Coaching Education FAQ

What is your refund policy for courses?

USA Weightlifting Level 1 and Level 2 courses are non-refundable. If you are unable to attend a course you are registered for, your registration may be transferred to another course. However, if a course is cancelled by USA Weightlifting, we will offer either a free transfer to another course, or a full refund.

Why would USAW cancel a course?

Inclement weather that creates unsafe travel conditions may cause a course cancellation. In addition, USAW requires a minimum of 8 registrations per course. In the event a course does not reach the minimum participation level it is subject to cancellation. 

In the event that USAW cancels or reschedules a course, a full refund or free transfer to another course date will be made available. USAW will make every effort to cancel courses at least 48 hours before the start of the course, though extenuating circumstances such as inclement weather may cause later cancellations. To request a refund or transfer to another course of your choosing, please email When transferring be sure to check our course calendar to let us know which course you’d like to move into. 

What happens if USAW cancels or reschedules the course I signed up for?

In the event that USAW cancels or reschedules a course, a full refund or free transfer to another course date will be made available. USAW will make every effort to cancel courses at least 48 hours before the start of the course, though extenuating circumstances such as inclement weather may cause later cancellations.  

To transfer to another course, please check our and email to let us know what course you would like to enroll in. 

To request a refund, please email with your original course date and location. Please note that USAW is not responsible for any hotel, travel or other costs incurred by course registrants in the event a course is canceled or rescheduled. 

Do you offer group, military or student discounts?

We do not currently offer any discounts on our courses. 

I’m interested in hosting a course at my facility, what do I need to do?

Please contact

How do I apply to become an instructor for USAW?

At this time we are not currently adding instructors to our team, but inquiries and/or resumes can be directed to for future consideration.

Can I still attend a course if I am injured or cannot physically perform the lifts?

Yes, absolutely. While we encourage people to participate in the lifting sessions, you are not required to perform the lifts during the course. If limited by injury, you will take a more active role in coaching fellow course participants performing the weightlifting movements. If you have a temporary impairment, you have the option to transfer to a later course date. 

If you have a chronic physical limitation, please feel free to join any course date and inform your instructor of your needs. If you require assistance, such as an interpreter, please reach out to us at before signing up for a course so we can best assist you.

I can no longer attend a course on the dates I am registered for. Can I switch to a course offered at a different date?

Yes. You are able to make a one-time transfer at no additional cost to another course date if the transfer is done prior to the close of registration of the course you originally registered for and the new course is at least 14 days in the future. For example, if your course was scheduled to run June 15, the last date to transfer out would be June 1. At that time you could register for any course beginning June 15 or later in the year. 

To request a transfer to another course, please check our and email to let us know what course you would like to enroll in. Participants must complete the course within 1 year of originally scheduled course date.

Does USAW offer private or custom certification courses?

Yes, we do offer private courses for a variety of groups and are also happy to discuss creating content to fit your unique needs so please send an email to with detailed information about what you would like covered.

Who do I contact if I have a question or comment about USAW Coaching Education?

Please contact 

Do you accept on-site registration for coaching courses?

No on-site course registration is permitted. We recommend enrolling as early as possible to allow you more time to review the course material and prepare in advance of the course.

Are payment plans available for course fees?

At this time USAW does not offer payment plans for courses. However, USAW has recently made it possible to purchase monthly membership for those who are not USAW members prior to enrollment in a course. Please see membership options here.

Is there a minimum age for taking the USAW Level 1 or Level 2 course?

You must be at least 16 years of age on the first day of a course.

Do you require an undergraduate degree to take the Level 1 course?

No, there are no minimum education requirements to enroll in the Level 1 course.

Is there anything I need to do before taking the Level 1 course to prepare for it?

There are no prerequisites before the course, but we would suggest that you read and review all course materials provided when you register.  

Other than attend the course, what do I need to do earn the Level 1 coach certification?

In compliance with our United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee accreditation, both the free online American Development Model (ADM) training module and online course certification exam are required to receive your USAW Level 1 certification. 

You have seven days after the course ends to complete the ADM module and take the certification exam online. A score of 70% of higher on the certification exam is required to pass. You are given two attempts to earn a passing score. If you are unable to earn a passing score after two attempts, you'll be required to retake the course at a reduced rate of $250. To access the exam, in your membership profile, click coach certifications, then exams.


