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Coach Education - Athletics

Overview of the Athletics Coach Accreditation Framework

Athletics Australia are the accrediting body for all athletics coaches in Australia and are the only athletics body with courses approved by the Australian Sports Commission National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS). This accreditation brings with it accountability to be up to date with current best practice as well as ensuring our courses are engaging and in line with the best adult education principles.

The Athletics Coach Accreditation Framework is designed to progressively introduce the coaching skills required to develop athletes from beginner to elite. In this way the coaching pathway mimics the athlete’s pathway.  The framework is designed to allow coaches of all levels to master their coaching, be it at the beginner level or the advanced level.

The skills delivered at each level are significant to that level of athlete.  For example, those coaching beginner athletes need to know how to coach the basic fundamental skills for that level, without giving them too many complex skills. Mastering the fundamentals is the most important task of a beginner athlete, laying a foundation for further development of technical skills.

Additionally, coaches of school age children would want to be a master of the skills delivered at Level 2.  Those who are preparing athletes for State and National Championships would be utilizing the skills presented at the Level 2 Advanced and above courses.

Course Descriptions

Level 1 Community Athletics Coach

This is the entry level for all Accredited Athletic Coaches.  The fundamental skills of running, jumping & throwing are introduced as well as exploring how to engage athletes in long term participation and how to coach skills to beginner athletes.

This qualification is certified by the Australian Sports Commission and allows participants to be nationally accredited as a community coach which is transferable to other sports engaging in the community coach program. The course includes one day of face to face training as well as the online Community Coach General Principles course.

After completing the Level 1 Community Athletics Coach course, 30 hours of coaching needs to be undertaken prior to entering Level 2 Intermediate Club Coach.


PRE WORK: Complete the ASC Community Coaching General Principles Online course and bring certificate to course.

Level 2 Intermediate Club Coach

The Level 2 Intermediate Club Coach Course is the next progression from Level 1 Community Athletics Coach course and further develops coaches understanding of how to coach fundamental skills and drills. This level supports coaches to understand the basic technical models for the Track & Field events held at club and school level competitions.

In addition, coaches are introduced to training principles and components of fitness and are introduced to the concepts of preparing and evaluating training sessions.

Prior to undertaking Level 2 Advanced course, coaches are required to coach for 12 months with at least 50 hours of coaching.

PRE REQUISITES: Currently Registered Level 1 Community Athletics Coach

PRE WORK: Complete Play By The Rules modules of Child Protection and Discrimination and Harassment online and bring certificates to the course.

Level 2 Advanced Coach - Event Group Specific

Level 2 Advanced Coach gives coaches the opportunity to begin to specialise in an event group of Sprints, Relays & Hurdles, Middle and Long Distance, Jumps, Throws or Walks. The course is comprised of two days face to face training as well as pre and post course assessments.

The two face to face days comprise of Part A & Part B. Part A is for all Event Groups and covers the topics of The Essence of Coaching, Development & Maturation, General Conditioning, Skill Acquisition, Inclusive Coaching, Planning Training and Evaluating Progress. Part B is Event Group Specific covering the coaching and technical analysis of a coaches chosen event.

Having the course in two parts allows coaches to easily specialise in multiple event groups.  Each coach completes Part A once, and then undertakes the Part B component of any of the event groups they would like to specialise in.  Both Part A and Part B need to be undertaken to be accredited as a Level 2 advanced coach.

PRE REQUISITES: Currently Registered Level 2 Intermediate Club Coach and held this qualification for 12 months

PRE WORK: There is pre and post course work for this level of accreditation that you will be given on registering for the course

Level 3 IAAF Coach - Event Group Specific

The Level 3 IAAF course will give Australian coaches International recognition and is designed to be an introduction to performance coaching for coaches who have gained a level of coaching specialisation in one of the following six event groups:

  • Sprints and Hurdles
  • Middle and Long Distance Running
  • Race Walks
  • Jumps
  • Throws
  • Combined Events

In addition to elements specific to the events group, the Level 3 syllabus contains core elements which are common to all events. On completion of a Level 3 course a coach will be expected to be able to identify and coach the basic competition model for each event within an event group and be able to plan and implement a series of appropriate training sessions within the context of an annual training plan.

Level 4 IAAF Senior Coach - Event Group Specific

The Level 4 IAAF course builds on the experiences of Level 3 and can be thought of as the development of performance coaching, providing coaches with advanced level instruction in their chosen event group. As with Level 3, the Level 4 syllabus includes event specific elements but more of the common core elements are now studied with a specific application to the event group context.

On completion of the Level 4 course coaches will be able to identify and coach high level and advanced competition models for their specific event or events. They will also be expected to be able to plan and implement macrocycles of training for high level athletes within the context of a multi-year plan. These plans should lead to the achievement of potential, elite performance and competitive results.

Entry to Level 4 is open to coaches who pass the Level 3 assessment procedures, have completed a minimum of one further year of practical coaching experience and have been recommended by Athletics Australia.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

For those who believe they may have achieved the competencies of courses listed above and would like to apply for RPL please contact the Coach Accreditation Administrator on or by calling 03 8646 4550. For RPL for Level 1 or Level 2 Intermediate please read over attached information sheets:

RPL Level 1 Community Athletics Coach Information Sheet

RPL Level 2 Intermediate Club Coach Information Sheet

Recommended Pay Scale for Accredited Athletics Coaches

The following is a guide for recommended hourly rates to organisations employing Accredited Athletics Coaches.

Accredited Athletics Coach Payment Recommendations

Athletics Australia
Athletics House
Level 2, 31 Aughtie Drive
Albert Park  VIC 3206

P +61 3 8646 4550
F +61 3 8646 4560