Level I Certification

After taking the three required core courses, the USA Triathlon Level I Coach Certification is the next step in the USA Triathlon Coach Development Pathway.

USA Triathlon’s Level I Coach Certification Program is designed to educate aspiring coaches on how to train their athletes on different aspects of triathlon. Coaches will learn how to design a training plan geared toward their athlete’s needs as well as learn strength specific training for triathletes and key workouts. In addition to learning how to cater to your athletes needs, coaches will also learn the mechanics and skills of swimming, cycling and running from some of USA Triathlon’s most esteemed coaches. Coaches will not just learn how to train their athletes physically but they will also learn about nutrition periodization and mental skills, two vital aspects to master in the sport of triathlon. After you complete Level I Core, you have two years to take an Area of focus class.

Areas of Focus are a single day coaching course that diving dive deeper into one of four core areas:  Short Course, Long Course, Youth and Junior, and Paratriathlon. Coaches must take a minimum of one area of focus for their recertification. The first area of focus course will not gain a coach any Continuing Education Units (CEUs). If you choose to take an additional area of focus, the course will be worth five (5) USAT CEUs. Areas of focus will also be used as a pre-requisite for any further advancement in the coaching pathway. For example, if a coach wanted to take a Level II Short Course Certification, I they would need to have taken the Short Course Area of Focus from Level I. All courses will build upon each other moving forward.

Click here to see the 2021 Clinic, Area of Focus & Workshop Schedule

Level I Coach Certification Requirements

For USA Triathlon Level I Coach Certification, candidates must complete and/or submit the following: 

  • Completion of Core Coaching Courses
  • USA Triathlon Online Level I Coach Certification Course
  • "Green Light (Clear)" Background Check
  • SafeSport Training Certification
  • CPR, AED, and First Aid Certification
  • USA Triathlon Annual Membership

USA Triathlon Online Level I Coach Certification Course
The Level I Coach Certification Clinic is designed to educate aspiring coaches on how to train their athletes on different aspects of triathlon and develop coaching business skills. Each clinic is led by one of USA Triathlon’s most esteemed coaches. The minimum age to attend a clinic is 18 years old. Participants are required to complete all online modules in order to be eligible for a USA Triathlon Coach Certification. 

Background Check
USA Triathlon Certified Coaches must maintain a current "Green Light (Clear)" background check. Background checks must be performed by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (“NCSI”). Learn more by reading the USA Triathlon Background Check Policy.

SafeSport Training 

Coaches are required to complete SafeSport Training annually. Click here to learn more about USAT's SafeSport Policies and References. Instructions to complete your training are below:

  • Go to www.safesport.org
  • Select the option “Register or Sign In” if you need to register, select USA Triathlon as your membership and enter in the access code: FDV2-N6TL-T4GA-SWNZ
  • Once you have signed into your SafeSport account, your Learning Dashboard will give you the option to take the SafeSport Training
  • Complete the “SafeSport Trained” webinar available to you.
  • Once complete, you will be able to download a “SafeSport Trained” certificate which you will upload into your USA Triathlon LearnUpon account 

CPR, AED, and First Aid Certification 
Coaches are required to have and maintain a basic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), and First Aid Certification.

Frequently Asked CPR, AED, and First Aid Questions:

  • Do I need my CPR, AED, and First Aid certification before registering for the Online Level I Course?
    It is not required to have your CPR, AED, and First Aid certification before the online course. However, you cannot receive your USA Triathlon Level I Coach Certification without current CPR, AED, and First Aid certifications. Candidates must become CPR, AED, and First Aid Certified within six weeks after their course completion (failure to do so will result in being ineligible to become a coach with USA Triathlon).
  • What type of CPR, AED, and First Aid is required?
    Any legitimate organization is accepted, although American Red Cross and American Heart Association are recommended. The card(s) or certificate(s) you receive after completing the course must list CPR, AED, and First Aid. Most coaches choose Adult CPR, AED, and First Aid. 
  • Can my CPR or AED class be online?
    Your CPR and AED course must be in-person; we do not accept online CPR and AED courses when becoming a USA Triathlon Certified Coach. 

United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC): Coaching Code of Conduct
The Coaching Code of Conduct utilizes the constructs of five ethical behavioral areas to guide the actions of Team USA coaches in training and competition. A coach’s foremost duty is to serve athletes’ best interests, doing so in an ethical manner. The USOPC’s Coaching Code of Conduct offers coaches a sound, values-based reference to guide their actions.

Ethical coaching entails doing the right thing. It is grounded in the principles of duty and virtue. It requires the courage to consistently make morally sound choices—not merely comply with rules or mandates. But coaching is complicated, and coaches routinely face ethical and moral dilemmas. When facing such dilemmas when coaching in the Team USA context, coaches can refer to agreed-upon codes of conduct for guidance.

Candidates are required to sign the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Coaching Ethics Code at the time of clinic registration.

Coach Compliance Requirements
USA Triathlon requires coaches to be in compliance at all times to be considered in good standing as a USAT Certified Coach. These coach compliance requirements ensure all USA Triathlon activities are as safe as possible for all participants.

  • Completion of SafeSport Training (annual renewal) 
  • Current USA Triathlon Annual Membership (included when you purchase your recertification)  
  • Current and passed background screening through the NCSI
  • Current CPR, AED, and First Aid certification 

Allowing any of the above requirements to lapse within your certification period will result in immediate revocation of your coaching certification and loss of all benefits, such as insurance coverage, until the above requirements are met.



Level I Coach Recertification Overview & Requirements

Level I Coach Recertification Overview

A USA Triathlon Coach Certification is valid for two (2) years. Recertification ensures that coaches continue to challenge themselves and further their knowledge and is critical to remain informed on the latest information and expertise within the triathlon industry.

In order to maintain a USA Triathlon Coach Certification, coaches must complete recertification by their recertification deadline. USA Triathlon’s recertification process consists of completing specified requirements as well as submitting a recertification application. For all recertification information, please see the USA Triathlon Recertification webpage

Level I Coach Recertification Requirements 

  • $195 Recertification Application Fee (includes a 2 year USA Triathlon Membership)
  • "Green Light (Clear)" background check via the NCSI
  • Annual SafeSport Training 
  • 12 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - minimum of 8 USAT CEUs
  • CPR, AED, and First Aid Certification
  • Signed USOPC’s Ethics Code for Coaches Agreement
  • One Area of Focus (Short Course, Long Course, Paratriathlon, or Youth & Junior)