All MSA Coaches are US Certified as described below:
Effective since 1988, all coach members are required to fulfill safety training requirements as established by the USA Swimming Board of Directors. USA Swimming currently requires coach members to hold current certification cards for the following courses: Safety Training for Swim Coaches, CPR and First Aid.
To become a first-time USA Swimming coach, one needs to complete two different steps:
Safety Certifications. Prior to registering for the first year of coaching, a coach must have current safety certifications in the following (see bottom of page):
b. First Aid
c. Safety Training for Swim Coaches
After a coach completes those three courses and has his or her certification cards, they register through the local registration person.
Coach Education Requirement: After either (a) the local registration person or (b) the USA Swimming national office receives the coach's registration, he/she will receive an information packet about ordering the material for the coach education component. Before the coach registers for the next year, they must complete a test that covers the rules and regulations and basic swimming knowledge.
New Coach Education Requirement: A coach may register for the second year as a USA Swimming coach member; the coach will need to make sure their safety certifications are up-to-date and will need to successfully complete the first-year coach education test.
The test must be successfully completed prior to registering for the second year as a USA Swimming Coach member. USA Swimming has contracted with the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) to administer the test. A coach can find the test online at the ASCA website. One can choose to take the test online or return the answer sheet to ASCA for grading. ASC's address is listed on the test answer sheet.
1. The test is based upon:
A. The USA Swimming Progressions for Athlete and Coach Development,
B. The Foundations of Coaching Home Study Course, and
C. The USA Swimming Rules & Regulations
A new coach will automatically be sent a free copy of the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations, which should normally arrive within 3 months of your registration. The other two books can be purchased from USA Swimming at the online store. USA Swimming recommends that you purchase these books, as they make the start of a good reference library and the test is based on material covered in these books.
2. The new coach exam is an open book test. Since it is open book, successful completion will require one to miss no more than 20 of the 181 questions.
3. Upon successful completion, the coach will receive a letter from ASCA sating that he or she has passed the test. Just like the current safety certification cards, this letter must be shown to the local registration chair before registering for the second year of coaching with USA Swimming.
Safety Certification Requirements for Coaches
USA Swimming initiated the Coaches Safety Curriculum in September 1987 for the 1988 membership year. USA Swimming coach members are required to show current proof of training in First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Safety Training for Swim Coaches.
Local Swimming Committees (LSCs) enforce these requirements largely through the membership function. Justification for the requirements may be found in legislation passed over the years by the USA Swimming House of Delegates. The following passages are found in the current USA Swimming Rules and Regulations.
Article 502.4.3 "All coaches of USA Swimming clubs, including seasonal clubs, shall join USA Swimming as coach members and shall satisfactorily complete safety training required by USA Swimming"