UKA Athletics Coach


The Athletics Coach (AC) Award is designed for those who want to get involved in coaching athletes in track and field athletics. This programme advocates a multi-event approach in the development of athletes and covers the Foundation stage of athlete development.

Coaches who opt for this pathway will be expected to develop their technical knowledge and expertise across a range of events in relation to running, jumping and throwing activities; this will form the basis of a strong training and competition base regardless of the event-specific choice later in the athlete’s development.

During the programme, candidates will be asked to consider, plan for and adapt training to meet the needs of individuals who have a range of abilities, experiences and fundamental movement skills regardless of their chronological age. The AC programme is a six-month development process to becoming qualified and licensed as a UKA Athletics Coach, however, once underway, applicants have up to two years to complete all elements.

The taught part of the course is three days in duration, however, this should be viewed as part of a longer developmental process which will ultimately lead to a coach being licensed to coach unassisted.

Candidates embarking on this course must do so in the knowledge that it will require an investment in their time to complete the work necessary for success at the assessment stage. The induction process, home study, supported practice periods, planning, delivering and evaluating training and preparation for assessment all form an integral part of the programme.

Who is the qualification for?

Coaches must be 18 or over to embark on the Athletics Coach programme. The programme is for those working with athletes in the Foundation to Event Group Development stages and all applicants should be actively involved with groups and have access to foundation stage athletes a minimum of twice a week for a period of at least eight consecutive weeks.

Coaches will need to profile the athletes they work with in addition to their development as part of the assessment element of the programme. Candidates should have a minimum of an old UKA Level 1 award or a new Coaching Assistant award plus three months’ minimum practical experience of coaching after the completion of the award. Candidates without this prior experience will have applications rejected.

Prerequisites and progression

Anyone wishing to attend the AC programme will need to complete an application form and sign up to the terms and conditions of being a Coach. Forms should be submitted to the education team in the relevant Home Country.

In addition to the application to be licensed, coaches require a current PVG Disclosure; where they will be engaged in working with young people (Under 18 years) or Protected Adults.
PVG Disclosure checks are not transferable between sports and other organisations therefore scottishathletics must have a new check made. The PVG itself is free for club volunteers.

Once candidates have registered for the AC programme they should access uCoach to view resources relating to the programme and the Coach role.

Prior to attending day one of the course an Induction Pack should be completed. Candidates should begin work on this documentation as soon as they have booked onto the programme and it must be completed in the two weeks leading up to the first day of the course.

Candidates will be at a disadvantage if they have not completed this pre-course preparation as tutors are unable to spend time reviewing subject areas that have not been addressed though pre-course study.

Throughout this programme individuals will be required to work in conjunction with a Support Coach. This role is vital in each candidate’s individual success on the programme.

If a candidate’s club is unable to provide a Support Coach they should contact scottishathletics Coaching Co-ordinator who will be able to signpost them to appropriate Support Coaches in their area.

Cost: £425 / £170*

*Coaching Subsidy

Through our funding partner, sportscotland, there is a coaching subsidy of 60% of the course fee available for those applying for CiRF or Athletics Coach. To be eligible to receive the coaching subsidy, coaches must meet the following at the time of booking:

  • Agree to coach through sport in the community (i.e. clubs, local programmes, schools, community, or performance sport) within six months of applying for the subsidy.
  • Agree to coach on average once per week, or a minimum of 24 times per year
  • Agree to become a scottishathletics coach member at the time of booking, if not already a member
  • Agree to continue to develop as a coach through ongoing communications with a support coach and attend coach development opportunities as and when appropriate
  • Agree to work with named support coach in the development as a coach.
  • Provide a statement, why this course will benefit you as a coach, and what impact will this have on the club / school / community.

To find and apply for a course that suits you, please view our Coaching Qualifications Calendar.


Guidance Notes (PDF, 2.6 MB)
Body in sport (PDF, 4.8 MB)
Support Coach Guidance (PDF, 975 kB)
Health and Safety (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Session Plan (PDF, 41 kB)
Self Evaluation (PDF, 41 kB)
Intervention Strategies (PDF, 1.6 MB)
How to Coach cards (PDF, 659 kB)
Coaching Session Plan (DOCX, 20 kB)
Athletics 365 Information (PDF, 922 kB)

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