Terms used:


The Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act S.C. 2009, c.23 including the regulations made pursuant to the Act, and any statute or regulations that may be substituted, as amended from time to time.


The chair of the Board.

Change of Edge

The visible tracing of a skate on one foot that changes from one curve and edge to another curve and edge.


A not-for-profit organization that is operating for the general purpose of providing Skate Canada skating programs and is managed by a volunteer board of directors.


A step or sequence of steps (push + cross) in which the free foot crosses the skating foot completely before it is placed on the ice.

Dance Pattern

The pattern of any dance is the design of the dance on the ice.  The diagram of a pattern dance includes all the information needed to execute one complete pattern (sequence) of the dance.


Total days including weekends and holidays.


May refer either to part of the skate blade, or the visible tracing of a skate blade on one foot that is on one curve. An edge may be either inside (towards the body) or outside (away from the body), and forward or backward, for a total for four different edges.


May refer either to part of the skate blade, or the visible tracing of a skate blade on one foot that is on one curve. An edge may be either inside (towards the body) or outside (away from the body), and forward or backward, for a total for four different edges.


An individual sixteen years of age or older who is responsible for assessing tests in the STARSkate program.  Evaluators are qualified to assess tests at or below a specified level in one or more of the STARSkate program disciplines.


The name given to a group of skaters entered in a category.  There may be one event per category or several events per category depending on the number of total entries.  Each event is independent of the other events within the category. 


The name given to a group of skaters entered in a category.  There may be one event per category or several events per category depending on the number of total entries.  Each event is independent of the other events within the category. 


The visible double tracing of a skate that is straight (imprinted by the skater skating on one foot on both edges of the blade).

Good Standing

A person who has paid all dues outstanding to Skate Canada, a Club, or a Skating School (as applicable) and who the Board has not declared not to be in good standing and in the case of Members, a Member whose Membership has not been terminated pursuant to Article 3 hereof [of the bylaws].


The period of time starting immediately when the competitor stops performing the program or is ordered to do so by the referee, whichever is earlier, and ending when the competitor resumes the performance.


The period of time starting immediately when the competitor stops performing the program or is ordered to do so by the referee, whichever is earlier, and ending when the competitor resumes the performance.


An individual sixteen years of age or older who has been trained and appointed to officiate at or below a specified level of competition in one or more of singles, pairs, ice dance or synchronized skating.


A curve that is representative of a part of a circle.  In ice dance, a lobe is any sequence of steps on one side of the continuous axis that is approximately semi-circular in shape.


A one-foot movement where the skater skates an oval pattern using the same edge. The entry and exit of the loop must cross. The loop must be clean cut without scrapes or points.


Each entity that meets the requirements of any of the three Member classes as defined in Article 3 hereof [of the bylaws].



A two-footed movement in which the toe picks of one foot are inserted into the ice by a skater as a central pivoting point while the other foot travels in a circular pattern around the pivot point.


A step or sequence of steps in which the free foot passes the skating foot before is it placed on the ice, thereby bringing the new free foot off the ice trailing the new skating foot.


A step or sequence of steps in which the free foot passes the skating foot before is it placed on the ice, thereby bringing the new free foot off the ice trailing the new skating foot.


Includes (i) an individual who is registered by a Club or Skating School with Skate Canada and who is subject to all applicable rules, regulations and policies of Skate Canada but who is not a Member; and (ii) an individual who is engaged in any activity provided, sponsored, supported, sanctioned or recognized by Skate Canada and registered directly with Skate Canada but who is not a Member.


The regularly repeated pattern of accented and unaccented beats which gives the music its character.


A short or long, forward or backward edge skated on a curve.


As defined in Section 8.1 hereof [of the bylaws].

Sit Position

Singles and Pairs: A basic spin position with the upper part of the skating leg at least parallel to the ice.

Ice Dance: A basic spin position performed on one foot with skating leg bent in a one-legged crouch position and free leg forward, to the side or back.


An element where the skater rapidly revolves, centred on a single point on the ice, while holding one or more body positions.  In singles and pairs, a spin must have at least three revolutions to be considered a spin. The minimum number of revolutions in a position is two without interruption.




A gliding position executed on one foot with free leg extended (including knee and foot) above hip level.

Swing Roll

A roll held for several beats of music during which, when skating backward, the free leg lifts and then first swings forward, then backward past the skating foot, then back beside to skate the next step. When skating forward, the free leg first swings backward, then forward and then back beside to skate the next step. The swing of the leg gives the sense of a rolling movement.


A rotational movement in which the skater moves from forward to backward or backward to forward using one foot and on an edge and axis (e.g. Three-turn, Bracket). In a two-foot turn the rotational movement from forward to backward or backward to forward is from one foot to the other foot (e.g. Mohawk, Choctaw).


A rotational movement in which the skater moves from forward to backward or backward to forward using one foot and on an edge and axis (e.g. Three-turn, Bracket). In a two-foot turn the rotational movement from forward to backward or backward to forward is from one foot to the other foot (e.g. Mohawk, Choctaw).

Assessing in the STAR 1-5 Program

The following will provide coaches with the guidelines and procedures to assess skaters throughout the STAR 1-5 program.


Before coaches can conduct assessments in their club/school, an Assessment Procedure must be determined in conjunction with the Assessment Coordinator and fellow coaches. See Assessment Coordinator duites for more information.

Rationale for Coach Assessments

To enable maximum opportunity for skill progression and development, assessment in the STAR 1-5 program must be available in a convenient, timely and low cost manner. Coaches will conduct all assessments from STAR 1-5 in all disciplines. 

