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Making Sure that Your Coach is Suitably Qualified

The following section sets out some guidance around how you ensure the coaches you are bringing into your club are suitably qualified for the role you want them to undertake.

Whilst the coach will often be performing this task in a voluntary capacity there is still a requirement on the club or organisation to carry out the following:

Before Employment

1. Check the qualification of the coach

  • Do they have a relevant National Governing Body qualification to coach?
  • Are they qualified to lead a session or assist at a session?
  • Has the Club undertaken a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check? – it is recommended that all Coaches undertake a CRB check and they do not start until this is complete.

2. Check the references before employment

  • Ask current employer to comment on the coaching performance
  • Check the suitability of working with children if applicable

3. Check personal identification

4. Check self-disclosure forms

5. Check medical forms

6. Check if the coach has up to date first aid qualification?

7. Check if the coach has undertaken safeguarding, equity and disability training? If they or anyone else needs to obtain this training you can access this through your County Sports Partnership (

The above list is not exhaustive. If the coach you are engaging to deliver sessions for your Club is going to be coaching children or vulnerable adults, then it is strongly recommended that you check against current safeguarding requirements. Please contact your CSP for further information and advice.

Coach Competency

Assessing the ability of a coach on how they deliver a session, can sometimes be a sensitive issue. Therefore the guidance below should be used to help the Coach to improve and develop their ability to deliver coaching sessions.

The person undertaking this role for your Club needs to have the appropriate skills, expertise and credibility. Please contact your County Sports Partnership (

In terms of elements that you would look to assess the coach against on a practical level, the areas would cover the following:

  • Control and organisation of the session
  • Plan a session that meets all needs of the group
  • Knowledge of the facility and first aid equipment before commencing session
  • Arrive early and set up to begin session on time
  • Outline aim of session and reinforce at the end of the session
  • Ensure an effective warm up and cool down is undertaken
  • Encourage maximum participation at all times


  • Instructions must be clear and concise to ensure full understanding


  • Demonstrate activity effectively so that all participants can see and hear – obviously if participants have visual or hearing impairments then is the coach communicating with them appropriately?
  • Identify no more than 2 key points to work on at a time


  • Make the session fun with a variety of activities
  • Be enthusiastic and encouraging
  • Give praise throughout the session

Stages of Learning

  • Understanding the needs of all ranges and abilities
  • Group work undertaken with same ability and skill range
  • Break skills into manageable segments
  • Give feedback on technique and performance
  • Evaluate against aims


  • Identify weaknesses and establish strategies to improve
  • Set up activities with appropriate progression
  • Encourage participants to set their own attainable goals with coaches guidance

Coaching Styles

  • Professionalism
  • Value, care and respect participants by listening to contributions
  • Encourage 'Guided Discovery' to allow participants to offer their own solutions to problems

Behaviour Management

  • Ensure participants are engaged in activity, not bored or over stretched
  • Effective strategies for behaviour control
  • Promote Fair Play at all times

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