Identifying context-specific competencies required by community Australian Football sports trainers Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: First-aid is a recommended injury prevention and risk management strategy in community sport; however, little is known about the sport-specific competencies required by first-aid providers. OBJECTIVE: To achieve expert consensus on the competencies required by community Australian Football (community-AF) sports trainers. STUDY DESIGN: A three-round online Delphi process. SETTING: Community-AF. PARTICIPANTS: 16 Australian sports first-aid and community-AF experts. OUTCOME MEASURES: Rating of competencies as either 'essential', 'expected', 'ideal' or 'not required'. Results After Round 3, 47 of the 77 (61%) competencies were endorsed as 'essential' or 'expected' for a sports trainer to effectively perform the activities required to the standards expected at a community-AF club by ≥75% of experts. These competencies covered: the role of the sports trainer; the responsibilities of the sports trainer; emergency management; injury and illness assessment and immediate management; taping; and injury prevention and risk management. Four competencies (5%) were endorsed as 'ideal' or 'not required' by ≥85% of experts and were excluded from further consideration. The 26 competencies where consensus was not reached were retained as second-tier, optional competencies. CONCLUSIONS: Sports trainers are important members of on-field first-aid teams, providing support to both injured players and other sports medicine professionals. The competencies identified in this study provide the basis of a proposed two-tiered community-AF-specific sports trainer education structure that can be implemented by the peak sports body. This includes six mandatory modules, relating to the 'required' competencies, and a further six optional modules covering competencies on which consensus was not reached.

publication date

  • 2012