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.  Coaches are trained in NCCP streams relevant to the participants that they are coaching. In the case of field hockey, standards will be set by the National Sport Organization, Field Hockey Canada (FHC).

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


Understanding the NCCP

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. Each stream consists of Multisport modules that are consistent for all coaches, regardless of sport, as well as Field Hockey specific modules developed by FHC

Coaches must be at least 14 years of age.  Certification is valid for no longer than 5 years and professional development is required to maintain certification.

Coaches can receive one of three types of accreditation for the streams:

“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.


Consists of three Multisport Modules and one Field Hockey specific Community Module.  There is no certification for the Community Sport Stream.  Coaches who complete all 4 modules are considered Community Trained.


There are three sub categories to the Competition Stream:

1) 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. Consists of 7 Multisport Modules, a Field Hockey specific Competition Introduction Course and a 2 step evaluation process to become Competition Introduction Certified

2) 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. Candidates who complete the 12 prerequisite Multisport Modules and Field Hockey specific Competition Development Course are considered Competition Development Trained.  Following a 3 step evaluation process, candidates are Competition Development Certified

3) Development Advanced - 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. Entry requirements include: Competition Development Certification and Making Ethical Decisions Multisport Module. Program consists of Advanced Coaching Diploma delivered by the Canadian Sports Institute, an active mentorship program within the National High Performance FHC Pathway and a three step evaluation delivered by FHC and assessed by an expert panel.  Candidates who successfully complete the program are certified as a Chartered Professional Coach


There are three sub categories to the Instruction Stream:

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

2) 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.

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



Step 1: Register with NCCP

First of all, each coach must create an NCCP identification and familiarize themselves with their "Locker" a website where all NCCP accreditation and experience will be stored.  Click here to create an NCCP ID


Step 2: National Coach Certification Program - Choose a Pathway

Coaches must first choose a coaching pathway. Within the new NCCP, there are three streams: Community, Competition (Introduction, Development & Advanced - High Performance), Instruction

The diagram below shows the various streams.


For more details, refer to the below slide on the various pathways: 


Consider the following... 

->Are you interested in coaching children at the grass roots level such as Funstix, U12 Calgary Junior Field Hockey program (CJFH) or for a local league or at youth camps, if so then the Community Sport Stream is the direction for you.

    Click Here For the Community Sport Detailed Stream

->If you have at least 2 years coaching experience and are interested in coaching athletes up to U16 at a club level such as CJFH U16s, then the Competition Introduction Stream is the direction for you.

    Click Here For the Competition Introduction Stream

->If you are an experienced coach and wish to coach performance club athletes such as Select Club Championship Teams, then the Competition Development Stream is the direction for you.

    Click Here For the Competition Development Stream

->If you are interested in becoming a provincial team coach and working with high performance athletes the Competition Development Advanced Stream is the direction for you.

    Click Here For the Competition Development Advanced Stream for High Performance

->If you are interested in instructing new coaches or experienced coaches then the Instructional Stream is the direction you would need to take.

    Click Here For the Instruction Stream


Step 3: Enroll in a Course

The Field Hockey specific courses are offered by Field Hockey Alberta and Field Hockey Canada.  They are available in various formats, such as online workshops, in person workshops and e learning modules or a combination of these. 

The general NCCP Multisport courses that are relevant to all athletes across all sports, which are required in order to become a certified coach are offered by Alberta Sport.  Please see Alberta Sport's website for course costs, dates and locations. Click here

Occasionally, Field Hockey Alberta will host an Alberta Sport Multisport Course.  Click here to see all FHA Course offerings



Effective 2016, NCCP transferred all certifications from the old system (Theory, Technical, Practical 1, 2, 3, etc) to the new system: Community, Competition Introduction, Competition Development, etc. This certification must be maintained by taking 20-30 professional development credits. For those who transferred certification, maintenance credits must have been completed by December 31, 2021.  If this was not done, certification will have lapsed.  For those with “trained” status, there is no expiration.

There are several ways to earn maintenance credits: self directed learning (3 courses), coaching (1 credit per year), NCCP courses (up to 5 credits per course). You may track certification and maintenance credits in The Locker You will need to know your NCCP#, but you can also find it through this link if you do not have it.


Contact for help with selecting a pathway and making an education plan. 


Last updated 2023-02-01


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