What is an Accredited High Performance Manager (AHPM)?

AHPMs are highly experienced sports scientists who specialise in overseeing a team’s sports science/sports medicine services. They have advanced skills and knowledge which are applied to lead programs for high performance, elite and professional sports and athletes.

Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is the peak professional body and sole accrediting body for Accredited High Performance Managers. ESSA is also the accrediting body for Accredited Exercise Physiologists, Accredited Exercise Scientists and Accredited Sports Scientists.

During 2020, the ESSA Sports Science Advisory Group (SSAG) formed a High Performance Manager working group to support the work of individuals employed in these roles. The first task of the working group has been to develop an easy to understand definition of a High Performance Manager, on the context of the existing accreditation framework.

This definition is as follows:
    An Accredited High Performance Manager (AHPM) applies leadership and management skills, working with a team of Sports Science and Sports Medicine (SSSM) and coaching professionals to assist athletes to optimise sports performance in an ethical manner. This is achieved through the utilisation of best-practice principles to oversee the design, planning, implementation, and evaluation of SSSM programs for sporting teams, organisations or clubs.

    At all times, an AHPM’s primary concern is the well-being of the athlete, the team, staff, and other service users by providing diligent duty of care, taking appropriate steps to minimise harm and creating an environment free from substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    An AHPM is tertiary qualified and the pathway to engage in this role may arise after many years of experience in the sports industry and from professions involved in athlete preparation.

    AHPMs need to meet high-level quality assurance standards, including ongoing accreditation requirements and compliance with ESSA’s Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice.

Click here to read the article: Defining the role of the Accredited High Performance Manager in Sport

Accredited High Performance Managers can work in a number of environments, including but not limited to:

  • institutes or academies of sport
  • professional clubs
  • national sports organisations
  • state teams
  • local teams.
At all times an ESSA Accredited High Performance Manager makes the well-being of the athlete, the team, and other service users their primary concern by providing the utmost duty of care and never recommending the use of any substance or practice that might knowingly cause the harm to the service user.

Click here for ESSA's Integrity in Sports Science Fact Sheet

High Performance Manager Accreditation

To gain AHPM accreditation with ESSA, an individual must:
  • be a graduate from a minimum AQF level 7 qualification, that leads to the award of a Bachelor degree in the field of exercise, sport or movement science, or in health/allied health
  • meet the Accredited Sports Science Professional Standards – Level 1
  • meet the Accredited High Performance Manager Professional Standards – Level 2
  • have completed at least 5 years’ full time equivalent supervised experience in a high-performance setting. 
NB. Other pathways may be available. Please contact the ESSA Office for more information.

To maintain accreditation with ESSA, an Accredited High Performance Manager is required to:
  • hold and maintain a valid First Aid and CPR certificate when working with clients/human subjects
  • hold and maintain appropriate professional indemnity insurance
  • complete an annual Continuing Professional Program comprising 20 points per annum
  • uphold the ESSA Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice. 
For information on applying for High Performance Manager accreditation, please refer to 'Ways to Join ESSA' page here.