Coaching National Coaching Certification Program

What is the (National Coaching Certification Program) NCCP?

The NCCP is Canada’s recognized National Coaching Certification Program. It was developed in 1974 to help provide qualified training and certification to coaches across Canada in more than 65 sports. The New NCCP has a competency-based approach. Coaches are trained in NCCP outcomes relevant to the participants that they are coaching. Evaluated by demonstrating coaching outcomes to a specified standard, in the case of our sport, thesestandards will be set by the National Sport Organization, Field Hockey Canada.

The purpose of the Coaching Association of Canada is to “enhance the experience of all Canadian athletes through quality coaching.” ( The CAC provides coaches with resources on many aspects of coaching. Including LTAD education, the NCCP, Code of Ethics in sport and funding options. This is a great website for information on everything that is coaching!


Step 1: National Coach Certification Program - Choose a pathway

Coaches must first choose a coaching pathway. Within the new NCCP, there are three streams. Two for coaching and one for course instructors.

The three streams are Community Sport, Competition & Instruction- The diagram below shows the various streams. Each has varying sub-categories as well.

Community Sport Stream - Initiation (CSp-Init) & Ongoing Participation (CSp-Ong)

Competition Stream - Introduction (Comp-Int), Development (Comp-Dev) & High Performance (Comp-HP)

Instruction Stream - Beginners (Inst-Beg), Intermediate (Inst-Imd) & Advanced (Inst-Adv)



Step 2: Enroll in the appropriate stream for the level of coaching you would like to pursue

More details to come shortly!

How do I get certified?

First of all, each coach must determine what direction they would like to take with their coaching career. Are you interested in coaching at the grass roots level for a local league or at youth camps, if so than the Community Sport Stream is the direction for you. If you are interested in becoming a provincial team coach and working with high performance athletes the Competitive Stream is the direction for you. If you are interested in instructing new coaches or experienced coaches than the Instructional Stream is the direction you would need to take. More information on the various streams can be found below.

Coaches can receive three types of accreditation in any of the streams and contexts:

“In Training”: Coaches who have just entered the world of coaching and a particular sport; these coaches are also taking workshops and are considered “In Training.”

“Trained”: Coaches who have completed training, but have not been evaluated are considered “Trained.”

“Certified”: These are coaches who have completed their training and have been evaluated. Competence is demonstrated and evaluated. In order to become a “Master” in coaching in any of the different streams additional training and professional development is necessary.

The coaching streams are currently being developed by Field Hockey Canada and more information will be available shortly. Thank you for your patience.

How much will it cost and where do I go to take the courses?

The sport specific courses are offered by Field Hockey Alberta and are available in various centres in Alberta upon request. Generally these courses are held in Calgary or Edmonton. FHA is in the process of creating a schedule for the community coach stream as well as the competition stream. More information will be available soon, thank you for your patience.

The general courses that are relevant to all athletes across all sports, which are required in order to become a certified coach are offered by various organizations across the province and are held on a regular basis. Please click here for course schedule for 2008/2009 for the following courses.

Competition Introduction - Part A (Replacing Theory 1): Approximate cost is $80.00 (13 hours)

Competition Introducation - Part B (Replacing Theory 2): Approximate cost is $80.00 (13 hours)

Level 3 Theory (Similar to previous structure): Approximate cost is max $130.00 (28 hours)

Understanding the New NCCP

The new NCCP model is made up of three streams and a total of eight contexts, each with its own coaching requirements. Each sport is responisble for identifycing how many of the eight contexts are relevant to their sport. Field Hockey Canada and Field Hockey Alberta are currently working on a system for our sport. Please be patient with the process as this is a transitional period.

Training and certificiation are generally designed for coaches working in a particular stream with a target group of athletes. Becoming certified to coach other target athletes, or in other coaching streams, requires additional training and evaluation. Previous coach education and experience is recognized (competency based). By demonstrating important NCCP coaching competencies, progress towards certification is achieved.

Coaches can be trained in any of the eight coaching contexts, which are specific to the type of athlete they are working with, and can progress through to a “Master Coach” level in any context.

The diagram on the right depicts the 8 streams, for a more detailed version of this diagram please click here. For more details on each stream please visit the CAC site. And for more information on the status of our sport please click here.

Coaching Certification:

The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) certifies coaches who have demonstrated their ability to apply critically important competencies in coaching situations relevant to the athletes they coach. This means that coaches must not only know about coaching but be able to demonstrate their ability to apply this knowledge in the coaching situation.

Certificiation is valid for no longer than 5 years and professional development is required to maintain certification.

Community Sport Stream - Initiation (CSp - Init) & Ongoing Participation (CSp - Ong)

Initiation (CSp - Init) - New participants are encouraged to participate in the sport and introduced to sport basics in a fun, safe, and self-esteem building environment regardless of their ability.

Ongoing Participation (CSp - Ong) - Participants are encouraged to continue participating in the sport for fun, fitness, skill development and social interaction.

Competition Stream - Introduction (Comp - Int), Development (Comp - Dev) & High Performance (Comp - HP)

Introduction (Comp - Int) - New sport participants are taught basic sport skills and athletic ability in a fun and safe environment and are typically prepared for local and/or regional level competitions.

Development (Comp - Dev) - Developing athletes are coached to refine basic sport skills, to develop more advanced skills and tactics, and are generally prepared for performance at provincial and/or national level competitions.

High Performance (Comp - HP) - High performance athletes are coached to refine advanced skills and tactics and are typically prepared for performance at national or international level competitions.

Instruction Stream - Beginners (Inst - Beg), Intermediate Performers (Inst - Imd) & Advanced Performers (Inst - Adv)

Beginners (Inst - Beg) - Participants of all ages, with little or not sport experience, are taught basic sport skills.

Intermediate Performers (Inst - Imd) - Participants, who already have some experience and proficiency in the sport, are taught to refine basic skills and introduced to more complex techniques.

Advanced Performers (Inst - Adv) - Participants, who are experienced and already proficient in the sport, are taught to refine advanced skills and techniques.

The five NCCP Core Competencies

Key improvements of the competency-based NCCP are:

  1. Greater emphasis on coach ability: certification is based on a proven ability to do versus simply to know.
  2. Structured program that allows differences between sports, types of coaches and environments in which coaches work.
  3. Coach training and certification is based on the needs of participants and as experiential as possible.

Below is a diagram depicting the five competencies for the new NCCP and how they relate to concrete outcomes. Different levels of athletes required different things from their coaches. This new system incorporates this idea into coaches certification.

Please click on the following image for a pdf version.


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