Congratulations on pursuing ASCA Certification! Since 1988, over 18,000 coaches have been certified with the American Swimming Coaches Association. Being certified sends a message to your peers, your employer, your athletes, and your swim team parents that you are a Professional Coach. No matter what level you are at, it is a significant event that you have chosen to set yourself apart as a Professional Coach in pursuit of continuing education.

To Be Certified, Do The Following:

This will start the Certification process.  Note – This is the initial application for Certification.  If you are already ASCA Certified and are looking to update your file, please submit a Certification update instead.

USA Certification Requirements Breakdown

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International Certification Requirements Breakdown

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Certification Means that You are Serious About Your Profession.

Gregg Troy - ASCA Certified Level 5 Coach, USA Swimming

It means that you care about your continuing coaching education and your professional preparation. It marks you as a coach who is in the mainstream of the swim coaching profession, and willing to be examined and certified by an independent agency (ASCA), in the same light as the great coaches of history, whether Collegiate, USA Swimming, High School, YMCA, or Masters, as well as thousands of international coaches who chose our ASCA Certification system to document their credentials.

Employers know that the ASCA Certified Coach is committed to Professional Performance, has Professional Preparation, and, most importantly, Professional Ethics through their membership in ASCA.

In addition, compensation information and access to professionally evaluated positions are available to Certified Coaches. Certification gives you a title you deserve.

Certification also states your credentials precisely and concisely.

It represents your education in the sport, your experience in the sport, and your ability to produce athletes who perform at a high level. (Once you are doing so.) Certification is a VOLUNTARY process. Some coaches chose NOT to participate. Certification does not pretend to say who is the better coach.

What Certification does, is accurately represent your credentials from an independent agency. Employers, over the 27 year history of ASCA Certification, have become quite adept at differentiating between Resume Writing Coaches and ASCA Certified Coaches. ASCA Certification provides factual information to your potential employer.

Why Should All Your Staff Be ASCA Certified?

To earn the respect of your club parents, AND demonstrate that your club is a Professionally Coached Program.

Everyone coaching in a USA Swimming program has to pass the Level 1 course jointly developed by ASCA and USA-Swimming. That is NOT a differentiator.

What is a differentiator between you and the club down the road, is to have your full staff ASCA Certified. On your club website under coaches, at the start of their bio and under their photo, list “ASCA Certified, Level ______” . This is what parents look for….they immediately look for Certifications. This demonstrates to your club that you are serious about swimming, coaching and operating a top quality experience for children.

Here is an example of how to use it:

 “Every coach is USA Swimming certified.  That is the lowest, base level of certification.  Being ASCA Certified means that our club commits to annual professional development training, just like any other profession.  In addition, ASCA Certification means that our coaches commit to a Professional Code of Ethics that has been in place much longer than the USA Swimming Code.  Each Level that you see reflected on our website  reflects both academic training specific to swimming and the in-pool success of that coach’s swimmers and the coaches’ level of experience.   Our club requires all of our coaches to commit to that Code of Ethics and to annual professional development, and our club supports them in doing so.”

This is something that any club can sell to parents as a differentiator.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about


  • You must be a current ASCA member to be certified. Certification is a benefit of ASCA membership. Non-members cannot be certified. Membership must stay current to maintain certification.
  • You must submit a Certification Application to be certified. You cannot be certified at any level without applying.
  • You will not “become certified” until Level 1 is done. You will receive education credit for Levels 3-4-5 if you chose to take them “out of order”. However, you won’t be certified at that level until Levels 1 and 2 are submitted and you submit the necessary documentation of your swimmers’ achievements or meet the Education Road requirements.
  • There is no “waiting period” between when you take the next ASCA Certification Course or Enrichment Course. You do not have to wait for your results of one exam to start or submit others!!!
  • You can take the various courses in any order you desire.
  • We ENCOURAGE you to take all five required levels long before you have an achievement to qualify for Certification at those levels. It is GREAT education and Level 4 in particular (Leadership) is important to EVERY coach to understand and improve.
  • You can take one course at a time or all of them simultaneously!!!!!
  • Once you have completed any certification course you can request a “Certificate of Completion” to enhance your office wall or paper credentials. Colleges & Parents will love seeing the certificates of completion up on your wall from all the courses you have taken and passed!!! Plus they can be used to submit as CEU’s to other organizations!!!
  • Always keep copies of any test you submit. There are over 19,000 certification files and paperwork CAN get misplaced/lost etc. Better safe than sorry!
  • You can always email any Certification Updates, Exams, Times, etc. directly to in PDF format (Saves in Postage as well as time!)

From your friendly Certification Director at ASCA
Karen Downey


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