About the NCCP

The National Coaches Certification Program (NCCP) is the cornerstone of coach education in Canada. Coaches of all 65 federally recognized sports receive their training and certification through the NCCP. The NCCP is for coaches at every context and for those coaching every age of athlete.

Who is the NCCP for?

NCCP workshops are designed for all types of coaches. Whether you’re thinking about coaching your child’s community team or you’re already the head coach of a national team, the NCCP has workshops to meet your needs.

Since 1974 coaching in Canada has been developed jointly by the federal and provincial governments through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). This coaching education program is developed and delivered through a partnership of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and the National Sport Organizations (NSOs). To date, over 1 million coaches have participated Canada-wide (and approximately 35% or over 300,000 of those coaches are from Ontario).

Coaches are mentors, motivators and leaders. Along with parents and teachers, coaches have a profound impact on the future of our athletes. It’s a great responsibility, and Canada’s one million coaches embrace it with passion and dedication.

The NCCP is comprised of three coaching streams: NCCP Community Sport, NCCP Competition, and NCCP Instruction. Each stream provides a rewarding sport experience for coach and participant(s) alike by ensuring the ideal alignment of each other’s skills, motivations, and objectives.  With NCCP Competition are two major sub-streams, Competition-Introduction and Competition-Development.

NCCP Community Sport

The NCCP Community Sport stream is designed to help participants of any age learn, play, and have fun. Participants in this stream are typically playing for their own enjoyment. Beginner coaches often start here.

Fundamental Movement Skills

NCCP Competition

The NCCP Competition stream helps participants of all ages develop competitive abilities in their sport over the long term. Former athletes and experienced coaches at regional levels often work in this stream.

Competition Introduction

Competition Development

NCCP Instruction

The NCCP Instruction stream enables former participants to pass on the skills they’ve developed over their careers to a new generation of coaches. Coaches in this stream also work with participants of all ages.

NCCP Coaching Contexts

Within each NCCP Coaching stream are NCCP coaching contexts, which align coaching activities with specific types of participants and the stage of their respective development. Coaches can read about Long-term Development to better understand the stages of participant development and the types of activity relevant to each.

NCCP Coaching Contexts Map

NCCP training focuses on developing five core competencies in every coach. These competencies help coaches become more effective and drive more meaningful impact on their participants’ experience.

Learn More about NCCP Coaching Competencies

NCCP training develops in coaches key outcomes that help them guide their participants through the many challenges and opportunities of the sport experience. These outcomes also form the basis of their evaluations by NCCP Coach Evaluators as they progress through their coaching pathways. The Outcomes are:

  1. Make Ethical Decisions
  2. Analyze Performance
  3. Provide Support to Athletes in Training
  4. Design a Sport Program
  5. Plan a Practice
  6. Manage a Sport Program
  7. Support the Competitive Experience

Learn More about NCCP Coaching Outcomes

NCCP courses are called Modules. They are developed in partnership by the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and National Sport Organizations (NSO’s). NCCP Modules are developed using the latest sport science, coaching best practices, and emerging trends. The modules are written by Canada’s top coaches and sport science PhD’s. They are updated regularly to keep Canada’s coaches at the top of their game.

NCCP Modules are classified into two categories, Multi-sport modules (MSM)and Sport-specific modules (SSM).

Multi-sport modules are delivered by a Provincial/Territorial Coaching Representative (PTCR). In Ontario that representative is the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO). That’s us!

Sport-Specific modules are delivered by their corresponding Provincial Sport Organization (PSO). For example, Basketball courses in Ontario are delivered by the Ontario Basketball Association.


Every NCCP workshop is lead by a trained Learning Facilitator (LF) who has undergone a standardized training process. They are crucial to the development of skilled and knowledgeable coaches who create positive, safe and happy experiences for their athletes and participants.

The goal of an LF is to effectively facilitate sessions that result in the development of coaches who are able to demonstrate their abilities and meet the standards established for certification.

A Learning Facilitator should have the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to facilitate workshops using the competency-based approach. In addition, they serve as contributing members of the community and ambassadors for the NCCP.

There are three NCCP Coaching statuses that you can obtain for a given sport context:

  • In-Training – A coach who has completed some required courses for a given sport context
  • Trained – A coach who has completed all required courses for a given sport context
  • Certified – A coach who has been evaluated for a given sport context

To achieve Trained status most sport contexts require both sport-specific and multi-sport modules. Some sports have integrated all of the multi-sport content and only require the sport-specific modules.

To achieve Certified status a coach must complete an evaluation. Evaluations are done by your PSO. Evaluations are usually done after a coach has achieved Trained status.

What is a Sport Context?

A sport context is a type of coaching categorized by athlete experience, competitive context, and sport

For example: Basketball – Competition Introduction

Learn more about Contexts

The NCCP is a comprehensive coach development program with unique features for each of the 65 participating sports. Every sport has a different coaching pathway. For this reason the best way to answer this question is by contacting your Provincial Sport Organization. They are the expert on your sports coaching pathway.

Jane is a first time coach taking on a head coaching role with her 10 year old child’s soccer team this season.

1. First she creates her NCCP# as she will need this to take any NCCP coach education.

2. Next she visits her Provincial Sport Organizations website to learn about her coaching pathway. She learns for soccer in Ontario she will need to achieve the Trained status in the soccer Learn to Train context. This is the appropriate context to coach athletes U9-U12 in soccer.

3. To complete this pathway she learns she will need the following components:

4. After completing these components she checks her coaching transcript again through the Locker at Coach.ca. She see’s she has attained the following status:

5. She is now ready to take on her new coaching role!

View all available courses in Ontario

How to create an NCCP# to register for NCCP Courses

Get started on your coaching journey today!

Please contact us – the CAO Team is here to help!