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UKCC Endorsement: British Water Ski and Wakeboard’s Story

BWSW Performance Director John Wood tells us about the benefits of UKCC endorsement and the challenges they faced in achieving endorsement of their level-2 coach-education offering. He also gives some tips for sports thinking of going for UKCC endorsement.

We took the opportunity to go for UKCC endorsement when we decided to re-launch our coaching framework. The benefits of achieving UKCC endorsement were obvious to us. A coach programme that is on the Qualifications and Credit Framework, and is UKCC endorsed has credibility. UKCC endorsement also shows that, as a sport, we are part of a system that delivers common standards and quality across a large number of sports. In short the UKCC adds credibility to our coach education and to us as a sport.

Although we were keen to go for UKCC endorsement we did encounter resistance in the sport. That’s no surprise, resistance to change is inbuilt in everyone and we were, and are, undertaking a culture change.

Reactions we encountered from our coach and coach-educator workforce included shock as many entered a formal education process for the first time in many years, as well as anger and in some cases reaction to the whole process as people came to terms with it.

However, there has also been acceptance as people have mastered the qualification and begun to use it in their tuition organisation and delivery, and in the assessment process.

I would give three main tips to sports considering going for UKCC endorsement. Firstly, consult within the sport and the industry. Speaking to other sports about their experiences was invaluable, as was the modelling work we did with sport coach UK. We combined this modelling with work on our skier and rider-development programme (Cutting Edge) - which the Level 2 award delivers two levels of - to produce integrated programmes which have started from the bottom up.

I’d also recommend developing a UKCC award with an awarding body (we use 1st4Sport). Doing this addresses many UKCC criteria and definitely smoothes the way.

Also, don’t be put off by the paperwork. It looks daunting when it first arrives but once our sports coach UK Coach Education Officer demystified it we saw it was a process that would be challenging but one that would add the quality we were seeking - leading to a better qualification overall and helping us to maintain quality.

If recommendation for going through the process were needed then it’s provided by the fact that every coach who has been on the UKCC course and through the assessments has complimented the learning programme. I have to compliment those tutors and assessors now active for their commitment and belief in what we are doing and their involvement as we develop and deliver the qualifications in our new coaching framework.