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What do the new Units mean for sports qualifications?

By sports coach UK Coach Education Advisor Anne Baker

Coach Education qualifications and training are undergoing the biggest change since the start of the UKCC over ten years ago.

Ten years on, with the recognition that qualifications are a starting point on a coach’s journey, governing bodies of sport are considering the development of the coach from novice to the best they can be in their coaching environment. Many governing bodies of sport are developing a good suite of additional training to support coaches.

Recognising that the qualifications need to change to offer more flexibility and consider a coach’s previous experience, sports coach UK has led the review of qualifications with partners. Research has indicated the need to cater for those coaches who are increasingly involved in coaching more than one sport and coaching various participation interventions in he country.

The new National Occupational Standards (NOS) have been developed by the coaching industry that are focussed on the needs of coaching participants.  The units have been developed to offer flexibility to be applied to participation, talent, children, youth and adults.

What are the opportunities for a coach?

Coaching Assistant  - Level 1

Assists a qualified coach to deliver sessions

  • Requires a basic knowledge
  • potential to lead warm up, cool down and reinforce points to small groups under supervision
  • Possibly a be a parent
  • Possibly be an under 18
  • Possibly be someone starting with little knowledge of the sport

Session Coach – Level 2

Delivers sessions possibly as part of a wider programme, various taster sessions, sessions that may be part of a participation programme, club sessions

  • Plan, deliver and evaluate sessions
  • Someone 18 years and over
  • A participant wishing to get into coaching
  • A teacher who delivers the sport in the curriculum
  • An ex participant of any level and ability
  • A coach from another sport who may need to do a technical workshop/ have some sport knowledge in that sport prior to entry on the course (the sport will decide)

Club Coach – Level 2

Delivers sessions over a season, often as part of a wider programme

  • Plans, leads and evaluates coaching sessions and blocks of progressive sessions
  • supports Coach­ing Assistant’s and pre-coaches / leaders in their development
  • 18 years or over
  • Coaching participants over a period of time, often a club setting
  • This may be an extension from the session coach
  • This can be a stand-alone course over a longer period of time

Programme coach – Current Level 3 Certificate

Oversees and contributes to the delivery of programmes over seasons and in specific contexts Involved in the management and development of other coaches

  • plans, manages leads and evaluates coaching programmes
  • supports the management and development of less experienced coaches
  • extended and integrated knowledge
  • specialised practi­cal competencies to perform advanced coaching functions independently within a changing environment
  • Experienced coaches over the age of 18 years

Overall, Governing Bodies of sport have the option to offer all of these qualifications if it suits the roles in their sport. Not every governing body will offer every qualification but will choose what suits the needs of their sport.

sports coach UK  are confident that the new content will offer the flexibility for all governing bodies of sport to create qualifications that are valid, fit for purpose and can be adapted for the full range of sports, and along with CPD (Continued Professional Development)  cover their desired range of population areas and environments.





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