National Sport Science Quality Assurance (NSSQA)

National Sport Science Quality Assurance (NSSQA)         
Prepared by  Prepared by: Christine May, Librarian, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia (formerly Australian Sports Commission)
evaluated by  Evaluation by:  Kate Fuller, Manager, National Sport Science Quality Assurance (NSSQA) Program, Australian Institute of Sport (February 2016).
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: February 2016
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Introduction

The National Sport Science Quality Assurance program (NSSQA) is an initiative of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and has been operating since 1989. The NSSQA program takes a national leadership role in overseeing quality assurance in the delivery of sport science services to athletes and coaches through the national and state institutes/academies of sport network and other laboratories/facilities (e.g. universities, private laboratories) involved in the assessment of Olympic, national and state level athletes in Australia.

The main objective of the NSSQA program is to promote continuous improvement in sport science testing standards and to assist programs involved in the assessment of athletes establish and maintain an environment of national standard. 

The Australian Institute of Sport website provides public information on the program’s staff, role and services.


Physiological Tests for Elite Athletes (2nd edition) presents the most current protocols used for assessing elite athletes.  Authored by many world leading sport scientists, who work closely with elite athletes, this book offers comprehensive general and sport specific testing protocols.

Key to the content of the book is the practical nature of all chapters. The book includes an introduction from Professor Allan Hahn and sections dedicated to laboratory and athlete preparation, testing concepts and athlete monitoring, fundamental assessment principles and protocols, and testing protocols for the assessment of athletes from 18 sports. Chapters published in the 1st edition have been revised and updated including extensive updates to pre-test preparation, anthropometry, strength and power, and field testing chapters. New chapters include: data collection and analysis, ergometer-based maximal neuromuscular power, anaerobic capacity, altitude training, heat, physiological recovery, testing and training agility and perceptual contributions to elite performance. Normative data for all sport specific protocols has also been extensively updated and reliability data included where available.

References

The primary aim of the accreditation process is to achieve comparability of results of athlete testing between different laboratories. Secondary aims of the accreditation scheme are to: establish greater confidence in exercise physiology services among coaches and athletes; encourage sport scientists to exchange information; develop a national database of accredited laboratories and encourage  national sporting organisations and coaches to use it; develop a database of appropriate  measurement error tolerances for commonly conducted tests; and develop a database of test results on elite athletes by pooling results from all accredited laboratories.

Accreditation is granted for demonstrated competence in five streams:

  • Anthropometry
  • Field Testing
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Ergometry
  • Blood Analysis

Laboratories can apply for accreditation in all five streams or in selected streams.

Currently accredited facilities:

Laboratory Accreditation streams Re-accreditation due
Australian Capital Territory Academy of Sport Anthropometry, field testing, blood analysis, ergometry, oxygen consumption with AIS lab October 2021
Australian Institute of Sport Anthropometry, field testing, oxygen consumption, ergometry, blood analysis February 2020
Northern Territory Institute of Sport Anthropometry, field testing September 2021
New South Wales Institute of Sport Anthropometry, field testing, oxygen consumption, ergometry, blood analysis November 2020
Queensland Academy of Sport Anthropometry, field testing, oxygen consumption, ergometry, blood analysis February 2020
South Australian Sports Institute Anthropometry, field testing, oxygen consumption, ergometry, blood analysis February 2020
Tasmanian Institute of Sport Anthropometry, field testing, oxygen consumption, ergometry, blood analysis September 2021
Victorian Institute of Sport Anthropometry, field testing, oxygen consumption, ergometry, blood analysis December 2021
Western Australian Institute of Sport Anthropometry, field testing, oxygen consumption, ergometry, blood analysis February 2020

Further information on the accreditation of exercise physiology laboratories is available at the AIS NSSQA website.

NSSQA has provided further information on the following areas:

If you have any questions or would like any advice relating to quality assurance in sport science, testing protocols etc. please email NSSQA@ausport.gov.au


Where possible, direct links to full-text and online resources are provided. However, where links are not available, you may be able to access documents directly by searching our licenced full-text databases (note: user access restrictions apply). Alternatively, you can ask your institutional, university, or local library for assistance—or purchase documents directly from the publisher. You may also find the information you’re seeking by searching Google Scholar.

Clearinghouse Videos

  • Research Practices, Measurement and Error, Prof. Kevin Thompson, University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UC RISE) and Prof. Chris Gore, Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), AIS UCRISE Research Skills Seminar (15 March 2016) 

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