The Diploma Program is aimed at sports medicine physicians or other physicians who work with athletes, and at licensed practitioners who are qualified to provide mental health services (e.g., clinical or counselling psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed mental health counsellors, psychiatric mental health nurses). Health care training varies around the world and by discipline, and the program will take into account the different backgrounds of those who enrol.
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 Diploma in in Mental Health in Elite Sport is awarded by the International Olympic Committee (www.olympic.org), as part of the program of activities of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission. The Diploma program is awarded under the Academic oversight of an international Academic Advisory Board. The members of this Advisory Board advise on the academic standards of the IOC Diploma, including suitability of applicants, quality assurance of course content, and the moderation of student assessment. More details about the Advisory Board Members can be found here.
The Medical and Scientific Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognised the important role that sports medicine plays in protecting the health and wellbeing of athletes. As part of its commitment to supporting the health and performance of athletes and to the continuing professional development of those who care for them, the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission offers the IOC Diploma in Mental Health in Elite Sport. The Diploma program is designed to meet the needs of the variety of clinicians who work with elite athletes, including team physicians from the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs).
The workload for the whole Diploma program has a nominal teaching and learning load of approximately 250-300 hours, spread over the nine months of study. However, the time it takes to go through the e-lectures, to read the set literature, and to prepare assignments 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. There are some key dates by which assignments must be submitted throughout the program, but students have considerable flexibility as to how they choose to distribute the workload over the year.
There are nine modules, with each module lasting one month, so the program runs from September-May each year. Two assignments must be completed each year. Assignments are submitted in electronic format by uploading them via the student area of the website. Feedback is delivered by email and by posting of materials on the website.
There is one online written examination held in June.
Students who fail to achieve a satisfactory performance will have an opportunity to resit the examination and/or assignments.
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 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.
Faculty for the IOC Diploma program include research scientists, University teachers and athlete support personnel. All are recognised as world leaders in their fields and all have extensive practical experience. Faculty are selected not only for their expertise but also for their ability to present information in a clear and accessible way.
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 that includes full online access to the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Attendance in person at the Graduation Ceremony in Lausanne is optional. The Ceremony will include a welcome from the IOC, presentation of Diploma Certificates, followed by lunch and a tour of the Olympic Museum. Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs. Certificates will be posted to those who choose to graduate in absentia.
Yes, fees can be paid in 1,2 or 4 instalments.
Athletes participating in the Games have assess to a variety of support services. The first of these is obviously the support team accompanying the national team to the games. Further support is available at the Polyclinic located in the Athlete Village, and the Local Organising Committee will make arrangements with local medical services for specialist support in the vicinity of the Games. The Polyclinic is staffed by volunteers, and the Local Organising Committee will recruit volunteers from among those qualified to provide the necessary services.
The Olympic Solidarity program provides financial support to some students on the Mental Health diploma program. Funds are channelled through National Olympic Committees, so enquiries should be addressed to your NOC in the first instance, making them aware that support may be sought from Olympic Solidarity.