PSA Rating System

The PSA Rating System is for coaches who want to validate their skating skill and teaching experience. Ratings are an assurance to clubs, rinks, skaters, parents, and the general public that the coach they hire is technically qualified to instruct at the level in which they are rated regardless of personal background and skating achievement. More and more coaches are required to become rated and many are choosing to do so because it is so beneficial for both the coaches and athletes.

Basic Accreditation

The first step in the Ratings System is to take and pass a Basic Accreditation (BA) written exam or successfully complete the Foundations of Coaching Certification (FCC). The BA exam is completed in the e-learning academy. The FCC is a one-day course held in various locations across the country. The study guide for both the FCC and the Basic Accreditation exam is the Coaches Manual, which is available in the online store as a digital download. The Coaches Manual is included for free with FCC or Basic Accreditation registration.

Sport Science and Medicine

After passing the BA exam or FCC, the candidate can apply to begin taking the Sport Science & Medicine (SSM) exams. There are four SSM exams- one at each level: Registered Sport Science & Medicine (RSS) exam, Certified (CSS), Senior (SSS), and Master (MSS).

The Sport Science & Medicine exams are completed in the e-learning academy. The study guide for all levels is The Coach's Guide to Sport Science & Medicine which is available in the PSA online store as a digital download. The Coach’s Guide to Sport Science & Medicine is included for free with a Sport Science & Medicine exam registration.

Passing a SSM exam is not a rating by itself. It is a component of a rating, and an oral exam in a specific discipline must be passed in order to achieve a rating.

Oral Rating Exams

After passing the Registered Sport Science & Medicine exam, a candidate can apply to take the first of four oral exams (Registered, Certified, Senior, and Master) in the discipline of their choice. Oral rating exams are taken on-site at an oral ratings event, and registration is completed in the online store. Exam panels will consist of three master-rated coaches as examiners, and up to two trial examiners.

Oral rating exams are offered in the following disciplines:

Free Skating

Program Director
Synchronized Skating
Free Dance
Moves in the Field


At the Spring 2019 meeting of the Board of Governors the following requirements were passed for ALL rating disciplines:

  • Registered Ratings candidates must have completed concussion training.

  • Certified Ratings candidate must hold a valid First Aid certificate.

  • Senior and Master Ratings candidates must hold a valid First Aid certificate and CPR certificate.

Rationale: As an organization PSA needs to protect the safety and health of all skaters and participants in the sport.

Effective May 1st, 2020

Note: A candidate may challenge an oral exam for half the cost of the exam (referred to as the challenge fee) plus a non-refundable administration fee of $25. The challenge fee will be returned to the candidate if the exam is overturned. Challenges must be made in writing to the PSA office within two weeks of the exam date. The Ratings Committee will select an independent review panel. The digital recording of the oral exam is the property of the PSA and is used for review purposes only.


Earning PSA Educational Credits

Once a rating has been earned, a coach must maintain a minimum of 28 educational credits over a three-year period through attendance at educational events to keep the rating active. An affidavit must be submitted to the PSA office so that the credits can be recorded. A coach may not advertise as a PSA rated coach unless the rating is active.

Of the 28 required credits, a maximum of 16 credits can come from a non-PSA event, such as U.S. Figure Skating CERs, Learn to Skate USA workshops, or ISI Seminars. A minimum of 12 of the credits must come from PSA events.


Fast-Tracking in the Ratings System for Elite Coaches

  • A candidate must have a Level V ranking or higher in order to fast-track

  • The ranking and the rating must be in the same discipline

  • A candidate must complete the appropriate Sport Science & Medicine (SSM) online exams at the level of certification to be rated.

Option A

If you are currently an international level coach with a PSA ranking, you may be eligible to begin the ratings process at the following levels:

  • Level V Ranking may start at the certified oral exam level

  • Level VI Ranking may start at the senior oral exam level

  • Levels VII, VIII, IX, and X Rankings may start at the master oral exam level

Option B

If you are Level V ranked or higher you may opt out of Option A by taking the fast-track master exam which is a consolidated exam including questions from the registered, certified, senior, and master levels in a specific discipline (i.e. free skating). This exam is longer in duration and is given in two one-hour exams.


Emeritus Rating

An emeritus rating can be awarded to coaches who meet the following criteria. This status allows them to keep their rating(s) active without having to maintain educational credits:

  • Must have reached the legal retirement age (65) or older

  • Must have held a PSA membership for the past 10 consecutive years

  • No longer coaching or coaching less than 200 hours per year

  • Must hold at least one rating

  • Must submit a letter to the PSA office requesting emeritus status

Emeritus Rating application