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UEFA believes that coaches and coach educators have a vital role in the development of players and the game. The UEFA Coaching Convention sets out the legal framework, and the UEFA coaching programme aims to develop coaching and coach education through a variety of projects and events.
The UEFA Coaching Convention
In 1997, European football's governing body established the UEFA Convention on the Mutual Recognition of Coaching Qualifications. Its objective was to protect the coaching profession, improve coaching standards and prepare the way for the free movement of qualified coaches within Europe in accordance with European law. The first six associations received UEFA’s endorsement in 1998.
The convention guarantees a unified and minimum level of education, and UEFA endorses licences at Pro, A, B, Elite Youth A, Goalkeeping A and Futsal B levels. These licences are issued by member associations whose courses meet the minimum criteria and standards set out by UEFA. The document was revised in 2008, and again in 2015, and currently more than 200,000 coaches possess UEFA-endorsed football coaching licences.
The UEFA coaching programme
The UEFA coaching programme offers each UEFA member association continuous and bespoke support, designed to meet their specific needs. In addition to this tailor-made assistance, UEFA encourages the exchange of ideas and knowledge, and organises regular conferences, workshops and programmes for various target groups with the overall aim of improving European coaching.
Clubs: The continent's leading club coaches gather at the UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum held at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon at the start of each season, and discuss technical issues and the development of European club football.
National teams: A conference for national team coaches is held after each UEFA European Championship (EURO), where the competition is reviewed from a technical perspective. The last such meeting took place in Paris in September 2016, with the focus on UEFA EURO 2016.
Women's football: A similar conference for women’s national team coaches takes place after each UEFA Women’s EURO. The third edition was held in Amsterdam in November 2017.
UEFA runs a regular workshop for national association coach educators. The latest was held in Belfast in October 2017.
Pro licence students
An exchange programme for national associations’ UEFA Pro Licence students gives participants direct access to UEFA content and tutors during four-day seminars at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon.
UEFA caters for the needs of specialist coaching areas with specific courses for goalkeeping coaches, fitness coaches and futsal coaches.
Study Group Scheme
The project, launched in 2008, allows national associations the choice of a wide menu of topics and sub-topics, and the opportunity to attend UEFA-funded events which allow national associations to share knowledge, experience and best practice.
A team of technical observers follows every UEFA competition. They produce reports which identify key success factors, technical trends and tactical innovations on show. These reports are then distributed throughout Europe, and feed into national association’s coach education programmes.
The Technician is UEFA Direct’s coaching supplement and features interviews with high-profile coaches, as well as technical articles on a variety of topics.”