The FA, Premier League, EFL, LMA and PFA have collaborated to create the Coach Index, a self-registration system providing black, Asian, mixed heritage and female coaches with access to information about employment and development opportunities within professional football.
Created with the aim of producing a more inclusive and diverse coaching workforce, which is representative of the playing population, the Index is part of football’s ongoing action and commitment to improving the pathways for coaches from currently under-represented groups within the game.
The Index enables relevant coaches with a minimum of an FA Level 2 or UEFA C Licence qualification to sign up for alerts from clubs and football partners. Registered coaches will be signposted to relevant coaching opportunities, as well as updates on accessible professional learning and development activity.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “A key part of our No Room For Racism Action Plan is to address the lack of diversity and increase the opportunities for coaches from currently under-represented groups. The Coach Index is designed to enhance career pathways and professional development, while supporting coaches’ journeys in the professional game.
“We're very proud to have led on the creation of the Coach Index, working with football partners and members of our Black Participants’ Advisory Group to create a system which signposts to the opportunities available. We encourage all coaches who fulfil the criteria to register.
“We see incredible diversity on the pitch and in the stands, and we will continue to take steps to ensure this is reflected in off-field positions, particularly within coaching.”
Professional clubs and football partners involved in the creation of the Index will be able to use the platform to alert registered coaches to opportunities.
Edleen John, the FA’s Director of International Relations, Corporate Affairs and Co-partner for EDI, said: “I’m delighted to see the Coach Index launch, which will provide greater access to employment and development opportunities for coaches from historically under-represented groups.
“Increasing the diversity of English football’s coaching talent pipeline is a key commitment outlined in our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, A Game For All, and this Index complements the Football Leadership Diversity Code, which aims to improve diverse representation in senior leadership positions, coaching and team operations roles.
“This is another clear signal that footballing bodies are committed to working together to make the game more inclusive for all and a better representation of our modern society. We continue to encourage coaches to use this Index and to register their profile on the Football Leadership Diversity Code careers platform, which provides transparency on the wide range of roles available across football.”
The Index will enable coaches who meet the criteria to create their own profile and tailor it so they can be sent appropriate employment, learning and development opportunities both in the men’s and women’s professional game.
Trevor Birch, EFL chief executive added: “Diversifying our workforce at all levels is a key priority for the EFL and the new Coach Index will assist clubs to provide opportunities for coaches from currently under-represented groups.
“The Coach Index will allow clubs to search the site to signpost suitably qualified candidates to openings and represents another welcome initiative to help the game further evolve its recruitment practices.”
Clubs and partners will have the ability to filter those registered on the site to provide updates that are appropriate for individuals based on their coaching qualifications, relevant work experience, roles that would be of interest, as well as where they are based in the country. Personal data and protected characteristics will not be shared.
PFA coach educator, Mark Jules said: “At the moment, the diversity figures in coach education reflects the coaching roles in senior professional football, and those figures are too low. I hope the Coach Index will improve diversity and inclusion at clubs, in the workforce and within the professional game.
“I believe that through this joint initiative with the PFA’s Professional Game Partners, we’ll be able to get the right coaches, at the right clubs, in the right environment so we can have a more diverse coaching workforce. The Coach Index is another step forward to help get us there.”
The Index will provide professional football clubs with support to achieve their commitment of improving the diversity of their coaching staff, which aligns to initiatives already underway as part of the Premier League’s No Room For Racism Action Plan and the FA’s Leadership Diversity Code.
LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan said: “The LMA supports any considered game-wide initiatives that will contribute positively to addressing under-representation in employment in the professional game. The Coach Index can play an important part of improving recruitment practices in the game.”