Coaching Guidelines

Minimum Standards for Deployment

If you are looking to work as a sport coach, you will need to meet certain standards. The Minimum Standards for Deployment (MSD) in sports coaching were put in place so all coaches need to have certain knowledge and skills in order to coach safely and effectively and be able to help children, players and athletes at all stages of their development. The knowledge and skills a coach needs to have/develop depends on:

• Their role (e.g.) coach/assistant coach

• Who they are working with (children, young people, adults)

• At what level they are working at (e.g participation/playing sport, to helping someone perform at an elite level)

• What environment they are working in (e.g. community setting or in a school)

The recommended Core standards that apply to all coaches are:

Minimum age

• An independent or lead coach must be at least 18 years old

• An assistant or support coach must be at least 16 years old

Minimum Qualification

• To be an independent or lead coach you should hold a UKCC Level 2 coaching qualification

• To be an assistant or support coach you should hold a UKCC Level 1 coaching qualification

• If your sport does not offer a UKCC course, you should hold the equivalent award that allows you to lead a session; usually this will be at least Level 2. It is the employers' responsibility to check the validity of the award/qualification.


You must hold the relevant insurance to undertake the coaching that you have been asked to do

 If you are employed as a coach the insurance responsibility is down to the organisation
• If you are self employed as a coach the insurance responsibility lies with you (most Governing Bodies of sport offer insurance as do sports coach UK)


DBS Check (previously known as Criminal Records Bureau or CRB)

You need an up to date Enhanced CRB for all coaching positions, whether they are paid or voluntary. Your employing organisation will either accept a current CRB that you hold or request a new one is completed. 
As a self employed coach you may be required to complete a CRB check. 

There are a couple of additional training courses that will enhance your suitability as a sports coach. However, these are currently only recommended, they are NOT essential:

• Safeguarding and Protecting Children
• Equity in your Coaching
• Coaching Disabled Performers

First Aid: The requirement for an up to date First Aid certificate is not currently included in recommended Minimum Standards. However, First Aid is a requirement for many National Governing Body coaching awards and coaches should check with the relevant National Governing Body to confirm the requirements for their sport(s). 
For more information on these courses please visit our Coaching Courses page 

For further information and some guidance on the Minimum Standards for Deployment Framework, please download the MSD Guidance Document for Organisations or the Minimum Standard for Active Coaches Guidance tool here.

To find out more on how Sports Coach UK plan to create a cohesive, ethical, inclusive and valued coaching system, please view the UK Coaching Framework by clicking here