Recognised Governing Body Qualifications

Many governing body programmes deliver regulated qualifications; meaning they meet an agreed set of standards. 

Each sport's programme varies, depending on the nature of the sport. For example, face-to-face ‘classroom’ element of a Level 1 course can take from two to four days to complete, with added time for assessment, putting your learning into practice and gaining experience.  The cost and length of courses differs from sport to sport too.


You don't need a formal qualification to assist another coach in a club so don't let that stop you getting involved.  Qualifications are not required to start your coaching journey.  Look out for voluntary roles in your local clubs, hubs and Active Schools teams or search for volunteer positions.

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 endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport & Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and certified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and is being rolled out for implementation from September 2020.

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) can be broken down as follows:


Qualifications comparison
Scottish Coaching Certificate   SQA Title   Previous UKCC   
Assisting Coaching Sessions  SCQF L5    UKCC L1*
Leading Coaching Sessions  SCQF L6   UKCC L1*
The Coach Practitioner (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 (from October 2020) in equestrian and netball. 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. The current process will continue until March 2021. 

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.

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

The Scottish Coaching Certificate is based on a new structure and has an equivalent level within the former UKCC endorsed qualifications. The table above shows where the Scottish Coaching Certificate is positioned higher on the SCQF framework at L2 & L3.

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.

Are there any new opportunities for the education sector within this new set up?

Yes, there will be as we are aiming to make the Scottish Coaching Certificate Level 1 (assisting) and Level 1 (leading) available through schools. The plan is to integrate the new qualification into the PE curriculum for the senior phase. There will be more information regarding this process at a later stage. Please keep checking sportscotland social media and the sportscotland website for more information.

Is there any funding available to help our coaches gain these qualifications?

Funding is available to coaches who access their coaching qualifications via a Scottish Governing Body (SGB) for the relevant sport.

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 note your interest with your sportscotland partnership manager in the first instance.

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, through your partnership manager.

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: 01 September 2016
Date updated: 11 November 2020


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