Coaching Education Requirement Changes FAQ

Coaching Education Requirement Changes FAQ

By USA Swimming  | Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Updated August 27, 2019

Beginning with the 2020 membership year, there are two new educational requirements for USA Swimming members: the USADA Coach’s Advantage Tutorial and a Concussion Protocol Training. 

Q: Do these requirement changes apply to me? 

A: Full-time Coach, Part-time Coach and Junior Coach members are required to complete the following: 

  • USADA Coach’s Advantage Tutorial; 

  • Athlete Protection Training; and  

  • Concussion protocol training.  

All non-athlete Official members are required to complete Athlete Protection Training and concussion protocol training.  

[Note: Athlete Protection Training is required of all non-athlete members and adult athlete members.] 


Q: If I take these courses today, when do they expire? 

A: The USADA Coach’s Advantage Tutorial and Athlete Protection Training expire one year from completion date. For example, if you complete the courses on August 25, 2019, they will expire on August 25, 2020.  

All coaches must also have completed a Concussion Protocol Training course by January 1, 2020 to remain in good standing. Courses from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS), as well as individual states’ required courses, will satisfy the USA Swimming registration requirement. In order to register you must take the course once. However, individual states may require annual or continuing education, so coaches and officials must abide by the requirements of their home state or states where they coach or officiate. A list of the state requirements can be found at under the safety/operational risk section.  


Q: Is there a cost to take these courses? 

A: The USADA Coach’s Advantage Tutorial and Athlete Protection Training are free of charge. The Concussion Protocol Training from the CDC and National Federation of High School Associations’ courses are also free of charge. 


Q: When I complete these courses, will it update automatically in Deck Pass? 

A: Yes, the Athlete Protection Training and USADA Coach’s Advantage Tutorial will update automatically in your membership record and Deck Pass within a few hours of completing the course. You will see an updated expiration date for those credentials. The Concussion Protocol Training certificate of completion will have to be furnished to your LSC to update SWIMS.  


Q: If I only coach children, do I still need to take the USADA Training? 

A: Yes. Not only does this course cover WADA code, it also covers checking medications, the testing process and a coach’s role in the clean sport movement. The latter is an incredibly significant element of the training that is crucial at all age levels. 


Q: If I coach or officiate in a different state that requires a different Concussion Protocol Training course other than the CDC course or the NFHSA course, will I be required to show my completion certificate at the event? 

A: Yes, because certain states, such as California and Ohio, have a different standard course, you are required to complete their course, and show proof before you allowed to coach/officiate at that event.  



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