Are you interested in taking your coaching licences? There are more than 200,000 UEFA-qualified coaches active across Europe, from grassroots community heroes to the household names at the top of the game. Here, we detail the different UEFA qualifications and explain how you can take your next steps on the coaching ladder...
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UEFA recognises the vital role coaches have in the development of the game, and since 1998, the UEFA Coaching Convention has set the standard for coaching in European football.
By setting high coach education standards in all UEFA member associations, we can develop better coaches and, ultimately, better players and the overall quality of the game.
Guaranteeing a unified and minimum standard of coach education across UEFA's member associations, the Convention also helps protect the coaching profession, raise standards and facilitate the free movement of qualified professionals within Europe.
To date, more than 200,000 people possess valid UEFA-endorsed football coaching licences.
UEFA endorses licences at C, B, A and Pro levels, with specialist qualifications also available at Youth B, Elite Youth A, Goalkeeper B, Goalkeeper A and Futsal B levels.
These licences are issued by member associations whose courses must meet UEFA criteria and standards, which are regularly revised and updated as the game develops. Licences are valid for three years.
Take a look below to find out more about each of the UEFA-certified coaching diploma courses.
UEFA coaching licences and diplomas
UEFA coaching diplomas are the qualification awarded to everybody who has successfully completed one of the below courses, with each accompanying licence issued for a three-year period before it needs to be renewed.
To be admitted to a UEFA coaching diploma course, candidates must:
- possess sufficient spoken and written skills in the official course language
- meet the organiser’s admission criteria, which should include an aptitude evaluation
- submit all admission documents required by the course organiser
- have no criminal record for crimes incompatible with the coaching profession
In addition, the Convention defines minimum further admission criteria regarding the required coaching experience of the candidates allowing them to apply for higher-level courses. The member associations are entitled to make these more complex reflecting their own football environment.
Starting with the C Diploma, aimed at grassroots coaches, there are four mainstream UEFA qualifications, with the highest being the Pro Diploma, tailored to head coaches in the professional game.
The UEFA C Diploma
On the UEFA C Diploma, participants will learn to provide a positive developmental experience that enhances players’ enjoyment, knowledge, and skill, inspiring a lifelong desire to play football and stay involved in the game.
Minimum hours of education: 60
The UEFA B Diploma
Course participants on the UEFA B Diploma are required to have:
- A valid UEFA C licence
- Completed a minimum of six months’ coaching experience by the B diploma course start date
On this course, participants will learn age- and ability-specific coaching techniques to develop players at youth through to senior amateur level.
This involves managing all aspects of improving individual and team performance, as well as working with support staff, evaluating, analysing and providing feedback on training and match performance.
Minimum hours of education: 120
The UEFA A Diploma
Course participants on the UEFA A Diploma are required to have:
- A valid UEFA B licence
- Completed at least one year’s experience, after graduating with the UEFA B licence, as a coach in 11-a-side football
On this course, participants will develop a clear understanding of player and team development and coaching at the top amateur level. The course offers insight into technical policy, as well as dealing with external factors affecting a team's performance and being accountable to a club's management.
On the training pitch, coaches learn about designing game-oriented sessions, focusing on opponents, pressure and intensity, preparing detailed match plans and creating a winning team mentality.
Minimum hours of education: 180
The UEFA Pro Diploma
Course participants on the UEFA Pro Diploma are required to have:
- A valid UEFA A licence
- Completed at least one year’s coaching experience, after graduating with the UEFA A licence, as a head coach at elite youth or senior amateur level, or as an assistant coach in professional football.
This course will provide participants with a clear understanding of player and team development and the role of a head coach at professional level. It will help coaches develop and apply technical policy and philosophy, creating a winning team and high-performance culture.
The Pro diploma also helps create seasonal tactical and physical team plans in accordance with competition schedules and club objectives.
Minimum hours of education: 360
Specialist coaching licences and diplomas
UEFA also oversees a series of specialist coaching courses focused on youth development, goalkeeping and futsal.
The Youth B and Elite Youth A diplomas
Youth development is a vital part of UEFA's overall strategy, ensuring a bright future for the game. Two specially focused diplomas provide coach education programmes geared towards developing young talent.
Course participants on the UEFA Youth B Diploma are required to have a valid UEFA B licence. The course provides a clear understanding of how to develop and coach talented young players transitioning from grassroots or amateur level to elite level, just before and during their period of biological growth and maturation.
To study the Elite Youth A Diploma, participants must hold a valid UEFA Youth B licence, with at least one year’s coaching experience after gaining it, or hold a valid UEFA A licence. This course looks at the next steps in a player's development, focusing on future professional players transitioning from elite to professional football during their period from adolescence to adulthood.
Minimum hours of education: UEFA Youth B Diploma- 60. UEFA Elite Youth A Diploma – 120.
The UEFA Goalkeeper B and A diplomas
Goalkeeper coaching is a fundamental element of the game, ensuring this specialised position is well catered for with dedicated sessions and practices designed to enhance the quality of the individual.
The UEFA Goalkeeper B Diploma offers course participants a clear understanding of how to develop young goalkeepers and coach adult goalkeepers in either the amateur or elite game. To be admitted to this course, participants must hold a valid UEFA C licence, or a national goalkeeper certificate and to have completed relevant modules of the C diploma course as per the course syllabus.
The UEFA Goalkeeper A Diploma prepares a coach for coaching goalkeepers of all ages in professional football. Candidates must hold a valid UEFA B licence and, if applicable in the hosting nation, a valid UEFA Goalkeeper B licence.
Minimum hours of education: UEFA Goalkeeper B Diploma- 60. UEFA Goalkeeper A Diploma – 120.
The UEFA Futsal B diploma
Based indoors and with a different ball and set of rules, futsal requires a different skillset and specialised training methods.
The UEFA Futsal B diploma gives participants a dedicated toolkit of coaching methods, from an understanding of the laws of the game through to specific methodology, unique tactics and systems of play.
Course participants are required to hold a valid UEFA C licence or a national futsal coaching certificate.
Minimum hours of education: 120
What are the aims of the UEFA Coaching Convention?
- Improve coaching standards and ensure that European football is at the forefront of coach education
- Ensure there are well-educated coaches at all levels of the game for the wellbeing, physical, psychological and technical development of players
- Maintain and raise coaching standards within UEFA member associations, and ensure quality vocation education is available
- Establish standardised UEFA diplomas for coaches working at all levels in football and futsal
- Increase the number of male and female coaches with recognised coaching qualifications
- Ensure that quality vocational education is available to support the development of the coaching
- Maintain football coaching as a recognised, regulated profession
- Promote European integration and, in particular, the free movement of qualified coaches