Athletics NI Coaching Qualifications 

Athletics NI offer a range of coaching qualifications accredited by British Athletics that provide leaders, assistants and coaches with insurance cover in the case of an accident. Individuals who successfully complete these awards and return a clear Access NI check are issued with a British Athletics leadership/coaching license. This insures them to operate within the limitations of this license, which varies depending on the award undertaken.

There are two pathways options available for an individual that wishes to start supporting participants/athletes in achieving their goals:

Track & Field / Performance Pathway

Individuals who want to support Track & Field, children under the age of 12 or athletes who aspire to high performance should follow the Track & Field / Performance pathway. This includes coaches who wish to work with performance focused endurance athletes who aspire to compete at a high level. If you want to work predominantly with individuals who run for fitness then the Running for Fitness Pathway will be more suitable.

The awards available on the pathway are as follows:

Running for Fitness Pathway

Individuals who wish to work with groups of participants focused on running predominantly to get fit should take the Running for Fitness Pathway. This pathway only insures you to work with athletes from 12 years up and focuses on the benefits of running for fitness. If you wish to work with athletes between 8-12 years old you should take the Track & Field pathway because it focuses more on the multi-skill side of youth development, which research suggests helps young people do better in sport at older ages.

The awards available on the fitness pathway are as follows:

Having completed CiRF, coaches can the cross back over to the Track & Field pathway if they wish to learn more about developing young performance focused endurance runners from 14-18 years old through the:

Booking Terms and Conditions

All courses will run if a minimum number of 12 candidates are confirmed by the registration closing date. Course registrations will close on the advertised date, or as soon as the course is full. Maximum numbers are 20 on CiRF and Athletics Coach; 22 on Coaching Assistant and 24 on LiRF. Please register at your earliest opportunity to avoid disappointment.

All course and workshop bookings are bound by the Athletics Northern Ireland Terms and Conditions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When will you be holding the next LiRF, Assistant Coach, CiRF, Athletics Coach course?

Coaching qualification courses are predominantly run during the winter and spring so as to avoid the summer competition season. However, if there is enough demand Athletics NI may schedule additional courses at other times of the year. To register your interest in a course please sign up for the WAITING LIST found on each course page. Courses often fill up quickly and individuals subscribed to the waiting list will be emailed as soon as a new course becomes available. 

I have taken my Athletics Coach award but my license does not say I am covered to coach Hammer, Discus, Triple Jump, Pole Vault, Race Walking or Wheelchair Racing. What do I need to do to coach these events?

In April 2015 British Athletics announced several changes to their coaching qualifications structure. These changes mainly affect coaches who hold an Athletics Coach qualification and coach (or would like to coach) Hammer, Discus, Triple Jump, Pole Vault, Race Walking or Wheelchair Racing. 

The new structure means that an individual holding an Athletics Coach qualification who wishes to coach Triple Jump, Race Walking or Wheelchair Racing will now need to complete a free online ‘add-on module’ before these events are added to their coach license. 

Individuals holding an Athletics Coach qualification who wish to coach Discus, Hammer or Pole Vault are also required to complete an online ‘add-on module’ but must also undertake a practical assessment in these events.

The online ‘add-on modules’ are free of charge and are available through To access them coaches will need to login into uCoach and then click on LEARN at the very top of the screen. From here they can scroll down and enrol on any desired add on modules by selecting the appropriate link and then clicking the “enrol” button.

The practical assessments for Discus, Hammer and Pole Vault are not yet available but will be conducted by Athletics NI staff as soon as the full details are announced. Anyone who believes they need to undertake a practical assessment should email so we can add you to our list of coaches waiting to be assessed. This will also allow us to contact you as soon as more details become available.

In addition to these important changes there are several other minor amendments that affect coaches wishing to gain an Event Group qualification. There is also good news for coaches holding a Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) award as they are now entitled to progress to the Event Group awards having completed a small bridging module.

All the fine detail can be found in the official press release regarding the changes, which is published on the uCoach website HERE.