IPC ATHLETICS CLASSIFIER PATHWAY - CLASSIFICATION OF
ATHLETES WITH A PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENT
The process of training IPC classifiers is imbedded in the IPC Academy
and provides a structured education programme that ensures global
standardised levels of competence amongst IPC Athletics classifiers.
The programme, adjacent to a similar programme for technical officials,
will combine use of both digital learning (main emphasis on gaining
‘knowledge’) and face to face training (main emphasis on gaining
‘competencies). Within the programme there are three levels of
qualification: Trainee, Level 1 and Level 2. An outline of progression is
Background Knowledge / Experience:
To be eligible to begin training as an IPC Athletics Classifier candidates
must show evidence of one of the following criteria. The criteria below are
the basic qualifications which will determine the type of classifier the
candidate may become:
• A professional qualification in Medicine, Physiotherapy or
• A professional qualification in Exercise, Sport Science or Physical
• An appropriate nationally recognised athletics coaching qualification
• An athlete who has competed at an IPC World Championships or
An English copy of the basic qualification will be required at initial
registration to the IPC Athletics Classifier Course.
All candidates should have appropriate experience and competency in
working with athletes who have an activity limitation for competing.
Candidates that qualify for ‘Medical Classifier’ will be expected to have
the ability to carry out and report on an appropriate and detailed
neuromusculoskeletal assessment. Candidates should possess strong
movement analysis skills.
Candidates that qualify for ‘Technical Classifier’ will be expected to have
a sound knowledge of the IPC Athletics disciplines with the ability to
analyse and critique the movements of a performing athlete.
In addition to the criteria above, all candidates must have a sufficient
knowledge of the English language (as this is the official communication
language of IPC Athletics).
Step One - Becoming a Trainee Classifier:
Candidates are required to complete a digital training tool provided online,
downloadable, or via CD format.
The online learning format will be easily accessible to all and will provide
background knowledge in topics including:
• History of the Paralympic movement and IPC Classification
• IPC Position Stand on Classification in Paralympic Sport
• IPC Classification Code
• Classification Rules and Regulations
• Sport-Specific Evidence Based Classification
• Introduction to IPC Athletics
• Eligibility Criteria
• Sport Class Profiles
• Classifier Assessment Methods & Techniques
• Classifier Code of Conduct
On successful completion of the on-line training and examination the
candidate will be added to the IPC Athletics Classifier Database, and is
certified as an IPC Athletics ‘Trainee’ Classifier.
The online-training course will be available from the IPC Academy from
Summer 2010 onwards.
Step Two – From Trainee Classifier to Level 1 Classifier:
The Trainee Classifier must apply to attend a 2-3 day IPC Athletics
classification seminar / workshop and participate in IPC Athletics
Classification at IPC Recognized Competitions.
At the seminar / workshop the main emphasis will be on competency
training. This will involve practical work, with or without athletes. Trainee
Classifiers will need to complete a formal examination which will test their
knowledge of the classification process and current rules and regulations
as well as their competencies to act as ‘classifier’. Understanding and use
of the English language will also be assessed.
Additionally, Trainee Classifiers will be appointed to international IPC
Athletics Classification panels at dedicated IPC recognized competitions
and participate in a minimum of twenty-five (25) athlete evaluations,
covering the broad range of IPC Athletics sport classes.
Assessment at the competition will be done by a certified IPC Athletics
‘Educator’ (typically Level 2 Classifier) and will involve the trainee
manifesting a number of competencies, including assessment and
analytical skills, reasoning skills, communication skills and administrative &
documentation skills. In addition, the Educator will also take into
consideration the personal attributes shown by the trainee including
professionalism and time management. .
Following the assessment, the Educator will decide if the Trainee has
completed each competency based on standard testing criteria. If so, the
Educator will inform IPC Athletics who will endorse the change of
certification from Trainee to Level 1 Classifier.
The IPC Athletics Classifier Database will be updated and the new Level
1 Classifier will be eligible for full participation as a member in future IPC
Athletics international classification panels.
The Trainee Classifier must have the endorsement from their National
Paralympic Committee (NPC) as a prerequisite for attending the seminar
and practical training. The Endorsement from the NPC would be a letter
on official letterhead and signed by the official IPC contact person i.e.
Secretary General or President.
Step Three – From Level 1 to Level 2 Classifier:
To obtain a Level 2 certification, a Level 1 Classifier will need to have
performed on an IPC Athletics appointed panel in at least 2 major IPC
Athletics recognized competitions. The candidate will also present a
written record / portfolio of continuing classification involvement.
The Level 1 Classifier must attend additional face to face training, at
which time themes related to communication, leadership, administration
and ‘code of conduct’ matters are further elaborated.
On successful completion of the examination following the face to face
training the candidate will be certified in the IPC Athletics Classifier
Database as an IPC Athletics Level 2 Classifier.
• Costs related to the completion of Steps One and Two should be
born by the candidate / Trainee Classifier or respective NPC.
• Costs related to Step Three may be jointly born by the IPC
(appointment as Classifier in conjunction with an IPC Athletics
competition), the NPC and / or the candidate (seminar participation).
• All certified classifiers are expected to classify at an IPC Athletics
recognized competition at least once every 2 years to retain their
classification level on the IPC Athletic classifier database.
• All certified classifiers will need to update their knowledge and skills
through attendance at seminar / workshop update sessions as set
out in the IPC Academy certification system or otherwise requested
through IPC Athletics.
• IPC Athletics will maintain the Classifier Database and will publish it
on the IPC Athletics website.
• IPC also provides opportunities for candidates to certify as IPC
Athletics Classifier for athletes with visual / intellectual impairment.
Details of the classifier training pathway can be retrieved from the
IPC Academy website.