What are the benefits of being a member of USAW?

- Exclusive discounts on USAW merchandise
- Free Secondary Sport Accident and General Liability Insurance
- Free SafeSport and USADA training
- Training opportunities with coaches and club teams
- Ability to compete in USAW sanctioned events
- Discounts on travel to USAW sanctioned events through United Airlines
- All membership benefits can be found here 

What is SafeSport? Do I need to take the SafeSport Certification?

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is a national nonprofit organization providing education, resources and training to promote respect and prevent abuse in sport. USAW has embraced and supports the mission of SafeSport. Click here to learn more about SafeSport and how USAW has integrated it into our organization. 
The SafeSport Certification is required to be a Level 1 (or higher) coach; it is also required to become a Club Administrator at a USAW weightlifting club, officiate at any competition, and volunteer or serve on any USAW committee or working group. Based on the important information it provides, we recommend all USAW members take the SafeSport certification, which is free of charge. SafeSport training can be accessed here.

Do I need to have experience with the snatch and clean and jerk to take the Level 1 course?

No, but we recommend that you have a basic understanding of the Olympic lifts and the sport of Weightlifting. For some weightlifting basics, please visit our Weightlifting 101 page here.

What do I need to bring and wear to my Level 1 or Level 2 course?

Please come dressed for weight training and bring anything you might need for working out (shoes, belts, wraps etc.). There will be a break for lunch but please bring any snacks and drinks that you might like to have during the course. Feel free to bring a laptop or notebook and pen for notes. Weightlifting shoes are not required but we do recommend shoes with a firm and elevated heel.

What happens if I don’t pass the certification exam?

 If you are unable to earn a passing score of 70% or higher after two attempts, you will be required to retake the course at a reduced rate of $250.

Does having my Level 1 certification allow me to coach at local USAW sanctioned competitions?

No certification is required to coach athletes at a USAW sanctioned local competitions. 

How do I acquire credentials to coach at a USAW National competitions?

To receive a coaching credential at USAW National level events, you must register as a coach by the registration deadline for each event. For eligibility to register, you must complete the following: USAW Level 1SafeSport , American Development Model (ADM) training USADA training and a background check.

Can I compete in a USAW sanctioned event if I am a coach? 

Yes. Any active member of USAW can compete even if classified as a coach.  

When do I need to renew my Level 1 or Level 2 certification? 

You must renew your coaching certification annually. If you are renewing a Level 1 certification, you must complete a short re-certification quiz upon payment of the $30 renewal fee. If you’re renewing a Level 2 certification there is no quiz requirement, simply pay the $30 renewal when your certification is close to its due date.

All coaches renewing a certification must also be a current member of USAW in good standing. Your membership profile will show you when your membership and certification renewal dates are due. You will also receive automated reminders from us when the time to renew comes. For more information on membership options and pricing, please visit here.

How do I renew my coaching certification?

To renew your coaching certification, you need to login to your membership profile and click the “Renew Certification” link found in the left toolbar under the Member Area. 

Please note that National, International and Senior International coaches do not have to take a recertification exam or pay a renewal fee. However, in addition to a current membership, the SafeSport certification and a background screen must be current in order to have the recertification approved. 

Do I have to wait for a period of time between completing Level 1 and taking Level 2? 

You can register for and take the Level 2 course at any time upon successful completion of the Level 1 course and exam. However, we recommend that you spend time actively coaching the lifts before enrolling in the Level 2 course. 

I have taken and passed USAW Level 2, am I now a National Coach?

No. A designation of National Coach has an additional athlete production requirement on top of earning the Level 2 certification. 
To become a National Coach, you must be the primary coach of record for one of the following: 
1) at least 2 athletes who compete in the Senior National Championships
2) at least 3 athletes who compete at the Junior National Championships, National University Championships, or American Open*
3) at least 6 athletes who compete at the Youth National Championships (16-17 year-old age group)
4) a combination of 1 Senior National lifter and 2 lifters who compete in the Junior National Championships, National University Championships, or American Open*
5) a combination of 1 Senior National lifter and 3 Youth National Championship athletes (16-17)
6) a combination of 1 Junior National, National University, or American Open* lifter and 3 Youth National lifters (16-17)

*American Open Final or an American Open Series event where the lifter attains a Total equivalent to the minimum American Open Final Qualifying Total for their bodyweight category.

