Benefits to Accreditation
The National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) promotes and facilitates coaching competence within all levels of amateur sports by overseeing and evaluating the quality of coaching education programs. In addition, NCACE endorses comprehensive standards for sport practitioners, including volunteer, interscholastic, collegiate, and elite coaches. The benefits provided to members through accreditation include:
Specialized accreditation provides external accountability for the quality of your coaching education program. Demand for this type of accreditation is growing in the public domain and the sports industry.
Recognition by an established and regarded third-party organization enhances the reputation of your coaching education program among the public and within sports and coaching education industries.
Through the accreditation process, NCACE ensures that your coaching education program adheres to the characteristics of excellence as prescribed by the National Standards for Sport Coaches. Coaches and their employers, as well as athletes and their parents, need and are entitled to readily identify evidence as such quality.
The art and science of sport coaching is constantly changing. The accreditation process requires internal review thus fueling continual improvements in your coaching education program to ensure that it continues to meet the guidelines set by the National Standards for Sport Coaches.
Accredited programs may use the NCACE logo for promotional purposes, which differentiates your program from the competition and showcases the evidence that your program produces quality coaches who can provide positive sports experiences for your athletes.
Professional accreditation is the process of verifying that professional preparation is of sufficient quality to ensure that those completing such preparation will engage in safe and appropriate practice. Independent certification programs may verify that participants have completed an identified unit of information or developed specific skills, but the certification does not address the quality or appropriateness of the specified curriculum or preparation. Prospective coaches must seek quality, accredited coaching education programs that enable them to understand hiring practices and to meet appropriate certification requirements related to becoming a qualified coach.
Coaches, because of their primary roles as teachers and mentors of athletes, must aspire to achieve high standards and require resources to assist them in gaining necessary skills and knowledge to do so. Based on unprecedented expansion of information that is available to coaches and it is essential that a high standard of care is taken to ensure the health and safety of all athletes. Coaching education programs have the responsibility of ensuring that coaches have the opportunity to develop the appropriate skills, knowledge, and values to function as a coach. The NCACE Guidelines for Accreditation of Coaching Education are intended to provide direction for coach educators and coach developers to design programs that will effectively develop coaches regarding the skills and knowledge that coaches should possess.
Accreditation of coach education and coach development programs seeks to:
Identify levels of coach education that are acceptable by both a systematic and scientific inquiry as well as identify a national consensus of what coaches should know, value, and be able to do. Accreditation should allow prospective coaches and the public to make decisions concerning the selection of coach education programs based on an evaluation of educational quality, consistency, and the relationship to the standards for coaches.
Hold coach educators accountable for the quality of professional education and ensure that the mechanisms involved in the accreditation process are of appropriate quality. Each step of accreditation should emerge from a consultative process and should result in consensus of the professional participants. Thereby, expertise and experience of the accrediting body will be credible to the general public and the profession of sport coaching.
Promote coach education programs that are effective in serving the needs of a dynamic social system and that are creative and responsive to the changing needs of prospective coaches. The diversity of the coaching profession requires that professional preparation also recognize varied philosophies and approaches. Accreditation should not force sponsoring agencies to conform to prescribed, specific patterns unless these conventions have a well-established, scientific and educational basis. Accreditation should differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable forms of professional preparation, but allow for organizational differences and variety in programs, thereby preserving agency diversity and creativity in certifying coaches.
Be precise in gathering key information about critical aspects of educational quality, both in scope of programs and reliability of judgments and conclusions. There should be a clear difference in programs receiving accreditation and those programs that do not facilitate coaches’ achievement of the National Standards for Sport Coaches (NSSC). NCACE should continually reexamine its policies to ascertain whether high quality coach education is the actual by-product of the policies and guidelines it advocates.
Create consistent, efficient, and cost-effective review procedures and processes by which decisions are made and maintain supportive relationships to allow for all levels of coach education to seek accreditation.
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