ACA Coaching Certification

The ACA Coaching Certification levels now more closely align with school cheerleading levels. The following summarizes what coaches will be taught at each level and will be certified to teach. For the safety of the athletes, coaches are not able to teach skills above their certification level. Due to safety considerations, teams who attempt skills above their coaches' listed certification level may be subject to deductions or disqualification. 


General Requirements

  • The online ASAA Coaching Fundamentals course is now a mandatory one-time qualification that must be completed before certification
  • Proof of valid First Aid and CPR certification will be required
  • Respect in Sport certification will be required
  • Coaches must re-certify every three years. A one-year transition period will be granted for coaches to recertify if they haven't certified in the last three years. Coaches are able to re-certify at their highest level achieved.
  • Prospective coaches must be aged 16 years or over on the date of the certification.

*If course requirements are not received within 6 weeks on course completion, you will no longer be considered for certification. You would then need to retake the course (at your expense) in order to become certified.

* All written exams must be completed before arrival at the course. 


Level-Specific Requirements

ACA Level 1: Elementary/Junior High Level I
Course cost: $100

To be certified as ACA Level 1, coaches must successfully complete the general requirements noted above and:

  • Submit an example practice plan (to include warm-up, main session and cool-down elements)
  • Pass the online ACA Level 1 Written Exam (Results page must be printed and brought to the course in order to participate) Pass threshold: 80%
  • Pass the ACA Level 1 Practical Exam. This will be a verbal exam administered at the end of the course.

UPDATED CHANGES: New ACA coaches with ICU/USASF Level 2 certification may challenge ACA Level 1 and move to ACA Level 2. In order to do this, coaches must provide proof of ICU/USASF certification, successfully pass the written exam, practical exam and submit an example practice plan. 
(cost of challenging is $25/level).


ACA Level 2: Junior High Level II, High School Level I
Course cost: $70

To be certified as ACA Level 2, coaches must successfully complete the general requirements noted above and:

  • Pass the online ACA Level 2 Written Exam (Results page must be printed and brought to the course in order to participate) Pass threshold: 80%
  • Pass the ACA Level 2 Practical Exam. This will be a verbal exam administered at the end of the course.
  • If you are the Head Coach of a High School team, you are also required to complete and submit the ASAA Bylaw and Policy Course (available July, 2016).
  • All High School Coaches, Assistant Coaches and Teacher Advisors are required to take the ASAA Concussion course before October, 2016. Failure to do so may jeopardize your team's ability to attend the ASAA Provincial Championships.

UPDATED CHANGES: New ACA coaches with ICU/USASF Level 3 or higher certification may challenge ACA Level 2 and move to ACA Level 3. In order to do this, coaches must provide proof of ICU/USASF certification, successfully pass ACA Level 1 written exam, ACA Level 1 practical exam, the ACA Level 2 written exam, practical exam and submit an example practice plan
(cost of challenging is $25/level).


ACA Level 3: Junior High Level III, High School Level II
Course cost: $70

To be certified as ACA Level 3, coaches must successfully complete the general requirements noted above and:

  • Provide written evidence of 100 coaching hours at Level 2
  • Pass the online ACA Level 3 Written Exam (Results page must be printed and brought to the course in order to participate) Pass threshold: 80%
  • Pass the ACA Level 3 Practical Exam. This will be a verbal exam administered at the end of the course.
  • If you are the Head Coach of a High School team, you are also required to complete and submit the ASAA Bylaw and Policy Course (available July, 2016).
  • All High School Coaches, Assistant Coaches and Teacher Advisors are required to take the ASAA Concussion course before October, 2016. Failure to do so may jeopardize your team's ability to attend the ASAA Provincial Championships.

