CSCS Chapter 24: Facility Policies, Procedures, and Legal Issues
CSCS Study Guide Chapter 24

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Chapter Goals:

  • Make and/or clarify the goals of a program.
  • Know the daily operational practices of programs and facilities that assist in the achievement of goals and objectives.
  • Make a standard practice leading to safe and effective strength and conditioning.
  • Find common areas of liability exposure and make strategies to manage risk.
  • Make policies and procedures manuals for the program and facility.
  • Correctly schedule the facility and make guidelines for seasonal planning and staff to athlete ratios.

Mission Statement and Program Needs

Mission statements are statements of purpose for organizations.

Three components are addressed: Target clientele, what is being provided, and what makes your service unique.

Program goals are desired end products of strength and conditioning programs, stated in a broad way.

Effective strength and conditioning programs need to be based off of scientific principles so they can enhance the performance and also increase the resistance to injury.

Suggested criteria for effective mission statements:

  • Short and sharp focus
  • Clear and easy to understand
  • Defines the organization’s existence
  • Very broad in scope
  • Gives direction for upholding a code of ethics
  • Matches and addresses the scope of practice
  • Inspires commitment

Program Objectives

Specific means of attaining program goals

Sample List

Make training programs for creating the wanted results in body comp, power, balance, coordination, agility, speed, endurance, strength, and hypertrophy.

Make programs that take into account biomechanical and physiological differences between athletes.

See acute and chronic physiological responses and adaptations to training.

Teach athletes about good nutrition.

Teach athletes about effects and abuse of PEDs.

Strength and Conditioning Performance Team

The director is responsible for delineating jobs and duties to the staff for program design, testing and evaluation, organization and administration, and exercise technique.

Productivity of staff needs to be influenced by aligning a performance team made up of qualified practitioners with expertise and leadership roles.

Director of Strength and Conditioning

Both the administrator and the practitioner.

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They are responsible for the overall program, working with administration and media, proposals preparation, equipment purchasing, budgeting, equipment, and facility.

The develop, present, and enforce policies and procedure of the staff and program participants.

Make sure the staff are prepared and trained properly.

Strength and conditioning Staff

Certification possession from independently accredited organization like the CSCS cert.

The NCAA division I legislation states “To Specify that a strength and conditioning coach shall be certified and maintain current certification through a nationally accredited strength and conditioning certification program.”

Assistant need to achieve and maintain certs like fist aid, CPR, and AED.

Staff Preparedness

  1. Maintenance of professional certification.
  2. Maintenance of certification in standard first aid, CPR, and AED.
  3. Review of emergency procedures.
  4. Knowledge and understanding of program policies and procedures.
  5. Knowledge and understanding of governing body rules and regulations.
  6. Knowledge and understanding of cleaning and maintenance issues and needs.
  7. Knowledge and understanding of program philosophy and instruction methods.

Legal and Ethical Issues

Management of risks is the strategy employment used to decrease and control injury risk from athletic participation and the risk of exposure to liability.

Common Legal terminology

Informed Consent is the process of a procedure/activity being explained to a participant and details on the risk and benefits involved with participation are stressed.

The standard of care is what reasonable people do in similar circumstances.

Negligence is the failure to uphold standard of care. For strength and conditioning, there must be four things for negligence, duty, breach of duty, proximate cause, and damages.

The assumption of risk is knowledge that an activity can be dangerous, and you accept the risks.

Preparticipation Screening and Medical Clearance

Participants are required to go through health care screening and clearance before participating.

There should be procedures to make sure documentation confirms athletes are screened and cleared for participation by the sport medicine staff and put on record in the main office.

The staff is responsible for allowing the athlete to start formal involvement in strength and conditioning.

The scope of practice for strength and conditioning professionals says they can’t diagnose health conditions.

Eligibility Criteria

Full or part time students in a sport sponsored by the athletic department.

New and incoming student athletes registered for school with a team confirmation of status designated by the head sport coach.

Students who are in PE classes.

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All the coaching and administrative staff in the athletic department.

All the sports medicine department staff.

Alumni athletes that participated in a sponsored sport and completed eligibility.

People and groups approved by the director of S&C.

The common criteria for determining outside organization’s use of the facilities:

  • Preapproved by athletic director.
  • Preapproved by strength and conditioning director.
  • The session or program needs to be supervised by staff of strength and conditioning department.
  • The session or program needs to be scheduled in the off hours when athletes aren’t there.
  • The organization or individual needs to give written proof of additional insurance.
  • Every participant needs to sign a release form.
  • Everyone needs to follow the rules and regulations of the facility.
  • The directors have the right to limit a group or person’s access.

