The International Paralympic Committee has finalized the International Standards for the 2015 Athlete Classification Code. The standards took some time to finalize, before finally being announced by the IPC on Thursday.
After a long engagement with stakeholders from various roles within the Paralympic movement the standards have been finalized. These standards provide technical and operational requirements for classification alongside the Athlete Classification Code which was published in November.
The purpose of the standards is to streamline policies and procedures for classification across different Para sports. Having the standards allows the different international federations some lee-way to apply it in the way that is most relevant for that sport.
The standards allow revisions to the original code which clarifies the classification regulations which allows for a simpler process and procedures for each sport. The IPC Medical and Scientific Director, Peter Van de Vliet was very positive, saying in a statement, “The IPC considered feedback from International Federations, National Paralympic Committees and legal experts and believe that the Standards are now much clearer and more concise. This will enable all Para sports to take their own classification standards, processes and procedures to a higher level.”
Anne Hart, the IPC Classification Committee Chair person was encouraged by the new code, saying in a statement. “I believe we can expect the clarity provided in the new wording to help everyone involved with athlete classification to understand exactly what is required. Crucially this will ensure that athletes are placed at the center of a fair and transparent process that will strengthen this unique process further.”
The new classification code comes in to effect on January 1st 2017, and the different sports will have until 2018 to come in to compliance with the new code. In November the committee will meet again to give more details for the application of the code and best practices.