One of the Coaching Association's most important services is the certification program. This program is supervised by the Certification and Accreditation Board (CAB), consisting of Fencing Masters elected by other member Fencing Masters. The USFCA certification program provides the fencing coach or teacher a measurement of his or her knowledge and ability through an examination process and certification program.
The Coaches Association examines and certifies coaches in four levels of expertise:
- Assistant Moniteur (or Aide Moniteur)
- Master (or Maître)
All examinations for coaching certification administered in the USA will be given according to USFCA policy: As of December 23, 2009, no tests or certifications given in the USA, regardless of testing date, will be accepted unless they are conducted by certified USFCA examiners. The applicant must pass the written examination before being tested in a practical examination. When the written exam has been passed, the candidate will then be promoted for candidacy for the practical examination before a board of USFCA examiners. The examiners will use the USFCA testing forms and grading criteria for the test. Each weapon is tested separately for all levels.
The written exam for Assistant Moniteur, Moniteur, and Prévôt are available online and can be accessed anywhere in the world. Payment for all tests must be made online. Candidates who do not speak or read English fluently or who have a reading disability may request extended time and/or special assistance in taking the exam with permission of the CAB or USFCA President.
To access the online exams candidates need to be paid members of the USFCA. Log into your account and click on here. Candidates should use the USFCA members area of the website to access the Study Guides for the Assistant Moniteur, Moniteur, or Prévôt level in preparation for the exam. These files are found in the USFCA document library, also under the Membership menu, when you are logged in.
Online Testing Procedure
The test should be taken in a quiet and private testing area. Under no circumstances, should the test be reproduced or disseminated.
The online exam will be graded automatically and your score will be displayed at the end of the exam. Print out the final exam score for your own records. The printed exam score must be used to show that the written exam was passed, enabling the candidate to schedule a practical exam. USFCA will maintain a record of all exams attempted.
If the USFCA determines the exam/testing environment has been significantly compromised, the examination can be considered invalid.
Each certification candidate will have two chances to pass the exam per exam fee within an eight hour window of time. If the candidate fails the written exam they may register and pay again online and attempt the exam again when better prepared. Only one written test needs to be taken and passed for each level of certification. (Taking a second practical examination in an additional weapon does not require taking another written exam.)The fees for each written exam attempt are as follows:
- Assistant Moniteur: $25.00
- Moniteur: $25.00
- Prévôt: $50.00
In preparation for the practical exam, the candidate should refer to the appropriate study guides for their desired certification level.
All candidates must take the practical exam in each weapon, separately. There is no time limit between practical exams for the various weapons. Moniteur exams may be taken from remote, via internet, if no eligible examiners are available within a range of approximately 300 miles (one-way) from the official place of residence of the candidate. The examination must be taken in real time via internet connection.
All levels can certify in one or more weapons, i.e., Master of Foil, Prévôt of Sabre and Foil, Moniteur of Epee, Master of Arms. The candidate can test in any of the three weapons , one at a time after passing the written test.
Practical exams consist of a demonstration of the candidate’s ability to instruct fencing to individuals or groups. The examiner(s) may request specific actions or methods or ask questions, but the candidate should have planned material to demonstrate.
After the practical exam, the Board member(s) will tell the results to the candidate, discuss the exam and answer the candidate’s questions. The head examiner will copy the results on the appropriate forms and forward them to the Secretary of the Certifcation and Accreditation Board. All fees must be paid online.
The candidate will receive a certificate from the USFCA if they pass the exam.
Registering for the Practical Exam
A practical exam can be requested or be scheduled to be held at a USFCA sponsored clinic / workshop or the annual conference. In either case, the candidate for an exam must arrange for the examination in advance. Candidates who qualify for taking the Moniteur practical examination from remote should contact their regional USFCA Vice President, who, in turn will contact the Chair of CAB. Examiners for the Moniteur practical examination from remote must obtain prior approval from CAB before administering the examination.
On the occasion an exam (Moniteur only) is not held at the annual conference or a clinic, but has been approved by the CAB, the examiner is requested to review the testing guidelines to which the examination board must adhere. For the practical exams to be valid the Head Examiner will indicate his/her agreement to the guidelines with an email to the CAB before giving the practical exam. The candidate may contact the Regional Vice President for help finding an examiner in his area. The examiner and candidate must work together to find a date and site.
When registering for the practical exam, a certified USFCA Prévôt or Fencing Master will be named as the head examiner. All examiners must be members of the USFCA and be Board certified examiners and should already be familiar with the testing guidelines. The USFCA has all grading forms available to download from the website so the examiner(s) have all the materials to conduct the test(s).
The fees for the practical exam in each weapon are as follows:
- Moniteur: $50.00
- Prévôt: $150.00
- Master: $200.00
All fees should be paid through the online registration process PRIOR to the practical exam.