FA rolls out new Level One and Two coaching courses

First steps on FA coaching pathway adapted to improve learning experience for grassroots coaches

Wrekin Juniors U7s

The Football Association has rolled out its new Level One and Level Two coaching courses – the first steps on the coaching pathway for grassroots football coaches across England.

The launch of the new-look courses – announced on Club Website in May – marks the end of an 18-month process to modernise the FA’s introduction to coaching, which they hope will improve the learning experience for coaches.

The new courses are more integrated with the FA’s Youth Module One and Two and will be structured around the England DNA philosophy – including the core elements of: How We Coach; How We Play; The Future Player and How We Support.

The new Level One course will comprise eight half day modules – available in four full days – whilst the new Level Two course lasts 10 days over three different blocks of learning (see diagram below).

Both courses place a greater emphasis on online and digital support, with a move towards ongoing assessment during courses, as the FA seeks to create a more flexible and personal learning experience for prospective and improving coaches.

FA Level One and Level Two structure

“The modern-day coach is ever-evolving and these changes represent a significant shift in helping us develop the quality of our grassroots coaching,” said Les Howie, the FA’s head of grassroots delivery.

“We know that the grassroots game already has a number of talented young players in the system, and we want to be able to increase that with more quality coaches working with them in youth football.

“However, we also know that a large majority of our grassroots coaches just want to be able to enjoy coaching their local team. Making sure they can develop, improve and learn as a coach while enjoying their football is vital. These new courses reflect our ambition to help them achieve that.”

The new courses will cost the same as the previous versions – e.g. around £150 for Level One and £350 for Level Two (prices will vary), which works out at about £5 per hour of study. Discounts or bursaries may be available for Charter Standard clubs or coaches from under-represented groups.

Technology will play a more central role in the new coaching structure, with various digital and online solutions – such as e-Learning modules – woven into both the content delivery and support.

The manner in which coaches are assessed has also been updated, with traditional end-of-course assessment replaced by a more ongoing approach, where tutors observe and support coaches as they progress through the course.

“What we’ve looked to do is to simplify the coaching pathway to support all coaches, whether they’re new to the journey or already part of it going forward,” added Howie.

“This is an opportunity now to introduce the new content, look at a variety of blended learning techniques and really help to support coaches make the difference in developing players for the future.”

You can hear more from Les Howie on the new FA Level One and Two courses in the video below.

New FA Level One and Level Two courses – have your say!

Do you like the sound of the new-look FA courses? If you are a Level One coach, are you now more likely to take your Level Two? Do these changes bode well for the future of coaching in England, or is there still a lot of work to be done? Whatever your views, tell us what you think!

This article appeared in The Clubhouse – the monthly newsletter from Club Website. To get the best grassroots news, offers and competitions straight to your inbox every month, sign up today!

Dan Pope on LinkedinDan Pope on Twitter
Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

Take the hassle out of organising your sports team with Teamer. Organise, communicate and take payments.


  1. maria blanche on August 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Is there funding for the level 1 courses for young adults (22yrs old) to access the courses free of charge

  2. Cornelius O'Kane on August 20, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I often wonder if those in the ivory tower at the FA ever give any consideration to how the time-pressed people “who do real jobs” will find time to do these ever-increasing courses? Don’t they realise that the overwhelming majority of club managers and coaches at grassroots level are parents (a second level of safeguarding children) who only get involved – press-ganged – so that their children can play football? With small squad sizes, what we need are shorter courses, not longer ones, for the younger age groups. As a chairman of a community charter status youth club fielding some 23 teams each week I am increasingly in despair at these central directives seemingly aimed at a discredited ‘England DNA’ path when what we need is more kids playing football.

  3. Dan Birchmore on September 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I couldnt agree with more with Cornelius … yet another waste of time, energy and funding.

    We are hear to provide football within the community for kids that wish to play not run an academy. There are plenty of these around happy to take parents cash in exchange for expert coaching.

    Let the rest of us normal folk get on and focus on ensuring our kids enjoy their football playing with friends and keep them away from their games consoles.

  4. Mr.Kawsar Ahmed on October 18, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I would like to become a football coach please send me more information about the course.
    Thank you

Join the discussion