Coach assessments will enable the following benefits:

  • Clears the pathway for development by removing time and logistic barriers. Skaters will have access to assessment opportunities as their skill development progresses. Without the demands of readiness dictated by a pre-set test day calendar, skaters are free to move through the program at their own rate without obstacles. STAR 1-4 assessments, as well as most STAR 5 assessments, are designed to be available to the skaters on their regular session, during their normal time slot. This allows the assessments to be convenient and does not require additional ice fees or travel costs for external evaluation.
  • Enables equal opportunity to all skaters regardless of geographical location in Canada. Being able to use the club coach to perform assessments enables all skaters in every region of Canada the opportunity to be assessed when ready. This eliminates the geographical advantage or disadvantage, and relying on the availability of officials. During this “Learn to Train” stage of development, the ability to move through the program when ready is a critical component to maximizing skill progression in this “golden age of learning”.
  • Allows coaches to be 100% accountable for skater development. Coaches will have total command over skater development from CanSkate to double jumps. This opportunity is advantageous in ensuring the quality of skater development is consistently monitored, nurtured and encouraged.
  • Costs to the skater is reduced. The STAR 1-4 and some of STAR 5 assessments can be taken at any time during the year on the sessions skaters are currently skating, thus eliminating the need for clubs to purchase additional ice for test days at this level. Coaches should be using regularly scheduled lessons to conduct these assessments to also avoid additional fees to the skater. The other factors implemented to ensure fees to the skater are reduced include the availability of solo or shadowing a pattern dance. 

Who Can Assess?

All coaches assessing skaters at the STAR 1-5 level of development must complete the STAR 1-5 Assessor Training.  Coaches are only able to assess skaters they teach. Coaches may not assess disciplines they do not teach, nor may they assess skaters in the same discipline who are not under their direction. Coaches will be expected to work together to ensure complete understanding of assessment standards and performance quality of skills expected at each stage of development.


Team Coaching (same discipline)

More than one coach teaching the same skater in the same discipline

The coaches must communicate to designate who will assess the skater on a particular day. The assessor role may rotate between coaches at any time within that discipline. 




Freeskate Coach 1

Freeskate Coach 2

Permission to Assess



Team Coaching (different disciplines)

A skater has a different coach for each discipline.  Assessment will be provided by the coach giving instruction in their assigned discipline.




Freeskate Coach

Dance Coach

Skills Coach

Permission to Assess

Freeskate only

Dance only

Skills only

Group Lessons (same discipline)

There are two groups of skaters in the same discipline with a coach assigned to each group.  The coaches must assess their own skaters from that group. They are not allowed to switch groups for assessment.


Group 1


Group 1 Coach



Group 2



Group 2 Coach

Permission to Assess

Group 1 only

Group 2 only

Note to STAR 1-5 Dance Coaches:

When assessing dance, the assessor may not be the partner or shadow for the skater that is being assessed.

Strategies for dance coaches include:

  • Teach skaters to solo the dances
  • Teach a PA or more experienced skater to shadow the dance
  • Team coach dance with another coach at the club. This will allow one coach to shadow/partner while the other coach can assess.

Frequently Asked Questions



Our club has a HEAD COACH. They are in charge of organizing all group lessons and scheduling coaches, but do not teach any groups.

Can they assess all of our skaters?


The Head Coach would only be allowed to assess skaters he/she has been assigned to teach. In this case, they are not teaching any groups.

Our club is close to another club. Can we ask the coach from our neighbour club to assess our skaters and we can assess their skaters?


Coaches are only allowed to assess skaters they have been assigned to teach.

Our club has 2 coaches. Can they assess each other’s skaters or groups?


See answer above.

Our dance coach wants to partner or shadow his/her skaters. Can we video the dance and they can assess it after?


All assessments must be done in real time.

Our dance coach wants to partner or shadow his/her skaters. Can they ask another dance coach to come in and assess the skaters?


Coaches are only allowed to assess the skaters they have been assigned to teach.

Assessment Standards

For detailed written descriptions of performance standards, please refer to:

Descriptions and Standards: Skills

Descriptions and Standards: Dance

Descriptions and Standards: Freeskate

SYNCHRO: Descriptions and Standards Chart (under development)

STAR 1-5 Assessment Philosophy

STAR 1-5 is an “introduction” to figure skating. Skaters entering the program should be able to perform all skills in the CanSkate Stages 5 & 6.  The sport of figure skating has a strong technical focus. It takes time for skaters to develop the skills necessary to be proficient at certain techniques. The STAR 1-5 program is designed to allow skaters to follow the Pathway of Development and be recognized for achievement at the various stages. A “continuum of development” has been developed for the STAR 1-5 level skater that fits into the broader pathway of development for LTAD.

Continuum of Development (to be read right to left)

Advanced Stage of Development

Moderate Stage of Development

Early Stage of Development

Skills are confident and fully acquired.

Technique is still being honed. Skills are completed. Power is being introduced.

Concepts are being introduced. Technique is being taught. Skills are recognizable and have room to grow.

When Can Coaches Assess?

As with the CanSkate program, coaches are expected to spend an appropriate amount of time concentrating on the actual teaching and development of skills before assessingSkaters should only be assessed when ready. There is no need to rush or push assessment, as coaches may assess their skaters at any time throughout the training season. There are no limitations to the frequency of assessments, nor the number of skaters that may be assessed in the STAR 1- 5 Program.


September to November

Generally, a busy time with skaters returning after a long break, programs (solos) to be built, review of learned skills and the introduction of new skills.

December to March

Generally, skaters are more organized with skills and program readiness. Work is being done on performance and skill acquisition.

Time spent on skill acquisition, program development (solos) and performance readiness

Coaches may find that this time period is optimal for assessments as they can be performed at any frequency in the training schedule.

Which Assessments Will Be First?

