Football Coaching Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of mail from people looking for advice about getting started in football coaching so we thought we'd add a FAQ section to try to cover a few of the more commonly asked questions.

Do you run courses yourselves?

No we don't actually run any courses ourselves, these are generally provided by county football associations. The idea of our website is to provide some information about the options for coaches in the FA Coaching Pathway and give an overview of what those courses involve.

Is there a course near me, when are they and how much do they cost?

This varies a lot but the lower levels usually have courses that run over weekends (usually consecutive) and example costs are around £150 for Level 1 and £300 for Level 2. The best place to find out about the availability and cost of any course you are interested in is through the FA's course finder database here. This search will return details of all the courses in your area and provides links to the count FA's providing them which have all the relevant information. Just make sure you include the space in the middle of your postcode when searching, the database is a little temperamental and doesn't always return results if you enter it without the space!

Help, I've lost my certificate - what do I do?!

Replacement certificates for FA coaching qualifications can be provided if the FA holds a record of your qualification on its database. For all 1st4sport Qualifications (Levels 1 and 2) there is a fee of £11.75 and you can obtain a form to request a replacement certificate by calling 1st4sport on 0113 290 7610. For replacement certificates for other FA Learning courses there is a fee of £4.95 for online and local courses and £10 for national courses. Email FA Learning on FALearningSupport@TheFA.com and provide further details to see if they hold a record of your certification.

Who runs coaching courses in the UK?

The vast majority of courses in the FA Coaching Pathway are run by county football associations. There are also a much smaller number of national courses that differ from local ones in that they are intensive courses and are usually residential. Although there are some lower level national courses available, they are often used as a good way of delivering the higher standard courses (such as the UEFA Pro Licence) as there is usually not enough demand to offer these on a high volume, local level.

Where should I start my coaching career?

The normal simple answer for this is at FA Level 1 or as it should be correctly called, the 1st4sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Football. This is the most popular football coaching course in the UK with around 1500 courses available each year. It provides a solid start for people looking to get into coaching in the youth game and no prior coaching experience is necessary.

I have lots of playing and/or coaching experience, do I need to start at Level 1?

Normally there is no problem to start at Level 2 (the 1st4Sport Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football) though if there is any doubt about your previous experience we'd suggest that you won't lose anything by starting at Level 1. It's always worth talking to the actual course provider about your specific level of experience and they will be able to guide you directly.

I'm from a country other than the UK, can I take a course?

Yes - absolutely! The only thing to consider is that you need the correct visa and you need to be able to find accommodation and support yourself whilst doing the course (although as noted above, accommodation is usually included in the national courses as they are residential).

The only issue prospective overseas coaches should consider is that some courses have assessments after the course has finished to enable the coach to return to his/her club to put into practice what has been learnt during the course. We'd suggest talking directly to the course provider to find out more about the requirements. Overseas coaches are also reminded about the need for refresher courses to keep their certification current, which can again cause some difficulties.