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Australian sport commits to national standard for sport science

19 December 2017

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has announced national accreditation schemes for sport scientists and strength and conditioning coaches, ensuring rigorous governance measures to protect athletes and the integrity of Australian sport.

The ASC and its high performance arm, the AIS, will work in partnership with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) to apply the high standards of accreditation to Australian sporting organisations over the next 12 months.

Following robust consultation with the National Institute Network and national sporting bodies, the ASC endorses ESSA and ASCA as the peak accreditation bodies for Australian sport science and strength and conditioning respectively.

As a condition of the ASC’s Sport Investment Agreements, national sporting organisations will require all sport science and strength and conditioning staff to have the relevant accreditation with ESSA and ASCA by the end of 2018.

AIS Director Peter Conde said: “The ASC and AIS work in partnership with sporting organisations to protect the health and wellbeing of Australian athletes.

“By applying these high industry standards in sport science and strength and conditioning, then the entire Australian sport industry is making it crystal clear that we collectively stand for integrity in sport. Athlete health and wellbeing is a priority, and we will do everything within our power to ensure Australian athletes receive professional and ethical advice.”

The ASC recommends ESSA as the accrediting body for sport scientists, including but not limited to physiologists, biomechanists, performance analysts, skill acquisition specialists and strength scientists.

The ASC recommends ASCA as the accrediting body for strength and conditioning coaches.

High Performance managers and Sport Science Sport Medicine (SSSM) managers will also require accreditation with the relevant body where their job requires elements of applied practice.

CEO of ESSA Anita Hobson-Powell said: “ESSA welcome the decision from the ASC regarding the requirements for accreditation of sports scientists. We look forward to working with our accredited professionals in maintaining the standards and integrity of sports scientists working with Australian athletes.”

CEO of ASCA Susan Currell said: “The ASCA commends the AIS on its proactive stance to quality assuring the sport support staff environment. Athletes deserve to be working with practitioners with high integrity who have met the rigors of a competency and skills-based accreditation process to ensure an ethical approach to their greater performance success.”

Conde said the AIS would monitor the compliance of sports annually. The accreditation scheme will be reviewed after two years to reassess progress in Australian sport science standards.

“In addition to this accreditation, the ASC and AIS will continue to work with sports. Sporting organisations are guided by the AIS Sport Science Sport Medicine Best Practice Principles, which are part of the ASC’s Mandatory Governance Principles.”

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