What is the NCCP?

What kinds of certifications are there, and which one is right for me?

What courses do I need to take?

What are the different ways that I can take a course?

What happened to “Level 1”, “Level 2”, etc?

What does it mean to be “Trained” vs “Certified”?

What are PD points? (Maintenance of Certification)

What is the National Coaching Certification Program?

The NCCP is a world renowned Coach education program which enhances quality coaching. It empowers Coaches to gain knowledge and skills to impact the lives of Canadians. A variety of Multi­-Sport workshops are delivered by Provincial Territorial Coaching Representatives (PTCRs) such as Coach NB, and Sport­ Specific workshops delivered by National and Provincial Sport Organizations.


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What kinds of certifications are there, and which one is right for me?

Within each NCCP Coaching stream are NCCP Coaching contexts, which align coaching activities with specific types of participants and the stage of their respective development. Coaches can read about Long-term Development to better understand the stages of participant development and the types of activity relevant to each.

The NCCP is comprised of three coaching streams: NCCP Community Sport, NCCP Competition, and NCCP Instruction. Each stream provides a rewarding sport experience for coach and participant(s) alike by ensuring the ideal alignment of each other’s skills, motivations, and objectives.

Community Coach

The Community Coach is often a parent or volunteer who works with participants of all ages.

Community Sport Initiation context: Focuses on participants who are being introduced to a sport for the first time. Initiation can occur in both youth and adults. The role of the Coach is to ensure a fun, safe environment all while developing Physical Literacy.

Community Sport Ongoing Participation context: Focuses on participants who are in the Active for Life stage of Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD). Ongoing Participation can occur in both youth and adults. The role of the Coach is to encourage participants to continue their involvement in the sport.

Competition Coach

Coaches in the Competition stream have previous coaching experience or are former athletes. They are committed to improve athletes’ performance at the provincial, national, and international level.

There are three levels of workshops for Competition Coaches which reflect the stages of the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD).

Competition Introduction context: Is designed for Coaches of athletes moving from the FUNdamentals to the Learn to Train and Train to Train stages of the LTAD. For a full list of Competition Introduction courses, please click here.

Competition Development context: Is designed for Coaches of athletes ranging from the Train to Train to the Train to Compete stages of LTAD. For a full list of Competition Development courses, please click here.

Competition High Performance context: Is typically reserved for Coaches of athletes in the Train to Win stage of the LTAD. Although, there is the possibility of some athletes in the Train to Compete stage phasing into the Competition-High Performance Context because of the fluidity of the stages. Coaches in this stream require specific skills and abilities in order to meet the needs of their athletes.

Instruction Coach

Instructors in this stream must have Sport-Specific skills and training whether it is at the beginner or advanced level.

The Instruction stream has three different levels of workshops:

Instruction Beginner context: Instructors in this context are usually working with participants who are experiencing the sport for the first time. Typically there is no formalized competition at this level. It is strictly about skill development and interaction between the instructor and the participant.

Instruction Intermediate and Advanced Performers context: Instructors in this context teach very specialized skills. In some cases the skills taught may be tactical in nature.



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What courses do I need to take?

Please visit this page to explore your sport’s specific coaching pathway.

If you still have questions after reading through your sport’s pathway, Coach NB would be happy to help you answer them! Please email us at info@coachnb.ca with the subject header “Coach Pathway Question”.


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What are the different ways that I can take a course?

Coach NB is proud to offer a flexible range of course delivery options suited to different learning styles and needs.

In-person workshops: An in-person workshop is the classic delivery of the NCCP modules. A facilitator

Home Study: The home-study program is intended for coaches who are unable to take an in class multi-sport course. Home-study is a correspondence based learning method and the hours required for completion may be more than what is required of coaches attending an in-class course option. The home-study format relies heavily on self-directed learning. For more information on the home-study option, please click here.

