The FA has today rolled out its new-look FA Level 1 in Coaching Football and The FA Level 2 in Coaching Football courses across England.
The launch marks the end of an 18-month process to modernise the first steps of The FA’s Coach Education Pathway, with both courses receiving a number of key adaptations designed to improve the quality of educational experience for all learners.
Chief among them is the integration of The FA Youth Module 1 and 2 courses, which will offer a more streamlined and blended approach to learning and development, giving learners a comprehensive understanding of both the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of football coaching.
Added to that is the introduction of The FA Coach Competency Framework, the retraining of The FA’s affiliate tutor workforce, a course structure linked to the core elements of The England DNA, and a new quality assurance process.
Together, the value of each learning experience gained by coaches attending the courses will be enhanced, more personalised and in-tune with modern needs.
“The modern-day coach is ever-evolving and these changes represent a significant shift in helping us develop the quality of our grassroots coaching,” explained Les Howie, who is The FA’s head of grassroots delivery and one of the key figures in the relaunch.
“We know that the grassroots game already has a number of talented young players in the system, and we want to be able to increase that with more quality coaches working with them in youth football.
“However, we also know that a large majority of our grassroots coaches just want to be able to enjoy coaching their local team.
“Making sure they can develop, improve and learn as a coach while enjoying their football is vital. These new courses reflect our ambition to help them achieve that.”
For coaches either new to the pathway or who may have their ‘old’ FA Level 1, Howie explained more about what they can expect from the new courses.
“We have been working behind the scenes here at St. George’s Park over the past 18 months to really embed the key messages from the England DNA [into the new courses] about how we support, coach our players, how we play the game and what the future player looks like.
“But also it was important we looked at the new competency framework that is coming in around coaching that recognises the external skills and experiences and knowledge that coaches bring with them on their coaching journey.
“Level 1 will be made up of seven workshops, which will look at those key elements of the DNA and an eighth which will look at safeguarding and emergency aid.
“At Level 2 we’ll have three blocks of work, which between them will involve 20 workshops with the DNA and focused on those core themes.”
Within these new course structures, the learner experience has also undergone a number of improvements as The FA seeks to provide a more tailored approach to suit individual needs.
Technology will play a crucial role, with various digital and online solutions – such as E-Learning modules and The FA Coaching Community powered by Hive – woven into both the content delivery and support aspects of the courses.
The way learners are assessed will also change. The traditional final end-point assessments have been replaced by an approach where tutors observe and support learners as they progress through the course.
“What we’ve looked to do is to simplify the coaching pathway to support all coaches, whether they’re new to the journey or already part of it going forward,” explained Howie.
“This is an opportunity now to introduce the new content, look at a variety of blended learning techniques and really help to support coaches make the difference in developing players for the future."
To find out more about how to book onto one these new courses, please click here.