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High Performance Sport Accreditation (HPSA)

BASES High Performance Sport Accreditation (HPSA) is a specialist accreditation for those individuals providing sport science services to high performance sport programmes. HPSA is targeted at those with extensive experience and a track record of providing successful, structured and ongoing scientific support to high performance athletes.

HPSA is a BASES scheme and is recognised by the British Olympic Association (BOA), the British Paralympic Association (BPA), UK Sport and the Home Country Sports Institutes as the highest quality assured accreditation available in the high-performance sector. 

The scheme has evolved from the pilot World Class Guarantee Accreditation Scheme (WCGAS) that was developed by BASES and the UKSI with funding support from UK Sport and forms part of a hierarchical accreditation structure relevant to BASES members working in high performance sport.

How do I apply?

  • Applications must be submitted by email to education@bases.org.uk
  • Submission dates are 6th January and 1st July
  • The HPSA application fee is 500.00, which includes all elements of the comprehensive assessment process and the provision of an Action Plan.
  • The HPSA Re-accreditation fee is 100. Re-accreditation is required every 5 years.

Forms and Guidelines


Additional information for HPSA applicants

HPSA Competencies Framework

Applicants are expected to provide evidence within their application portfolio (P) and references (R), or through the subsequent interview (I) and observation (O), of each of the following competencies:

Competency Competency Criteria Methods of Assessment
1: Practical experience 1A Provide structured and on-going scientific support to high performance athletes

1B Demonstrate how work has impacted on sports performance

P, R, I

P, R, I

2: Knowledge and scientific training 2A Demonstrate advanced knowledge and training in a relevant scientific discipline

P, I
3: Knowledge of and commitment to high performance sport 3A Demonstrate knowledge of high performance sport

3B Demonstrate commitment to sporting success in high performance sport

3C Demonstrate openness to learning from coaches and other support staff

P, R, I

P, R, I

P,R, I

4: Knowledge of high performance sport's overall programme and integration with coaching structures and processes 4A Demonstrate an understanding of the role of sport science support within high performance sport

4B Demonstrate an understanding of how sport science support integrates into the coaching structures and processes

P, R, I

P, R, I

5: Communication skills 5A Communicate orally and on paper with high performance coaches, athletes, peers and other support staff

R, P, O, I
6: Professional relationships 6A Build understanding and trust of high performance coaches, athletes, peers and other support staff

6B Demonstrate diplomacy, sensitivity and tact in working with high performance coaches, athletes, peers and other support staff

6C Demonstrate approachability, empathy and the ability to listen actively and accurately

6D Demonstrate open-mindedness and adaptability in working with others

6E Adopt and maintain professional behaviour

P, R, O, I

P, R, O, I

P, R, O, I

P, R, I

P, R, O, I

7: Teamwork 7A Work cooperatively with high performance coaches, athletes, peers and other support staff to provide structured and ongoing scientific support

P, R, O, I
8: High performance sport environments 8A Conduct scientific support provision in a range of high performance environments relevant to the particular sport

P, R, O, I
9: Problem solving and interdisciplinarity 9A Demonstrate critical and innovative thinking to provide solutions to problems

9B Demonstrate ability to problem solve in an interdisciplinary way with a team of practitioners from other disciplines

P, R, I



P, R, I

10: Evaluation and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 10A Self-evaluate the quality and impact of scientific support provision

10B Seek and review feedback on performance and contribution; using this to develop skills

10C Demonstrate ongoing engagement in CPD to enhance own and others' scientific support provision
P, R, I


P, R, I

R, P, I

Notes: (P = portfolio application form, R = references, O = observation, I = interview). 

Achievement of any competency cannot be gained solely from evidence provided at the interview.

HPSA Assessors

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Assessors will receive 5 x CPD credits per application


Current HPSA Assessors

Contact Pathway
Chris Barnes Physiology / Football Science
Prof Kevin Thompson Physiology
Dr Joy Bringer Psychology
Dr Jonathan Katz Psychology
John Marchant Psychology
Misha Botting Psychology
Dr Malcolm Fairweather Skill Acquisition / Notational Analysis / Performance Analysis
Neil Gibson Physiology / Football Science
Dr Paul Gamble Strength & Conditioning
Dr Paul Ford Skill Acquisition
Dr Russ Wrigley Football Science
Dr Joe Causer Skill Acquisition
Ed Franklin Football Science
Andrew Murray Physiology
Kenny More Skill Acquisition / Notational Analysis / Performance Analysis
Andy O'Boyle Football Science
Sarah Gilchrist Physiology

HPSA for Skill Acquisition and Notational Analysis

HPSA Skill Acquisition

Skill Acquisition has been recognised by the BASES Board as an independent HPSA qualification area. To help achieve HPSA accreditation and reaccreditation in Skill Acquisition credits can be gathered through ESAN (Expertise and Skill Acquisition Network) forums and via Home Country Institute continual professional development events. ESAN and targeted Home Country events will be pre-assessed for HPSA credit status and the number of HPSA credits per event will be recorded and advertised by BASES.

