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NSCA Strength and Conditioning Professional Standards and Guidelines

by NSCA
Other June 2017

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The NSCA Strength and Conditioning Professional Standards and Guidelines is intended to help identify areas of risk exposure, increase safety and decrease the likelihood of injuries that might lead to claims, and ultimately improve the standard of care being offered. This is a valuable resource for every strength and conditioning coach.

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THIS IS THE 2017 UPDATED VERSION OF THE NSCA STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES. THE PREVIOUS UPDATE WAS PERFORMED IN 2009.

The Strength and Conditioning profession involves the combined competencies of sport/ exercise science, administration, management, teaching, and coaching. Practitioners must also comply with various laws and regulations while responding to instances of potential injury and related claims and suits. This creates remarkable challenges and requires substantial experience, expertise, and other resources to effectively address them, especially in multisport (e.g., collegiate and scholastic) settings.

Ample resources are available in some of these settings but in many others, however, they are not. Budgets, equipment, facilities, and staff are often limited (or lacking altogether), with a resulting mismatch between the participants’ demand for safe and effective programs and services, and the institution’s provision of them. It is important for Strength and Conditioning practitioners and their employers to understand that this standard of care is a shared duty; the institution and individual are thus jointly responsible for fulfilling it. Collectively, these issues are the driving forces behind this project.

The purpose of the NSCA Strength and Conditioning Professional Standards and Guidelinesdocument is to help identify areas of liability exposure, increase safety, and decrease the likelihood of injuries that might lead to legal claims and suits, and ultimately improve the standard of care being offered. This document is intended to be neither rigid nor static and will be updated periodically to reflect the industry’s best practices. It is hoped that Strength and Conditioning practitioners and the institutions employing them will mutually benefit from applying this information, and in turn significantly enhance the quality of services and programs provided to their participants.

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