Record Keeping

Secure record keeping of maintenance and cleaning, safety procedures, injury report forms, professional guidelines and recommendations, credentials, waivers an clearance forms, informed consent, assumption of risk, and warranties for equipment.

Injury forms need to be kept for as long as you can in case of a case against you.

Liability Insurance

Essential for staff members to have liability insurance.

Product Liability

Reference to legal responsibility of manufacturers that a peso may get if they sustain an injury during use of the product.

To avoid injury, these things should happen:

  • Equipment should be use as intended by the maker.
  • Make sure that equipment meets standards and guidelines.
  • Buy from reputable companies.
  • Don’t modify equipment unless designated in the product info.
  • Put all the warning labels out for new equipment.
  • Inspect equipment regularly.
  • Make sure to supervise equipment users.


First offense = verbal warning

Second offense = dismissal from facility

Third offense = dismissal for entire week

Fourth offense = dismissal for the year

Fifth offense = dismissal permanently

Supplements, Ergogenic Aids, Banned Substances

Strength and conditioning professionals shouldn’t prescribe, recommend, or give drugs, controlled substances, or supplements that are illegal, prohibited, or harmful to athletes.

Staff Policies and Activities

The usual policies in a facility:

Orientation Meeting: This happens near the beginning of the school year or season. The director explains services of the staff, training schedules, progress cards, rules in the facility, actions of discipline, award systems, and emergency procedures.

Reporting and Documentation:

  • Personnel credentials
  • Standards and guidelines
  • Policies and procedures
  • Manuals for equipment
  • Equipment/facility maintenance
  • Medical clearances
  • Return to participation clearances
  • Legal documents
  • Training logs
  • Instruction notes
  • Evaluation entries

Code of Ethics and Professionalism:

  • Code of ethics makes up the principles that professionals are accountable for.
  • Staff should be familiar with code of ethics and code of conduct.

Instruction and Supervision:

Instruction is teaching the athletes skills in safe ways.

Supervision is needed for max performance, instruction, and safety.

Staff need to communicate clearly and have view of the specified zones when working.

The staff to athlete ratios are:

Junior high 1 to 10 staff to athlete ratio.

High school 1 to 15 staff to athlete ratio.

College 1 to 20 ratio.

Supervision issues were used in 80% of court cases of athlete injuries.

Program Design:

The director needs to be over performance training programs and reconditioning programs.

Workout Sheet:

Activities need to be arranged prior, and athletes need approved workouts when training.

More workouts than approved need to be approved by coaches.

Facility Administration

In season athletes have priority over off season ones.

Emergency Planning and Response

All strength and conditioning facility personnel need to know the emergency plans.

Emergency action plan components

  • EMS procedures
  • Names and telephone numbers of contacts
  • Address of the facility
  • Telephone location
  • Exit locations
  • Designated personnel for injuries
  • Ambulance accesses
  • Locations of emergency supplies and first aid kits
  • Plans of action for different scenarios.

Emergency Personnel

Personnel that have to do with practices, skill instruction, and strength and conditioning need to keep up certifications in first aid, CPR, and AED.

Emergency Communication

Instant communication is important for delivery of quick care in emergencies.

Emergency Equipment

Emergency equipment need to be available in situations of emergencies.

Roles Within the Emergency Team

Four main roles exist

  • First person giving immediate care for athletes.
  • Second person retrieves emergency equipment.
  • Third person for the EMS activation.
  • The fourth person should make calls to the appropriate parties designated in the orientation meetings.

Non Life-Threatening Situations

  • Step 1: Give First Aid.
  • Step 2: Call 911 if required.
  • Step 3: Activate the plan of emergency communication and notify the right parties.
  • Step 4: Take down note of the incident on the injury report.

Environmental Situations

  • Step 1: Give alarm and get people to a safe location.
  • Step 2: Call 911 if required.
  • Step 3: Take note of all people and let the rescue personnel know.
  • Step 4: Start emergency communications and notify the right parties.
  • Step 5: Take note of the incident on the injury report.

Life-Threatening Situations

  • Step 1: Call 911
  • Step 2: Don’t move the affected person.
  • Step 3: If conscious, Ask the victim if you can give first aid.
  • Step 4: Give CRP or AED if needed.
  • Step 5: Be with the victim until help is there.
  • Step 6: Start emergency communication plan and tell the appropriate parties.
  • Step 7: Take note of the incident on the report.

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CSCS Chapter 24: Facility Policies, Procedures, and Legal Issues 1
CSCS Chapter 24: Facility Policies, Procedures, and Legal Issues 2

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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2 thoughts on “CSCS Chapter 24: Facility Policies, Procedures, and Legal Issues”

  1. PTPioneer User

    Thanks for the information, I’m sure this will help. Love the way you organized this study program!
    Coach Kelley

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