Recognised Governing Body Qualifications

Scottish Coaching Certificate

The new coaching qualification is called the Scottish Coaching Certificate (SCC) and it has been developed, in conjunction with a number of SGBs, to replace the previous UKCC qualifications which have been retired. This new framework has been developed by sportscotland and is mapped to the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport & Physical Activity (CIMSPA) Professional Standards and jointly certified by CIMSPA, sportscotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Each award within the Scottish Coaching Certificate has been aligned to the sportscotland Effective Coaching Map. The Effective Coaching Map provides the guiding principles to support coaches to be confident and competent in their coaching practice and is built on the three pillars of Knowing Yourself, Knowing Others and Knowing Coaching. This has helped to shift the focus away from the technical and tactical side of sport and emphasises the importance of being person-centred.  This award supports the learner to understand the needs and experience of participants and others involved in the coaching team, recognising that everyone is an individual and that coaching skills and behaviours need to be adapted to offer better support, get the most out of a learning opportunity and enjoy the sport and or physical activity. 

To help you understand how the new qualification will affect you or the coaches you work with, we have compiled the following list of questions and answers.

Why is there a new coaching qualification in Scotland?

The previous UKCC framework has been retired and a replacement was needed. In Scotland we have responded quickly with the new Scottish Coaching Certificate which will be gradually rolled out across sports.  

What are the new coaching qualifications?

The new Scottish Coaching Certificate (SCC) is a collection of awards from the SQA which can be broken down as follows:


Qualifications comparison
Scottish Coaching Certificate Qualification Title   SQA Level   Previous UKCC   
Sports Coaching: Assisting in Coaching Sessions  SCQF L5    UKCC L1*
Sports Coaching: Leading Coaching Sessions  SCQF L6   UKCC L1*
Sports Coach Practitioner: Developing People and Programmes (Draft Title) SCQF L7 UKCC L2
Advanced Coach Practitioner (Draft Title)   SCQF L8 UKCC L3

*The SCQF L5 is designed for coaches who will work under direct supervision of others, with the SCQF L6 being designed for coaches who may work under minimal supervision.  Sports may wish to draw down upon and deliver one or another of these qualifications, or both dependent on their workforce needs.  Traditionally UKCC did not cater for these tiers of supervision hence both the SCQF L5 and 6 are articulated within the table as being mapped from UKCC L1 but they are in fact two distinct qualifications which reflect the needs of our volunteer coaching workforce in Scotland.


When will the Scottish Coaching Certificate be available?

The Scottish Coaching Certificate is available now in Level 5 and Level 6. The Level 7 award will be available soon. Please check with your sport to find out their timescales.

Who do I contact to get started on my Scottish Coaching Certificate?

You should contact your Scottish Governing Body (SGB) for your sport.

What does each qualification allow me to do?

Each qualification equips you to coach effectively. This includes an understanding of who you are as a coach, who it is you are coaching, and what your coaching process may be depending on the needs of the participants / athletes you work with. The group of awards are designed to be progressive, so each qualification builds on the previous level.

How much does it cost to complete the Scottish Coaching Certificate?

The individual cost for each qualification varies and is determined by each Scottish Governing Body (SGB).

Is there any funding available for the new qualifications?

Yes, funding is available to complete the Scottish Coaching Certificate.  

How will the Scottish Coaching Certificate stand up against the former UKCC endorsed qualifications?

Each UKCC endorsed qualification level will have an equivalent Scottish Coaching Certificate qualification and will be held as equal in regard to coaching opportunities and recruitment. The Scottish Coaching Certificate qualifications are fundamentally different in their design, their levelling and how they will be delivered.

How does this affect the qualifications I already have?

Your existing UKCC endorsed qualification remains valid and there is no requirement for coaches to undertake the new qualification at the equivalent level. Coaches may choose to engage with the new qualifications if they wish, however sports may have their own guidance in time so best to consult with each individual sports to confirm.

Can I use this qualification in other areas of the UK?

The awards in the SCC are mapped to the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity professional standards.  This will help with the transportability across the UK.  For more information, please contact your Scottish Governing Body.

How do I go about ordering a replacement certificate?

You may order a replacement certificate for your current qualification at any time through the SQA. Your replacement certificate will not have the UKCC logo on it as this has been retired.

How will this impact on the coaches currently working within our set up?

All existing UKCC endorsed qualifications remain valid. Moving forward coaches with the Scottish Coaching Certificate will begin to emerge in the workforce. It is important job advertisements; job evaluations and development opportunities reflect this.

How do we go about registering interest into moving across to the new qualifications?

If you are not currently registered to move across to the new qualification and would like to, or simply would like more information in the process, please get in touch with the Coaching team at sportscotland or through your Governing Body Partnership manager.

As a sport, we didn't deliver UKCC qualifications, can we deliver the Scottish Coaching Certificate?

Yes, we already have a couple of sports who are developing their own content for a new formal education pathway.  Please get in touch with the Coaching Team at sportscotland for more information. 

What support is available for designing our new qualifications for our sport?

The qualifications have already been designed and support is available to translate the qualifications into courses for your sport. This support will be across different modes and will include online calls, in person workshops and an online community of practice.  Please get in touch with the Coaching team at sportscotland for more information.

Is there any funding available for governing bodies for supporting the new qualifications?

There is no funding available for Scottish Governing Bodies to adopt the new qualifications , however additional support may be provided depending on your needs.

Date published: 29 March 2023
Date updated: 13 July 2023


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