National Coaches
Certification Program (NCCP)

About the NCCP Model

The NCCP is made up of three streams and a total of eight contexts, each with its own coaching requirements. Football Canada has decided that all eight contexts are relevant to the development of football and essential to meeting the “Football for Life – through Long Term Athlete Development” goals of Enhanced Excellence and Enhanced Participation.

the streams

Stream 1 – Community Sport

The Community Sport Stream has a decidedly recreation focus. In the Initiation context the development of fundamental movement and Fundamental Football Skills are essential where fun, fitness, and participation are the focus at the younger ages. In the On-going context, fun, fitness, and participation are key elements and in many cases competitive recreation is the focus.

Coaches in the Community Sport – Initiation Context typically become involved on a voluntary (and often short-term) basis because their children participate in a sport. However, many coaches work with participants of all ages who are new to the sport.

Stream 2 – Competition

The Competition Stream has three (3) contexts – Competition-Introduction, Competition-Development, & High Performance. The focus of athlete development in these contexts is “Excellence”.

The coaches in these contexts tend to work with athletes over the long term to improve performance, often in preparation for provincial, national, and international competitions. Additionally, Coaches in the “Competition” stream usually have previous coaching experience or are former athletes in the sport.

Stream 3 – Instruction

The focus of the Instruction Stream is “supporting the athlete in training” through the sport specific skill development. Coaches in the Instructor Stream must have sport-specific skills and training, whether coaching at the beginner or advanced skill levels. Many of the coaches in the Instructor Stream are former participants in the sport.

NCCP Training and Certification

The NCCP model distinguishes between training and certification. Coaches can participate in training opportunities to acquire or refine the skills and knowledge required for a particular coaching context as defined by the sport. To be certified in a coaching context, coaches are evaluated on their demonstrated ability to perform within that context in areas such as program design, practice planning, performance analysis, program management, ethical coaching, support to participants during training, and support to participants in competition.

In the NCCP, a coach is described as being:

In Training – when a coach has completed some of the required training for a context;
Trained – when a coach has completed all required training for a context;
Certified – when a coach has completed all evaluation requirements for a context.

Training: Football Canada’s NCCP is integrating the football specific (technical) component and the multi-sport (theory) component INTO one course for each player context (Competition Introduction for example) and coaching context (position coach, coordinator for example).

Certification: Once all the relevant football specific and multi-sport modules are completed, the coach will then be able to proceed to Evaluation (practical). When all evaluation criteria are satisfactorily met the coach will then be certified. As mentioned above, and to make it clear, certification will be granted only in the participant & coach context that the coach is evaluated. The coach will be recognized as being “In-Training”, “Trained”, or “Certified”.

For more information on the NCCP training modules please visit