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1st4sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Football (QCF)

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“We’ve delivered 1st4sport qualifications for a number of years. The staff are helpful and friendly, and the quality of the qualification package and support they provide means I have no hesitation in recommending them.”

Barry Dawson, Programme Leader, Level 2/3 Sport, Darlington College

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Qualification Accreditation Number 501/1628/9
Credit Value (Guided Learning Hours) 7 (35–45)
SFA/LAD Funding Code 501/1628/9
Entry age: 16+
Qualification Accreditation Start Date 01/09/2010
Qualification Review Date 30/09/2016
Certification End Date 30/09/2017
Certification/Registration Fees (excluding VAT) £84
Qualification Purpose Statement Download

This qualification is equivalent to Level 2 on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF)*.

To find out how to apply to deliver this qualification see the How to Apply section. There are no costs involved in applying or becoming a 1st4sport recognised centre.

Developed in partnership with FA Learning, the education arm of The Football Association (The FA), the 1st4sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Football (QCF) is the first qualification on the football coaching ladder. The qualification is designed to provide learners with an introduction to the practical and theoretical aspects of coaching football. The foundation level of knowledge recognised in this qualification will enable them to develop an understanding of the safe, ethical and effective management and coaching of football. Those who complete this Award will be able to assist other, more qualified coaches in delivering football coaching sessions to players of all ages.

Who is the Qualification for?

Anyone over 16 years of age, who is looking for an introduction to coaching football to grass-roots teams. As preparation for working with a junior football team, individuals looking to help their football club gain FA Charter Standard accreditation will be interested in taking this qualification. Parents of children playing football who would like to become more involved, sports centre staff, teachers, youth workers and volunteers would also find that this qualification supports their involvement in the sport. Students in further or higher education, studying sports-related coaching qualifications, should pursue this qualification as a valuable addition to their portfolio of coaching skills.

Why Deliver this Qualification?

Requirement for FA Charter Standard accreditation
The 1st4sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Football (QCF) is used as part of the requirements for amateur football clubs and schools to achieve the appropriate FA Charter Standard accreditation, allowing learners access to membership and the benefits of The FA Coaches Association (FACA).

Developed in partnership with the experts
The qualification has been developed in partnership with FA Learning, the education arm of The FA. You can therefore be confident that this qualification is the very best Level 1 football coaching qualification available.

Provides a progression route for coaches
The 1st4sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Football (QCF) is the first rung on the football coaching ladder. Why not offer the full, progressive suite and allow budding football coaches clear progression from Level 1 through to the 1st4sport Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football (QCF)?


*Please note there may be exceptions to the above. Further information about the EQF can be found on the EQF Portal.

Prior to certification, learners are required to:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • hold, as a minimum, a current emergency aid certificate
  • have attended The FA workshop ‘Safeguarding Children in Football’(learners under the age of 18 years are eligible to complete The FA Child Protection Distance Learning Module‘Safeguarding Children in Football – A Guide’ as an alternative to the workshop).

The above prerequisites, for those who do not already hold the appropriate evidence, will normally be provided by recognised centres as part of the learning programme.

The qualification is divided into the following units:

Unit Title Accreditation No. GLH Credit
1 Understanding the Fundamentals of Coaching Sport D/601/3531 6 1
2 Understanding the Principles of Planning Coaching Activities in Sport H/601/3532 10 1
3 Understanding the Principles of Conducting Coaching Activities in Sport K/601/3533 10 1
4 Understanding the Principles of Evaluating Coaching Activities in Sport M/601/3534 7 1
5 Planning Football Coaching Activities F/602/4988 4 1
6 Conducting Football Coaching Activities J/602/4989 5 1
7 Evaluating Football Coaching Activities A/602/4990 3 1

Unlike many other awarding bodies, which just supply you with the basic qualification standards, we go that extra mile to support you by providing:

  • full and comprehensive Learner Packs, which include a full set of structured learning and assessment tasks to help you deliver the qualification
  • tutor/assessor guidance notes, which include sample answers to support you when assessing your students
  • qualification administration that is available online, enabling you to process learners quickly and effectively, and making the records we hold on your learners accessible to you at the click of a mouse.

Fees are charged per learner and provide registration and certification for the qualification, as well as a 1st4sport Learner Pack, learning resources and certificate. There are no costs involved in applying or becoming a 1st4sport recognised centre. Further information on fees is available in your qualification application pack

Organisations new to 1st4sport

If you are not already a 1st4sport recognised centre, you need to apply to become one. The first step is to check you can meet the Centre Recognition and Qualification Approval Criteria for this qualification and submit the forms to us.

You can find more information on this process by visiting: Five Steps to Becoming a 1st4sport Recognised Centre.

Please note: you will not be able to become recognised or approved until you have confirmed that you can meet these criteria.

Existing 1st4sport recognised centres

If you are already a 1st4sport recognised centre and would like to seek approval to deliver this qualification, please check that your centre can meet the Qualification Approval Criteria.

You can find more information on this process by visiting: Four Steps to Becoming Approved to Deliver an Additional Qualification.

Please note: you will not be able to become approved until you have confirmed that you can meet these criteria.

This qualification sits on the QCF. Further information about the benefits of the framework can be found by visiting the Ofqual website.

All learners being registered for QCF qualifications are required to have a Unique Learner Number (ULN) issued by the Learner Register. To be approved to offer this QCF qualification, you will need to demonstrate that you can access and verify learners’ ULNs with the Learner Register. For more information about this process, please visit Learning Records Service website.