As a practicing sports coach, you will have probably heard the term 'UKCC' being banded around. But do you understand exactly what it means or even what it refers to? This page will attempt to make it all a bit clearer and hopefully answer some of those burning questions ...

What is the UKCC?

UKCC stands for the UK Coaching Certificate. It is a national initiative to endorse coach education programmes, across sports throughout the UK, to an agreed set of standards. The UKCC is intended for all coach education programmes. The standards have been established nationally; so there are minimum requirements covering such topics as coaching practice, coaching science, teaching competencies, safety and protection; these provide a solid underpinning context for all coaching and are progressive through each level. Within each sport, the Governing Body also provides contextual material so that each coach education course relates directly to the nature and activities of that sport.

What are the benefits of UKCC?

The UKCC has been integrated into the National Occupational Standards and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. It is recognised and transferable across the UK, so you can look for UKCC accredited coaches in other parts of the country and know that they will be coaching to the same standards. In future, it will also be recognised across Europe - so you'll be able to coach a junior squad in that village abroad where you take your holidays! For sports clubs, the UKCC will mean that the coaches you bring into your club, or the members whom you train as coaches, will have been trained to a recognised standard of competency. For parents, this also means that whoever is coaching their children will have been properly prepared to provide appropriate coaching.

In addition to this, coaches can also expect to see:

  • An enhancement of core and sport specific coaching skills.
  • A clear pathway for coaches to progress.
  • Guaranteed nationally accredited standards of delivery, assessment and monitoring.
  • Coaching standards which are based on UK and international models of best practice.
  • A greater understanding of high-quality coaching.

Who runs UKCC?

Sports coach UK is the national agency responsible for the overall development of the scheme. However, within each sport, it is the National Governing Body that is responsible for the development and delivery of coach education programmes within that sport, and thus they have a responsibility to ensure that these programmes can be properly endorsed against the UKCC standards.

I have an old qualification, do I need to retake the new UKCC qualification?

This will depend on your individual sport and whether they deem your existing qualification as significantly different in content and standard to the new UKCC qualification. A number of NGBs have resolved this by developing a bridging course. Typically bridging courses involve taking a conversion course, designed to update candidates on the newer aspects to coaching without the need to retake a full UKCC course.

Why do UKCC qualifications cost more than traditional coaching awards?

Costs of UKCC coaching awards differ from sport to sport. Generally speaking they do tend to cost more than traditional coaching awards. Increased costs tend to be due to more guided learning hours which means more tutor costs and facility hire, as well as additional costs for external assessments which are now part of all UKCC qualifications.

Further information

A guide has been created for new coaches, or a coach who is thinking about embarking on a different UKCC level-1 qualification. The guide contains information to help them decide whether coaching is for them, including:

  • pre course requirements
  • the length of the qualification
  • details about what the qualification might lead to

A full version of the guide can be downloaded - CLICK HERE

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