Online Delivery: Online courses are run through an online meeting platform (such as Adobe Connect), and is led by a live facilitator. Participants interact through microphones and breakout groups, and are encouraged to share their thoughts and questions with the group.

eLearning: eLearning modules are hosted on The Locker and are NOT led by a facilitator. They contain content and activities which you complete at your own pace, similar to a home study module. For a full list of eLearning modules, you can visit the Locker under the “eLearning” tab, or on our website at this link.

Host a course through my club or association: Do you have a group of at least 4 coaches that need a specific course? Depending on the time of year, we may be able to set up a course at your convenience. Contact us at info@coachnb.ca for more information with the subject header “Hosting request: (NCCP Module)”. You can also visit this page for more information on hosting in your community.


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What happened to “Level 1”, “Level 2”, etc?

The NCCP is transitioning away from delivering Level 1, 2, and 3 programming. The Levels-NCCP system has been replaced by coach training opportunities that are grouped into three main streams: Competition, Instruction, and Community Sport. Many sports still refer to this revised system as the ‘New NCCP’.

Starting in October 2014, coaches will begin to see their Levels-NCCP qualifications “transferred” to this revised system.

The sports currently transferred are:

  • Alpine Ski
  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Biathlon
  • Boccia
  • Broomball
  • Canoe Kayak
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Curling
  • Cycling
  • Diving
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Figure Skating
  • Football
  • Freestyle
  • Hockey
  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Lacrosse
  • Lawn Bowls
  • Luge
  • Orienteering
  • Racquetball
  • Ringette
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Shooting
  • Ski Jumping
  • Snowboard
  • Softball
  • Special Olympics
  • Speed Skating
  • Squash
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Team handball
  • Tenpin Bowling
  • Triathlon
  • Tennis
  • Waterski & Wakeboard
  • Wheelchair Basketball
  • Wrestling
  • Volleyball
  • 5-pin Bowling

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What does it mean to be “Trained” vs. “Certified”?

The NCCP model distinguishes between training and certification. Coaches can participate in training opportunities to acquire or refine the skills and knowledge required for a particular coaching context (i.e. Competition-Introduction) as defined by the sport and be considered “trained“.

To become “certified” in a coaching context, coaches must be evaluated on their demonstrated ability to perform within that context in areas such as program design, practice planning, performance analysis, program management, ethical coaching, support to participants during training, and support to participants in competition.

Certified coaches enjoy the credibility of the sporting community and of the athletes they coach because they have been observed and evaluated “doing” what is required of them as a competent coach in their sport. They are recognized as meeting or exceeding the high standards embraced by more than 60 national sport organizations in Canada. Fostering confidence at all levels of sport, certification is a benefit shared by parents, athletes, sport organizations, and our communities.

NCCP coaches are described as follows:

In Training – when they have completed some of the required training for a context
Trained – when they have completed all required training for a context;
Certified – when they have completed all evaluation requirements for a context.


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What is Maintenance of Certification and “PD Points”?

Within Lifelong Learning, Professional Development (PD) prepares you for the challenges you will encounter as a coach. The more development you pursue, the more positive your impact on your athletes and participants both on and off the field.

Professional Development points from approved activities are applied to your Transcript on the Locker for the activities you complete. Professional Development (PD) points refer to those coaches who seek to maintain their certification (or trained status, if their sport requires it).

The Coaching Association of Canada and its partners recognize the value of having certified NCCP coaches that are engaged in Professional Development programs which reinforce the values of Lifelong Learning and sharing amongst the coaching community.

Maintenance of Certification is the NCCP policy that requires NCCP coaches to maintain their certification through Professional Development and training opportunities over a predetermined period.

The NCCP Maintenance of Certification and Professional Development policy:

  • provides coaches with credit for attending Professional Development opportunities
  • promotes upgrading and maintaining relevancy to coaching practices

A coach who does not complete the required Professional Development credits by the end date of their maintenance cycle should contact their provincial/territorial sport organization for information regarding renewal of certification.

Log into the Locker for an up-to-date record of your PD points. For examples of opportunities to accumulate PD points, check out these pages, and if you still have questions, check out the FAQs!


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