STAR 1 Skills and Freeskate are designed to be the first assessments skaters will achieve. These assessments focus on building a strong foundation for skating techniques that will continue to be developed along the pathway. STAR 1 Dance contains dance steps that require more technical ability and will most likely take longer to develop.

Progression pathway for the typical skater:

Assessment order may vary slightly to accomdodate the individual needs of each skater


The expected performance level of skills at the STAR 1 level, will be “in development” versus “acquired”. The assessment standards for STAR 1 reflect this philosophy.

As the skaters progress through STAR 2, 3, 4 & 5 they will develop a better understanding of technique and concepts. Power and speed will be incorporated into their performance and skaters will be introduced to more complex skills, again allowing skaters to develop the technique over time. With the new layout of assessments, parents will have a greater understanding of the skater’s progress, as there are more opportunities to acknowledge advancements in technical and performance acquisition.

To reflect the skater’s progress on the pathway of development, the term “for the level” is used repeatedly throughout the STAR 1-5 assessments. “For the level” is the indicator to the coach to be able to asses the performance of the skater based on where they are located on the pathway.

To assist coaches, “Continuums of Development” have been created for each discipline. These charts will help identify the level of performance expected at each stage on the pathway.






How Will Coaches Assess?

Assessment to Standard

Skaters in STAR 1-5 will be assessed using standards for each element. The following table describes the correlation between the assessment standards of Gold, Silver and Bronze. 




Performance exceeds development standard for the level

Performance is at development standard for the level

Performance is below development standard for the level

The term “For the level” will use both the Continuum of Development, as well as the Assessment Standards to determine the appropriate performance level for skaters in the STAR 1-5 program. The chart below shows the 3 stages of development as well as the expected Gold, Silver & Bronze ratings per level as they advance through the program.




Every skater will go through early, moderate and advance stages of development for each skill and area of technique. A STAR 1 skater will be at the early stages of development in all areas when entering this program. The STAR 1 assessment standards will reflect an “early stage” performance criteria. The performance expectations will increase as the skaters move through the program with reference to “for the level” indicated on the assessment sheets.


A STAR 1 waltz jump at the SILVER level, will be in the early stage of development, yet a STAR 3 waltz loop jump at a SILVER level, will be in the moderate stage of development

Assessment Criteria

Each element will have criteria assigned to it to help the assessment process. The criteria is listed on the back of the assessment sheet.

Every assessment will have CRITERIA that will be rated Gold, Silver or Bronze. Each element or segment of the assessment will need to establish an OVERALL ASSESSMENT for each element or segment based on the criteria rating. Skaters will need to achieve 2 of 3 criteria at Silver or better to receive a passing assessment for that element.


The criteria will then be rated will be rated Gold, Silver or Bronze based on the performance. An OVERALL RATING will be established for each criteria.  Skaters will need to achieve 2 of 3 criteria at Silver or better to receive a passing assessment for that element

Detailed definitions of the freeskate criteria can be located in the STAR 1-4 Judge Resource Guide. To assist coaches, a continuum of development has been established for all criteria and can be found at the beginning of each discipline’s Descriptions and Standards Chart.




Reference Guide for Criteria

Criteria may be used in several disciplines as skating often has components that cross into more than one area. Below is a quick reference chart to indicate the criteria and how it is used in each discipline where applicable.





Edge Quality:

Quality of edge

Edges: Used to assess the consistency of the lobe or curve

Turns: Used to assess the quality of the 2 second glide in and out of the turn.

Spins: Used to assess the number of revolutions performed by the skater on the correct spinning edge.



Proper mechanics demonstrated

Elements: Describes the quality of biomechanics used to do the actual element. In skills, this could be a push, turn, change of edge, slalom or series of edges.

Program - Skating Skills: Used to assess the biomechanics used for general skating and turns.

Elements: Used to assess the biomechanics needed to perform the dance steps as well as the accuracy of the actual steps.


Patterns: Used to assess the ability to perform the correct steps using the proper biomechanics.


Describes characteristics that contribute to the overall performance of the element.

For elements and stroking, this is used to assess the balance, control, agility and form the skater displays in performance. This also includes stability.


For field moves, this relates to the balance, control and edge quality of the field move.

Jumps: Used to assess jump flight qualities including height, distance, air position, as well as the quality of the take-off edge.


Spins: Used to assess spin qualities including centering, speed of revolutions, exit or completion of spin and take off where applicable.


Program - Skating Skills: See definition used for stroking in SKILLS.

Elements: Used to assess the balance, control and depth of edge required for successful performance.



Ability to generate and maintain speed

Used to assess speed and knee action during the stroking exercises.

Program - Skating Skills: Used to assess speed, acceleration and knee action for general skating.



Quality of position

Used to assess the position performed by the skater for each field move.

Used to assess the quality of the position performed by the skater for each spin, as well as the duration of the position. The count for the duration cannot start until the definition of the position has been achieved.



Length of position

Used to assess the length of time skaters hold a field move or spiral once they are in the position.




Revolutions completed in the air


Jumps: Used to assess the degree of rotation executed in air by the skater.



Length of edge, form


Jumps: Used to assess the quality of the landing position and the ability to maintain control for a duration of time.



Style, form, line


Program - Performance: Used to assess the general body carriage or posture by the skater.

Elements and Patterns: Used to assess the skater’s style, body lines and posture. This includes leg extension.


Ability to perform with confidence


Program - Performance: (program): Used to assess how the skater performs their movements.



Ability to match the timing of the music


Program - Interpretation: Used to determine how the skater is able to match or highlight the music.

Patterns: Used to assess the ability of the skater to recognize and match their steps with the timing of the music.