ACA Pom & Dance
Course Cost: $100

To be certified as an ACA Pom & Dance Coach, coaches must successfully complete the requirements noted above and:

  • Pass the ACA Pom & Dance Written Exam
  • Pass the ACA Pom & Dance Practical Exam
  • If you are the Head Coach of a High School team, you are also required to complete and submit the ASAA Bylaw and Policy Course (available July, 2016).
  • All High School Coaches, Assistant Coaches and Teacher Advisors are required to take the ASAA Concussion course before October, 2016. Failure to do so may jeopardize your team's ability to attend the ASAA Provincial Championships.

ATTENTION HIGH SCHOOL COACHES!

The Alberta Schools Athletics Association met for their AGM on May 12 & 13, and there have been a few changes that will affect coaches. Please read the following information carefully.

  • All Head Coaches of High School cheer teams must complete the ASAA Bylaw and Policy Course, availablehere, by October 1, 2016.
  • All High School Coaches, Assistant Coaches and Teacher Sponsors must take the ASAA Concussion Course before October 1, 2016. Failure to complete either of these courses by this deadline will jeopardize your team's ability to attend the ASAA Provincials.
  • School teams may now compete at Zone and Provincial competitions with 4-28 athletes.
  • A 'Game Day' division will now be offered at the ASAA Provincial and Zone competitions for the 2016/2017 season. Teams may compete in HS Level 1/HS Level 2 or HS Coed Level 2, and Game Day. If a school has more than one team in HS Level 1 and/or HS Level 2 and/or HS Coed, and they choose to field a Game Day team, their Game Day team may be made up of a combination of athletes on the HS Level 1 and/or HS Level 2 and/or HS Coed team. Athletes not on the HS Level 1 and/or HS Level 2 and/or HS Coed may also be included on the Game Day team. Teams can only compete at Provincials in divisions that they qualified in at Zones.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above changes, please contact Jennifer Guiney at jennifer@albertacheerleading.ca.

When and how can I move up to the next certification level? 

  • All School cheerleading Coaches are required to first take the ACA Level 1 Certification program. 
  • Once you have your ACA Level 2 certification, you must accumulate 100 hours at Level 2 to qualify to take your ACA Level 3 certification and submit a signed Experience Validation Form
  • Coaches may be able to challenge the Level 1 certification to move on to the Level 2 certification course if they have a ICU/USASF Level 2 certification and at the discretion of ACA staff/Facilitators, though it is not recommended. 
  • Coaches are only allowed to challenge the Level 2 certification if they have held a ICU/USASF coaching certification of level 3 or higher. (Must have completed the ACA Level 1, either by challenging or full course)
  • All School Pom & All Star Dance coaches must hold the ACA Pom Certification

Level-Specific Skills Covered in the ACA Courses

ACA Level 1: Elementary/Junior High Division I

  • Thigh Stand
  • Straddle Sit
  • T-Lift
  • Prep/elevator (including sponge and cradle dismounts)
  • Prep-level liberty (including sponge and cradle dismounts)
  • Flyer air positions
  • Half up to prep/elevator
  • Half up to prep-level liberty
  • Connected/braced extension in pyramid
  • Non-release tick tock
  • Non-release switch up to prep-level liberty
  • Inversion to below shoulder level
  • Straight ride basket tosses
  • Round-offs
  • Cartwheel
  • Front & back walkovers 

ACA Level 2: Junior High Division II, High School Division I

  • Single skill basket toss
  • Straight up extension
  • Full-up to prep level
  • Half-up to extension
  • Twisting cradles from 2-foot stunts
  • Barrel roll
  • Handstand at thigh level
  • Inverted mounts to shoulder level
  • Inverted dismount from shoulder level
  • Connected/braced extended libs in pyramid
  • Prone catches
  • Handsprings

ACA Level 3: Junior High Division III, High School Division II

  • Full-up mount to extended
  • Double twisting mounts
  • Extended liberty
  • Full down from liberty
  • Switch-up to liberty
  • Extended lib tick tock
  • Pyramid inversions
  • Inverted dismounts
  • 2-skill basket toss

ACA Pom & Dance

  • Building a Program
  • Athlete Safety
  • Practice Planning
  • Foundation Skills
  • Technical Skills