WADA introduces Professional Standards to build capability of the global anti-doping workforce


Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes a first set of Professional Standards aimed at improving the level of knowledge, skills and competencies of the global anti-doping workforce. These Standards were endorsed by WADA’s Education Committee and presented to the Agency’s Executive Committee in May 2022 for review and consideration.

Developed as part of WADA’s Global Learning and Development Framework (GLDF), the initial set of Professional Standards is targeted at anti-doping practitioners in six roles:

  1. Communications and Media Relations;
  2. Education;
  3. Hearing Panels;
  4. Intelligence and Investigations;
  5. Privacy and Data Protection; and
  6. Results Management.

The Professional Standards -- available in English, French and Spanish -- were created in collaboration with stakeholders and describe: the main functions for a given anti-doping role; the expected standard of competence using performance criteria; and, the knowledge and skills required to perform the role.

The Professional Standards form part of a wider GLDF initiative, which supports one of the six priorities of WADA’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan: to ‘Grow Impact.’ Under this priority, WADA is committed ‘to developing training programs and qualifications standards for anti-doping professionals to improve professionalism and enhance the capabilities of the anti-doping workforce.’

The Professional Standards were developed by five GLDF Technical Working Groups composed of: people that are fulfilling these roles around the world; WADA technical experts; an external representative from the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment; and, a non-technical Chair from the anti-doping education field to facilitate the process. These professionals represent 28 countries and 31 organizations in total, including:

  • 19 National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs);
  • eight sport organizations (International Federations, Major Event Organizations, National Olympic Committees);
  • the International Testing Agency;
  • two private law firms; and
  • five WADA experts. 

In addition to the Professional Standards, the Technical Working Groups have also supported the development of:

  • a competency framework;
  • role descriptors (which can be found on each of the corresponding role pages linked above); and
  • content for each role-specific training program.

“The anti-doping system has evolved significantly over the last 20 years to ensure that we have the rules, regulations and systems in place to protect clean sport,” said WADA Director of Education Amanda Hudson. “WADA, through its 2020-2024 Strategic Planning process, recognized that those working in anti-doping may need greater support and opportunity during their careers to gain the competencies, knowledge and skills required to implement robust anti-doping programs. By developing these Professional Standards, we are clearly articulating the expectations of specific roles and supplementing this with role-specific training for those wanting to learn more. Investment in this type of learning and development is paramount to any community’s success.  I would like to sincerely thank all the members of the Technical Working Groups who volunteered their time to produce these Professional Standards and other complementary resources that we can now make available for Anti-Doping Organizations worldwide.”

WADA encourages Anti-Doping Organizations and other stakeholders to use the Professional Standards to further develop their practitioners and personnel who support delivery of their anti-doping programs. The Professional Standards can also be used to evaluate professional competencies and support development through the identification of opportunities for improvement.