Friday, December 30, 2011

Swimming World tackles the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) certification process!

Swimming World is as perplexed at ASCA's certification process as I am. Publisher, Brent Rutemiller, patently confronts John Leonard of the American Swimming Coaches Association and forwards his reply.

From Swimming World:

Recently, a letter was sent out to a number of swim coaches by the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) informing them that they would lose their certification level if they did not renew their annual membership with ASCA.

This letter told the coach that "you will lose your certification level when your membership expires—meaning that you cannot represent yourself as a Level 3 certified coach to parents, employers or potential employers."

This sentence stopped me in my tracks. ..."

I am impressed by their follow-up in this subject which was discussed here in early December and I am sure USA Swimming is taking note. The letter in question was published to the comments section of a post I made in early December. I formally published it in a blog-post on December 3, 2011 - [Link

The end result of questioning ASCA's certification process could lead to a better certification process and added protection for children. We all want that.

Thank you to those that have "schooled me," have commented on the posts at this blog and have sent me material to publish. All of you are really having an profound impact on this sport in such a remarkable way. Thank you to Swimming World for following up on this.


Anonymous said...

I specifically emailed ASCA and asked, when prompted to renew, if I let it expire, then renewed at a later date, would I regain my status., This was about a month ago. This is what I got back:

"Once, you renew your membership your certification level will be reinstated, as certification is a benefit of membership with ASCA.

Thank you for your continued support and membership with ASCA!"

Tony Austin said...

If what you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt you, they are essentially saying that certification is based upon payment only! That is sincerely damning and should be publicized.

Could you scan the letter or if it was an email, publish it and include the header info?

You would be doing a service, believe me. By doing so would provide de facto evidence how this association does business. i.e. You pay to be certified rather than earn certification via updating your education.

This validates my argument that education and certification must be separate.

Thank you for commenting, you certainly are shaking up the "coach industrial complex."

Anonymous said...

I have an example that maybe people will understand.

My family recently took a SCUBA diving course. Upon completion a PADI Open Water Certification Card was received.

Shortly after an offer to buy a membership with PADI was received. Although the offer was declined, it had no effect on the certification.

The certification stands with or without a membership to PADI.

Anonymous said...

You were fooled by Swimming World pretending to be anti-ASCA?? Clearly more propoganda by Brent Rutemiller and Jason Marsteller, just like they do with the USA Swimming athlete protection people! Who's shocked that Swimming World published a softball report that's contrary to what's actually happening in the real world, in exchange for favoritism with USAS/ASCA?

surfer said...

I recently got a great job in California without taking any claim of current asca membership. experience says volumes on a resume. Even asca has to readily confess they don't know that their level 5 coaches are particularly good leaders (or ethical). They have no way to prove if their awarded elite, much less the level 4, coaches are all highly reputable.

Here is a copy of the happy letter they sent me.......(3rd paragraph very interesting.................................................................

subject: NO LONGER ASCA LEVEL 3!!!!‏

High priority


From: Certification (
Sent: Thu 12/01/11 9:02 AM
To: Certification (


I see that you where an ASCA Level 3 Coach. I am sure that is very important to you!

I am not sure if you are aware but you lose your certification level when your membership expires.

Meaning you cannot represent yourself as a Level 3 certified coach to parents, employers or
potential employers. You have
taken the time to get the Level 3
status, why not keep it?? It is important to keep your ASCA Membership current, that is why I am dropping you a friendly reminder that you membership is expired!

Please renew by calling 1-800-356-2722 as soon as possible, so that you may continue your Level 3 Certification status. If you are no longer coaching or retired, we would like know that too!