HPSA Notational Analysis

Notational Analysis has been recognised by the BASES Board as a specialised HPSA qualification area within the broader area of Performance Analysis. Relevant CPD events will be advertised on the BASES website and will be allocated credits towards re-accreditation

'Combination Applications'

If an applicant is suitably qualified and suitably experienced across two HPSA support disciplines then applicants may register their application for HPSA qualification under dual qualification (e.g., Biomechanics/Notational Analysis or, Sports Psychology/Skill Acquisition). In this circumstance applicants must clearly meet and satisfy HPSA qualification requirements and competencies within both areas. 

Frequently asked questions

Who is the High Performance Sport Accreditation (HPSA) for?

HPSA is for sport scientists working in high performance sport. The purpose of the scheme is to provide quality assurance of sport science support to employers in high performance sport. In addition, it provides a pathway for professional development for sport scientists working in, or wishing to work in, high performance sport.

Is HPSA a BASES scheme?

Yes, it is. BASES established and is responsible for running of the HPSA scheme. BASES consulted with a number of key stakeholders in the development of HPSA, including UK Sport, the British Olympic Association (BOA), the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and the Home Country Sport Institutes (HCSI).

What is the benefit of having HPSA?

HPSA is widely recognised as the highest level of sport science support quality assurance within high performance sport. As such, HPSA confers many employment and progression benefits. In addition, HPSA provides a professional development pathway for those working in this sector.

What is involved in applying for HPSA?

Applications are assessed against the 10 HPSA competencies. Applicants must demonstrate evidence of achieving all competencies through a combination of the following four methods of assessment:
1. A portfolio application form
2. References from four referees nominated by the applicant
3. Observation of practice by an assessor
4. Interview by an assessor
5. Email application to education@bases.org.uk

It is important to note that HPSA is awarded based upon the achievement of all of the 10 HPSA competencies and that in order to achieve these, applicants will normally be expected to have at least 5 years of experience of providing structured and on-going scientific support to high performance athletes as a BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist.

The cost of application is 500 - the HPSA scheme is a not for profit accreditation scheme; fees cover the cost of assessing applications and administering the scheme. Further application guidelines are provided in the Applicant Guidelines and Portfolio Application Form.

How will my application be assessed?

HPSA is a competency-based scheme - your application, references, observation and interview will be assessed for evidence of the HPSA competencies. The assessment process will be carried out by BASES HPSA assessors, who have undergone formal training specific to this scheme. Once the information in the portfolio application form and the supporting references has been assessed, the applicant will be informed by the BASES Office whether or not the application may progress to the next stage of the observation and interview.

Where did the competencies for HPSA come from?

The HPSA competencies were initially identified through a rigorous audit of the skills and competencies required in high performance sport. They were further developed through consultation with key stakeholders, including UK Sport, the HCSIs and representatives from professional sports.

How long does HPSA last for?

HPSA is for a 5 year term. During this time you will also hold BASES Sport and Exercise Scientist Accreditation. Re-licensing will be required to maintain HPSA.

Why is there now more than one level of BASES accreditation?

A hierarchical model of accreditation has been developed to provide a scheme that is not only specific to high performance sport but also of a higher standard. HPSA therefore provides a professional pathway for practitioners and a higher level of quality assurance for employers.

If HPSA is necessary to work in a high performance environment, then how do those without HPSA gain sufficient experience?

Because HPSA is competency-based, it is the attainment of these that is essential to gain HPSA. Whilst some of these can only be developed whilst working in high performance sport, others can be developed in other sport environments. Prospective applicants are advised to use the HPSA competencies to plan their continuing professional development (CPD) and to find a mentor who can provide guidance and direction in such development.

If I am interested in applying, then what should I do?

Applicants should download the 'BASES High Performance Sport Accreditation (HPSA) Applicant Guidelines and Portfolio Application Form' from the BASES website. Applications must be submitted by to the BASES Office by one of the following deadlines:

6 January and 1 July.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to identify a mentor (ideally someone who holds HPSA) who can provide guidance in their professional development and attainment of the HPSA competencies; this should be done early in the process of preparing for HPSA. It is important that prior to an application the guidelines are read carefully, and where appropriate, the applicant seeks guidance from their mentor. Given the number of methods by which applicants are assessed, as well as the need for receipt of references and the scheduling of the observation and interview, the applicant should expect the assessment process to take approximately 3 months.

About BASES

BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.

My BASES

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