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Coaching Requirements

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. You can also print a copy of the Illinois Swimming Non-Athlete Membership Requirements Checklist.

  1. MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
  Complete and mail a non-athlete membership application to the address print on the application form. Memberships are processed by  Illinois Swimming. The annual fee for a non-athlete member is listed on the application. Application forms can be found here. Non-athlete members can also register directly thru the Illinois Swimming web site not available at this time.
   
  2. FOUNDATIONS OF COACHING
  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 www.usaswimming.org/FOC to access these courses.
   
  3. CONCUSSION PROTOCOL TRAINING
  Coaches should take the concussion training to meet their state requirements. For Illinois Swimming, this requires all coaches complete the training one (1) time. 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 Illinois Swimming via email or mail for documentation.
   
  4. SAFETY TRAINING FOR SWIM COACHES
  The Safety Training for Swim Coaches (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 http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class 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 the Illinois Swimming office. 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:
  STSC Option 1: COACHES WHO USE THE GENERIC IN-WATER SKILLS CHECKLIST
Print the generic STSC In-Water Skills Checklist 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 here). 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 the Illinois Swimming office. The earlier of the two expiration dates will determine the STSC credential expiration date.
    3.  Repeat this procedure every two years.
  STSC Option 2: COACHES WHO HAVE AN ACCEPTABLE LIFEGUARD CERTIFICATION
Maintain a valid lifeguard certification from an approved agency;
    1.  Obtain or renew an acceptable lifeguard certificate (see the list here for acceptable certifications).
    2.  Send an acceptable lifeguard certificate and the STSC Online Content Only certificate to the Illinois Swimming office via email or mail. The earlier of the two expiration dates will determine the STSC credential expiration date.
    3.  Repeat this procedure every two years.
  STSC Option 3: COACHES WHO HAVE ACCESS TO AN AMERICAN RED CROSS INSTRUCTOR
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 the Illinois Swimming office via mail or email. The earlier of the two expiration dates will determine the STSC credential expiration date.
    3.  Repeat this procedure every two years.
   
  5. CPR/AED CERITIFICATION
  Obtain USA Swimming-approved adult & prediatric CPR/AED certification.  Certification must be kept current at all times. 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 the Illinois Swimming office via email or mail.
   
  6. CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK
  All non-athlete members must pass a criminal background check every 24 months. Please visit www.usaswimming.org/backgroundcheck for additional information and to initiate the background check. 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. Unfortunately, USA Swimming cannot accept your background check for another organization.
   
  7. ATHLETE PROTECTION TRAINING
  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. Click here for additional information and to access the course. When the course has been completed, the membership database is updated and Illinois Swimming is notified automatically.
  New non-athlete members must register through Illinois Swimming first. New members cannot initiate this course until their membership application has been processed by Illinois Swimming. New members will receive an email as soon as their membership has been processed. (An error message will appear during the log-in if the new member’s application hasn’t been processed yet.)
   
  8. USADA COACH'S ADVANTAGE TUTORIAL
  Current and previous members can access the course at any time. New members cannot begin the course until their membership applications have been processed by Illinois Swimming. 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 www.usaswimming.org/learn to access the course. Results are automatically reported to Illinois Swimming and into the USA Swimming database upon successful completion.