Aspiring Scottish football coaches are set to benefit from a revamp to the Scottish FA coaching course structure – one that will reflect the demands of the modern game.

The redevelopment of the Scottish FA Coach Education pathways is designed to cater for the rapidly evolving modern game, with two significant developments in the early stages of the pathway.

A brand new ‘Introduction to Coaching’ course has been introduced at the start of each of our four coaching pathways, replacing all previously existing Level 1.1 courses to bring the pathways in line with one another at the first stage.

Additionally, the Level 1.3 course which previously existed across all pathways as ‘Coaching in the Game’ has now been split to become more suited to the pathway in which they exist. This has resulted in specialised Level 1.3 courses across the Main (Youth/Adult), Goalkeeping, Children’s and Futsal pathways, to better prepare coaches in their chosen pathway prior to entering licence level courses.

All courses will also become more manageable and accessible through the increased use of online user friendly coaching tools and will put player’s needs at the heart of the restructure.

The change aims to encourage more coaches to progress up the pathway but does not have any impact on those who have already started their coaching journey. Simply put, there will be no backward steps for anyone, regardless of their current progress on the pathway.

Head of Coach Education and Development Greig Paterson said: “In today’s society, kids and youths don’t play in the streets as much as they used to 20 or 30 years ago. A lot of our thinking is grounded in trying to get players as active as possible in football related activity, for a long as possible during each of their sessions.

“Competition for their time is more competitive than ever, with so many opportunities available to our young players, therefore engaging, rewarding, enjoyable activities which the coach can set up easily and with minimal fuss is at the forefront of our approach.”

He added: “We now have a new ‘Introduction to Coaching’ course which will be the start point for every coach, regardless of what they wish their pathway or specialism to be. This course will give all coaches the knowledge and understanding of basic coaching concepts, and allow them to build on this throughout their coach education journey.

“The ‘Introduction to Coaching’ course therefore straddles all our pathways, being the first face-to-face contact for all aspiring coaches, football leaders and facilitators."

As a result of increased investment in the courses, coaches will now benefit from modernised course content, increased tutor involvement and improved systems - including more user friendly online coaching resources. This has resulted in a small increase in price across a few of the courses, but coaches who progress up the pathway to level 1.3 and complete the award level will receive a 35% discount to ensure their overall expense remains the same.

Furthermore, coaches already on a specific pathway who hope to transition from one to another will not need to take any backward steps, saving aspiring coaches time and money.

Greig added: “It is also important to stress to our coaches currently on the pathway that the courses they have completed to date are still very much valid. Whilst we believe we have modernised and improved, we will also recognise the prior learning and attendance of everyone in our system. Nobody will take any backward steps as a result of these changes.

“We also hope to encourage more people to progress to what was previously known as the Level 1.3, which we will now refer to as Award level, so that we have more Award level coaches working in our game in each pathway.”


To book your place on one of our coaching courses, click here.


A detailed explainer document on the 2020 course restructure can be downloaded here.


The latest instalment of the Scottish Football Coaching Podcast will cover the 2020 course restructure and will be available on Friday, 10 January here.

Head of Coach Education and Development Greig Paterson, Coach Education and Development Manager Ritchie Wilson and Head of Community Development Paul McNeill join host Lewis Irons to discuss the changes to the Coaching Pathways.