A candidate applying to become a Specialist in Applied Sport Psychology certified by FEPSAC needs to fulfill the following crieria:
- Higher education qualification (Masters)
- Specialization in sport psychology (750 hours, or 30 ECTS)
- Applied practice supervision/intervision (200+50 hours)
- Culturally competent practice in sport and exercise psychology
- Financial and memership requirements
Higher education qualification (Master’s degree)
The higher education (HE) degree provides the specialist with broad science-based background knowledge. It is a fundamental base on which to build the specialisation in applied sport psychology.
Bachelor and master’s degree or equivalent, with a minimum of 240 ECTS (4 years of fulltime studies). The training background as a whole must involve one of the following areas: sport science, sport psychology, or psychology. At least 60 ECTS must be as part of a master’s degree in one of the areas mentioned above. If one of the modules counting towards the 60 ECTS is the final year project or placement, the applicant must submit an official university letter stating the title of the project or placement.
The portfolio should include a copy of the HE qualification with the academic transcript, which normally includes the individual modules, credits and grades. Both a copy of the original transcript and an English translation should be submitted (a legal translation is not required). Furthermore, applicants need to state that their documents are originals and, if applicable, have been correctly translated to English.
Specialisation in sport psychology (750 hours, or 30 ECTS)
A specialisation in sport psychology provides specialists with science-based knowledge that is specific to sport psychology. It complements their initial qualification with knowledge of subject areas not otherwise sufficiently covered. Therefore, applicants are invited to document further education, postgraduate study, and/or continuous professional development (CPD) including conferences, in areas complementary to their qualification (see Table 1). This means that applicants with a HE in sport science are required to document courses in sport psychology or psychology; meanwhile applicants with a HE in psychology need to document courses in sport science or sport psychology. This criterion is compulsory for those applicants who have an MSc in psychology or in sport science. This criterion is automatically fulfilled optional for applicants with an MSc in sport psychology, as well as for applicants with two degrees (i.e., sport science and psychology).
Applicants are invited to document 750 hours or 30 ECTS in the following activities:
- Accredited postgraduate courses or workshops or legally established programs, or workshops led by SASP, a certified sport scientist, or (sport) psychologist (min. 450 hours);
- Attending or presenting at a professional or scientific conference (max. 150 hours);
- Authorship of publications or editorial work (each worth 75 hours, max. two publications = max. 150 hours).
The portfolio should include a statement of activities specifying the number of hours for each activity, as well as participation certificates and front pages of published work as applicable.
Table 1 – Content in sport science, sport psychology and psychology. Indicative content for each of the three areas of complementary knowledge and specialisation. Applicants with a background in psychology must complement their training with specialisation in the areas of sport science and/or sport psychology. Applicants with a background in sport science should complement their training with specialisation in the areas of psychology and/or sport psychology. The following topics are examples and may differ by country, degree and specific modules.
|Sport science area||Sport psychology area||Psychology area|
|Introduction to sport sciences||Introduction to sport psychology||Introduction to psychology|
|Motor learning and motor control||Skill acquisition / Skill training||Cognitive psychology|
|Training methodology and periodization||Motivation||Clinical psychology|
|Biomechanics||Team dynamics & Leadership||Assessment – Diagnosis|
|Nutrition||Stress/Anxiety and coping||Counseling and intervention|
|Sport medicine||Assessment – Diagnosis||Neurosciences|
|Teaching and training practice||Counselling & Intervention||Psychopathology|
|Sport sociology||Clinical issues||Educational psychology|
|Sport organization / Management||Ethics||Organizational psychology|
|Strength and conditioning||Career development||Developmental psychology|
Applied practice and supervision/intervision (200+50 hours)
Applied experience consists of applying theoretical and practical knowledge to real-world situations. This can happen in the form of one-to-one counselling of individuals involved in sports, such as athletes, coaches, leaders, or referees, or in the form of workshops for sport teams or groups of individuals. Another way of implementing applied practice is by educating different stakeholders about sport psychology topics. Sport psychology practice happens in different settings, and specialists in applied sport psychology are often asked to act in a flexible way in different locations and venues. Therefore, it is important to have experience with applied practice within sport contexts, during training and/or competition.
Supervision and intervision provide specialists with the guidance and counselling of other practitioners and peers who can offer valuable feedback about the practice. It is recommended to focus supervision practices on indirect supervision with case management promoting safety in the applied practice (see Watson et al., 2004).
Applicants are invited to provide information about 200 hours of documented practice and 50 hours of documented supervision and/or intervision, distributed as follows:
A) 200 hours of applied practice
- Individual intervention including face-to-face counselling meetings as well as other ways of communication (each 1-hour meeting amounts to 2 hours of applied practice; i.e., a minimum of 10 hours of meeting that counts for 20 hours of applied practice)
- Group or team interventions including face-to-face counselling meetings as well as other ways of communication (each 1-hour meeting amounts to 3 hours of applied practice; i.e., a minimum of 10 hours of meeting that counts for 30 hours of applied practice).
