As many coaches in Pennsylvania are aware, beginning July 1, 2016, Pennsylvania law mandates all coaches complete a basic Coaching Education Class (Principles of Coaching) and a Sport First Aid/CPR course. There are two ways to take these courses – in a classroom setting or online.
Current legislation allows two years for completion of these courses, beginning on July 1, 2016. For coaches currently on staff, completion of these courses is NOT required for you to begin coaching your season during the 2017-2018 school year, but must be completed prior to June 30, 2018.
Berks County Athletic Directors Association (BCIAA)/Classroom Training
The BCIAA will be hosting classroom courses for coaches within the league. These classes will allow for group instruction and interaction between coaches from different schools and different sports. Although this could be difficult with work schedules, this is the preferred method of learning for coaching principles, but your attendance at a classroom course will not be a requirement. The cost of this course will be $90 and the school district will be billed directly. Classes will be held at the Berks County Intermediate Unit on Tuckerton Road. When class dates and times are announced the site will be updated with that infomation.
Registration information about these two classes and links to sign-up can be found on the BCIAA website (www.bciaa.org) under “Information – BCIAA Coaches – Coaching Education”. Classes will be limited to 100 participants, so if you are interested in the classroom training, make sure to register early. Registration for these classes is currently open.
If you would like to take the courses online, the two providers are the American Sport Education Program (ASEP) or the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). You can take your required courses from either provider, but the cost varies between the two as noted:
NFHS (www.nfhslearn.com) ASEP (www.asep.com)
NFHS Sport Principles - $50 Coaching Principles/Sports First Aid E-book - $80
Sport First Aid - $45 Coaching Principles/Sports First Aid Paperback - $90
If you are planning on completing the online version of these courses, you can start the process after July 1st through NFHS or AESP (Cost is listed above and payment will be required upfront. (You will only be eligible for reimbursement if the course is purchased after July 1st, 2016). These courses can be started and stopped as your schedule permits, but you only have 6 months to complete them and pass the required test once you start a course.
Coaches will be reimbursed up to $90, for the cost of the course upon successful completion. If you are taking the online course, to apply for reimbursement, you must submit to the athletic office a copy of your completion certificate and a receipt of payment.
Every coach working (volunteer or paid) for a Pennsylvania school district must register with the PIAA and set up an individual account. This account will be utilized for providing the PIAA with documentation that you completed the required coursework. See the accompanying handout on how to create your PIAA account on their website.
If you have taken college coaching courses, they may be accepted as meeting the conditions of the Pennsylvania Coaching Education requirements. When you register with the PIAA, you will need to upload copies of your college transcripts. The PIAA will then let you know whether or not these courses are accepted.
This certification is a life-long certification and will not need to be renewed like the Concussion and Sudden Cardiac Arrest certification, which are mandated each year by Pennsylvania Law. Pennsylvania was one of only two states not to require coaching education and/or CPR, so the state was fairly far behind the times. Although this will be time-consuming for you, it will result in a better experience for the student-athletes.