Ability to reflect the character of the music


Program - Interpretation: Used to determine how the skater is able to identify with the character or theme of the music



Ability to perform connecting steps with ease and flow


Program - Transitions: Used to assess how the skater is able to transition from one element to another with ease and maintenance of speed.



Construction of transitions within the program


Program - Transitions: Used to asses the level of development used for linking elements.


The program component assessment criteria will increase as the skaters progress through the levels. The rationale for this is to ensure the priority is placed on the performance and growth of the skill acquisition during this “golden age of learning”.

The progression of program component assessment criteria in STAR 1-5.


Skating Skills

Performance/ Execution




























Mandatory Criteria or Non-Negotiables

 Starting at STAR 2, there will be some criteria that is bolded and asterisked (*). This indicates that this criterion is mandatory for the skater to complete at Silver or better, to achieve an overall passing grade for that element.


STAR 1 does not have any mandatory criteria due to the philosophy that the skaters at this stage are “in development”. The main focus should be placed on rewarding quality. While in development, skaters may make mistakes while acquiring strong technique. Rather than ask skaters to reduce speed, height or power for a “safer” performance, coaches can train the skaters for maximum performance, knowing that if the skater falls, the element can still receive a passing grade. Skaters will be expected to execute more control at STAR 2.

Mandatory Areas

Some assessment sheets may have areas that need to be marked “successful” in order to receive a passing grade. These areas appear on pattern dances as well as Freeskate Programs.




STAR 4 & 5 Freeskate Element assessment sheets contain a box in the criteria area that indicate certain criteria that, if performed, result in an automatic Bronze rating of the element.



Elements Not Meeting the Definition Criteria

If a skater demonstrates an element that does not meet the definition of the skill, the coach cannot assess it. This results in an automatic bronze rating for the element.

Example: A spin with less than 3 revs in total.

Terms and Definitions

Determining Individual Assessment Ratings

An overall assessment is determined by the number of ratings given for the criteria, for each element. To achieve a passing grade, skaters must receive 2 or more ratings at silver or better.

Please note: If criteria are indicated as mandatory, the overall rating for this element may not exceed the rating given to the mandatory criteria.  


Criteria rating: 2 of 3 at Silver or higher

Rotation= Gold

Execution = Silver

Landing = Bronze

Overall = SIlver


Mandatory criteria rated bronze

*Rotation = Bronze

Execution = Silver

Landing = Gold

Overall = Bronze


Criteria rating: 2 of 3 at Silver

Rotation = Silver

Execution = Silver

Landing = Bronze

Overall = Silver


Criteria rating: 2 of 3 at Bronze

Rotation = Gold

Execution = Bronze

Landing = Bronze

Overall = Bronze


Differences on the Dance Assessment Sheet

The assessment sheet for dance contains 2 distinct areas for coaches to record performance:

  • Focus Areas
  • Full Pattern Assessment

Focus Areas

Coaches will place a check mark in the designated box to indicate if the skater was successful or unsuccessful at performing each set of identified steps, for a miniumum of 2 consectutive patterns.

Focus Area Assessment





Focus Area #1

Steps: 2, 3 & 4




Generally well done.


Work on neatness of feat for steps 6 & 7, with more lean for definite edges.

Focus Area #2

Steps: 6 & 7



Focus Area #3

Steps: 9 & 10



Mandatory Focus Area Assessment:

*Minimum 2 Focus Areas rated Successful?

Yes        ☐  No 

(must be Yes in order to receive a Pass or Pass with Honours)

Full Patten Assessment

Each criteria for the full pattern assessment will be marked as a whole. Coaches will place a checkmark in the gold, silver or bronze column and indicate the overall assessment in the overall column, using the first letter of the rating.

G = Gold          S = Silver         B = Bronze

The overall ratings will then be tallied in the “Total Overall Assessment” boxes at the bottom of the assessment sheet.

Full Pattern Assessment

















Excellent timing today!


Love your posture and extension in this dance.












Determining the Overall Assessment Results

To achieve a PASS, the skaters will need to meet the required number of Silver (or higher) assessments indicated at the bottom of the assessment sheet. To achieve a PASS with HONOURS a skater will need to achieve the required number of Gold assessments indicated.

Calculating Results

Coaches will total the overall ratings for EACH element or segment. Record the total number of overall Gold, Silver or Bronze elements at the bottom of the sheet. Determine the result by matching the totals in the Gold and Silver tally boxes with the requirement to pass the assessment.


Conducting an Assessment – Logistics and Formats

When conducting an assessment please ensure the following:

  • An assessment procedure has been set up with the Assessment Coordinator
  • All assessment fees have been paid
  • All paperwork has been filled out and is accessible for the assessment
  • Skater is ready for the assessment

STAR 1-5 assessments will increase in formality as the skater progresses along the pathway of development. There are 3 formats to use when assessing.




NOTE: If the arena is exceptionaly cold, please make provisions to allow the skaters to dress appropriately for the temperature of the arena.

Assessment strategies for coaches for each format

Strategies & Expectations




If assessing part of the group, allow other skaters to do a practice assessment





Keep the assessment fun. Lots of smiling. Coaches may talk to skaters between elements.




Use a lesson or two to do a practice assessment with skaters


 X  X

When introducing and teaching the elements to the skaters, teach the specifics of the Silver & Gold standard. This will allow the skaters to identify their performance level during practice and assessment times.

 X  X  X

Have a binder available with all paperwork needed for information and delivery of assessments

 X  X  X

Communicate with other coaches to inform them of the assessments taking place on session

 X  X  X

Prepare a place (binder) for the collection of the top portion of the assessment sheets.

 X  X  X

More formal conduct during the assessment. Maintain a pleasant disposition. Coaches may talk to skaters between elements.


