Coaching Association of Canada

Coaching as a Profession

There are many pathways to coach in Canada, from being the head coach of a national team to a volunteer coach of a youth soccer team in the local community. Given this variety, professional coaching reflects paid and full-time work environments, as well as volunteer coaches who maintain professionalism and excellence in their roles.

Coaching meets these four tests of a profession.

1. Coaches Serve a Higher Purpose

A higher purpose means for the benefit of society. Coaching’s benefit is the expert and safe delivery of coaching services in a way that promotes the mental and physical health and well-being of athletes and participants. This commitment ensures coaches make a safe and inclusive sport environment for all.

2. Coaches Have a Shared Body of Knowledge

 Competence in coaching requires both sport-specific and multi-sport skills.

 Sport-specific skills include:

  • Technical skills (e.g., how to pass or shoot); and
  • Tactical skills (e.g., how to execute a play).

 Multi-sport skills include:

  • Safety (e.g., child protection, concussion safety, and first aid);
  • Emergency Action Planning;
  • NCCP Making Ethical Decisions;
  • NCCP Designing a Basic Sport Program;
  • NCCP Developing Athletic Abilities;
  • NCCP Psychology of Performance;
  • Supporting player health and well-being; and
  • Inclusiveness (e.g., fostering participation of women, indigenous, LGBTQ2S and gender diverse athletes and participants).

Coaches can gain the knowledge they need through the National Coaching Certification Program™ (NCCP). A coach requires the NCCP certification to meet the knowledge eligibility requirement of the Chartered Professional Coach® (ChPC®) designation.

3. Coaches Must Follow Ethical Standards

Because coaches are in a position of authority, coaches should follow even higher ethical standards than non-coaches. To bring these standards to life, the Coaching Association of Canada™ (CAC) requires ChPCs and Registered Coaches to:

  • Commit annually to a CAC Code of Conduct that guides the behaviours and the ethical obligations of coaches;
  • Declare annually their ethical conduct;
  • Complete an Enhanced Police Information Check (E-PIC) every 3 years; and
  • Provide two coaching-related references who vouch for their ethical conduct. 

4. Coaches Are Accountable to Stakeholders Expectations

Coaches must meet the public's and their sport organization’s expectation that they coach in a way that is knowledgeable, safe and respectful, both on and off the field of play. The CAC promotes coach accountability. Every ChPC-designated coach must embrace that accountability.

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