Complete guide on Football Coaching Qualifications

Football Coaching Qualifications: Complete Guide

Football Association (FA) coaching badges are necessary if you seek to become a qualified football coach in the UK (Similar structures are observed in other countries as well).

The badges currently cover levels from Level 1 to The FA UEFA Pro License. However, to become a coach at the elite level, you will need to invest a lot of time and hard work in order to gain the required football coaching qualification.

Above all, they propose that all aspiring coaches should learn about their Long-Term Player Development program. Furthermore, coaches should understand how they should be addressing the four stages of a player’s development: technical, physical, social and psychological.

How many coaching badges are there?

On the path of becoming a football coach, there are five levels of qualifications:

  • 1. FA Level 1 Football Coaching Qualification – provide you with an introduction to coaching the game and working with players under 7 years of age.
  • 2. FA Level 2 Football Coaching Qualification – license holders can lead sports sessions on their own, with assistance from other coaches.
  • 3. FA Level 3 (UEFA B) Football Coaching Qualification – for head coaches of men’s amateur clubs, youths up to age 16, and assistant coaches for professional clubs.
  • 4. FA Level 4 (UEFA A) Football Coaching Qualification – for head coaches of youth teams up to age 18, reserve teams (B teams) for top-flight clubs, and men’s professional second-tier clubs.
  • 5. FA Level 5 (UEFA PRO) Football Coaching Qualification – for managers of football clubs in the top tier of any European nation’s league system on a permanent basis and to manage in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League competitions.

Additionally, the FA Advanced Youth Award, meant for FA Youth Award holders, allows you to train youth professionals at an elite level across all ages.

football coaching qualifications

The FA Level 1 in Coaching Football

The FA Level 1 in Coaching Football will be the first step in your coaching career. Often described as an introduction to the organization, it aims toward the development of youngsters.

This qualification will provide you with the necessary foundation to coach the game and work with young talents, under seven years of age.

This will also give you much-needed insight into the style of the game in England and show you how to provide better support and conditions for the development of future players. Achieving this football coaching qualification will introduce you with:

  • England DNA Elements (How We Coach, How We Play, How We Support and The Future Player)
  • FA 4 Corner Model for a better understanding of player long-term development
  • FA “Plan, Do, Review” Model for appropriate training sessions
  • Practical coaching ideas, for creating safe and fun sessions to help the players’ development

What are the requirements to attain an FA Level 1 Football Coaching Qualification?

For FA Level 1 Coaching Qualification there are no preconditions. This course organizes local County FA and anyone can take this course and begin his coaching career. An FA Level 1 coach will usually work alongside an FA Level 2 or UEFA B qualified coach as their assistant. To enrol onto the course, you must be at least be 16 years of age.

Furthermore, you must hold a current FA Emergency Aid Certificate and have attended The FA Safeguarding Children Workshop as a minimum. But don’t let that dissuade you. These two 3-hour workshops are provided as part of the course.

How long does it take to complete and what are the costs?

FA Level 1 Football Coaching Qualification consists of seven workshops which focus on key elements of the DNA and eight workshops with emphasis on safety and emergency aid. The course has 33 contact hours with FA tutors and 43 hours in total.

To finish the course successfully, candidates must complete all the tasks specified within the course program and deliver a 20-minute practical coaching session, assessed by the FA tutors. Prices normally range from £150 – £235. The FA Level 1 Certificate provides candidates with a good platform to get onto the coaching ladder and start their coaching career.

The FA Level 2 in Coaching Football

FA Level 2 in Coaching Football is a nationally recognized qualification that will allow you to go in depth with English football style and England DNA core elements. This program will show you how to coach and train and it will also help you in building your own football philosophy.

what are the perks of the program?

This football coaching qualification usually allows the holder to lead sports sessions on their own, with assistance from other coaches. The FA Level 2 in coaching football builds upon what was learned in the FA Level 1 course and upgrades it by going into more specific detail. FA Level 2 Football Coaching Qualification will help you:

  • Develop an understanding of the game, the players’ roles and yourself as a coach
  • Create game-like conditions, with decision-making as the focal point
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate the quality of coaching sessions
  • Judging your players’ ability according to their age, maturity and experience

The course is all about empowering players and about being able to make mistakes. It is about designing relevant match simulation practices with plenty of decision-making situations. The goal is to enable the players to practice in an environment that is both positive and enjoyable.

What are the requirements to attain an FA Level 2 Football Coaching Qualification?

