The IOC Diploma in Sports Physical Therapies is a postgraduate program. Students enrolling for this program will normally be in possession of a degree in Physical Therapy (Physiotherapy) or Athletic Training from a recognised University and will be eligible for professional registration in countries where such registration is recognised. Other qualifications may be recognised.
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 Sports Physical Therapies is awarded by the International Olympic Committee (www.olympic.org), as part of the program 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 Board Members can be found on the “Advisory Board” webpage of the IOC Diploma website
The Medical Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognised the important role that sports medicine and allied health professions plays in protecting the health 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 developed this program in Sports Physical Therapies. The program is designed primarily to meet the continuing education needs of Physical Therapists from the National Olympic Committees (NOC) and International Federations (IFs).
The workload for the whole Diploma program has a nominal teaching and learning load of 800 hours, spread over the two years 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. 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.
There are six modules for each year of study, with each module lasting one month, so the program runs from October-March 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 examination each year. Students can access this on the examination platform, and have 24 hours to complete the examination paper. The examination is held in April.
Lectures consist of computer-based audio-visual presentations by leading international experts and consist of a PowerPoint presentation with associated video and audio track. Lectures can be watched online or can be downloaded from the website to be watched on mobile devices or while offline. 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.
There is an optional meeting at the end of each year of the program, in 2015-2019 this was held in conjunction with the ISSSMC in Newcastle. Because of Covid restrictions, no meetings were held in 2020 or 2021. It is intended to resume this meeting when covid-related restrictions are lifted. Complimentary Registration for participation in the ISSSMC conference is provided, but students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.
The Olympic Solidarity program supports the Sports Physical Therapies Diploma program. Funds will be 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.
As you know, there is no global certification body in sports physical therapies, so recognition occurs very much at a local level. The IOC program is truly international, with the members of the Academic Advisory Board, who are responsible for all aspects of quality assurance on the program, and the Faculty, who contribute the lectures and other program resources, being drawn from experts all around the world. The credibility of these experts is what gives credibility to the program itself.
The IOC program delivers new, broad and updated knowledge on topics within Sports Physical Therapies – ranging from the organization of medical services at Olympic Games, to detailed clinical information on specific issues in special populations. Students broaden their knowledge and professional network which may provide opportunities to participate in international events. Participation in the program introduces students to the Olympic family.
Yes, fees can be paid in 1,2 or 4 instalments for each year of study.
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 and online access to core textbooks for two years.
Attendance at the annual meeting is optional, the registration fee is covered as part of the tuition fee. Students are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and any additional costs
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.