1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Rugby Union

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The 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Rugby Union is awarded by 1st4sport Qualifications and has been developed in partnership with the National Source Group for Rugby Union. Group members include the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) and Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). An equivalent version of the qualification is available in Scotland, awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

The 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Rugby Union is regulated at Level 3 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). For further information on the regulated status of the 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Rugby Union, please log on to The Register of Regulated Qualifications website. For further information on the UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC), visit the UK Coaching website.

The 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Rugby Union is designed for adults (over 18 years of age) with extensive experience in coaching rugby union.

The qualification aims to provide learners with an advanced knowledge of the principles/practice of safe, ethical and effective management and coaching of rugby union coaching programmes to individual players and teams of adults and young people. This Certificate offers an opportunity for rugby union coaches to support the development of the sport by contributing to coaching in schools and rugby union clubs.

  • As an opportunity to develop coaching skills that will support the development of the performance of others.
  • Rugby union is recognised both as a competitive sport and an excellent vehicle for the delivery of a variety of key skills to young people.
  • To support the growth of rugby union.

What can I use it for?

Holders of this Certificate may seek employment, paid or unpaid, as a rugby union coach. They may also wish to gather further evidence to achieve a Level 3 Diploma in Coaching Rugby Union or a Level 4 rugby union coaching qualification. Learners may be presented with the opportunity to develop their learning and knowledge by volunteering or gaining employment as a coach at the appropriate level.

On successful completion of the 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Rugby Union, you will be able to understand:

  • the role of the coach when planning, implementing, analysing and revising sport-specific annual coaching programmes
  • the coaching process
  • how to utilise a range of learning and behaviour management techniques
  • the principles and application of self-reflection and reflecting on feedback
  • the principles and processes involved in planning and periodisation within annual coaching programmes
  • the stages of player development
  • the development of skill through sport-specific annual coaching programmes
  • how to conduct performance evaluation
  • how to support players’ physical conditioning within sport-specific annual coaching programmes
  • how to provide players with nutritional advice within sport-specific annual coaching programmes
  • how to develop players’ mental skills within sport-specific annual coaching programmes
  • how to provide players with lifestyle support within sport-specific annual coaching programmes
  • how to ensure players’ safety during sport-specific coaching sessions
  • how to ensure equitable coaching of sport-specific activities.

You will also be able to:

  • establish the key rugby union performance factors and players’ needs
  • involve players in the analysis of the collected information
  • plan programme goals for players, based on collected information
  • design and plan rugby union coaching programmes to achieve players’ goals
  • identify and access resources to support the delivery of programmes
  • plan for the evaluation of programmes
  • establish and maintain the safety of the rugby union coaching environment during the delivery of coaching programmes
  • establish and maintain relationships with players and others involved in the delivery of programmes
  • manage player behaviour and interactions
  • initiate rugby union coaching programmes
  • review players’ progress during the implementation of the programme
  • modify rugby union coaching programmes in response to feedback and changes in needs
  • make preparations for rugby union coaching
  • implement rugby union coaching activities
  • support players in improving performance
  • conclude rugby union coaching activities
  • monitor the implementation of rugby union coaching programmes
  • monitor own contributions to the rugby union coaching programme
  • review own coaching practice
  • provide assistance in the development of other coaches.

How will my learning programme be structured?

Learning programmes are usually designed by the recognised centre that delivers the qualification. They may, therefore, vary in length and format. Depending on your needs, delivery centres can offer intensive courses or a series of learning events over a period of days or weekends. Whatever the timescale, all learning programmes should include the following phases:

  • attendance at an induction event that will provide learners with an introduction to the qualification. In addition, learners will receive support and guidance on accessing learning resources that support the development of their knowledge
  • a programme of training, during which learners will be provided with the predominantly practical and technical information required to enable them to fulfil the role. They will undertake a series of short assessments of their rugby union coaching
  • achievement of knowledge via a structured programme of learning and/or home study and/or distance learning modules
  • further development of learners’ ability to plan, manage and deliver a coaching programme, via practical coaching experience over a period of time, the development of associated coaching plans and a coaching log
  • a final assessment of learners managing and delivering a rugby union coaching programme.

At the conclusion of the programme of training and assessment, you will be provided with formal feedback on your performance and action-planned for your further development.

The 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Rugby Union assessment will require you, in summary, to:

  • have an appropriate understanding of the Level 3 knowledge units and the specific technical knowledge underpinning the coaching of rugby union at this level, which will be assessed via performance, simulation, tasks and assignments
  • produce a performance profile for a minimum of two rugby union players or a team. These should be matched against established performance factors for rugby union and identify the current and potential level of player performance and/ or development
  • design and plan a rugby union coaching programme for a minimum of two players or a team, which should be based upon the outcome of the performance profile(s)
  • produce a detailed plan of a discrete cycle or phase (minimum of eight weeks of which three weeks/sessions are for pre-competition and five in the competition phase) associated with an aspect of the rugby union coaching programme
  • produce a minimum of eight rugby union coaching session plans within the discrete cycle or phase (minimum of eight weeks of which three weeks/sessions are for pre-competition and five in the competition phase) associated with an aspect of the rugby union coaching programme
  • produce a recorded plan for the ongoing evaluation of the rugby union coaching programme
  • produce a recorded plan for the ongoing performance and/or development review for either two players or a team. The plan should identify the methodology and timings for the ongoing review
  • evidence that you are competent in managing a safe coaching environment for players and others. This must be observed by an appropriately qualified assessor on a minimum of two occasions
  • produce a record of the management of a safe coaching environment over a minimum period of eight weeks. This should be within the planned discrete cycle or phase associated with an aspect of the coaching programme
  • deliver a minimum of eight coaching sessions within the discrete cycle or phase (minimum of eight weeks of which three weeks/sessions are for pre-competition and five in the competition phase)
  • deliver a minimum of two rugby union coaching sessions, which must be observed by an appropriately qualified assessor on separate occasions
  • produce a record of player performance and/or development reviews and associated action plan(s) for a minimum of two players or a team during the rugby union coaching programme
  • produce a recorded review and evaluation for a detailed training cycle or phase (minimum of eight weeks) associated with an aspect of the rugby union coaching programme
  • produce a personal action plan to develop your own coaching practice based on the delivery of a detailed training cycle or phase (minimum of eight weeks) associated with an aspect of the rugby union coaching programme
  • produce an action plan to develop coaching practice for others involved in supporting the rugby union coaching programme.

Recognised centres offering this qualification determine their own fees and they will vary from centre to centre. The fees charged should entitle you to a programme of learning and assessment, registration and certification for the qualification, a 1st4sport Qualifications Learner Pack and appropriate learning resource. For further information on the costs of courses, please contact a recognised centre.