This program has a strict list of conditions that students must fulfil:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Have completed the Level 1 Football Coaching Qualification
  • Are able to communicate effectively in English (this includes listening, speaking, reading and writing)
  • Hold a valid FA Level 1 Introduction to First Aid in Football (IFAiF) (previously known as FA Emergency Aid)
  • Hold a current certificate for The FA Safeguarding Children Workshop and The FA Safeguarding Children How We Support or The FA Online Safeguarding Children Recertification
  • Have regularly coached a group of players in England who are aged U7+ and regularly play in organized/competitive fixtures

How long does it take to complete and what are the costs?

FA Level 2 Football Coaching Qualification takes 145 hours to complete (total qualification time), with 73 hours of guided learning with an FA tutor. This will take the student approximately ten days to complete. According to official FA information, prices for this course will vary between different County FAs due to regional differences in costs and funds’ availability.

Prices normally range from £200 – £370 but often your County FAs receive funding, which they put towards discounting the cost of coaching course, so be sure to always check with your County FA.

The FA Level 3 (UEFA B) in Coaching Football

After you completed the Level 1 and Level 2 license, the next step is to take the UEFA B course. FA Level 3 (UEFA B) in Coaching Football’s aim is to help coaches take players’ decision-making process to the next level, while addressing their technical, tactical, physical, psychological and social needs.

football coaching qualifications

what do you learn in FA level 3 coaching qualification?

Football is a complex game with a lot of variables to include in various scenarios. Developing decision-making through game simulation practices will ensure that players are ready when it is time to make the right call in a competitive match. FA Level 3 Football Coaching Qualification will grant you:

  • Upgraded understanding of England DNA philosophy
  • Refining your values and coaching philosophy
  • Increasing your players’ progress considering their technical, tactical, physical, psychological and social needs
  • Gain an understanding of the players’ roles and help them adapt to various roles and responsibilities within team
  • Recognizing effective practice in training and competition
  • Principles of attacking, midfield play and defending and goalkeeping
  • Counterattacking and defending counterattacks
  • Planning the coaching sections skill

What are the requirements to attain an FA Level 3 Football Coaching Qualification?

The application process is not an easy task. The course has only 24 places and a lot more applicants, so you need to impress during the selection process. In addition, there are usually only two courses per year in each region. So, how to qualify for this license?

First, in order to qualify for Coaching Qualification Selection, you need to fulfil several basic conditions:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Need to be a holder of The FA Level 2 in Coaching Football license
  • You have completed your FA Level 2 action plan
  • Actively coaching a team in a season-long competition based in England
  • You are able to effectively communicate in English

After prior qualification, the selection process is undertaken. Coaches must prove that they are actively participating in competition with at least 18 fixtures. For this purpose, coaches should provide endorsement by the appropriate club.

some pre-requisites:

Following the selection process and preceding certification of Level 3 Football Coaching Qualification, you must also satisfy the listed criteria:

  • Hold an in-date FA Level 1 Introduction to First Aid in Football
  • Hold an in-date completion certificate for The FA Safeguarding Workshop or the new FA Safeguarding for Coaches Workshop
  • Complete both eLearning modules (Coaching Journey + Equity/Diversity)
  • Attend all four blocks of program (How We Play, The Future Player, How We Coach and How We Support), including all of 18 Workshops of the course
  • Complete an 18-game project based around your own players and club environment – please note that this is reduced to a 12-game project for those that already hold the full FA Youth Award
  • Receive a minimum of 3 in-situ visits with your team, and be deemed practically competent
  • Conduct a 30 minute presentation of your project to your course colleagues and staff.

How long it takes to complete and what are the costs?

This course is 17 days long with several segments, and one must deliver over the course of a season. The first one is five days long, and the second block is four days long, and after that we have five support days, and in the end a three-day final assessment. The estimated cost of this course is £720.

The FA Level 4 (UEFA A) in Coaching Football

You have completed a UEFA B Coaching Qualification. Next phase of your professional rise is achieving an FA Level 4 License, popularly known as UEFA A License. The FA Level 4 (UEFA A) in Coaching Football program targets the building of technical and tactical coaching skills.

This includes covering the latest football trends, strategies, and tactics, and supporting the development of players in the 11v11 environment at international, professional, and semi-professional levels. This program’s aim is to develop the coaches’ capability of thinking outside the box. The course enhances the abilities of the coaches to:

  • Be creative and curious
  • Realize the importance of reflective learning
  • Establish themselves as a coach who can design, organize, deliver and evaluate
  • Identify those who have appropriate skills
  • Upgrade your understanding of advanced tactics and strategies

What are the requirements to attain an FA Level 4 Football Coaching Qualification?

Candidates must have previously completed the UEFA Level 3 Coaching Qualification and the course director must approve their application after they enrol the course. The set of criteria used when assessing applications consist of:

  • Compliance with UEFA B Action Plan
  • Evidence of coaching practice
  • Evidence of capacity to work with an 11 a side team in accordance with UEFA B practice format

Keep in mind that priority is given to candidates that are currently working and living in England, full-time professional coaches and those who need the qualification in order to meet EPPP regulations.

