Coach Membership Requirements Checklist

There is no grace period; coach membership is not valid if any of the requirements lapse or expire. Coaches do not have USA Swimming insurance coverage if their membership is not valid; club insurance is also jeopardized by allowing coaches with lapsed certifications to be on deck. To help coaches manage their membership requirements, the date that each requirement expires is printed on the USA Swimming coach membership card, as well as being available on the Deck Pass app and through the online Club Portal. 


Complete and mail a non-athlete membership application to the address print on the application form.  Memberships are processed by each LSC (Local Swimming Committees).  Annual fees vary by LSC.  Application forms can be found on each LSC website.  A map of LSCs and links to their websites can be found at
Determine your Local Swimming Committee and then visit their website to print the non-athlete application form.
Please call your LSC directly to obtain an application.
Application fees vary by LSC. The form you download will include the payment needed to submit with the application.
Mail the completed form, payment, and CPR/AED & STCS certifications to the LSC.  Their address will be located on the application you download from their site.
If you are a new member, you will receive an email confirmation when your application is received and completed by your LSC.  For renewing members, your Deck Pass account will automatically be updated.  You can view/print your membership ID card through your Deck Pass account.


  • First year coaches must complete Foundations of Coaching 101 Level Course ($15).  The course takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.  Results are automatically reported into the USA Swimming database upon successful completion.
  • Prior to 2nd year of registration, coaches must complete Foundations of Coaching 201 ($25). This course takes approximately 5 hours to complete and results are automatically reported into the USA Swimming database upon successful completion.
  • Rules & Regulations for Coaches (no fee).  This course needs be taken only one time and prior to the second year of coaching.  It takes about 1 hour to complete and will automatically be reported to the USA Swimming database upon successful completion.

Visit to access these courses.



Coaches should take the concussion training to meet their state requirements.  In state where no such law exists, coaches can take the training through the Centers for Disease Control or the National Federation of State High School Associations.  Certificates of completion must be sent to the LSC registrar for documentation.


The STSC requirement consists of two components: (A) an online course and test, and (B) an in-water skills session.  The online component must be passed before taking the in-water skills component.  Go directly to and complete the instructions on ARC web page.  

A: All coaches must complete the online course and test.  When the course is completed, save/print the Online Content Only certificate and forward it to your LSC registrar. The certificate will have a QR code that can be traced on ARC website. The course should take 2-3 hours to complete. Coaches can exit the course at any time and log back in to resume where they left off but once they start the final exam, they need to complete it in one session.

B: There are three options for completing the in-water skills session. Find the option that works best for you and then click on the button for additional information about that option:
    Print the generic STSC In-Water Skills Checklist (available on your LSC website) and review the skills with an instructor certified by one of the organizations on the checklist;
    1.  Contact a lifeguard instructor certified by any of the organizations on the in-water skills checklist (sample checklist is below; a copy should also be posted on your LSC website). Set a time to review the skills in a pool with the instructor.

    2.  Take a copy of the Online Content Only certificate and the in-water skills checklist to the pool for the skills review with the lifeguard instructor. Review the skills with the instructor, sign the checklist, have the instructor sign it, and then send both the checklist and online certificate to your LSC registrar. The earlier of the two expiration dates will determine the STSC credential expiration date.

    3.  Repeat this procedure every two years.
    Maintain a valid lifeguard certification from an approved agency;
    1.  Obtain or renew an acceptable lifeguarding certificate (see the list below for acceptable certifications).

    2.  Send an acceptable lifeguarding certificate and the STSC Online Content Only certificate to the LSC registrar. The earlier of the two expiration dates will determine the STSC credential expiration date.

    3.  Repeat this procedure every two years.
    Take the full in-water skills session from an American Red Cross instructor.
    1.  Contact an ARC water safety, STSC or lifeguard instructor to schedule the ARC STSC in-water skills session in a pool with the instructor. (This session will be an abbreviated review session for those with a current STSC certification or a full session for those without a current STSC certification.) Coaches can also request a ‘blended learning’ course to include Adult and Pediatric CPR/AED, thus fulfilling another USA Swimming requirement at the same time.

