A new anti-doping education accreditation scheme for universities, schools and colleges has been announced by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). The accreditation scheme recognizes the positive work of academic institutions in promoting clean sport.
This scheme has been designed to instill the ethos of clean sports as an integral and valued part of sporting life and reflect the policies, practices, culture, and research associated with anti-doping. The UKAD Accreditation Scheme provides schools, colleges, and universities with an opportunity to act as a standard-bearer for clean sport by offering athletes, coaches, doctors, physiotherapists and other support personnel, with essential anti-doping education. This robust program with high standards is accessible and achievable by all and could be accomplished irrespective of an institution's resources or personnel.
Under the scheme, the schools and colleges accreditation has two tiers; ‘accredited’ and ‘high performance’, while university accreditation has three tiers; ‘accredited’, ‘advanced’ and ‘elite’.
Loughborough University and Hartpury College have become the first further education institutions to be awarded an accreditation by UK Anti-Doping. Both institutions achieved ‘elite’ status, the highest level available on the Accreditation Scheme. Both universities, as part of the accreditation process, had to offer provide anti-doping education sessions for all sports teams and support staff. The universities had to perform research on anti-doping and provide anti-doping workshops to students using the gym facilities. In addition to this, both universities had to plan an enhanced testing program for performance sports and elite athletes who are based on campus.
UKAD Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead, remarked education is the cornerstone of protecting clean sport and a fundamental part of our prevention strategy. Sapstead added the new UKAD Accreditation Scheme for schools, colleges and universities is an exciting opportunity for us to engage with education providers in a way we have never done before, ensuring that quality anti-doping education programs are in place at all levels of sport, and throughout an athlete’s career. The UKAD Chief Executive also remarked she would like to congratulate both Hartpury College and Loughborough University in becoming the first further education institutions in the UK to achieve ‘kitemark’ status as part of the University Accreditation Scheme.
Hartpury’s Performance Lifestyle Manager, Ruth Owen-Evans, remarked this is a huge achievement for Hartpury College and it is the result of a successful year of educating everybody at the College about the importance of committing to clean sport. Owen-Evans added the whole accreditation process has enabled us to deliver a more comprehensive education program right across the College so it’s great to see our efforts recognized by UK Anti-Doping. The Hartpury’s Performance Lifestyle Manager added achieving ‘kitemark’ status on the UKAD Accreditation Scheme is just the start of the process for us and we are looking to continue to raise awareness by working on anti-doping education being woven into all academic courses, support services and the activities and recreational program that is offered to all students.
John Steele, Executive Director of Sport at Loughborough University, remarked there is no doubt this is an extremely challenging time for sport globally, as its integrity and ethics are being challenged on many levels. Steele added we at Loughborough University are committed to playing our part in keeping the values and power of sport intact.