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.


Renewing your Coaching/Officiating Licence

Athletics Northern Ireland and British Athletics are dedicated to promoting and maintaining the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in our sport. Therefore it is necessary that each new or renewing coach and official has a background check completed.

All you need to do in order to renew your licence is complete the Online Enhanced Access NI Disclosure Form and forward the 10 digit AccessNI reference number to the Athletics NI Office along with your ID Validation form and £10 to renew your existing licence. If you are a new coach/official then you do not need to pay anything other than your course fee, however still need to complete the application. Full details can be found on the Access NI page.

Coaches/officials should check their licence for its expiry date, and contact us approximately 2 months prior to this to allow time for the new licence to be processed.

If you have not coached for a period of time and would like to get back in to the sport, then you should contact the Athletics NI Coaching Department by emailing or telephone 028 9060 2707.

The confidentiality and safety of our coaches & officials is also paramount, please visit our welfare section to find out more about how we handle your information.

An Enhanced Access NI background check is mandatory to renew or gain a licence. Licenses expire every three years along with the Enhanced Access NI check.



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.