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Introduction to Canada廣 National Coaching Certification Program and the Canadian Soccer Association Program

National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP)


TheoryTechnicalPracticalCertified
Level One
Level Two



Level Three



Level Four



Level Five



The program is structured on five levels and presents coaches with the Theoretical, Technical and Practical aspects of coaching. Theory courses are sponsored by the Provincial governments across the country and relate detailed information on such topics as leadership, motivation, training and teaching methods, etc., common to coaches in all sports. The Technical courses are offered by the National/Provincial Sport Associations and present the specific skills, drills and tactics of a particular sport in a progressive, logical sequence. The Practical component of the program consists of actual on-the-field coaching where the principles learned in Theory and Technical are practically applied by coaches working with their athletes. When a coach completes all three components of a level, that coach becomes formally certified.

The Canadian Soccer Association Coaching Program

The National Coaching Certification Program forms the basis of the CSA廣 Coaching Program.


Theory Technical Practical Certified

C Y S

Level One

Level Two





Level Three



C Licence
Level Four B Licence Program

Level Five A Licence Program

In order to provide coaches with specific and relevant technical/tactical information based on the physiological and psychological growth and development patterns of players, the Technical component has been divided into three streams:

Children廣 Soccer: for coaches of players 6-10 years old
Youth Soccer: for coaches of players 11-16 years old
Senior Soccer: for coaches of players 17 years and older

The Youth and Senior streams are in effect up to and including Level 3, while the Children廣 stream is in effect up to and including Level 2. In order to enter the Coaching Program, each coach must choose a stream based on the age of the players with which he/she works. A coach working with 14-year-old players, for instance, would take the Level 1 Youth course and upon completion of the Practical and Theory components would be certified as a level 1 Youth Coach. That same coach would then proceed to Level 2 Youth and so on up to Level 3. A coach may remain in a particular coaching stream for as long as he/she is working with players within that particular age group. If, however, the coach decides to work with children or senior players he/she should work through the appropriate coaching stream beginning at Level 1 in order to gain full certification as a Children廣 or Senior Coach.

Those with a strong background in soccer, who have performed at the elite level (i.e. National Team, Provincial Team, Professional, semi-professional and Division 1 Senior Amateur Provincial League) may apply for exemption from Level 1 and Level 2 Technical/Practical and may enter the program at Level 3 as part of the elite stream. Coaches accepted into the elite stream must complete the Level 1-3 Theory components before entry into the 嘽 Licence course will be permitted. The CSA requires that coaches reach a minimum standard of competence in a practical coaching environment. Each coach is, therefore, formally assessed and graded by Staff Instructors as part of the course. This process begins with the Level 3 Practical course which is designated the 嘽 Licence. The 噀 and 嘳 Licence programs are designed for high performance coaches and cater to those wishing to make a career of coaching at the highest level.

Updated 24 November 1998
Overview | Principles | Resources | Practical Guidelines | Game Day | Very Young | More Reading