Eligibility and Classification Procedure and Forms

What level do I need - SportExcel UK (UK), Virtus (International) or both?

SportExcel UK is the new name for the UK Sports Association.

SportExcel UK leads and manages eligibility of British athletes for classification in the UK. We evaluate whether an athlete is eligible for classification.  We work with National Governing Bodies (NGB’s) and Home Country Disability Sports Organisations in each country to achieve this.

We will use the term ‘classification’ throughout this section but remember that it refers to eligibility for classification throughout.

There are two levels of classification for athletes in the UK:

(1) UK – evaluated and issued by SportExcel UK (for events in the UK only)
(2) International – evaluated by SportExcel UK and Virtus.  Issued by Virtus. (For Virtus events and international events, including some International Federation events and the Paralympic Games, or IPC sanctioned events)

Please make sure you contact SportExcel UK before you start the process or carry out any new assessments.  We want to ensure you get the best advice on which level of classification is most appropriate for you.


Application Fees and How to Pay

UK level only – £45

International level only – £111**

UK and International level at the same time – £121.* **

*For this reduced fee offer, both applications must be received at SportExcel UK at the same time.

**Includes first year Virtus licence fee

Fees can be paid by internet banking or over the counter at a bank to SportExcel UK.  Do not send cheques or postal orders.

HSBC Bank; A/c 71594567; Sort 40-04-09; Name: SportExcelUK or UK Sports Association or UKSAPLD

Applications may be delayed if the appropriate fees are not paid to SportExcel UK at the time of applying.

Once you have paid your fee, please email finance@sportexceluk.org stating athletes name, amount paid, date and for which level of application.

SportExcel UK (UK) Classification

This is mainly for athletes starting out in their sport or have been competing for a while but not yet reached GB or international standards.

It is valid for athletes from the UK who are competing in UK competitions only. Not all UK competitions require classification so if you are unsure check the entry form or ask the event organiser.

Only athletes who have been classified on the UK system since January 1st 2009 will hold a valid UK classification.

UK Application Deadlines

All applications should reach SportExcel UK at least 6 weeks prior to any closing date of competitions at which the athlete is seeking entry. Application is no guarantee that a classification will be granted.

Only athletes who have been classified on the UK system since January 1st 2009 will hold a valid UK classification.

UK Application Form for all Sports

To apply for classification please download the UK Classification Form and follow the guidance notes. All applications must be accompanied by the documentary evidence and appropriate fee.  See above for fees.

SportExcel UK (UK level) Application Form (v Jan 2022) [Download unavailable – contact classification@sportexceluk.org for a copy]

This form should also be used if you have been advised to apply for Virtus National (Provisional) at the same time.

Please send your UK application to SportExcel UK, PO Box 1467, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 9PT.


Further Guidance on UK Classification

UKSA Guide for Psychologists;

International (Virtus) Classification

This is for athletes who have reached national standards and are about to reach international standards in their sport or who are demonstrating particular talent and progression along the performance pathway.

International classification is required to compete in long course swimming competitions organised by Activity Alliance.

In 2017 Virtus introduced two new trial classes in some sports.  The three Virtus classes are:

  • II1 – for athletes with an intellectual impairment
  • II2 – trial group for athletes with a more significant intellectual impairment
  • II3 – trial group for athletes with high-functioning autism

II2 – includes athletes with down syndrome (T21).  The two new classes are an Virtus initiative only.  Events in the UK and programmes run by NGB’s do not recognise athletes with down syndrome or autism as separate classes.  They are not classes on the Paralympic programmes.

Virtus has advised that athletes with mosaic down syndrome will from January 2019 compete across all sports in class II1 only.

Please contact SportExcel UK for more information on how these are being managed for athletes in the UK.

International Application Deadlines

All applications should reach SportExcel UK at least 5 months prior to the closing date of any competition at which the athlete is seeking entry. Application is no guarantee of being granted a classification.

International (Virtus) Application Procedure and Forms

To begin applying for international eligibility and classification, there are 3 documents you need to complete. Once the forms are complete, attach the required evidence and application fee.  See above for fee details.  Applications should be sent via post.

Ensure you have obtained advice from either SportExcel UK or Sports Governing Body (NGB) before you begin this process or arrange psychology testing.  Applicants from Scotland can also speak with Scottish Disability Sport (SDS).

Application Form and Data Protection

[Note: Downloads currently unavailable – contact classification@sportexceluk.org for forms and documents]

Document 1 – Virtus International Classification Form (Feb 2022)

Document 2 – Data Protection Form (Insert as Pg2a) Virtus Applications

Document 3 – Checklist and Endorsement

Follow the Virtus Guidance Notes and ensure the psychologist has a copy.

Virtus International Guidance Notes (Feb 22)


Every athletes main coach needs to complete the TSAL on line as part of the Virtus application process. The TSAL questionaire will go directly to Virtus and will contribute to the research programme helping developments in the sports specific classification system.

Paper copies are not accepted.

Complete the TSAL online here.

In Paralympic sports (athletics, swimming and table tennis), the athlete may at a later stage be asked by their Sports Governing Body to complete another TSAL. This will only be required at the point the athlete is being called for Stage 2 testing – sports specific classification.

Posting your application

Send your application by post, not email.  Send original evidence where you have it.

We recommend using a ‘signed for’ service.

Some sports organisations/NGB’s will require your application to go to them first.  Seek guidance from your sports body.

If in doubt, please send it direct to SportExcel UK, PO Box 1467, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 9PT.

Please keep a photocopy of all that you post.


Athletes seeking eligibility and classification for the first time should ensure you have obtained advice from SportExcel UK, or Sports Governing Body (NGB) before you begin this process. Please do not complete an application or arrange any assessments with psychologists before getting advice.

If you are unsure who to contact about your particular sport, please contact SportExcel UK directly and we will be happy to advise you.

Further Guidance on international classification

Virtus (International) Guidance Notes (Contact SportExcel UK)

To download and read the UKSA Guide for Psychologists, visit the Resources section of this site.

Read the Virtus Eligibility and Classification Policy. (Contact SportExcel UK)

What happens if an athlete is seeking classification in more than one sport?

UK classification is valid across the sports at present.

To compete in more than one sport at international level, an athlete will need to apply for an “additional sport” classification in each sport. This does not mean that a full application is required. Athletes should complete the additional sport application form and the SportExcel UK pro-forma and submit in the normal way. Both documents are required to complete this “additional sport” application process.

[Note: Downloads currently unavailable – contact classification@sportexceluk.org for forms and documents]

Document 1 – INAS-FID Additional Sport Application Form.

Document 2 – UKSA Pro-forma for Additional Sport Application.

Valid or not?

SportExcel UK holds the central database for any athlete from Great Britain who has been classified at UK or international level.

If you are in any doubt about whether a card or classification number is valid or you need further guidance or would like to chat through the classification procedures then contact us on 0203 633 6460

You can view the Virtus Master List by visiting the Virtus website.  If a GB athletes names does not appear on the master list you are advised to check their status with SportExcel UK  as it may be that the Virtus list has not yet been updated, but the athlete is in fact classified.

The only valid and existing UK classification system is that managed by SportExcel UK. Other organisations in each of the Home Countries implement that system in their respective Home Country. To check the UK classification status of an athlete, please contact SportExcel UK who hold the only UK wide master list.

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