Required Coaching Certification FAQ

Why is certification important?

We believe that youth sport coaches are not as highly regarded as school teachers or even coaches that work with more elite athletes. And yet the impact of a child’s coach can be just as powerful and long lasting as that of a school teacher or an elite coach. Our kids deserve qualified coaches.

We want our membership and others to see that our programming is driven by a set of standards that are aligned to our Club’s mission, vision and values.

Finally, we believe that the set of tools certification provides coaches can help create a more positive experience for kids which can help keep them playing soccer for longer.


What are the standards?

Grassroots and youth soccer coaches in Eliot River, as well as across Canada, currently require:

  1. Respect in Sport Activity Leader training
  2. National Coaching Certification Program Making Ethical Decisions training
  3. National Coaching Certification Program Making Headway in Soccer
  4. National Coaching Certification Program Emergency Action Plan
  5. Canada Soccer soccer-specific coach training

Why raise the standards?

Our Club has three values running through all of our programming:

  1. Safety - both physical and emotional
  2. Fun
  3. Challenge/Growth/Learning

Coaches are being asked to acquire three separate certifications. Each of our club’s values are enhanced through the required certifications. Those certifications include:

Respect in Sport training provides head and assistant coaches, managers and helpers with the tools they need to create an environment free from abuse, bullying, discrimination and harassment. This training enhances our Club’s values of safety and fun.

Making Ethical Decisions training helps head and assistant coaches identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations that present themselves in the world of team and individual sport. This training enhances our Club’s values of safety and fun.

Making Headway in Soccer provides head and assistant coaches with information on how to recognize and deal with concussions as well as understanding return to play protocol for those who have suffered a concussion. This training enhances our Club's value of safety.

Emergency Action Plan training prepares head and assistant coaches to effectively handle situations where a serious injury may arise. This training enhances our Club's value of safety.

Soccer-specific training prepares head and assistant coaches to teach the basic technical and tactical components appropriate for the age and stage of the players they work with. This training primarily enhances our Club’s value of challenge/growth/learning but also safety and fun.

Will other soccer clubs on PEI be doing the same thing?

Yes, they will. The PEI Soccer Association is giving clubs on the Island until 2023 to comply with these standards. As the standards are currently being met in most other provinces, Eliot River is pushing forward with them now for the added value they can provide grassroots and youth players.  

What do other sports, like hockey, do?

The certification requirements for each sport are specific to that sport. While there are variations between sports, there are common requirements (like Respect in Sport and Making Ethical Decisions) that all Canadian amateur coaches should have.

What if there are not enough individuals willing to obtain the certification to run the programs at my child’s age level?

Then the club will call on its technical leaders (e.g., like the Technical Director) to fill in until individuals with the required certification can take over. If our technical leaders are not able to cover a certain program then we will not offer that program until they are able to cover or individuals with the required certification can take over. With this in mind we hope that our members will be willing to put the time and effort forward to become a certified soccer coach for the benefit of the kids.

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