Comparing Level 1, 2 & 3 ASCA S&C Quals

I know this is a lot of info, but it’s worth noting the differences between each level of quals, especially with regard to expertise in injury prevention, and rehabilitation. Apparently, our head of S&C is Level 1 trained, but may well also have more extensive experience, in addition to this. The Broncos S&C man is apparently Level 3 and is a key figure in the training of those doing the Level 3 course.
It seems to me Level 1 and Level 3 are worlds apart in terms of expertise.


The ASCA Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coaching Course provides basic level knowledge and skills to understand, apply and design training programs to improve the performance of athletes.
This course is suitable for sports coaches, athletes, fitness trainers, gym instructors, physical education teachers, and Year 1 and 2 sports science students.

Additional Information:
The course duration is approximately 16 hours over 2 days.
Course Objectives include:

  • Design and apply appropriate coaching and teaching skills to match the physical and psychological development of the athlete
    Design, implement and review conditioning training programs to improve athlete performance in beginner level athletes.
    Develop and implement a safe resistance training program for youth and children.
    Design, implement and review a periodised speed and agility training program appropriate for beginner level athletes
    Design and implement training methods for improved flexibility and mobility in beginner level athletes.
    Demonstrate practical application of stretching and mobility exercises.
    Define and implement appropriate nutritional guidelines to enhance sports performance for beginner level athletes.
    Be familiar with and capable of implementing an injury prevention and management philosophy and practice to minimize injuries in beginner level athletes.
    Effectively develop communication strategies for improved athlete performance.
    Identify specific requirements when coaching special populations in a strength and conditioning context.
    Design, implement and review a strength training program appropriate for beginner level athletes.
    Design, implement and review a periodised energy system conditioning program appropriate for beginner level athletes.
    Prepare warm up/warm down sessions for a wide range of beginner level athletes/sports.
    Develop strategies for improved recovery from training and competition in beginner level athletes.
    Define, implement and interpret appropriate assessment protocols for beginner athletes and assessing individual physical components.
    Understand rehabilitation principles.

POST COURSE - Complete 30 hours of practical coaching (must complete a minimum 10 hours direct involvement – observation of or supervision by an ASCA Accredited Coach of a minimum Level 1 or above), the remaining hours can be self-monitored if you are coaching athletes/teams.
Note a list of mentor coaches can be found on the ASCA website under ‘Find a Mentor Coach’


The Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coaching Course is an advanced coaching course that provides participants with the knowledge and skills to plan, conduct and design strength and conditioning programs to physically prepare advanced level athletes to improve sports performance across a wide range of sports.

Pre-Requisites for Level 2:
Must hold a current Level 1 ASCA Strength and Conditioning Coach Accreditation, AND
Must be actively coaching within the Strength and Conditioning field.
Completed a minimum of 2 years of a sports science or human movements degree, AND
Evidence of strength and conditioning coaching experience, AND
Have competencies in regards to the Level 1 Lifts signed off by an ASCA Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach who holds a minimum of Level 2 Accreditation.

Course content includes:

  • Utilising coaching skills & new technologies to enhance sports performance
    Appropriateness of training for Long Term Athlete Development
    Indentifying the stages of periodisation & using them to improve physical capabilities of athletes
    Designing, teaching & assessing strength and conditioning training programs that maximize athlete performance
    Teaching and assessing proper & safe techniques using free weight training equipment
    Selecting & using a battery of tests, interpreting results and planning training for different sports and athlete levels
    Principles of injury prevention, rehabilitation & management
    Nutrition guidelines to enhance performance in sport
    Conducting sport specific recovery sessions to assist in returning physiological markers to normal levels & restoration of psychological traits
    The effects on athletes of commonly used drugs
    Limiting potential liability as a strength and conditioning coach
    Physical characteristics and training guideline for special populations

This course is suitable for graduates from Level 1, intermediate strength & conditioning coaches, post graduates from sports science and related courses, prospective semi professional and professional strength and conditioning specialists at senior levels.

Course Assessment Requirements:
Complete 60 hours of practical coaching (20 hours direct involvement – observation of or supervision by an ASCA Accredited Coach of a minimum Level 2 or above, and 40 hours practical coaching in the field of strength and conditioning unsupervised).

The ASCA Level 3 Strength And Conditioning Coaching Course Is An Elite Coaching Course Aimed At Coaches Working With National And International Level Advanced Athletes/Teams.
Pre-Requisites for acceptance into the Level 3 Course Include:

a) Hold a current Level 2 ASCA Strength and Conditioning Coach Qualification
b) Completed a minimum of three years full time or five years part time coaching strength and conditioning with athletes/teams at national level or above.
c) Apply for acceptance into the course providing the necessary documentation to ensure that they have met the above criteria.

Course Overview

  • Module 1: Introduction
    Module 2: Planning / Periodisation / Long Term Athlete Development / Group Management
    Module 3: Business Development & Contract Negotiations
    Module 4: Speed, Agility & Quickness – Elite Training Theory and Current Practices
    Module 5: Strength – Elite Strength Training Theory and Current Practices
    Module 6: Energy System Conditioning – Elite Conditioning Training Theory and Current Practices
    Module 7: Principles of Athlete Assessment, Rehabilitation, Injury Prevention and Management – a Practical Approach for Strength and Conditioning Coaches
    Module 8: Flexibility, Mobility, Warm-Up and Cool Down – Elite Training Theory and Current Practices
    Module 9: Nutrition and Ergogenic Aids
    Module 10: Recovery Methods and their specific effect and the hands-on approach to recovery (Theory & Practical)

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