    2.  Take a copy of the Online Content Only certificate to the pool to prove you have passed the online course. Complete the in-water skills session with the ARC instructor, who will issue a STSC In-Water Skills Session certificate. Send both certificates to your LSC registrar. The earlier of the two expiration dates will determine the STSC credential expiration date.

    3.  Repeat this procedure every two years.
Problems encountered on the ARC website should be directed to their Training Support Center: 1-800-RED-CROSS or
For more details, visit the Safety Requirements for Coaches page.


Obtain USA Swimming-approved adult & prediatric CPR/AED certification.  Certifiction must be kept current at all times. 

Coaches who do not have access to an acceptable CPR/AED course or have taken a course that is not on this list can call their local American Red Cross chapter to challenge one of their Adult and Pediatric CPR/AED courses. The challenge involves passing the skills assessment with an ARC instructor without having to take the entire course. The ARC will charge a fee for each challenge. Call your local ARC chapter to set up a challenge.

 Please download the Coach Requirements document for a full list of approved courses.  Certifications from courses not on this list will not be accepted. 
Online-only courses are NOT acceptable.
Please submit a copy of your current CPR/AED certification to your LSC.


All non-athlete members must pass a criminal background check every 24 months. Please visit for additional information and to initiate the background check.   

USA Swimming requires that individuals serving in the following roles become non‐athlete members of USA Swimming: 

  • Coaches
  • Officials
  • Athletes
  • Meet Directors
  • Team Chaperones
  • USA Swimming Board of Directors and National Committee Members
  • Individuals with any ownership interest in a member club
  • Individuals with password access to the USA Swimming SWIMS member database
  • Members of the USA Swimming House of Delegates
  • HQ Staff
  • “Employees and volunteers of USA Swimming, Zones, LSCs and member clubs who interact directly and frequently with athletes as a regular part of their duties” (Article 305.4)

This provision does not apply to volunteers such as timers, marshal

For more information, please send an email to  or view the FAQ document.

The new member background check costs $38. The fee for all existing members the first time they complete a check with IntellicorpRecords is $38. The fee to renew the background check (every other year) is $18.

New York County Record Search Fees
Due to the unusually high access fees in certain counties of New York State, some members may be subject to an additional fee for county criminal record searches conducted in these counties. These counties are: Allegheny, Bronx, Cayuga, Cortland, Erie, Fulton, Hamilton, Kings (Brooklyn), Montgomery, Nassau, New York (Manhattan), Orleans, Queens, Richmond (Staten Island).

IntelliCorp Records will conduct county searches in these counties for the name provided and one former last name. A search for an address in one of these counties is subject to an additional $65 fee per name for county criminal record searches. This is the actual fee charged for the search by New York. However, as a benefit to members, USA Swimming will subsidize this fee such that USA Swimming will pay $40 and members who are charged the additional fee(s) will pay only $25 per name that must be searched. This fee will be applied at the time the background check is ordered.

USA Swimming was among the first National Governing Bodies to require criminal background checks for coaches when the program was implemented in 2006. Since this program was initiated, criminal background checks have become a standard practice in the youth sports industry requiring not only coaches, but officials and others who have frequent and direct interaction with young people to complete background checks.

USA Swimming’s background check requirement is designed to deter individuals who should not be working with athletes from ever applying for membership. Additionally, it serves to identify any unsuitable criminal history of those individuals who do apply for membership. Like previously mandated USA Swimming safety and education requirements, the background check program is another layer of protection for athletes in our sport.

It is important to emphasize that the purpose of this background check is to determine an individual’s eligibility for membership in USA Swimming based on the criteria stated in the program overview found at This check is not intended to serve as a pre‐employment background screening program. The background check process is a criminal record search and is not a substitute for a club conducting appropriate pre‐employment screening of applicants. It is a club’s responsibility to screen potential employees. Clubs should carefully check references and prior employers, and consider requiring additional information such as driving records, before making a hiring decision.

