The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club has received praise from UEFA after becoming the biggest football coaching membership scheme in the world.
The FA’s free-to-join club, which was launched in 2011 to help support the development of coaches at all levels of the English game, reached the landmark figure of 30,000 members this week prompting UEFA's chief technical officer, Ioan Lupescu, to praise The FA's offering.
Popescu said: “The FA Licensed Coaches' Club offers a comprehensive continuous professional development programme for qualified coaches. It gives members the chance to attend a variety of further education events and courses as well as access to online and print resources.
"The number of registered users is impressive and underlines the quality of the programme and the passion for learning of its members.”
- Founded: 2011
- Website: http://facc.thefa.com/
- Membership: Open to coaches of all levels from across the men's, women's and disability game
- Cost: Free
- Fact: More than 75,000 hours of CPD will be completed throughout the 2013/14 season
Dan Ashworth, FA director of elite development, believes the growth of the FA Licensed Coaches' Club is representative of the positive work being undertaken in English coach and player development.
“This is excellent news and it is further recognition of the giant strides we're making within our coach education infrastructure," he said.
"Being able to offer a free scheme that enables coaches at all levels to continually develop their skills is hugely beneficial, whether you’re a grassroots coach for your local club, or a coach plying your trade within the professional game.
"I’d like to personally congratulate everyone in The FA Licensed Coaches' Club community who has played a part in helping us reach this landmark.”
Head of FA Learning, and founder of The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club, Jamie Houchen, is confident the club can help English football coaching to evolve.
“The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club is passionate and committed to developing coaching as a profession, increasing the profile and recognition for all members and supporting the whole game.
“Central to the FA Licensed Coaches’ Club is the culture of continued professional development. For coaches to re-licence each year they must complete a minimum amount of learning which proves they are updating their knowledge and delivering modern methods with their players."
And Houchen believes the variety of learning opportunities on offer for coaches, which ensure relevant qualifications are kept up-to-date, will help licensed coaches develop future generations of English players at every level of the game.
“It is a process which is fundamental to developing more innovative, creative and forward-thinking coaches.
"We want to develop a culture of lifelong learning where coaches don’t only complete their qualifications and the minimum amount of professional development, but continue to be inquisitive and find out the very best ways to work effectively with their group of players.
"Now we are the largest football coaches club in the world we want to ensure we can support all coaches with their continued development through coaching.”
Benefits of the Licenced Coaches Club include access to a wealth of digital and print coaching materials, discounted entrance to a number of regional and national coaching conferences and various opportunities to watch coaching sessions delivered by The FA’s national coaches.
To join the FA Licensed Coaches' Club visit: www.TheFA.com/FALCC