skip navigation

USA Fencing Adding a Test Option for Coach Education Modules, in Effort to Acknowledge Expertise and Streamline Learning Process

08/31/2023, 2:45pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

We’re giving all coach members the opportunity to test out of three Coach Education modules by proving their knowledge of fencing safety.

"Test Out" Exam Now Available

Update, Oct. 25: The test is now available! 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Fencing is excited to announce that, based on the feedback from our community of USA Fencing coaches, we’re giving all coaches the opportunity to test out of three Coach Education modules by proving their knowledge of fencing safety.

The goal of this test, which will be available by the end of September, is to acknowledge the expertise and experience that our coaches bring to our sport. We recognize that not everyone starts from the same baseline of knowledge, and we believe these changes will make the educational process more efficient and focused for our coaching community.

This move also aligns with a major reason the USA Fencing Board of Directors mandated that the program be created in the first place: to act as an initial basis for coaching certification (rather than coaching development), to address certifying body and insurance concerns, and to ensure a base level of coaching in the U.S.

Introducing a test option allows us to certify the knowledge around safety of a given coach and recognize their experience — all while concentrating further efforts around coach development using the continuing education program.

When and where will the test be available?

We need time to create the exam, which will be developed with input from experienced coaches in the field. Once that’s ready, we can build the exam site and test its functionality. Once finalized, the exam will be uploaded into FenceLab.

We anticipate launching the test by the end of September, but if our technology partners are able to launch quicker, we will do so and update coaches accordingly.


Who can test out of the modules?

Any coach member.


Which modules can a coach test out of?

Coaches will be able to test out of these three modules:

  • Module 1: Coaching Essentials

  • Module 3: Elevating Your Coaching IQ

  • Module 4: Foundations of Fencing

The test is all or nothing. If a coach passes, they get credit for all three modules. If they don’t pass, they must complete all three modules.

If a coach passes, they’ll only have to complete these remaining modules:

  • Module 2: Creating a Culture of Belonging 

  • Module 5: Foundations of Parafencing


What does it mean to pass, and how many tries will a coach get?

A passing score is at least 12 out of 15, and coaches will have two attempts to pass. Those who are unsuccessful must complete all five modules as originally announced.


What if I would rather not wait until the end of September to take the test?

That’s fine! The full course (all five modules) is still available, and you can get started on it as soon as you’re ready. As a bonus, anyone who completes all five modules will receive two Continuing Fencing Education Units (CFEUs) to apply toward the 2024-25 season!


What if I already received an exemption for Module 4?

Coaches who were exempt from completing Module 4 (Foundations of Fencing, including footwork and weapon-specific foundational skills) may still complete the test to “test out” of Modules 1 and 3. 

These coaches also may choose not to test out and complete the remaining four modules.  


What if I haven’t completed the test or the modules before the October NAC?

If you plan to coach at the October NAC, please try to complete the test and remaining modules before you show up to coach. We understand the tournament starts very soon, so we're giving you until the November NAC to do so, but those who complete it now will be ahead of the game.


What about those coaches who have already completed the Coach Education modules? 

Rest assured: Your hard work won't go unrecognized. 

If you are one of the 500 coaches who have already completed all five modules of the Foundations of Fencing Coach Certification, you’ll get two Continued Fencing Education Units to use toward your 2024-25 coaching education requirements. 

That means no test for you — plus, you get a jumpstart on credits needed to fulfill next year’s coaching requirements.


How does all of this affect club membership or insurance?

Club insurance remains valid while coaches complete their Coach Education Program requirements.


What’s next in the world of coaching education?

Our Coach Education Program was always the entry-level basis of Coaching Certification, while our Continuing Fencing Education Units (CFEU) program is designed to support coaches as they continue their coaching journey. These offerings start today with the former compulsory modules becoming available as CFEUs.

Future CFEU offerings that are already planned include the USA Fencing Speaker Series, NAC Coach Master Classes, an expansion of the USA Fencing coach mentoring program, offerings from the U.S. Fencing Coaches’ Association and lessons from our experienced coaches in the field. 

And if a coach chooses to teach a CFEU unit to other coaches, they’ll receive CFEU credits for doing so.


Thank you, Coaches!

We truly appreciate the feedback and insights that have come from our dedicated coaching community. While we believe in the modules and their value to all coaches — new and experienced — we also want to make the coaching education process as beneficial and streamlined as possible, serving the needs of all involved.

Thank you, coaches, for your commitment to advancing the sport of fencing in the United States.

Tag(s): Updates