This IOC Certificate is an international program of study in Safeguarding in Sport organised under the auspices of the Medical and Scientific Commission of the International Olympic Committee.

This course has been created for those who have been appointed or seek to be appointed as safeguarding officers, serve as their organisation’s focal point for safeguarding issues, or who work in the field of sport integrity for national or international sports organisations, particularly National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International Federations (IFs) and National Federations (NFs). This list is not an exhaustive list and persons who fill this role for other sports organisations may also apply. 

The language of instruction will be English, and students whose native language is not English, or whose first degree was not undertaken in English, should provide evidence of competence in English, eg TOEFL at 500 or above, IELTS at 6 or above, GCSE or equivalent in English language.



The IOC Certificate: Safeguarding Officer in Sport is awarded by the International Olympic Committee as part of the program of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission. The Certificate operates under the academic oversight of three Program Directors and an International Academic Advisory Board. The members of this Board advise on the academic standards of the IOC Certificate, including suitability of applicants, quality assurance of course content, and the moderation of student assessment.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) understands the important role that qualified safeguarding officers/focal points play in protecting athletes around the world, as well as the responsibility that comes with this role. Recognising that there were no international multi-sport academic standards for this crucial role, the IOC developed and launched the IOC Certificate: Safeguarding Officer in Sport in April 2021 with the inaugural program beginning in September 2021. 

The workload for the whole program has a nominal teaching and learning load of 250 hours, spread over the eight months of study. However, the time it takes to go through the e-lectures, to read the set literature, and to prepare assignments and the examination etc will vary greatly between individuals. It is obvious that some people can achieve a satisfactory performance with a considerably smaller investment of time, but others may need to – or may choose to – invest more. Although there are some key dates by which assignments must be submitted throughout the program, students have considerable flexibility as to how they choose to distribute the workload over the year.

Lectures in the form of computer-based presentations by leading international experts consist of a PowerPoint presentation with associated video and audio track. Lecture material is supplemented by a program of directed study, including review papers, original research publications, textbooks, policy documents, and athlete-oriented guidebooks. Additional materials are posted on the program website.

Students will be invited to attend optional zoom meetings. Sessions will give students the opportunity to discuss issues arising from the lectures, reading material or other sources with the Program Directors and/or members of the Academic Advisory Board. The sessions will be held once a month and will focus primarily on questions arising from the most recent module or on a specific topic that the AAB member is an expert in. We always offer two dates/times for each session, and recordings of the sessions will be made available for those who are unable to attend. The zoom sessions also give students the opportunity to get to know their fellow students better and build a network of contacts.

Olympic Solidarity provides financial support to some students in the program, who are representing a National Olympic Committee. If you are seeking to undertake this course as part of your role with a National Olympic Committee, please enquire with Olympic Solidarity or with your national Olympic Committee regarding the potential for support.

Faculty for the IOC Certificate program include research scientists, University teachers, athlete support personnel and experts through lived experience. All are recognised as world leaders in their fields, and all have extensive experience. Faculty are selected not only for their expertise but also for their ability to present information in a clear and accessible way. There are also contributions from elite athletes providing a perspective from their own experience.

All resources needed for completion of the program are provided without further financial commitment. This includes not only the online lectures but also a portfolio of reading material. 


Candidates wishing to receive their award in person will have the opportunity to attend a presentation ceremony which is normally held at the IOC Offices in Lausanne. The student is responsible for their personal travel and accommodation if they decide to attend such a ceremony.

Yes.  Fees can be paid in 1,2 or 4 instalments. 

Alumni from around the globe