Grassroots coaches in Scotland will now be presented with a fresh opportunity to obtain a UEFA qualification as the Scottish FA Coach Education Department announces the adoption of the UEFA Grassroots Leader Award.

Holders of this award are recognised by UEFA to hold all the necessary qualities and attributes to be an effective Grassroots Leader within their coaching environment - an accolade that demonstrates high competencies over and above being a grassroots coach.

To coincide with the introduction of this award, the Coach Education Department have worked in partnership with Hampden Sports Clinic to create a brand-new Sports First Aid E-Learning course. 

The new online Sports First Aid course covers the main areas of crisis management including basic life support and using an automated external defibrillator (AED), sports injury management and medical conditions in sport.  This online component is a pre-requisite to the National Sports First Aid (NSFA) course which is a nationally recognised qualification.

Coaches can automatically obtain the new UEFA Grassroots Leader Award, provided they hold a current Coaching Award (1.3 or equivalent) and they complete this Sports First Aid E-learning course. 

While the First Aid E-Learning course will not make coaches fully qualified first aiders, it will give them a basic understanding of key aspects and it is actively encouraged as best practice for all grassroots coaches.

Coaches who currently hold a SYFA/SWF recognised first aid qualification from an approved external organisation will be able to receive this award up until the end of the year. From the beginning of 2024, only the Scottish FA Sports First Aid E-Learning will be recognised.

Greig Paterson, Scottish FA Head of Coach Education & Development: “Always keen to lead at the forefront of Coach Education provision, I am delighted that the Scottish FA are now able to offer the UEFA Grassroots Leaders Award.

"Through extensive consultation with UEFA, and our partnership with Hampden Sports Clinic, it was evident that the missing piece of the jigsaw was basic First Aid. As always, we’ve went above and beyond UEFA’s minimum required competencies, but that will only serve to further educate and develop our coaching workforce.

"As well as that, we can also offer the UEFA Grassroots Leader Award across our three specialised pathways, which I believe is unique across the UEFA family.”

Martyn Buckie, Scottish FA Grassroots Coach Education & Development Manager: “The introduction of the UEFA Grassroots Leader Award is another significant milestone. The fact that we will now implement this award in our pathway is a reflection of the comprehensive nature of our Level 1 Coach Education offering and the introduction of the Sports First Aid E-Learning course is crucial - especially around such an important topic.

“We want to actively encourage all coaches in Scotland to be ambitious and work to obtain this new award as a minimum standard.”

Katy Stewart, Head of Research & Education at Hampden Sports Clinic: “The new online first aid course offered through Scottish FA live provides the theoretical knowledge for the National Sports First Aid course. 

"We would like to thank the Scottish FA for their support in creating this new course which provides coaches with essential knowledge of what to do in an emergency situation which should make sport a safer place for all involved.”

Information on the Coach Education Department's offerings, including the UEFA Grassroots Leader Award can be found here