Coach Development & Qualifications

Athletics NI see the development of coaches and coaching as central to the success of Athletics. We are committed to supporting the ongoing development of coaches in every event and at every level from the grass roots right up to elite senior performance. In this section you can learn more about Athletics NI's vision for coaching and the various coach development opportunities that exist across the province.

How do I become a coach?

To become a coach you will need to undertake a coaching qualification. There are several options available but the first step on the pathway is either the Coaching Assistant (for Track & Field and performance focused coaches) or Leader in Running Fitness (for those who want to help others use running to improve their fitness through programmes like Couch to 5K).

I'm already a coach, how can Athletics NI support me?


However, courses can't make you a great coach. For that you will need to get hands on experience or take part in additional informal coach development initiatives. There are several different options to chose from:

  • Annual Conference - our annual conference brings some of the best speakers on the planet to Belfast.
  • Workshops - we have several off the self workshops available across a range of topics.
  • Coach Development Programmes - get involved in continuous learning through our coach development programmes.


I'm already a coach or leader, how do I renew my Coach License?

If you already hold a leadership, assistant or coaching qualification and your license has expired all you need to do to get a new one is submit a new Access N disclosure and barring service check. This can be submitted online and if it comes back clear Athletics NI are automatically notified and a new license is then automatically generated. Please see the Welfare section for details of Access NI and how to apply for a new check.

All coaches must have completed the online Safeguarding course before their new license will be issued. You can find the course here:

I'm a teacher, can you help me?

Athletics NI run teacher training workshops several times a year. We also have several workshops and professional development events that are especially useful for teachers.

What other resources are available?

There has never been a better time to be a coach. Today the internet has given us access to a wide array of information from across the globe. Some of the key resources we suggest include: - British Athletics' dedicated coaching resource with over 1000 hours of video footage from nearly 10 years of coach development events. - Athletics NI's dedicated coaching website with curriculum and resources for coaches.

Athletics NI Coaches Facebook Page - where we post interesting articles from across the web and also advertise all our upcoming events and courses

NIfutures Twitter - stay up to date with all the latest releases on NIfutures.

Reward and recognition for coaches

Each year several organisations host awards to recognise the valuable contribution that coaches and other volunteers make to sport. If you know a coach you would like to see recognised please visit this section and nominate them for an award.


Athletics Ireland Network Events


In 2016 Athletics Ireland began a series of "coaching networks" to bring together coaches to learn and develop. Athletics Ireland host a number of networks across the year and Athletics NI encourage all coaches to attend those that are most relevant to them.