National Coaching Development Program

What is the National Coaching Development Program?

The NCDP is a comprehensive, five-level coaching education and certification program designed to help fencing coaches improve their coaching skills, knowledge, and effectiveness. The program offers a variety of clinics, workshops, and online resources to help Coaches in Training (CIT) learn about all aspects of fencing coaching. The NCDP is open to all fencing coaches, from the entry level coach to the highly experienced coach. The program is designed to be flexible, so coaches can choose the clinics and workshops that are most relevant to their needs


Five Levels of certification

The USFCA uses five levels of certification to distinguish a given coach’s knowledge, training, skill, and experience. For Level 2 and higher, coaches earn certifications in each of the three fencing weapons—foil (fleuret), epee, and sabre—individually. A coach might, for instance, be a Moniteur d’Fleuret while also being a Prevôt d’Epee. A coach who has earned the same level of certification in all three weapons replaces the individual weapon names in that level with the term “d’Armes.”

Beginning with Level Two, the CIT must complete a set of requirements including logged hours teaching and learning, attending online NCDP core courses, and fulfilling  a required number of hours of participation in face-to-face coaching clinics.

Below are brief descriptions of what each level means. Click the link for more detailed information on and the specific requirements for each level.

The levels are:

  • Level 1: Level One Fencing Coach. This is a gateway level where many coaches begin their path to becoming a fencing coach. Coaches at this level only need to have SafeSport certification and a current background check.
  • Level 2: Assistant Moniteur. A coach at this level works directly under the supervision of a coach of higher level. They can help the coach run a training class during the warm-ups, games, footwork, basic partner drills, and bouting.
  • Level 3: Moniteur. A coach at this level is a professional who typically coaches fencing in club, community, and school programs without direct supervision. They give group classes and individual lessons for beginners up to intermediate competitors.
  • Level 4: Prevôt. A coach at this level is a professional who has proficiency with a variety of teaching methods and can train fencers of all skill levels. Further, they may train beginning coaches to become Assistant Moniteurs and Moniteurs.
  • Level 5: Maître. Also called “fencing masters,” coaches at this level are professionals who are able to train fencers up to the highest levels of competition. In addition, they work to train fencing coaches up to any level.

  • If you are an uncertified beginning level coach, enter the NCDP pipeline at Level One.
  • If you are uncertified but you are an experienced coach please email for help in placement at the appropriate entry level. You may qualify for a Notable Coach Equivalency, Foreign Certified Equivalency, or Coaches College Equivalency
  • If you are currently certified, enter the NCDP pipeline at the next level. For example, if you are currently a Moniteur (Level Three), then you would enter the NCDP pipeline and start working to fulfill the Prevôt level (Level Four) requirements.
  • Note: SafeSport Certification and a current background check is required at all levels of certification. 

For now, both the traditional and NCDP pathways are available for certification at all levels. Beginning in September of 2024 only the NCDP pathway for Assistant Moniteur and Moniteur certification will be available. The traditional Prevôt and Maître certification will be available until the final NCDP Pathways are approved. Coaches in training will have a one year notice before the traditional certification process for Prevôt and Maître will be sunsetted. 

We are phasing out the old way and phasing in the new National Coaching Development Program which provides real training and learning on the way to certification. You can choose which way to go  .   .   .   for now

1. Review Your Profile:

  • What is your current level of certification? Determine which way you want to earn your certification (the traditional way or the new NCDP) 
  • If you choose NCDP, enter at the appropriate level and start following the requirements and working toward your next level of certification. 
  • Check your profile to see how much of the NCDP requirements you have already met. If you need help evaluating your profile CEUs please contact the USFCA office:
  •  Once you have fulfilled all the requirements you will receive an email notice that you have fulfilled all the requirements of that level, your USFCA profile will be updated, and you will receive a certificate in the mail. 
  • If you believe you fulfilled all the requirements for certification and you have not received an email please notify the USFCA at

2. Plan Your Educational Journey:

  • Learning Hours Logged as a fencer
    • Level Two (Assistant Moniteur) and higher CITs are required to learn “how to fence”. Each level requires a certain amount of learning hours. Learning hours can be waived. If you do not qualify for a waiver start your learning hours log immediately!  Check the requirements for your level here: Certification Paths for Fencing Coaches in Training 
      • Waiving Learning Hours - if you are (were) a rated fencer or have already been coaching for several years you may apply to waive the learning hour requirement. Send an email to to find out if you qualify for this waiver.
  • Face-to-face clinics:

    • Level Two (Assistant Moniteur) and higher CITs need to attend a required number of hours of face-to-face coaching clinics. Check the requirements for your level here: Certification Paths for Fencing Coaches in Training 
    • Look for upcoming clinics and courses on the USFCA website: Online Courses and  In Person Clinics and Courses
    • If you attend a NCDP Core Clinic you will receive your required formative assessments. If you fulfill your required face-to-face clinic hours at a special topics clinic you will need to make arrangements to be assessed by a USFCA Coach Developer. Please contact the USFCA Educational Manager, David Sierra,  for assistance in arranging for the assessments.
  • NCDP Online  coursework:

    • Level Two (Assistant Moniteur) and higher CITs need to attend a required number of hours of NCDP online courses. Check the requirements for your level here: Certification Paths for Fencing Coaches in Training 
    • Check the USFCA website for current course offerings. There are a few courses available now that will count in your NCDP journey. More courses will be available as we grow our inventory. Online Courses and  In Person Clinics and Courses
  • Pass the written exam. 

    • Level Two (Assistant Moniteur), Level Three (Moniteur), and Level Five (Prevôt) CITs must pass a written exam at each level: Written exams
  • Teaching Hours Logged as a Coach in Training

    • Each level requires “hours logged” teaching either group lessons or individual lessons and in some cases both. Teaching hours should not begin until the CIT has completed the required formative assessments. Check the requirements for your level here: Certification Paths for Fencing Coaches in Training 
  • Thesis or presentation

    • Level Five (Maître) CITs must write a thesis or give a presentation Level Five