NSCA Reaffirms Position on Appropriate Qualifications for Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches

May 31, 2022

NSCA Community,  

Over the past several years, there have been recurring discussions around traumatic and catastrophic injuries that have occurred related to collegiate strength and conditioning. The purpose of this letter is to communicate the continued position of the NSCA in support of student-athlete safety and wellness.

In January 2012, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), along with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), convened an Inter-Association Task Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The purpose of the meeting was to gather input and determine best practices for the prevention of exercise-related catastrophic injury and sudden death, including sickle cell trait, exertional heat stroke, cardiac conditions, and exertional rhabdomyolysis. The Published Consensus Statement was endorsed by the American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, Canadian Athletic Therapists’ Association, Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Korey Stringer Institute, National Academy of Sports Medicine, NATA, and NSCA, and was intended to support proposed legislation related to the qualifications of collegiate strength and conditioning coaches.

Now, a decade later in 2022, the Brenner v. NCAA et al. legal case has again brought this issue of collegiate strength and conditioning coach qualifications to the foreground. The NSCA, as the global leader in strength and conditioning credentialing and education, with over 60,000 members and certificants world-wide, recognizes that collegiate student-athletes and their institutions require additional policy and protections to support health and safety. The NSCA remains committed to supporting the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), athletic conferences, athletic institutions, and other regulatory bodies within collegiate athletics in developing stronger legislation, policy, and enforcement that emulates the Inter-Association Task Force’s original recommendations for strength and conditioning coach qualifications. Such recommendations include that all collegiate strength and conditioning professionals be required to pass a certification examination credentialed by an independent accreditation agency based on and including competency standards, ongoing assessment, and continuing education.

The importance of continued efforts in ensuring student-athlete safety and wellness remains paramount. Considering recent and ongoing discussions on the topic, the need for appropriately certified strength and conditioning professionals throughout the industry, as described by the Inter-Association Task Force Recommendations, NSCA Strength and Conditioning Professional Standards and Guidelines, and NSCA Professional Code of Ethics, is further reinforced.

Brent Alvar's signature
Brent Alvar, PhD, CSCS,*D, TSAC-F, FNSCA
Board President


About the National Strength & Conditioning Association

Founded in 1978, The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is a nonprofit association dedicated to ad-vancing the strength and conditioning and related sport science professions around the world.

The NSCA exists to empower a community of professionals to maximize their impact through disseminating evidence- based knowledge and its practical application by offering industry-leading certifications, research journals, career development services, networking opportunities, and continuing education. The NSCA community is composed of more than 60,000 members and certified professionals throughout the world who further industry standards as researchers, educators, strength and conditioning coaches, performance and sport scientists, personal trainers, tactical professionals, and other related roles.

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