 X  X

Communicate with other coaches to see if the ice can be cleared on session for the assessment (dance pattern or freeskate program)




Invite an external evaluator to observe the assessments. This can introduce skaters to the next level of assessment format.





Example Procedures




Identify skaters ready for assessment


 X  X  X

Inform the Test Chair and acquire necessary paperwork needed to inform skaters and record assessment results

 X  X  X

Inform parents and skaters with a letter or verbal update/instructions. Skate Canada Assessment fee must be collected before the assessment.

 X  X  X

Conduct assessment and record performance on the appropriate Skate Canada Assessment Sheet.

 X  X  X

Separate the top of the test sheet for the Test Chair


 X  X  X

Give bottom of the sheet to the skater and provide verbal feedback. Ensure the skater has both sides of the assessment sheet.

 X  X  X

Decide if clear ice needs to be booked, or if assessment can take place on session with skaters at boards.




When assessing in a lesson with more than one skater, coaches may:

  • Have skaters alternate element performances
  • Allow skaters to warm up or practice their elements while other skaters are being assessed
  • Set up a circuit with the elements to be assessed. Move around the circuit to view all performances by all skaters

General Logistics

Complete Assessments

Regardless of level, skaters must perform all of the elements or components required for an overall result, during the assessment.

Warm Up Time

Skaters should be allowed to warm up their elements before being assessed. As most assessments will be conducted on regular skating sessions, this should not be an issue for most clubs/schools. There is no “official” warm up times allocated for the STAR 1-5 assessments. Coaches may use their discretion in this area.

Minimum Number of Dance Patterns

All pattern dances in the STAR 1-5 Program require a minimum of 2 patterns to be skated with the exception of the Swing Dance which requires a minimum of 1 pattern. Coaches may exceed the number of patterns performed as necessary.


Skaters will have the option of re-skating an element if they feel their performance can be improved or they made a mistake. The number of re-skates allowed per assessment is as follows:

Number of re-skaters per assessment allowed


Dance - Elements

Freeskate - Elements





















The general rule is 2 re-skates per assessment with the exception of STAR 3 & 5 in the Skills discipline. These assessments only have 3 elements to be assessed.

Dance Patterns

Skaters are not allowed to “re-skate” a dance pattern. Coaches are able to continue the music to enable skaters the option of completing another pattern or patterns of the dance to clarify or correct performance.

Freeskate Programs

Skaters are not allowed to “re-skate” a freeskate program. Coaches may have the skater perform any elements of the program that were interrupted and not able to be attempted, due to other skaters on the session. The purpose of this allowance would then enable the coach to check off any elements not able to be “attempted” in the program due to circumstances beyond the athlete’s control. This is a mandatory box for a successful assessment.

Safety on the Ice

During assessments please be aware of the session flow. For busier sessions, coaches may choose to stand closer to the boards. This will ensure they do not disrupt the skaters on the ice and/or present a safety hazard.


Using regular sessions to conduct assessments will increase the chances of skaters encountering some “interference” when performing. Coaches are asked to use their discretion and best judgement regarding interference that relates to other skaters on the ice. Other interruptions could be equipment or facility related. Some scenarios are as follows:

  • Another skater gets in the way of the skater being assessed when performing a dance. The coach assessor can allow the skater to perform another pattern, or ignore the interruption if it was minor.
  • The skater’s skate lace breaks during the performance. Allow or help the skater find a solution and resume the assessment.
  • The facility experiences a power failure. Evacuate the ice as per the EAP (Emergency Action Plan) and make arrangements to resume the assessment when safe to do so.

Identifying Skaters Being Assessed

As skaters are skating on regular sessions for assessment, coaches may need to use strategies to identify the skater being assessed to inform other skaters or coaches on the ice. This action would increase the opportunity for the skater being assessed to perform without interruptions.

Strategies include, but are not limited to:

  • Skaters may wear an article of clothing to identify they are being assessed (arm band, head band, vest, etc.)
  • The coach or music room could announce their name to alert the session the skater is performing for an assessment
  • A bell could be rung before the music is played for a dance or program to indicate skaters are being assessed.

Double Panel Assessments

Coaches may use a double panel approach for the assessment of pattern dances. This can be done when there are 2 or more coaches that have skaters ready to be assessed on the same pattern dance. One skater would start their dance at one end of the ice, while the other skater at the opposite end. Coaches would watch their respective skaters. Music will continue until both coaches have decided enough rounds have been performed.

Alternating Panel Assessments

Coaches may use an alternating panel approach to maximize ice time during multiple freeskate program assessments. For example, if Coach A has 2 skaters ready for a program assessment, and Coach B has 3 skaters ready, they may alternate the skater’s programs to allow Coach A to make notes and connect with the skater that just performed while the skater for Coach B is performing their program (and vice versa).

Using a STAR 4 or 5 Event to Assess a Freeskate Program

Coaches have the option of using an event to assess freeskate programs at the STAR 4 & 5 levels only. The event would simulate the Classic Format of assessment available to this level of development. All assessments performed at events must comply with all club/school Assessment Procedures agreed upon by the Test Chair.

All STAR 1-5 Assessments Must Be Recorded Regardless of Outcome

Skaters will be expected to be prepared to be successful for each assessment however “re-trys” may occur due to nerves, stress or illness. All assessments must be paid before the assessment takes place and must be recorded on the summary sheet.

Using “Shorthand” or Symbols on Assessment Sheets

Coaches may use a system of symbols or shorthand to record aspects of the skater’s performance. This will allow the coach to quickly record quality comments and will assist in determining the criteria rating for each element. A sample list of short hand symbols can be found in the STAR 1-4 Judge Resource Guide however coaches may use their own short forms as well.

