Those governing professional football have introduced mandatory coaching qualifications for key management and coaching positions, and players will need to plan ahead if they want their transition from player to coach to be a smooth one. The table below outlines the award structure, and indicates the time needed to complete. Players should remember that gaining qualifications while still playing can be challenging, but is certainly possible.
The UEFA Pyramid:
- Level 5, UEFA Pro Licence (focus on how to manage)
A mandatory qualification for managing in the FA Premier League and UEFA competitions.
Most candidates complete in 12 months
- Level 4, UEFA A Licence (focus on phases of play, 9v9 games and 11v11 match play)
Work as a manager/coach in the professional game, or Academy Manager.
Most candidates complete within 2 years.
- Level 3, UEFA B Licence (focus on functions, phases of play and 8v8 games)
Find work in Centres of Excellence and Academies.
You have 2 years, but can usually be completed in 12-18 months
- Level 2, Certificate in Coaching Football (focus on how we coach, play, support and the future player)
Find work in Football in the Community, local authorities, US soccer camps.
You have 3 years to complete, but it can be achieved in 6 months. PFA members can start their coaching pathway at this tier.
- Level 1
Useful for local community work, and can be completed in a few weeks. Not a mandatory qualification, but a gentle introduction.
Regardless of who you are, and what your background is, all potential coaches learning with the PFA Coaching Department must start with the Level 2 award. The Level 1 award is not mandatory (although it may prove useful in some circumstances to some coaches new to the profession: as a department we do not run Level 1 awards). There is no access to our UEFA B awards without having completed the Level 2.
The Level 2 award is an excellent introductory qualification which combines classroom sessions with practical football coaching. The practical aspects of the Level 2 include technique, skill and small-sided games. All those joining this course will receive workshops on Child Protection and Emergency Aid.
The UEFA B award carries on from the Level 2, and looks on the practical side at functional practices, small-sided games (8v8) and phases of play (attack against defence). The classroom elements look in more depth at sports psychology, periodisation of training and fitness, amongst others.