 Education and Experience” and will appear as such on all certification cards. These categories are designed to recognize the important role that coach (who spends their career in the developmental side of our sport) plays in the overall success of the sport of swimming. This change allows truly developmental coaches the opportunity to attain Level 3 and Level 4 certifications without the required achievement criteria. Level 5 is not included in this opportunity.
There are three key requisites necessary to qualify for Level 3 Education and Experience:
1. You must have been actively coaching for a period of ten full years (120 months), with at least six of those years in a multilevel program where you report to a head coach. This program is not intended for Head Coaches.
2. You must have completed the ASCA required schools through Level 3 and have a total of 175 educational units in your certification file.
3. A letter from the Head Coach in support of Level 3 Education and Experience must be enclosed with the application. This letter should ascertain that the coach applying is not in a position where he/she is expected to train athletes to upper levels of performance and is expected to provide foundation coaching.
In order to qualify for Level 4 Education and Experience:
1. The coach must have been actively coaching for fifteen years, with ten years in a developmental position.
2. The coach must have completed all ASCA required schools through Level 5.
3. The coach must have a total of 275 educational units recorded in his/her certification file.
4. The coach must have a letter on file of support from the head coach for Level 4 Education and Experience.
Experience gained at more than one club is acceptable; however, the letter should come from the current head coach for whom you have worked for at least 24 months.
You must document your coaching experience. You receive unit credit for volunteer or paid coaching and for intern, assistant and head coaching. List all positions and how long you were there. In general, you receive 1 unit per year of assistant or intern coaching and 3 units per year of head coaching. You should also list any teaching experience you have had in addition to the above. When in doubt, list it!
Your Experience allows you to use your coaching “Tool Kit” to maximum advantage and is, therefore, vital to the professional.
Note: Neither education nor experience alone will get you Certified. You need to demonstrate a blend of the two.
Level 1 requires a minimum 20 units;
Level 2 requires 30 units;
Level 3 requires 40 units;
Level 4 requires 80 units and
Level 5 requires 100 units.
In order to be Performance-Certified at Levels 3, 4 or 5, you must have coached an athlete who achieved one of the standards listed under each Level on the Application form. You need only ONE of the achievements listed in order to qualify. You need to submit proof of the achievement. (Copies of official results, Swimming World Rankings, etc.) You also need to submit proof that you are the Primary Coach of the Athlete. (If you are the Head Coach of a team and the team is listed on the proof of time, that is sufficient.)
Now, some definitions. The Coach of Record is that coach who signs the entry sheet to the meet. You must also be the “Primary Coach” of the athlete. The Primary Coach is that person who designs and actively supervises the training of the athlete on a consistent and regular basis. This allows assistant coaches, in certain specific situations, to be the Primary Coach. If you are in this category, we need a letter so stating from your Head Coach. We carefully scrutinize “Primary Coach” applications to protect the integrity of the system, and check all claims by phone calls and personal interviews. Being “Coach of Record” is not enough; you must also qualify as “Primary Coach” (It is possible to be “Primary Coach” without being “Coach of Record.”)
In general, you must have coached an Age Group athlete for a period of at least six months and a Senior athlete for a period of at least nine consecutive months, prior to claiming that athlete for an achievement. The achievements of your athletes are one measure of the success with which you have used your coaching tool kit.
FINALLY, AS IN ALL CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, WE URGE YOU TO “STATE YOUR CASE” if you think you have an unusual situation that is not fairly represented by the process above.
ASCA only accepts times from a minimum level of National Open or Age Group Championships and FINA recognized international events.
ASCA International Section Level 3 Coaching Certification Achievement Requirements (All times in Long Course Meters)
|10 & Under||11 — 12||13 – 14||Senior|
ASCA International Section Level 4 Coaching Certification Achievement Requirements (All times in Long Course Meters)
|10 & Under||11-12||13 – 14||Senior|
ASCA International Section Level 5 Coaching Certification Achievement Requirements (All times in Long Course Meters)
|ASCA International Section Level 5 Coaching Certification Achievement Requirements (All times in Long Course Meters)|
|10 & Under||11 – 12||13 – 14||Senior|