Coach Assessor Conduct

When assessing, coaches are expected to act as an assessor only. Coaches may give instructions pertaining to the assessment and skill order, but may not give corrections or coaching tips to the skaters during the assessment. When assessing a dance pattern, the assessing coach may not be the partner or shadow.

Filling out the Assessment Sheet

Top Portion 


Ensure ALL information is filled out correctly. Upon completion of each assessment, the top portion of the assessment sheet will be given to the club Test Chair. This information will serve as a record of the assessment. It will be recorded on the summary sheet and saved for future reference if needed.

Middle Portion

  • Be sure the date of assessment, the skater’s name and the assessor’s name is filled in and correct
  • Assess each element according to rating criteria (see back of sheet for reference)
  • Establish an overall assessment for each element
  • Write a comment about the element in comment area located beside the overall rating

Bottom Portion


  • Total overall ratings at bottom of sheet to determine
    • Pass with Honours,
    • Pass, or
    • Retry
  • Fill out Additional Comments section with final feedback. This is sometimes located on the back of the sheet.
  • Ensure the result matches the result section the top portion.
  • Detach top portion from bottom portion. Give bottom portion to skater


When providing feedback it is important to review the following guidelines:

Ø  Recognize aspects that have been performed well or strong effort.

Ø  Identify areas that need attention or further development.

Ø  Be honest

Ø  Provide encouragement



“Good concentration. Continue to work on staying balanced over your foot on the exit edge.”

“Great speed and centering today! Keep working on getting lower into your sit position.”

“Technique is developing nicely. More work is needed on understanding the timing of the music”

“Wow, great start. Looking forward to seeing the development of more power and height in the next level!”.



Coaches may also use “Shorthand” or “Symbols” to help them record assessment qualities. A guide for this type of shorthand can be found in the STAR 1-4 Judge Resource Guide.



Tips for Successful Assessments




Key Teaching Points

Skills, Freeskate and Dance

Blade Pushes

Generally, there are 3 methods when pushing for forward skating:

Toe Push: Weight and thrust is all on the toe picks. This type of push is not expected in STAR 1-5.

Flat of the blade push: Weight and thrust is all on the middle of the blade. Toe does not touch the ice.

This type of push is accepted as a “Blade Push”.

Blade to toe push: Weight and thrust starts on the middle of the blade and ends with the toe pushing of the ice for a finishing action. The majority of the push is generated from the blade.  This type of push is accepted as a “Blade Push” as long as the majority of the push is generated from the blade.







Figure Form

Figure form describes the way in which the skater holds their body and moves their limbs when executing an element.  Coaches will be able to adjust the order of movements according to the skater’s needs and technique philosophy of the coach. The overall carriage of figure form must be maintained throughout the element. Figure form is often described as a quiet, controlled movement. Be sure to refer to the video examples/tutorials, as well as the definition.

Field Moves

Start the count for duration once the skater has established the definition of the position being executed.

Stroking Patterns

The X & O patterns are designed to allow coaches to continue the development of basic power generation. Basic crosscuts are repeated at each level.

In STAR 3, the 2-foot to 1-foot slalom exercise is designed to encourage the development of power initiated from the blade and bend of the knee versus from a traditional push. This philosophy continues in STAR 5 with the quick edge exercise, as well as adding a transfer of weight to the technique. Developing the ability to generate speed from the blade without a push is instrumental in our sport.

Ensure the skater is allowing their upper body to twist and lean while performing these exercises. This natural movement will encourage power, rhythm and timing.


STAR 5 may or may not use clear ice for the stroking pattern.

Draw for Directions

STAR 1 Stroking – Skaters will train starting from both directions, however will be able to choose their starting direction for the assessment.


STAR 2 Forward Circle on Circle – Skaters will train starting from both directions, however will be able to choose their starting direction for the assessment. Coaches will indicate which direction was chosen by placing a checkmark in the direction boxes on the Assessment Sheet (CW or CCW)


STAR 3 Stroking - Skaters will train starting from both directions, however will be able to choose their starting direction for the assessment.


Only 2 elements require a DRAW for direction in SKILLS:


STAR 4 Backward Circle on Circle - Skaters will train starting from both directions and have to do a DRAW for their starting direction for the assessment. Coaches will indicate which direction was chosen by placing a checkmark in the direction boxes on the Assessment Sheet (CW or CCW)


STAR 5 Stroking 1- Skaters will train starting from both directions, and have to do a DRAW for their starting direction for the assessment.




Forward Progressives

The progressive technique is very distinctive with the definite placing of the “progressing foot” and the finishing placement of the “under push” foot. Skaters must be able to demonstrate proper progressives in the dance discipline, as a “crosscut” technique is not acceptable. Be sure skaters know and understand the difference between a progressive and a crosscut.

Swing Rolls

The swing roll technique differs from a forward outside edge largely by the knee action and free leg extension. Ensure skaters know the difference in these performance expectations.

Accuracy on the FA sections

Focus Areas or FA’s have been assigned to each pattern dance to highlight the new technique introduced.

To achieve a successful rating on a designated as a FA , the skater needs to demonstrate 100% accuracy. This means that the steps are performed correctly with the proper technique and blade pushes. Coaches will be looking for the FA to be performed well on 2 consecutive patterns. Some discretion may be necessary. Coaches and skaters will need to be familiar with the expectations for each FA as found in the Descriptions and Standards.

Order of Dances

Skaters may be assessed on the dances with in a level in any order. Example:

STAR 2b- Canasta Tango

STAR 2a – Dutch Waltz

Skaters must complete the dances within a level before moving to the next level.

Example: STAR 2a & b must be completed before assessing STAR 3a.

