Coaching standards – your questions answered

What is a professional standard?

A professional standard is a documented framework to which any training and education can align itself to. It defines the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to perform certain tasks. Most commonly, this will be in relation to a job role (e.g. coaching assistant); an environment (e.g. in schools); a population (e.g. children) or an industry requirement (e.g. safeguarding).

For the UK sport and physical activity sector, all professional standards are employer and expert led and  facilitated by CIMSPA. Training and education that is successfully aligned to a professional standard may be endorsed by CIMSPA – the sector’s chartered professional body.

What will professional standards contribute to coaching excellence?

Completing the coaching professional standards and integrating them into coach education will contribute to the delivery of outcomes in line with the Coaching Plan for England:

  • Allow coaches to better engage with the inactive.
  • Give coaches a broader range of coaching opportunities.
  • Allow them to show their expertise across their coaching contexts (e.g. specialisms and environments).

What happens to my governing body’s current qualification endorsement system?

All UKCC endorsements remain valid. CIMSPA and UK Coaching are working together to ensure governing bodies understand the benefits of aligning the their qualifications and training to the new standards. There will be a transitional period for governing bodies to pivot from a UKCC-based model to one aligned with professional standards.

1st4sport Qualifications, who develop and manage the majority of coaching qualifications, are official CIMSPA awarding organisation partners and have been involved in the professional standards project from the outset. Working with awarding organisations, governing bodies will likely aligned the next generation of their qualifications and training to the new Professional Standards and Specialisms. 

How were the coaching professional standards developed?

The sector’s Community Sport Professional Development Committee (PDC) led the development of the coaching professional standards.

Community Sport PDC members

UK Coaching, Youth Sport Trust, ukactive Premier Education Group, Fit for Sport, Sport England, AfPE, British Gymnastics, Fusion Lifestyle, SCL, GLL, AC Leisure, Oxley Sports Centre, Sports Structures, 1st4sport Qualifications, Planet Sport, Challenger Sports, Aspire Sports, Streetgames, National Schools Training.

The consultation timeline

November/December 2017
All UK national governing bodies of sport and all county sports partnerships were consulted on the draft standards. 27 governing bodies, 12 county sports partnerships, 5 sport for development agencies, 5 national sports agencies and a range of other partners including HE institutes, insurers and workforce development consultants attended the consultation events.

January 2018
An open consultation phase for further feedback – over 200 CIMSPA partner organisations were asked for their views, as was the wider sports and physical activity sector. 449 pieces of feedback received from 212 partners on 8 standards, including coach and coaching assistant.

March 2018
The sport and physical activity sector’s Professional Development Board formally approved the coaching standards. British Gymnastics, the Lawn Tennis Association, Swim England and the Football Association are all represented on the PDB

June 2018
Standards launched and made available to governing body and CSP audiences via UK Coaching.