The new ITA Doping Control Officer (DCO) Foundation Training Program aims to establish a new professional benchmark for the international foundation training of DCOs. It offers those looking to work as a DCO in sport an opportunity to undertake a high-quality and expert-led program to equip them with the technical and personal skills required for the role. The Official Partner of the training program is Berlinger Special AG, the leading manufacturer of doping control equipment.
The ITA DCO Foundation Training Program is open to individual applicants who wish to learn how to become a DCO and who have some prior knowledge or experience in working with athletes in the sport setting. The Program is also available to all anti-doping organisations such as National & Regional Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs/RADOs), International Sport Federations, Major Games Organisers and private Sample Collection Agencies as part of their organisation’s DCO training framework.
Graduates will have the skills needed to become a DCO and will receive expert training on the professional, procedural, and regulatory aspects required to deliver doping control and testing at sporting events at both national and international level. They will develop knowledge of the core principles of the World Anti-Doping Code and will be trained on all technical aspects of sample collection, including providing testing for athletes with disability and young athletes.
The Program consists of online learning, a three-day face-to-face training event, access to practical field-resources, examination, and practical skills assessment. The Program was developed in collaboration with some of the world’s best international doping control experts, who will also accompany students through their learning journey.
The ITA DCO Foundation Training Program is the second education initiative developed by the ITA for anti-doping workforce. In 2020, the ITA launched the advanced-level International Doping Control Officer (IDCO) Training & Certification Program, which is now well established within the anti-doping community with over 50 participating organisations and nearly 1000 graduates so far. With the launch of this new DCO Foundation Training Program, the ITA now covers the entire training journey for sample collection workforce from beginner through to advanced level. The Program aims to further promotes harmonisation and quality to offer athletes the best possible experience wherever they are in the world and whatever sport they compete in.
“The role of the DCO is essential in the fight against doping, but what we are observing is that the quality and processes of training for this key mission has been inconsistent throughout the world, inevitably leading to variations in how testing is delivered at both national and international level” says ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen. “Some anti-doping organisations such as NADOs have developed excellent programs for their DCOs. This new ITA DCO Foundation Training Program will harmonise these best practices and will now be available to the entire clean sport community to help close the gap in access to high-quality education for anti-doping workforce in whatever sport setting they deliver testing in.”
Berlinger has been an ITA Official Partner since 2020, when the company joined forces to support the launch of the IDCO Training Program. With this extended partnership, Berlinger now supports the entire DCO training journey from beginner level through to advanced-level international IDCO qualification.
"As a long-standing supplier of high-quality security products, we are experts in a very specific but important part of doping controls. We are convinced that initiatives such as the various ITA educational projects to leverage the process quality are important pillars for the future of the anti-doping movement” saysndrea Berlinger, owner and President of the Berlinger Group A. “We are eager to support the ITA as a trusted partner and help the growth of their already successful training initiatives. We see this as another joint step to add value to the anti-doping movement and promotion of fair sport.”
About the ITA
The International Testing Agency (ITA) is an international organisation constituted as a not-for-profit foundation, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Its mission is to manage anti-doping programs, independent from sporting or political powers, for International Federations (IFs), Major Event Organisers (MEOs) and all other anti-doping organisations requesting support.