Shadow and/or Partners

When choosing a shadow or partner for your skaters, be sure that skater understands the timing and pattern of the dance. If there are issues during the assessment that are a result of the Shadow or Partner, the coach may have a new shadow or partner do the dance with the skater. The coach may also ask the skater to solo the dance.

Clear ice needed

The only dance in the STAR 1-5 program that requires clear ice is STAR 5a – Willow Waltz



2-foot landing or a touchdown

The difference between a 2 foot landing and touch down is as follows:

A 2-foot landing occurs when a skater lands with equal  or close to equal weight on both feet.

A touch down occurs when a skater lands on one foot and the other foot then touches the ice for balance recovery or due to misalignment. A touch down action is very brief and does not have weight bearing qualities.

The difference between < and <<

Coaches and skaters will need to fully understand the different degrees in rotation assessment. Definitions for < (under rotated) and << (downgraded) are located in the Terms and Definitions. They are also fully explained in the STAR 1-4 Judge Resource Guide.

Spin Revolutions

There are 2 key things to keep in mind when assessing and teaching spins:

1 – Any spin needs to have 3 revolutions in total to meet the definition of a spin

2 – To identify a “position”, the skater needs to complete a minimum of 2 complete rotations in the designated position.

Edge quality

Watching the direction of the spinning foot will be a key skill when assessing edge quality in spins. Coaches will need to be able to identify when the blade is spinning on a BO, BI or FI edge. To achieve a successful rating in this criteria, skaters will need to perform 2 complete and consecutive rotations on the proper edge as identified in the Descriptions and Standards.


A center in a spin is established when a skater completes multiple rotations in the same spot on the ice. This can be easily identified by examining the spin tracings on the ice, or by landmarking where the skater initiates their spin. Training skaters to identify their center while spinning will be extremely beneficial.

Proper take-off edge in flying spins

A common mistake in flying spins occurs when skaters perform a 3-turn at the end of the take off edge, thus taking off a BI edge instead of the intended FO edge. Sometimes this will occur when a skater’s balance goes to the middle of the blade after hitting the toe on the pivot. Training skaters to take off from the toe pivot will assist the development of maintaining a FO edge take off.

Non-negotiable boxes

Be sure the skaters understand the consequences of performing any of the actions identified in the boxes on the Assessment Sheets for STAR 4 & 5 Freeskate Elements.

Freeskate Program assessment options

Programs at the STAR 2 & 3 may be assessed on a regular session.

Programs at the STAR 4 level, may be assessed on a regular session or on clear ice.

Programs at the STAR 5 level must be assessed on clear ice.


Technical requirement for STAR 5 Program

All programs require that all elements in the program be attempted. This is indicated the Technical Content portion of the Assessment Sheet.

STAR 5 – Freeskate Program is the only assessment that will require skaters to demonstrate a technical element.

Skaters at this level must land an axel with a designation of < or better.

To ensure standardization of performance across the country, before offering any assessments coaches are expected to:

  • Familliarize and fully understand the elements (Descriptions and Standards Charts)
  • Be able to recognize the qualities of each criteria (Assessor Guide and Video Library)
  • Ensure skater readiness by performing assessment simulations

STAR 1-5 Assessment Coordinator (Test Chair) Guide


The assessment coordinator has a vital role to play in a skating club/school. The assessment coordinator is responsible for preparing assessment sheets and forwarding all results and payment to Skate Canada National Service Center.


The following is a list of responsibilities that must be fulfilled:

  • Establish assessment procedures with coaching staff.
  • Communicate process to parents and skaters
  • Collect applicable fees for each assessment
  • Ensure skaters are eligible for the assessment or test (pre-requisites must be met). The assessment coordinator shall not permit a skater to participate in an assessment unless that skater has a current registration number and all eligibility requirements have been verified prior to the assessment.
  • Ensure coaches doing assessment are eligible to assess the skater (work with your coach representative on how to monitor this. Be sure to cover “out of club” assessments criteria as well).
  • Prepare assessment sheets (may be done by the coach) and summary sheets (available as digital test entry or downloadable sheet from Info Center).
  • Liaise with the club/school coaches and executive
  • Maintain a record keeping system for skaters in your club
  • Ensure all results and payments are submitted to Skate Canada

General information: STAR 1-5 Program

  • Assessment fees are set by Skate Canada and are currently $12 per assessment.

Assessment Scenarios

Assessments in the STAR 1-5 program are designed to be introduced in a semi-formal format and progress in formality to prepare the skaters for external evaluation in the Learn to Compete stage of development.


Coaches and skaters have an option to use a STAR 4 or STAR 5 event to assess a Freeskate Program. For this option, all assessment procedures must be complied to before the event.

NOTE: All STAR 5 assessments require the coach to be off the ice. Coaches may stand in a player’s box, doorway or other designated area.

Assessment Procedure Examples

Every club will establish an “Assessment Procedure” that meets the needs of the club, skaters and coaches. To establish this procedure, it is recommended that Assessment Coordinator and coaches work together to find appropriate solutions. Some suggestions are listed below.

  • Establish a system to inform skaters and parents when assessment readiness has been identified. Ensure all paperwork, letters, assessment sheets, etc. are accessible when needed.
  • Ensure a procedure is in place to collect assessment fees PRIOR to the actual assessment.
  • Ensure a procedure is in place for the Assessment Coordinator to collect the top portion of the assessment sheet for records and summary sheet purposes.
  • Assessment summary sheets are to be submitted at the end of each month. A summary sheet may remain "open" for one month to enable assessments to be added as necessary for a maximum 31-day period. All fees must be submitted with the summary sheet.