We have selected IntelliCorp Records, an independent Consumer Reporting Agency, to perform the USA Swimming Background Check program. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, IntelliCorp Records is a worldwide organization and a pioneer in the background screening industry. IntelliCorp is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), and provides background screening products and services to help mitigate risk.

All information received shall be kept private and protected according to federal regulations. Individuals who login to perform their background check will be advised in writing prior to the background check and be required to authorize such background check. In addition, they will be provided an opportunity to review the results of any background check performed.

Yes. If your club requires other individuals to do a background check, be sure they also register as non‐athlete members of USA Swimming. If they are not members, their background check records cannot be tracked by USA Swimming in its member database (SWIMS).

Unfortunately, USA Swimming cannot accept your background check for another organization. Currently, there is significant duplication of efforts with regard to background checks required by schools, churches, youth sports and employers in part because organizations are not permitted to share applicant’s background check reports with each other. In addition, different entities use different criteria to judge someone’s suitability for employment, membership or service. There are no standard criteria by which search reports are evaluated.

The background check includes:
  • a search of national criminal and sex offender databases on the name provided and up to four former last names found within the seven year address history;
  • a search of other watch lists from various national and international databases on the name provided and up to four former last names found within the 7 year address history;
  • a county criminal search in county of current residence on the name provided and one former last name;
  • a county criminal search in all counties of residence within the 7 year address history on the name provided and one former last name;
  • a federal court search on the name provided and one former last name;
  • and a once per month update of the national criminal database for a period of 23 months.
For information regarding the components of the background check and the criteria by which the background check report will be evaluated see the PDF entitled Program Overview available at

Completing a USA Swimming background check is an online process that starts at this link: .

You will be directed from the USA Swimming website to the IntelliCorp Records website. Once on the IntelliCorp Records website, provide the information requested and pay with a credit card. You will receive an email confirmation once the background check has been submitted. Save this email as confirmation that you initiated a check.

If you encounter any problem with completing the check while online, please contact our dedicated account manager at Intellicorp Records available at 866‐637‐0010.

You will be asked to provide the following information to IntelliCorp Records: 

Required Information: 

  • First and Last Name
  • Home Address, City, State, Zip Code
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Email Address

Requested Information: 

  • Middle Name
  • Maiden Name
  • Phone Number

Neither USA Swimming nor IntelliCorp Records is permitted to share any of the above information with any entity other than the subject of the report or as required by law.

Your USA Swimming non‐athlete membership card includes a “Valid Through” date for your background check and your safety certifications. Your background expiration date is also available through your Deck Pass portal.
You will receive the results of the background check by email. Notification will normally occur within 7‐14 business days following initiation of the background check. The subject line of the email will include your name and "USA Swimming Background Check – Pass." The email will include a link to your background check report and results.


Athlete Protection Training: All non-athlete members must complete the online Athlete Protection Training course annually. The core course takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and is offered at no charge. The renewal course, offered in alternate years, is about 45 minutes long. Go to for additional information and to access the course. When the course has been completed, the membership database is updated and the LSC is notified automatically.

New non-athlete members must register through their LSC first. New members cannot initiate this course until their membership application has been processed by their LSC. New members will receive an email as soon as their membership has been processed by the LSC. (An error message will appear during the log-in if the new member’s application hasn’t been processed yet.)



Current and previous members can access the course at any time.  This course is offered at no charge.  New members cannot begin the course until their membership applications have been processed by the LSCs.  This course is renewed annually.

All coaches must complete the online USADA Coach’s Advantage Tutorial annually. The course takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and is offered at no charge.
Go to to access the course. Results are automatically reported into the USA Swimming database upon successful completion.


  • Verify membership status
  • Once all requirements have been met, an e-card will be made available.
  • Check expiration dates of all requirements
  • Present  your e-card at meets.


Have questions or need any help?  Send an email to the following:


The LSC will be notified automatically when a coach has passed the background check, online Athlete Protection Training, Coaches Advantage Tutorial and the Foundations of Coaching exams.