Courses For International Coaches
We get a lot of emails from coaches outside of the UK who are looking to do their FA coaching badges. This section is designed to provide some advice and guidance to help them decide if they should pursue their coaching training in the UK. International coaches seeking training in their own country should consult the relevant governing body as we are not in a position to offer advice on overseas courses.
The first point to make clear is that all of the courses are open to suitably qualified coaches at all levels, regardless of their nationality. What suitably qualified actually means varies hugely between different courses with Level 1 and 2 being open entry for anyone and some of the more advanced courses having extensive qualification and experience requirements. These requirements are no different for UK nationals and overseas coaches but there are some specific issues overseas coaches must take into account when considering applying for a UK based coaching course.
Non FA Qualifications
For higher level courses that require previous training, prospective candidates holding certificates issued by organizations other than the FA need to establish the equivalency of their qualifications relative to FA authorized certificates. This is best done by contacting the FA themselves as there is some degree of mutual recognition but it is important to establish exactly what this is before applying for a course.
Sponsorship and Costs
It should be borne in mind that the UK is expensive when compared to many countries and this includes living expenses incurred whilst undertaking training. Residential national courses include board and lodging in the course price but local courses usually do not. Sponsorship or scholarships for overseas players are generally not available from course providers (mainly UK county FA's) and unless financial support can be secured in the coach's own country or through a third party scheme, it should be assumed that all course costs and living expenses must be met by the candidate themselves.
Many courses, particularly Level 1 and 2 local courses and intensive residential national courses are run over relatively short periods ranging from 4 days to 13 days which may not present too many problems for coaches visiting the UK on a short term basis. However, care should be taken to select the appropriate course as each course provider often has both short courses and longer ones available. It is also important to understand that some of the higher level courses have either two parts (such as the UEFA A License) and/or require coaches to return to their clubs for a consolidation period to put into practice what they have learnt before returning for subsequent/final training sessions or assessments. This need for a return visit can obviously present some difficulty for coaches who are not based in the UK.
Reassessment and Refreshers
All FA coaching badges have the requirement for coaches to undertake refresher courses to maintain their qualification. The requirement varies on a course by course basis but is a consideration for overseas coaches who want to keep their qualification current as it will involve additional visits to the UK.
Whilst courses are open to all coaches, overseas candidates should be in possession of the appropriate visa. In some cases a standard tourist visa may not be sufficient because they may not allow the holder to undertake education or training. This restriction sometimes only applies to education carried out through a secondary or tertiary college or university and does not include vocational training such as FA coaching courses but it is important to check before travelling. County FA's are generally not able to assist in obtaining visas for overseas candidates.