Additional Fees

Due to assessments being incorporated into the regular lesson schedule of the skaters, no additional fees will need to be billed to the parents. These include:

  • Additional test day ice
  • Evaluator’s travel expense or meals
  • Additional coach fees for test day attendance

The only fees for assessments being conducted on a regular session should be:

  • The Skate Canada Assessment Fee (to be collected before the assessment)
  • The regular coach lesson fee, paid by the previously existing arrangement (Club or Coach directed)

STAR 1- 5 Assessments

The STAR 1-5 program consists of assessments in Dance, Freeskate and Skills.

The chart below is a brief over of the assessments available to skaters at this level.































Checklist for Skate Canada Assessments

Before approving skaters for assessment:

  • Ensure the skater is a registrant for the current season
  • Ensure skater meets all eligibility requirements
    • Must have passed the corresponding preceding level (per discipline)
      • In dance, skaters may be assessed on STAR 2b prior to STAR 2a, however must pass the complete STAR 2 before being assessed on either STAR 3 assessment
      • In freeskate, skaters may be assessed on the element portions separately from the program assessments. To achieve a full STAR level, both portions must be passed.
    • Ensure coach assessing the skater is eligible
      • Coach must have completed STAR 1-5 Program Training & STAR 1-5 Assessor Training
      • Coach must be currently teaching the skater in the discipline of assessment
      • Coach must be accredited at the appropriate level (Regional Coach In Training or higher)

Draw for Direction

Some elements will require the coach to facilitate a “draw for direction” for clockwise (CW) or counter-clockwise (CCW) starting direction. This is done to encourage skaters to practice skills in both directions. The assessment of the skill will only require one direction to be performed.

The skills requiring a draw are:

            STAR 4 – Skills: Bwd Circle on Circle

            STAR 5 – Skills: Stroking 1

Strategies for facilitating a draw may include:

  • Flip a coin, short straw/long straw
  • Prepare paper chits with CW or CCW on one side. Skater can then choose one.

Coaches will ask the skater to perform the draw. The coach may then use that draw for all skaters being assessed on that skill or allow each skater to perform their own draw.

Preparation for Assessments

  1. Determine assessment sheet availability
    1. Decide with the coaches how many assessment sheets are needed each month per discipline and STAR level
    2. Have available copies of the assessment sheets of each discipline for coach use
    3. Coaches may prepare assessment sheets (if identified in your club/school assessment procedures)
  1. Collection of fees:
    1. Collect all fees prior to the assessment (exact procedure to be determined by the club/school)
  1. Summary Sheet:
    1. Set up a summary sheet for each month of the skating season
    2. Submit summary sheet to Skate Canada National Service Center (downloadable form or digital entry) at end of each month
    3. Submit assessment fees to Skate Canada National Service Center
    4. Coaches may complete summary sheets (if identified in your club/school assessment procedures)

Out of Club Assessments

A candidate wishing to be assessed at a club/school other than his/her home organization must secure consent from the home club/school test chair prior to the assessment taking place. This consent will ensure the candidate is a registrant in good standing and has met all of the requirements. The coach who is assessing the skater must inform the assessment coordinators of the results to be recorded on the master record keeping tool at the club/school.

Assessment Coordinators will need to verify that the coach assessing the skater (if different from their home club/school coaching staff), is eligible to do so.  All coaches involved with this skater’s assessment discipline, must communicate regarding assessment readiness of the shared skater(s).

Assessment at Events

Skaters at the STAR 4 and 5 Freeskate level have the option of being assessed during an event. While the skater performs at the event, the coach will assess the skater as per the assessment sheet designated for STAR 4 or 5 Freeskate Program. The skater’s home club/school test chair must be advised that the assessment will be taking place prior to the event. The assessment fee must be paid prior to the event.

Note: The coach will be responsible for ensuring the proper assessment sheet is available at the event for assessment.

Approximate Assessment Times Needed for STAR 5 Assessments Requiring Clear Ice

The following time allotments are estimated time needed to asses 1 skater in each area.

Program – 3 minutes

5a Willow Waltz – 2 minutes

If scheduling an assessment day with clear ice, test chairs may allocate a 5 min warm up period for skaters. This warm up period may be extended if there are multiple skaters or partners. Freeskate and dance may share a warm up.

Multiple skaters with different coaches may be assessed on the same ice. There are two main strategies for this:

  • Double Panel: This may be used for dance or stroking patterns in skills. Skaters with different coaches start at opposite ends of the ice and commence their full ice pattern at the same time.
  • Alternating Panel: One skater performs a program or dance. While the coach is making notes for the skater that just performed, the next skater will perform their program or dance and be assessed by the other coach.

Obtaining Assessment Sheets and Summary Sheets

The sheets required for STAR 1-5 assessments are available on Skate Canada's member site under Program Materials

Summary sheets may also be entered via Digital Entry.

Reporting of Tests

Regardless of assessment results (Pass with honours, pass, or retry), all assessments must be recorded on the summary sheets and submitted with fees. STAR 1-5 assessment summary sheets must be submitted at the end of every month if assessments took place in that month.

Assessment Sheets


STAR 1 Skills

STAR 2 Skills

STAR 3 Skills

STAR 4 Skills

STAR 5 Skills

STAR 1-5 Skills PDF Fillable forms


STAR 1 Freeskate

STAR 2 Freeskate Elements

STAR 2 Freeskate Program

STAR 3 Freeskate Elements

STAR 3 Freeskate Program

STAR 4 Freeskate Elements

STAR 4 Freeskate Program

STAR 5 Freeskate Elements

STAR 5 Freeskate Program

STAR 1-5 Freeskate PDF Fillable forms


STAR 1 Dance

STAR 2a Dance

STAR 2b Dance

STAR 3a Dance

STAR 3b Dance

STAR 4a Dance

STAR 4b Dance

STAR 5a Dance

STAR 5b Dance

STAR 1-5 Dance Fillable pdf forms