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Effective January 2019 - New Education Standard for USATF Coaches Registry 

To further elevate the professional credibility of the USATF Coaches Registry and its members, USATF has established a new Education Standard for qualification into the USATF Coaches Registry. The Education Standard provides for a baseline standard of professional education or coaching accomplishment in the sport of track and field for coaches seeking admission to the Registry. 

By establishing a baseline standard of professional education or coaching experience, the Education Standard aligns with the best practices for professional certifications in other fields, within the coaching industry at large, and with licensing protocols of other Olympic family national governing bodies. 


To be part of the USATF Coaches Registry, an individual must be a USATF member, undergo a background screen from approved screening agency, have completed SafeSport compliance requirements and effective January 2019 fulfill the Education Standard that includes submission and approval of separate verification application for approved course of education or career achievement.

This Education Standard is a one-time requirement, subject to any applicable recertification requirements of the respective course of education. Once a coach has met the Education Standard, he or she has fulfilled the requirement for as long as the coach is part of the Registry. 

Submission (applies to all approved pathways)

All coaches seeking to complete verification of the required NEW Education Standard of the USATF Coaches Registry can access instructions and the online application at the link below. The online application is separate from the background screen application and allows for coaches to submit their profile and select one of the many professional coaching options which they have completed.

To satisfy all requirements of the USATF Coaches Registry, you must appear on both the USATF SafeSport List and the Education Standard List (with a green check mark). Note, coaching certifications and career achievements will NOT automatically import to the Education Standard List and a verification application for approved course of education or career achievement must be submitted.


In addition to the required SafeSport Compliance requirements above, any person who has completed one of the approved coaching education courses for track or field or who qualifies based on career accomplishments as a track and field coach is eligible. 

Meeting the Education Standard 

There are two different paths to meet the Educational Standard for the Coaches Registry: Complete a verified educational course, OR achieve a specified coaching accomplishment. 

Path 1: Complete a verified course of education. Complete any one of the following options: 

a. Level 1 of the USATF CE Professional Pathway of Coach Certification with course completion on or after January 1, 2013

b. Level 2 or 3 of the USATF CE Professional Pathway of Coach Certification

c. USATF Cross Country Specialist Course

d. Completion of a USATF Event Skill Specialist Clinic (Learn By Doing Clinic)

e. Completion of approved NFHS sport-specific course in conjunction with any (1) course on USATF Campus (online option) 

i. NFHS Coaching Track and Field OR NFHS Coaching Cross Country are the only approved NFHS sport-specific courses - no exception 

f. Technical Basic course of the USTFCCCA Academy or any advanced course (online or classroom) excluding Strength and Conditioning (310)

g. IAAF Level I, II, III, IV, or V certificate holder

Certificate of completion for any of the above courses serves as verification of Education Standard.

Path 2: Accomplish an Education Standard equivalency during one's coaching career, through a body of work, a career honor, or demonstrated professional coaching career. Demonstrate any one of the following

a. Member of an international coaching staff selected by USATF over the last 5 Olympic quadrennials. 

b. Primary coach of record of a top eight placer at the Olympics, Youth Olympic Games, World Marathon Major or an IAAF World Athletic Series competition, that includes:

i. IAAF World Indoor and Outdoor Championships
ii. IAAF U18 Championships
iii. IAAF U20 Championships
iv. IAAF Continental Cup
v. IAAF World Cross Country Championships
vi. IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships
vii. IAAF World Half Marathon Championship
viii. IAAF World Relays

c. Primary coach of record of a top three placer at USATF Indoor, Outdoor, U20 (Junior) Championships, USATF Running Circuit Championship or Pan American Games.

d. Primary coach of record of a top three placer at NCAA, NJCAA, or NAIA Championships for cross country, indoor or outdoor track (credential, link to result and verification letter from Athletic Director or Director of TF/CC must be uploaded to application)

e. Elite technical coach of USA National Team athletes over a 10-year period (coach must list athletes' names and contact information) 

f. Hall of Fame Coach for USATF, USTFCCCA, National Scholastic Track Coaches Association or NFHS

g. National Coach of the Year for USATF or USOC 

h. USTFCCCA National Head or Assistant Coach of the Year for men's or women's (NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA) cross country, indoor or outdoor track & field

i. Employment as a head or assistant track coach at a scholastic, collegiate institution or USATF registered/approved club for a 10-year period verified by employer human resources department 

The USATF National Office staff will provide oversight of all components of the Coaches Registry. An oversight subcommittee from the Coaches Advisory Committee will review and evaluate any issue with a coach's education standard. 

For more information, contact
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