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UK Coaching Team
Self-care and development Standards for Deployment

Practical Considerations When Coaching in Different Environments

Guidance for coaches on understanding what’s expected in different coaching environments, and how to ensure that you’re able to flourish in your environment

Each environment and organisation that you coach in will have its own requirements, policies, and aims. Use this guidance to ensure that you have the knowledge you need in yours.

Coaches are often employed and deployed in multiple environments, including:

  • schools
  • further education (FE) / higher education (HE) institutions
  • breakfast / after school clubs
  • holiday programmes/clubs
  • community / sports clubs
  • leisure centres
  • academies
  • talent pathways
  • high performance pathways.

Each environment and organisation will have their own:

  • employment criteria and requirements
  • vision and aims
  • policies and procedures.

It’s essential that you understand these across all the different environments and organisations you coach in to protect yourself and those you coach.

When working across multiple environments, you need to consider the following:

1) Insurance

It’s important that you check before you begin coaching:

  • What, if any, insurance cover will be provided by the environments you are coaching in.
  • That you have appropriate insurance that covers you across the different environments you coach in.

UK Coaching Insurance covers 250+ different sports and activities and can insure you for sports or physical activities that you officiate, tutor, assess, mentor or support as a coach developer.

2) Employment criteria

Ensure you can demonstrate that you meet the environments’ and the organisations’ employment criteria (e.g., appropriate qualifications, safeguarding training, DBS) as this will vary across different environments.

Ensure you keep up-to-date records of relevant experience, training, documentation, certification, references, and testimonials.

For more on this, read our Recommended Guidance for Coaches on the Standards for Deployment.

3) Policies and procedures

Every environment and organisation will have its own policies and procedures that you will need to follow. These may vary across environments and organisations, so it’s important to check them.


  • Your national governing body (NGB) or sports organisation’s policies should be the principal policies that you adhere to.
  • If you are coaching in a different setting (e.g., a school), you may also be required to commit to its policies and procedures.
  • If you are employed as a coach, you will be required to sign up to your employer’s policies and procedures.
  • If you have a concern about any policy or procedure in relation to safe coaching practice, you should inform the relevant organisation.

4) Planning and expectations

Be clear on what you are being asked to do as this may vary significantly across different environments.

To ensure you meet the needs of the organisation and your participants, you might want to consider the following when planning your sessions:

  • Venue and facilities. Is the environment accessible to all who are taking part? What happens if there is an issue at the venue/ with the facilities? Who do you report this to?
  • Equipment. Do you have everything you need for your planned activity in that environment? Who provides, maintains, and pays for replacements?
  • Who are the participants? Are the participants children, adults, elderly, or have additional needs?
  • Why are the participants taking part? Is it a recreational, competitive, or school setting?
  • Individual needs of the participants. Are you aware of the individual needs of all your participants? Where can you find this information?
  • Other coaches and support staff. Who is going to be supporting or coaching with you? What are their levels of experience and qualifications?

5) Additional support and development

Consider what additional support or development you may require for coaching in different environments. UK Coaching has a variety of learning opportunities to help develop your coaching skills.

You might want to consider:

  • the Duty to Care Hub and Digital Badge. Learn about the importance of Duty to Care and earn our free digital badge by demonstrating your knowledge.
  • registering with CIMSPA for recognition and status as a member of the sector’s only chartered professional body.
  • Completing first aid training. Developed to fulfil the role of an emergency first aider in the workplace, the 1st4sport Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work prepares learners to assess an incident, recognise the signs and symptoms of injury and illness and assist a casualty in a safe and effective manner.
  • pursuing coach development. Developed for anyone who wants to support coaches, the UK Coaching online classroom An Introduction to Supporting Coaches is a valuable piece of training that explores some of the knowledge, behaviours and skills required to support coaches.

This is recommended guidance only and does not replace direct advice from your employer/deployer, training provider, national governing body of sport (NGB), or sports organisation. If you have any queries on their recommended qualifications, insurance, or additional training, please contact them directly.


Which environments do you coach across? Do you meet the standards for deployment in that environment?

What records do you have about your coaching experience, knowledge, and qualifications? Are they up to date? Can you demonstrate that you meet the organisation’s employment criteria?

When was the last time you completed any additional training or accessed support to develop your coaching?

How do you keep track of your learning and development? If you don’t, start the habit and consider the different ways you can do this, such as by:

  • keeping a log
  • recording it on LinkedIn
  • using the CIMSPA point tracker on your UK Coaching Dashboard.


Related Resources

  • Recommended Guidance for Coaches on the Standards for Deployment

  • Recommended Guidance on Coaching in Schools

  • How to Create an Inclusive Environment


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