- Educational activity in the form of presentations in the topic of applied sport psychology to audiences such as athletes, coaches, or athletes’ parents (optional; each 1-hour meeting amounts to 2 hours of practice; a maximum of 30 hours that counts for 60 hours of applied practice)
Within the above-mentioned work (group and individual intervention), at least 10 hours of applied practice (each hour of on-site intervention counts for one hour of applied practice) should be training and competition experience, for example interventions during training, at a competition, on-site exposure, or observation providing feedback to the individual or the team.
B) At least 50 hours of documented supervision and/or intervision, including:
- at least 20 hours of individual supervision with an appropriate supervisor (e.g., the supervisor letter includes information about their own registration, education, and experience in applied sport psychology)
- maximum 20 hours of group supervision with an appropriate supervisor
- maximum of 10 hours of peer intervision consisting of documented meetings of persons with experience in sport psychology practice
- The supervisors need to prove their education corresponding to at least a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in sport psychology, psychology, or sport science (preferably with a specialization in sport psychology)
B) Applied practice and supervision/intervision
Note: applied practice and supervision/intervision must have occurred in the last 10 years
- The supervisor needs proof of sustained applied experience with clients (from athletic or non-athletic population) for at least 8 years post-graduate with at least 50 cases*.
- The supervisors need to have undergone themselves at least 50 hours of supervision of applied practice (group or individual), where 10 hours of intervision can be included. These hours need to be done post-graduate.
*Calculation of applied practice cases
50 cases are equivalent to about 500 sessions. Below are some examples on how to calculate the cases:
1. Case in form of individual counselling:
– 1 case = at least 10 sessions per year with one individual client
– A client with more than 20 sessions per year counts as 2 cases
2. Case in form of work with teams:
– 1 case = at least 10 sessions per year with one team (as a whole)
– A team with more than 20 sessions per year counts as 2 cases
– Additional sessions done with individual players/coaches can be counted in addition to the work with the team (as above)
3. If you work for a federation, please count work with teams and individuals separately as described above.
The submission should include evidence of the practice above as relevant. For this, please complete the table Applied practice and supervision/intervision – LOG that is part of the FEPSAC Certificate check-list (to be downloaded on our website www.fepsac.com). In this document, you provide the following information:
- Log of practice specifying cases consulted ensuring any reports are anonymous;
- Short summary or outline of the presentation including details of the event organization, date and location;
- Log of hours of supervision and intervision, and names of supervisors or peers. Letters from appropriate supervisors declaring their background (e.g., registration, education, experience) and stating the number of hours they engaged in individual and group supervision. Similarly, letters from peers stating the number of hours they engaged in intervision of the applicant. All letters need to be submitted in English or together with an English translation (a legal translation is not required), and signed;
- Form for supervisor criteria.
Culturally competent practice in sport and exercise psychology
FEPSAC is a European organization that offers a European-wide certification. It is therefore important to ensure that applicants can document a European component in their education, specialisation and practice, as well as their commitment to FEPSAC’s position stand on culturally competent practice in Sport and Exercise psychology.
Applicants are invited to:
A) Document at least 3 international elements from any of the examples below to their education, specialisation, and/or applied practice:
- Participation in European-facing activities such as European conferences, workshops, events, or forums;
- Language skills other than native language;
- Period of educational or professional activity abroad for at least 4 months;
- Professional activity with stakeholders from different countries and cultures.
B) Read and sign their commitment to FEPSAC’s position stand on culturally competent practice in Sport and Exercise psychology.
- Statement detailing European educational elements as well as copies of relevant documents and participation certificates which document it;
- Signed position stand on culturally competent practice in Sport and Exercise psychology.
Due to sport psychology practitioners’ specialised knowledge and the hypothetical potential for harm, they need to act responsibly and ethically when providing sport psychology services. Ethical principles are intended to ensure the dignity and welfare of all groups, organisations and individuals with whom practitioners may interact and provide professional services to. The application of the ethical principles may vary across contexts (i.e., country, organization and/or professional role), and should be used in conjunction with national organizations codes of ethics if such exist.
It is the responsibility of each practitioner to aspire towards the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct and practice. It is expected that practitioners will act in accordance and will not violate the values and rules described in the ethical principles, as well as the values and norms of their culture.
Applicants are requested to:
A) Read and sign their commitment to FEPSAC’s position stand on ethical principles of the European sport psychology Federation.
Signed position stand on ethical principles of the European sport psychology Federation.
Financial and membership requirements
People who wish to apply for the FEPSAC Certificate for specialists in applied sport psychology need to be FEPSAC individual members.
Certified specialists need to be a FEPSAC individual member for the entire period of their certification. Certified specialists who fail to continuously pay their membership fee will be removed from the list of experts. Certified specialists also always need to state their year of certification (e.g. towards clients, on their personal website etc.).
Standard accreditation cost is 150€ [fee is reduced to 75€ for applicants whose professional activity takes place in low economic countries]. Payment is done upon submission. If the result of the application requires further information or documentation, the applicant can submit those without charge once within 12 months. Application fee is not refundable.
Documentation of FEPSAC membership and payment of certification fees.
Check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)