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UKA Track Certification


Track Certification: April 2015 Update


An internal review of UKAs current Track Certification process was conducted to assess its effectiveness and any areas of potential improvement.

The full review report can be accessed at the end of this update. The main findings of the review are summarised below:


  • The volume of assessments, availability of assessors and administrative burden of the scheme suggest that it is unsustainable in its current format so change is needed.

  • The current assessment criteria are excessive for many community/training venues and are not deliverable in practice.

  • There is a need for more, better NGB guidance, information and training for facility owners and operators and structured support is required; particularly in the areas of safety and maintenance.

  • A superfluous requirement for “re-testing” of competition elements (measurements/levels) of facilities (annually and every 5years).


In light of these findings from 1st January 2016 UKA will introduce:

  1.  A NEW Competition compliance certification

  2. NEW Quality Assurance/Minimum standards scheme: linked to a new Track Register and online facility defect reporting scheme

  3. Track Operator/Manager courses and online resources (focusing primarily on venue safety and facility maintenance)


A NEW Facility Competition Compliance Certification

The NEW UKA Facility Competition Compliance Certificate will not be NOT a measure of quality assurance; rather it is a document that will certify the compliance of “fixed” track & field facilities to the rulebook (i.e. track/runway distance/levels; infield levels, cage location, circle measurements). From 1st January 2016 a new competition certificate will be required for all T&F facilities applying for competition permits at Level 3 and above (for more information on competition levels see links to permit pyramids and permit levels).

To all intents and purposes any track holding a recent measurement/levels survey that demonstrates compliance with the UKA rulebook will automatically be issued with a new competition certificate (This certificate will last indefinitely until a track is retextured/resurfaced and requires a complete relining of track markings).

Note: A hard copy of the survey signed off by a suitably qualified surveyor will need to be submitted to UKA for verification. Those tracks without a bona fide track survey who aspire to hosting Level 3 competitions and above will need to commission an approved surveyor to carry out a full facility measurement/levels survey - Please contact UKA as we can provide details of approved surveyors and broker a reduced rate. 

NEW Quality Assurance/Minimum standards scheme: linked to a new Track Register and online facility rectification scheme

A new athletics facility quality assurance standard (working title “TrackMark”), will be developed over the next 6months in consultation with clubs, officials, coaches and facility operators. TrackMark will establish a framework of quality assurance starting at minimum operating standards (Bronze) and working up through Silver and Gold levels. Whereas the previous track certification scheme focused purely on “the track and the field,” TrackMark will cover all areas of facility provision and operation: An audit of ancillary provision: changing rooms, toilets, clubrooms, floodlighting, car parking, spectator areas, as well as a benchmark assessment of programming, charges and usage.

Additionally UKA is working with approved Test House agencies with a view to brokering a reduced cost track surface condition survey that will support operators in assessing track lifespan and support them to plan ahead for future track repairs/refurbishment and replacement.

Upon completion of the “TrackMark” assessment audit UKA will produce a written report and action plan that will suggest key areas for improvement and the offer of support via online resources, training and expert visits.

Duration of accreditation: Current proposal is 3years after which a reassessment will take place (TBC)

Cost: TBC once the final scope of the scheme has been agreed following consultation with key stakeholders


·         Full condition survey for track, field and ancillary facilities and an opportunities to benchmark against set standards/other Track and Field facilities

·         Reduced rate track surface test

·         Industry recognition

·         Leverage for funding applications (the suit will help identify key areas where investment is required)

·         A specific training package for your staff based on the audit findings

·         Advice and guidance on how to improve your facility; reduce running costs and attract greater usage

·         One FREE “expert” consultation a year as/when required to help support any specific facility issues

·         Automatic registration to a new UKA online Track Directory that will be hosted on the UKA website and provide facilities with an opportunity to promote themselves

·          Automatic access to an Online “Defect” reporting scheme. This is in response to clubs/officials/coaches that raised concerns that facility issues are not always effectively dealt with by operators. This proposed scheme will allow a club/athletes/coach/official/hirer with an opportunity to escalate any concerns so that UKA Facilities staff can act on their behalf and approach Facility operators with a view to rectifying any concerns.


Track Operator/Manager courses and online resources

 A newly developed 1day course focusing on:

·         Financial: Planning the lifecycle of your facility

·         Maintenance: Annual maintenance, Inspection of surfaces and common problems, areas of heavy wear and tear, maintenance regimes, machinery and equipment, cleaning, line markings, repairs and renovation

·         Programming: Sweating the asset

·         Funding: Where, when, how?

·         Health & Safety: Roles and Responsibilities, legal framework

·         Equipment: What do you need at your facility?

 Cost: TBC - Circa £50 per person (minimum numbers required)


Important notes for Facility Operators/Owners

1.       Facility Owners/Operators whose current facility certification has expired/will expire during the 2015 season

·         If you have not already been contacted by UKA please drop us an email: facilities@uka.org.uk so that we can arrange an extension to your certificate to cover this season (this is FREE of charge)

2.       Note for Facility Operators who have paid for future annual assessments

The current cost of certification is £550+VAT which is broken down into:

·         1 x 5Year Assessment = £150 plus 4 x annual assessments = £100

·         The old system of annual assessment visits has now ceased and any facilities with “credits” for annual assessments will be able to put these towards any of the new schemes/training programmes below.

For example if you paid for a five year certificate in 2014 you will have a balance of £400 that could be used to fully/part fund:

·         A reduced rate track surface test carried out by an approved test house

·         New quality assurance accreditation

·         Places on the new UKA Track Managers/Operators course  

·         A track measurement/levels survey if required in order to gain a competition certificate

NB If you have concerns relating to any element of your athletics facility for the coming season please click here , providing basic background information and details of your concern and we will contact you direct and, where necessary look to arrange a one off visit to help you to rectify.

If you have any further queries please drop us an email facilities@uka.org.uk