April 2010

'CERious' facts about CER enforcement
by Heidi Thibert and Jackie Yarema-Brenner

What is CER?

CER (Continuing Education Requirement) is a rule (MR 5.10) approved in May 2008 by the U.S. Figure Skating Governing Council that mandates that professional coaches and choreographers at U.S. Figure Skating events complete a continuing education requirement annually.

The rationale for the creation of this rule is to set a foundational standard of required continuing education for U.S. Figure Skating coaches. The CER curriculum was created for coaches, by coaches, and is being administered in cooperation and collaboration with the Professional Skaters Association (PSA). While CER courses are administered by the PSA, all CER courses must go through a U.S. Figure Skating approval process to be CER-accredited and must be designated as "CER" courses to earn CER credits. PSA and U.S. Figure Skating Coaches Committee CER Task Force have worked closely together to ensure that every educational opportunity evaluated is as affordable and accessible as possible for coaching members.

Starting July 1, 2010, CER credits will be "prerequisites" to coaching at U.S. Figure Skating sanctioned events. Just as skaters are required to pass certain tests before competing at events, judges, referees and accountants must attend schools and pass an annual exam before being assigned to U.S. Figure Skating events. Technical panel members must attend Technical Panel schools and be certified before officiating at events. Soon, coaches will also have requirements to complete before being allowed to participate in U.S. Figure Skating events. When not in compliance with the requirement, a coach's ability to work with athletes (directly or indirectly) at sanctioned events (U.S. Figure Skating tests and competitions) will be withheld.

    June 30, 2010: Deadline to comply with CER for the 2010-2011 season
    July 1, 2010: Date that new CER credits begin to accrue for the 2011-2012 season

For clarification, CER course completion is required for those coaching U.S. athletes at international competitions as part of Team USA, developmental international competitions on behalf of U.S. Figure Skating, all qualifying and nonqualifying competitions, and U.S. Figure Skating test sessions. CER is recommended (but not required at this time) for those who coach at Basic Skills-only competitions, teach group lessons only, participate in club ice or performance activities (ice show/exhibitions) only, or if the coach never attends U.S. Figure Skating sanctioned competitions or test sessions with a skater.

All CER courses are available online through the PSA. Coaches do not have to be a PSA member to take online courses. CER courses have been and will be offered at in-person U.S. Figure Skating and PSA seminars and conferences when possible. To fulfill the requirement, coaches must pass a course content exam with 20 true/false and multiple choice questions.

CER courses are divided into four topic areas:
(1) Professional Ethics
(2) Sport Safety and Science
(3) U.S. Figure Skating Rules
(4) International Judging System (IJS) Rules

Coaches are divided into categories as follows:

A - Professional coach or choreographer of qualifying-level competition skaters at U.S. Figure Skating sanctioned events
CER Requirement: Take four CER courses, one in each topic area

B - Professional coach or choreographer of nonqualifying-level skaters participating at U.S. Figure Skating nonqualifying events and test sessions
CER Requirement: Take three CER courses, one in Ethics/U.S. Figure Skating Rules/Sport Safety & Science

C - Professional group classes instructor
CER Requirement: No CER credits required at this time

D - Professional sport science support service provider (Example: Sport psychologist, PT, trainer, etc.)
CER requirement: No CER credits required at this time. Coach must present current proof of professional credentials in their field. U.S. Figure Skating membership, PSA Membership (qualifying competitions only), and USFS Coaches Registration, must be obtained annually.

Each coach is able to print a certificate for the successful completion of each CER course/exam for verification. In addition, to find out if coaches are CER compliant, a person can go to the PSA web site at and scroll down to "Continuing Education Requirement." Under it there are two alphabetical lists (updated every Monday) of compliant coaches that can be viewed: CER/Category A Compliant Coaches; CER/Category B Compliant Coaches.

These educational activities of U.S. Figure Skating, known as CER, are intended to foster the continuing professional development of figure skating coaches in the U.S. Figure Skating community and beyond. The offerings target the dual purposes of enriching the knowledge base of coaches and enhancing their professional training and performance in all levels and disciplines by providing extraordinary learning opportunities for career development.

As the deadline of June 30, 2010, approaches, encourage your club coaches to take the opportunity to register online, and successfully complete their continuing education requirements if they have not already done so. If coaches need any help or have questions about CER, call Heidi Thibert, M-F, 8:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. MT at 970.223.2753, or e-mail her at or