top of page
Image by Ryunosuke Kikuno
Image by Ryunosuke Kikuno

Framework (IQF)

Welcome to the International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association (IUSCA) portal for the International Qualification Framework (IQF) and the IQF Independent Regulatory Council (IQF-IRC). Here, we provide detailed information about our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of education and professional practice in the strength and conditioning field.

What is the International Qualification Framework (IQF)?

The International Qualification Framework (IQF) is a comprehensive global standard designed to align strength and conditioning certifications, qualifications, and educational programs. Developed through extensive research and stakeholder engagement, the IQF ensures transparency, consistency, and international recognition of qualifications within the profession.

Key Objectives of the IQF:

Standardization: Align international certifications and qualifications with a universal rating system.

Transparency: Provide clear understanding of qualification levels and equivalencies across different regions and organizations.

Mobility: Facilitate global recognition and mobility for strength and conditioning professionals.

Quality Assurance: Uphold high standards of education and professional practice.


Modern Office

Structure of the IQF

Developed following the landmark academic paper published by the International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association, The IQF uses a standardized rating system, modelled after the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which categorizes qualifications into levels from 1 to 8.


These levels correspond to different stages of education and professional development:

  • Level 1: Foundational learning, equivalent to early school education.

  • Level 2: Basic knowledge and skills, comparable to high school education.

  • Level 3: Intermediate knowledge, suitable for further education or entry-level work.

  • Level 4 to 6: Advanced learning and professional skills, including undergraduate degrees.

  • Level 7: Specialized knowledge for expert professional practice, equivalent to a master's degree.

  • Level 8: Highest level of academic and professional achievement, equivalent to a doctoral degree.


International Qualifications Framework IQF 2024 v2.png
International Qualifications Framework IQF - Level Descriptors 1200dpi.jpg
Concrete Wall
IQF Paper Snip.PNG


Read the full academic paper published in the International Journal of Strength and Conditioning

Image by Dylan Gillis

What is the IQF Independent Regulatory Council (IQF-IRC)?

The IQF Independent Regulatory Council (IQF-IRC) is the authoritative body responsible for overseeing the regulatory framework and ensuring that qualifications within the IQF meet established standards. The IQF-IRC plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity, credibility, and international recognition of strength and conditioning certifications.



Responsibilities of the IQF-IRC:

  • Evaluation and Verification: Assess and verify the qualifications and certifications to ensure they meet IQF standards.

  • Accreditation: Oversee the accreditation of educational programs that align with the IQF.

  • Compliance: Ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory standards through monitoring and audits.

  • Appeals and Disputes: Handle appeals and disputes related to certification and accreditation.

  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and update the IQF to reflect industry developments and stakeholder feedback.

Benefits of the IQF-IRC 


For Professionals

Enhanced credibility and recognition of qualifications globally.

Clear pathways for career development and advancement.

Assurance of high standards in education and practice.


For Employers

Easy comparison of candidate qualifications on an international scale.

Confidence in the competence and professionalism of certified individuals.

Access to a larger pool of qualified professionals.


For Educational Institutions

Accreditation that aligns with international standards.

Increased attractiveness to prospective students seeking industry qualifications.

Collaboration opportunities with a global network of institutions.

Get Involved

We encourage all stakeholders, including strength and conditioning professionals, educational institutions, and employers, to engage with the IQF and the IQF-IRC. Your feedback and participation are vital to the continuous improvement and success of this regulatory framework.

Contact Us

For more information about the IQF and the IQF-IRC, please contact us at

bottom of page