Important Milestone as CF21 Publishes Position Statement on the Professionalisation of Sport Coaching

On behalf of Erasmus+ project CoachForce 21, it gives all partners great pleasure to publish this position statement  – “Professionalisation as a Process of Continuous Improvement for Sport Coaching in Europe”.

The statement is the result of a two-year process of research, development and consultation with stakeholders to understand the current sport coaching landscape in the European Union. It builds on the previous European Coaching Council statement of 2011, and provides direction and guidance for the period 2021-2030.

The below is the Principal Statement. An Extended Statement and Rationale Paper is available to download here:

In the context of the European Union Work Plan for Sport 2021-2024 and the Council of the European Union Conclusions of November 2017 (Estonian Presidency) and June 2020 (Croatian Presidency), the CoachForce21 partners:

• Acknowledge that sport coaching plays a significant and ever-evolving role for societies and individuals.

• Emphasise that organisations and individuals providing sport coaching services must at all times protect the interest of the public and participants and abide by the principles of Safe and Ethical Sport.

• Demand that the rights of sport coaches to education, development, support, appropriate recognition, and safe and ethical practicing conditions must be protected.

• Propose that countries and national and international federations commit to a process of continuous coaching system improvement that powers a similar process of continuous individual coach improvement.

• Encourage national and international lead coaching organisations to develop appropriate professional standards that guide relevant quality assurance and licensing systems.

• Recognise that all of the above recommendations are context-dependent and must be interpreted and implemented locally

John Bales, President of the International Council for Coaching Excellence said:

“This is a very important document and momentous occasion, more so at a time when sport coaching has demonstrated its importance and relevance in society during the pandemic. The position statement helps bring attention to the need to continually invest in the development of effective and efficient coaching systems that can meet the needs of participants and athletes, while bringing to the fore the need to guarantee coaches’ rights and to give them a voice in the decision-making processes that impact them”.

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CoachForce21 is a 3-yearErasmus+ funded project which commenced in October 2018.

The project aims to strengthen coach representation at national and European level through the provision of guidance and support for existing and developing Coaches’ Associations in the EU. The project will bring the Voice of the Coach to the fore of the Social Dialogue in Sport to foster Good Governance in the Sector.  CoachForce21 partners include Leeds Beckett University (UK), the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE), Czech Olympic Committee, Hungarian Coaching Association, Coaching Portugal, Trainerakademie of DOSB (Germany), the Polish Sports Institute, Professional Coaches of Finland, Hellenic Federation of Sport Coaches and Trainers (POPA).


The SCE is a formally established continental body for Europe of the International Council for Coaching Excellence.

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