Following recent announcements from The FA, Staffordshire FA are now able to provide an update in regards to the future delivery of coach education courses across the county.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, courses across the county have been suspended since March 2020. During the period of lockdown, discussions at a National level have been ongoing relating to the future of coach education, including courses delivered by County FAs. As a result of this review, The FA have announced the decision that all coach education delivery will be moving across to an online learning platform, administered by The FA centrally, with effect from March 2021.
Staffordshire FA have been given the option to recommence the delivery of our coach education programme within the strict guidance that has been put into place by The FA via their Covid-19 Guidance. Staffordshire FA have considered this guidance carefully and have looked at all options for course delivery, but it is with great regret that the decision has been made to not deliver further FA courses. As a result, and based on the new guidance provided by the FA, we will no longer be in a position to deliver any new FA Level 1 in Coaching Football, FA Level 2 in Coaching Football, UEFA B, Goalkeeping, Futsal, FA Safeguarding Children, FA Level 1 Introduction to First Aid in Football or other FA courses.
This decision has been carefully considered and it has not been taken lightly. The safety of all of our learners and tutors is paramount and ensuring that we do not place anyone at risk of contracting Covid-19 has to be our priority. Alongside the guidance provided by The FA and recent Government announcements, it is felt that we are unable to fully meet the requirements that have been put into place for the delivery of courses.
Staffordshire FA have been delivering Coach Education courses for nearly 20 years and we have prided ourselves that our organisation, delivery and service to grassroots clubs and their workforce has been a beacon for the county. We are fully aware of the impact that Coach Education has across the county in support of the grassroots workforce and we are truly disappointed that we are no longer able to deliver our programme.
In regards to referee-specific courses, these will remain on hold until the end of 2020, therefore there will be no further Referee courses for the remainder of this year. A new programme of courses will be released in the coming months, with delivery planned from the start of 2021.
The delivery of our Coach Education programme would not have had the success it has without the support of our tutors, clubs, leagues, facilities, volunteers and staff and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the delivery over the many years and for their professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication to supporting the Staffordshire FA. The impact they have had on the countless number of individuals cannot be underestimated and we believe this is what has made the programme the success it is.
Moving forward, we will shortly be releasing plans on how we intend to support grassroots coaches in the county to ensure they have access to ongoing Personal Development opportunities and how we can support new coaches coming into the game. We will be establishing a monthly digital coaches club and, when it is safe to do so, arranging a series of coaching development workshops and events across the county to continue our support to coaches.
All learners who were booked onto courses which were subsequently postponed due to lockdown will be contacted shortly to make them aware of the situation and the next steps for them.
Staffordshire FA remain committed to supporting all ‘in flight’ learners on Level 2 Coaching and UEFA B courses, and again a separate communication will be sent to all relevant individuals in due course to confirm the details moving forward.
Guidance in regards to how this affects FA Charter Standard accreditation and Annual Health checks for clubs is still to be provided, as soon as we have an update on this it will be communicated across the county.