Football Coaching Badges & Qualifications

If you love football and think that you would make a good coach, then you may be wondering what qualifications and coaching badges you need in order to become qualified as a football coach. 

Here, we look at the current (English) FA coaching pathway, and give you some guidance on how to get qualified so that you can enjoy a rewarding career as a football coach.


Qualifying as a Football Coach in England

In order to begin coaching, you will need to gain the FA’s initial coaching qualifications: the BT Playmaker by England Football and the FA Introduction to Coaching Football. These two coaching courses form your first steps on the FA coaching pathway toward becoming a qualified football coach.

BT Playmaker by England Football

This is a new online course aimed at anyone who is interested in taking an active role in grassroots football. There is no requirement to have any previous coaching experience or qualifications. The BT Playmaker completely free and available to those aged 14 and over. All you need is an FA number and a computer, tablet or mobile device. 

The course covers 5 modules: making football for all, connecting with your players, creating fun sessions, making football safe and taking the next step.

Which leads nicely to…

Introduction to Coaching Football

This course has replaced the FA Level 1 in Coaching, which has been discontinued. Rather than employing both in-person and online teaching, as the Level 1 course did, this course is online only and delivered exclusively by England Football (rather than county FAs) over a 4 week period.

The Introduction to Coaching Football course is aimed at those wishing to take the next step toward a career in coaching. If you’re passionate about developing players and inspiring in them your love of football, then this is the next stage of your journey. It includes a module on safeguarding, which is vital for those planning to coach children.

It’s a blend of e-learning, live weekly webinars, online resources and community support, and aims to provide you with the skill you need to start coaching players of all ages. You’ll need to work through the e-learning modules, which you can do at your own pace, and you’ll also need to complete an online assessment.

UEFA C Licence

Of course the Introduction to Coaching Football is just the beginning of your coaching career. In order to continue in your new career, you will need to continually improve and refine your knowledge of the game. The next step on the coaching pyramid for new coaches is the UEFA C Licence.

The UEFA C Licence replaced the FA Level 2 course, which has now been discontinued. It is aimed at coaches who want to develop their skills and build on the knowledge gained from the Introduction to Coaching Football course. It takes place over around 20 weeks and incorporates both virtual and face-to-face learning. The three course modules cover the following topics: understanding players and their game, helping players love and learn football through practice and helping players love and learn football through matchday. 

Coaching At A High Level

For some coaches, coaching at the highest levels of the game is the ultimate aim. For these coaches, there are three further levels: UEFA B, UEFA A and UEFA Pro. These internationally recognised football coaching qualifications are ideal for those who wish to take their coaching career to the next level. 

Indeed in the case of working at the very highest levels (such as the Premier League or UEFA competitions), coaches will need to gain the UEFA Pro licence.

Below we are going to look at the three levels in a little more detail:


UEFA B (FA Level 3)

The UEFA B qualification is designed to help ensure that you can develop players holistically, and covers a range of themes including technical, tactical, physical, psychological and social needs. Once you have passed this qualification, you will be able to design practices that help to develop the decision-making ability of players and help them to develop their all-round skills as a player.

The course is made up of 18 guided learning workshops, and you will also receive three visits in between the learning blocks to help you to develop within your own coaching environment.

UEFA A (FA Level 4)

The UEFA A qualification is the highest practical coaching qualification available. The course is all about ensuring that coaches have all the knowledge that they need to be able to develop players, and also have an in-depth technical and tactical knowledge of the 11v11 game. The course will explore current trends in the game (including training techniques and tactics), and will ensure that you have everything that you need to succeed in your coaching career.

The course takes place over 12 days within a one-year period, and is divided into six residential modules (that take place at the FA’s national centre – St George’s Park) It’s overseen by an FA coach developer who will help you with your decision making. It is the ideal qualification for those who are looking to work at the senior professional levels (21+) and ensures that you have a strong ability to coach at a high level.

UEFA Pro (FA Level 5)

If you wish to coach at the most senior levels of the game (FA Premier League & UEFA competitions such as The Champions League), you will need to gain the UEFA Pro, or FA Level 5, qualification. The course takes place over an 18-month period and combines face-to-face learning with independent study to enhance your management and leadership skills. With one-to-one study sessions, regular theory-based and practical workshops and input from industry leaders, this course aims to give coaches all the skills they need to work at the very top of the game.

Completion of the UEFA Pro course will ensure that you are not only a technically sound coach, you are also a leader who can inspire, motivate and guide teams to elite performance levels.

Getting into Coaching without Experience

As with most other career paths, “experience” sets your career on its trajectory. Otherwise all you have is “a good knowledge of the game”. Here are some tips on how to get into football coaching without any previous experience:

  • Volunteering: Often no experience is required – kick start your coaching career by volunteering at a local school or team. You may also consider volunteering with some of our coaches, click here to find the franchise closest to you. Football is one of those community sports that cannot run fully without volunteers and the dedication of those involved.
  • Local and Lower leagues: This works best if you have previously played for a local team. It is probably a good option to contact the coach, asking if you can involved on a voluntary basis. Passion is key to football and coaching; you will need to be able to demonstrate your passion to the coach.
  • International Internships in football: Asides the fun of experiencing a different culture, getting involved in football in a different country will not only give you the needed experience with getting into football, it will also help you experience the game from a totally different school of thought (another country’s way of seeing the game).

An Excellent Opportunity

These days, many people are looking for opportunities to either work for themselves, do a job they enjoy, or just earn a little more money outside of their 9 to 5 career. Whichever one of these appeals to you can be achieved by being a football coach. Whether you intend to work with kids, or you want to try and go all the way to the top, the FA’s coaching pyramid offers continual progression and the ability to create a career that you love. 

Start Your Coaching Career with We Make Footballers

If you want to get started in coaching, our football franchise opportunity allows coaches to get their career off of the ground. So if you are interested in taking on a challenging, rewarding and profitable career as a football coach, get in touch today and speak to us about getting started.

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