In South Africa the SA Sport and Olympic Committee (SACOC) has asked all their national sport organisations to conform to a uniform qualification framework in order to "grade" coaches/ referees / administrators throughout the various sporting codes in the country.

The idea of this is to be able to compare people with the various qualifications and to give people working in these positions a more professional status. This will in turn formalise the industry and assist these volunteers to become paid professionals.

I have been involved with hockey (indoor & outdoor) and karate at a provincial and national level. I know that there is a huge differences how you become a qualified coach, referee/umpire and administrator in these two sports, some of it formal and the other not. This is definitely going to be a huge task to get these codes to conform to a single framework.

What I would like to know if any other association/committee around the world has attempted this and whether it was successful or not?


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It's also broadly true in the UK, where the various sports have coaching schemes which all attempt to adhere to the same definition of level, to describe how advanced a coach you are.

From Level 1 teaching introductory material, to Level 5, being a Master coach, able to train competitors at the highest level of their sport.

(This has some anomalies - Aikido is non-competitive, so they cap their system at Level 3. Fencing is very technical, so they split the coaching scheme into one per discipline - you can be a Level 5 Foil coach without any qualification in Sabre.).

This allows local government bodies and government agencies to deal with sports on a consistent basis. "Yes you may hire the hall as long as there is at least a Level 1 coach for every x children." "You may attend this training course if you are a Level 3 coach or above." "We offer grants for coaches to train for their Level 4 qualification."

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