Clarification on Coaching Qualifications

A message from our Executive Officer, Andrew Rose-Cook:

On 20 August 2021, Northumberland FA received a request from Northumberland Junior Football League on behalf of member clubs to provide a grace period for coaches whom had completed The FA Playmaker course up to six months to complete The FA’s Introduction to Coaching course, whilst in that time still being able to undertake the position of lead coach for junior team.

 Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any grace period for the completion of coaching qualifications, this position has been agreed with The FA nationally, for the following reasons;


  • The FA Playmaker course is an entry level course which does not include all of the learning aspects/goals which would be expected for a Coach to lead an u18 team – these aspects are only achievable through the Introduction to Coaching Football course. During season 2020-2021 concessions were made due to the inability to host Level 1 courses with the new online Introduction to Coaching Football course not yet available however we made everyone aware these were short-term concessions brought on in part by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Introduction to Coaching Football Course has been available since June 2021, the online platform has the capacity for far more candidates then the old Level 1 course, with numerous courses beginning every week – we therefore believe clubs/coaches have had ample opportunity to ensure their qualification were up to date by the beginning on season 2021-2022.
  • The safety and experience of young participants within the game is everyone’s responsibility, we can only guarantee this through providing them with coaches who have achieved the minimum of The Introduction to Coaching Football – this County FA and no member organisation within it should be taking any risk with the welfare of young participants. Any club found doing so will be at risk of disciplinary action levied against them.

We appreciate that this is not the news many of you would like to hear, however for the reasons set out above I hope you can understand why no grace period would ever be considered or acceptable.


 Further information regarding qualifications:

Qualifications poster 21 22

Qualifications poster 21 22