Coaching certificate under review

Review into UK Coaching Certificate aims to break down the barriers that stop people coaching

03 August 2017 News

The Sport and Recreation Alliance will lead a review into the framework that supports current governing body sport coach-education programmes.

It will look into the current state of coaching and the necessary changes needed to get more people from diverse backgrounds into coaching.


The need to review the current coaching certificate is clear.

More than 3 million adults in England coached sport or physical activity in 2016, with almost three-quarters of those doing so voluntarily.

However, while 37% of people from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds take part in sport, just 5% of people that receive a coaching qualification each year come from a BAME background.

You’re also more than twice as likely to become a coach if you’re from a higher socio-economic background – while only 2% of coaches with a disability have obtained a coaching qualification since 2009.

The state of play for women coaches is improving – but there is clearly a long way to go to attract coaches that reflect the number of women taking part.

Benefits of good coaching

We know that good coaching has enormous benefits for both the people who take part and the people doing the coaching.

Whether it’s guiding people who are dipping their toe into sport and physical activity for the first time, accompanying others on a journey of improvement or supporting talented athletes, coaches help individuals progress faster and further than they could on their own.

Good coaches inspire people to get active and stay active – and, importantly, good coaching is good for everyone.

Under review

The Sport and Recreation Alliance will lead a multi-phased review into the current set-up and work in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.

The project, which will be completed in January 2018, aims to find out more about those currently active, as well as the needs of underrepresented groups, such as women and girls.

The review will help us deliver our coaching plan for England – which forms part of a wider initiative to refresh the coaching workforce.

Now is the time to see what's needed to meet the aspirations mapped out in the coaching plan

Phil Smith, director of sport, Sport England

For the first time, we want to unleash the power of coaching for all the people taking their first steps to becoming more physically active

"Coaching in an Active Nation is the first ever coaching plan for England,” says our director of sport, Phil Smith.

“The plan seeks to ensure that the people that coach are more reflective of sport and society.

"The UK Coaching Certificate has established coaching's importance to sport over the last 10 years – now is the time to see what's needed to meet the aspirations mapped out in the coaching plan."

Further information