Daily Compliance Item- 11.17.15- 11.1.5- Noncertified Strength and Conditioning Coaches

Ocean State University recently hired 2 new strength and conditioning coaches. These individuals graduated this past year but have not yet been certified. Which of the following activities can they perform prior to earning their certification?

A. Develop and direct specific workouts for student-athletes.

B. Assist with the development and direction of workouts for student-athletes.

C. Perform various administrative or clerical duties.

D. All of the above.

The answer is C. NCAA Educational Column- 7/31/14- Proposal No. 2013-18 Athletics Personnel — Conduct of Athletics Personnel — Strength and Conditioning Coaches — Nationally Recognized Certification (I)– further clarifies the legislation surrounding the certification requirement for strength and conditioning coaches. Editor’s Note: Question No. 4 of this educational column was added November 11, 2015, to provide additional clarification regarding the involvement of a noncertified strength and conditioning coach with strength and conditioning activities. Question No. 5 (now Question No. 6) of this educational column was updated March 27, 2015 and May 8, 2015 to provide additional clarification in order to avoid membership confusion. Question Nos. 4 and 5 (now Question Nos. 5 and 6) were updated on July 16, 2015, based on guidance from the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports. The original posting date was kept for ease of reference and to maintain a date link with other Q&A transitioned educational columns for proposals adopted at the same time.

This document contains questions and answers to assist the NCAA membership in its understanding of legislation related to strength and conditioning certification as adopted by Proposal No. 2013-18 (nationally accredited certification of strength and conditioning coaches).

Question No. 1: Is a sport coach (e.g., head or assistant basketball coach) required to maintain strength and conditioning coach certification?

Answer: No.

Question No. 2: May an institution pay for the nationally accredited certification program?

Answer: Yes.

Question No. 3: May strength and conditioning interns or graduate students conduct strength or conditioning programs for student-athletes without receiving strength and conditioning coach certification?

Answer: It is permissible for a strength and conditioning intern or graduate student who is not certified to perform the duties of strength and conditioning coach, provided he or she is under the direct supervision of a certified strength and conditioning coach who is present during the performance of such duties.

Question No. 4: May a noncertified strength and conditioning coach be involved with strength and conditioning activities in which student-athletes participate?

Answer: No. It is not permissible for a noncertified strength and conditioning coach to engage in any type of strength and conditioning activity, including, but not limited to, the design, development, conduct or monitoring of strength and conditioning activities in which student-athletes participate. Further, a noncertified strength and conditioning coach may not assist in the design, development, conduct or monitoring of strength and conditioning activities in which student-athletes participate under the supervision of a certified strength and conditioning coach (other than strength and conditioning interns or graduate students). A noncertified strength and conditioning coach is permitted to be present while a certified strength and conditioning coach conducts or monitors activities in which student-athletes participate. Institutions have the discretion to determine whether noncertified strength and conditioning coaches may perform administrative or clerical duties.

Question No. 5: What should an institution consider when evaluating strength and conditioning certifications?

Answer: It is the responsibility of the institution to determine what nationally accredited strength and conditioning certification programs best meet institutional needs. The following is guidance that institutions may use when evaluating strength and conditioning certifications:

a. Consider whether completion of the certification program results in the provision of a strength and conditioning credential that is accredited. Accreditation of the certification exam and/or credential is different from accreditation of the educational component of a strength and conditioning program;

b. Consider the minimal professional educational standards and continuing education requirements required by the certification program;

c. Consider whether the certification also requires current CPR and AED certification; and

d. Consider whether the certification requires a baccalaureate degree or higher.

Question No. 6: Should outside fitness instructors (e.g., yoga, Pilates, zumba, crossfit, etc.) receive strength and conditioning coach certification in order to conduct strength and conditioning activities with student-athletes?

Answer: While the legislation does not require outside fitness instructors to have strength and conditioning coach certification, institutions should evaluate whether strength and conditioning certification is appropriate for any individual who conducts strength and conditioning activities for student-athletes, including, but not limited to, outside fitness instructors.

Finally, institutions should note that a strength and conditioning coach who conducts voluntary weight-training or conditioning activities with prospective student-athletes or enrolled student-athletes is required to maintain certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 11.1 (conduct of athletics personnel), 11.1.5 (strength and conditioning certification, 13.11.3.7.4 (strength and conditioning coach first aid/CPR certification and authority of sports medicine staff FBS/FCS), 13.11.3.8.2 (strength and conditioning coach first aid/CPR certification and authority of sports medicine staff), 17.1.7.2.1.4 (strength and conditioning coach first aid/CPR certification and authority of sports medicine staff — sports other than football), 17.10.6.3 (strength and conditioning coach first aid/CPR certification and authority of sports medicine staff FBS/FCS)]

Jennifer M. Condaras
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

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