Once the athlete production requirement is attained an advancement application must be submitted for formal approval as a National Coach. 


I have to miss a few hours of the Level 1 or Level 2 course I signed up for, am I still able to take the exam and earn the certification?

You must be present for the entire course and exam in order to be eligible for certification. If an emergency occurs and you need to leave the course before the end, you will be given the opportunity to reschedule and take the course at another time.

When is the deadline for registering for a coaching course?

The registration deadline is typically 3 days prior to the start of the course (e.g., Tuesday at 11:45pm MST for a Friday course start). However, it may be possible to extend registration availability. 


What is the maximum course size for Level 1 and Level 2?

The maximum course size is determined by the equipment and space available for the host facility, but USAW will provide additional course instructors if the course size exceeds 15 participants to ensure that the instructor to participant ratio stays low.  

What is the minimum number of participants needed to host a course?

Courses are required to have a minimum of 8 participants. Participants in courses that are cancelled due to low enrollment will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of the course.

Do I need to purchase USAW’s General Liability Insurance? 

No, you are not required to purchase additional insurance as a condition of completing a USAW course or maintaining your certification. However, it is a wonderful benefit to coaches who are seeking insurance coverage. 

USAW’s Certified Coaches General Liability Policy provides coverage to protect insured USA Weightlifting certified instructors/coaches from third party claims of bodily injury, property damage, personal injury and advertising injury due to alleged negligence arising from coaching or officiating activities. The policy costs only $65 for $1,000,000 coverage for a full calendar year.

To find out more information on this coverage offered to you please visiting here.
To purchase USAW General Liability Insurance, please click here and log into BARS


Do USAW courses count towards CEUs or CECs for other organizations?

We encourage you to submit for CEUs with your certification body, such as NSCA, ASCM, NASM, CSCCa and ACE. Each organization has different requirements for obtaining CEUs or CECs. Our USAW Level 1 and Level 2 courses each have 13 contact hours.

To report CEUs for the NSCA, please select that you attended a non-NSCA event with 13 contact hours. You earn 0.1 CEUs per contact hour so a total of 1.3 CEUs are earned for L1 or L2.

For those holding the SCCC credential from the CSCCa, one would earn 0.5 CEU's for each hour of attendance at approved non-CSCCa conferences or meetings. For USAW Level 1 and Level 2 courses, this would be 6.5 CEUs earned. 

USAW is not a pre-approved ACE CEC provider, however, participants in USAW courses may petition ACE to receive CECs for attending the course. Petitions allow ACE to review the material covered and make a CEC value determination. All petitions can be submitted through your My ACE Account under Petition for CECs.

need to petition to receive credit for CEUs or CECs, where can I find information regarding the course?

An information packet for each course can be found below providing the course description, schedule, and expected outcomes.  

CEU Information USAW Level 1

CEU Information USAW Level 2


My affiliated organization is requesting the course instructor’s education or resume as a part of my petition for CEUs or CECs, where can I find this information?

Please reach out directly to your course instructor for his or her most current resume.

Do you offer coaching education courses outside the USA?

Yes, please reach out to about your specific needs.

What are the benefits of obtaining a USAW certification? 

- Industry recognition as a weightlifting coach from the number one authority on weightlifting in the USA 
- Access to USAW coaching materials to support your growth as a coach and serve as a resource for continuous learning. 
- Exclusive discounts for products and services with USAW partners and sponsors
- Ability to purchase affordable and comprehensive liability insurance, which is critical in alleviating concerns that clients and/or facilities may have in hiring you.
- Increased desirability as a potential hire when you seek employment in coaching and training.
- Exclusive discounts for select USAW events and USAW apparel
- Membership with USA Weightlifting, enabling you to enjoy all the benefits of competition and camaraderie in the sport

As a course host, can I see the participant list for my course?

Yes, so long as you are USAW member, you can log into your membership profile, click on the “my events” tab, and view the current course roster. You can do this as soon as the course registration begins. 

How do I renew my USAW membership?

Log into BARS, our online Membership System here. 

How and where do I complete a background screening for USAW?

Log into BARS, our online Membership System here. 

Background screenings take between 5 – 10 business days.

Where can I access the USADA Coach tutorial and exam?

Log into BARS, our online Membership System here.