How long does it take to complete and what are the costs?

The course length is 18 days during a one-year period. The program is divided into six modules, three days each, held at the FA football’s national center, St. George’s Park. Students also receive in-situ support between modules.

The UEFA A Football Coaching Qualification has varying price structure. For current or former professionals, the FA will usually cover up to 50% of the costs. The usual rate is £3,655 incl. VAT.

The FA Level 5 (UEFA Pro) in Coaching Football

FA Level 5 (UEFA Pro) in Coaching Football is the highest professional coaching license in England, designed for generating new leaders. This is the final step in your professional career.

The focus of this program is to generate management strategies that will ensure long-term player development and success. This qualification is considered mandatory for all those who wish to work at the most elite level of football.

Students are challenged to upgrade their knowledge and their skills into leadership with the goal of providing high-performance squads. By the end of this course, you will learn:

  • Critical self-reflective skills, so you can identify areas for further development
  • Effective decision-making strategies
  • Problem-solving methods
  • Leadership skills
  • Management skills
  • Technical and tactical insight
  • Greater cohesion of the team, both players and staff members
  • Long-term development planning

What are the requirements to attain an FA Level 5 Football Coaching Qualification?

UEFA PRO License requires:

  • Holding a valid UEFA A Coaching Qualification
  • A full time position as a professional coach, manager, assistant manager, head coach, academy manager, head of recruitment, technical director or a player with a minimum of five years’ experience playing.

Note that priority is given to applicants who have vast coaching experience with senior players in the domestic professional league. Also, the FA Advanced Youth Award is desirable.

How long does it take to complete and what are the costs?

The program, which combines theoretical and practical modules, spans over 25 days of face-to-face learning (two days of assessment and profiling, six three-day modules, five day study visit), and a minimum of six one-to-one tutor visits. The course is delivered over an 18-month period.

The UEFA Pro License pricing structure is slightly different than those for UEFA A Coaching License. Whereas the UEFA A courses are actively encouraged with a 50% share of the cost, no such offer exists for the Pro Level.

With it being the highest qualification that a coach can gain, and an elite coaching license, this certificate is in high demand. Course fees are divided into two different categories:

  • FA Licensed Coaches’ Club members pay £8,915.00 including VAT
  • Non-member FA price comes to £9,770.00 with VAT included.
  • This fee covers a range of different costs and benefits, whose aim is to give coaches the full experience they need. These include:
    • Tuition
    • Full board accommodation across all sessions at St. George’s Park
    • Learning Resources
    • An overseas study visit
    • A tablet or similar device on which all course content will be accessible

The FA Advanced Youth Award

The FA Advanced Youth Award is a course for developing skills and attributes required for helping talented young players reach their full potential. The course will show you how to reinforce designed technical and tactical training programs with the physical, social and psychological disciplines.

This is to create an elite professional development experience for your players. It covers three age-phases: Foundation (age 5-11), Youth Development (age 12-16), and Professional Development (age 17-21).

When you finish this course, you will be able to:

  • Line up your coaching sessions with the demands of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP)
  • Understand the impact of “four corners” on players’ development
  • Create an individual training plan
football coaching qualifications

What are the requirements to attain the FA Advanced Youth Award?

This program is meant for coaches already working with EPPP plan and elite youth players, above 21 years of age. Besides this condition, you will also need to comply following:

  • Hold the FA Youth Award (Modules 1, 2, 3 and assessment) or an equivalent via The FA Youth Award APL qualification
  • Have achieved The FA Level 3 (UEFA B) in Coaching Football
  • Hold a valid FA coach license
  • Hold the FA Level 3 in Coaching Goalkeepers (Goalkeeper specific)

How long does it take to complete and what are the costs?

The course plan is designed to last for 15 days (five days modules) across a nine-month period at St. George’s Park. During this time, you will also get three in-situ visits. Projected fee for this course is £2,820 including VAT. This fee includes:

  • Accommodation at St. George’s Park
  • All meals
  • Resources for learning
  • Tuition across all program areas
  • Assessment and certification fee

Completing this course alongside the FA Level 4 (UEFA A) in Coaching Football will help you to fall within the application criteria of future FA Level 5 (UEFA Pro) placements.


After extensively reading about 6 levels of coaching qualification, you must be feeling great! We’ve picked up a lot of knowledge today. Each depends more on the tactical genius of the coach than the physicality of its players. Because football is now played with brain!

Learning about these qualification might be the beginning of something really special for your own football journey. Whether you’re a player, coach, or a dad coaching your kids’ weekend soccer team, this was important for us all equally.

Perfect! Let’s leave it like that here. See you!


Enter your email to join our community.

Similar Posts