Coaching Accreditation


The National Coaching Accreditation Scheme brochure outlines:

  • the reasons for mandatory coach accreditation
  • the structure for AFL coaching accreditation courses
  • the process for re-accreditation
  • the purpose for the AFL Coaches' Code of Conduct
  • the process for Recognition of Current Competencies (RCC)
  • the role of the Australian Football Coaches Association (AFCA)

Download the brochure

The quality of coaching is one of the primary reasons why players either continue to participate in Australian Football or give up the game. The coach has significantly more influence upon players than any other official or person connected with football, hence the requirement for all coaches to be accredited at an appropriate level.

Coaches must be able to communicate effectively with primary and youth aged children or adults depending on their player group, therefore training in coaching and communication techniques are as equally important as the skills, training sessions and game plans.

The primary school years are the golden years of the development of fundamental motor skills and of skill learning specific to sport. This is the most rapid learning phase of their lives, which if done well can lead to ongoing enjoyment and participation. But a failure to develop such skills during pre-adolescence is a major factor influencing teenage dropout in sport.

Coaches also greatly influence the forming and development of personalities of young players in their care.

Mandatory accreditation

All states and territories support the AFL's mandatory accreditation policy where coaches MUST have completed an approved AFL coaching accreditation course if they are appointed to a coaching position. This is critical for those coaching children.

Entry Requirements

Minimum 16 years of age.

Types of AFL coaching courses
  • AFL Auskick & Junior - orientation, Level 1 (Junior)
  • Club and school coaches of teenagers - Level 1 (Youth)
  • Coaches of adults (open age) - Level 1 (Senior)
  • AFL Level 2 (Youth/Senior)
  • AFL High Performance (Level 3)

These various types of coaching courses are designed to suit specific needs of participants in each of the coaching (age) groups.

NAB AFL Auskick

The coaching of children at NAB AFL Auskick centres is the most important aspect of the program. Failure to develop coordination and basic skills is the single greatest factor in preventing children from continuing to participate in their chosen sport, or sport generally.

An outline of each of the AFL coaching accreditation courses follows:


Ideal For




AFL Auskick/Junior:



All volunteers supporting AFL Auskick programs should attend at least 1 session -Assistant coaches should have this accreditation

3-4 Hour Course

Conducted through practical, hands-on involvement under the guidance of trained personnel. Outlines the conduct of a ‘typical’ session and how it fits into a season-long program


Level 1(AFL Junior)

At least one person involved in each AFL Auskick program. -Coordinating coaches should be accredited.
Coaches of Junior &/or Primary School Teams

Approx 14 Hours

Planning and organising training sessions. Skill games and modified games. Growth and Development, Safety and legal issues

Candidates are assessed practically either in course time or on the job or both



Level 1 Youth

Club and secondary school coaches of teenagers

Approx 14 Hours

Understanding youth participation, which permeates all aspects of the course. A specific focus on what motivates youth participants. Social aspects of working with and managing players in this age range, specific communication skills and developing higher level skill and understanding.

Assessed practically either in course time on the job or both.

Level 1 Senior

Coaches of adults (open age)

Approx 14 Hours

Communication Skills & drills Team play and tactics. Fitness for football, recovery & rehabilitation. Coaching & safety issues

Assessed practically either in course time on the job or both.

AFL Level 2 (youth/senior)

Coaches involved at a higher level (rep teams, development squads, etc.). For coaches with an aptitude and genuine interest in improving their coaching skills.

Course commences with a live-in workshop with a review day at the end of the season. Around 30 hours of course work is required in addition to practical involvement.

Conducted through practical, hands-on involvement of participants Focussing on preparing a coach to plan, prepare, conduct, review and adapt a year-long program of coaching

Assessed practically on the job at training and in a match environment.

AFL High Performance (Level 3)

Accreditation for coaches involved in AFL, state leagues, TAC cup or other programs in the AFL Talent Pathway.

Coaches working in or aspiring to this level, may apply to be invited to a week-long, live in program

The highest accreditation offered by the AFL. Covers in greater depth those areas dealt with in level 2 plus relevant current issues, including technology, public relations and coaches as program managers and mentors.

Specific job related assessment tasks.

  1. Accreditation is valid for four years, from the year in which accreditation is gained.
  2. If you gain a higher level of accreditation during that four-year period, the expiry relates only to the higher accreditation.
  3. Application to re-accredit at Level 1 should be made direct to your local Regional Development Manager or to your State Director of Coaching. Re-accreditation is not automatic. To maintain your Level 1 accreditation you must demonstrate that you:
    • Continued to coach throughout the four years.
    • Were a registered member of your Australian Football Coaches Association branch throughout the four years.
    • Are prepared to sign the AFL Coaches Code of conduct (or State specific version) when seeking re-accreditation.
    • Are prepared to submit to any coach screening procedures required at the time of re-accreditation.
    • Have continued to undertake further education, formal or informal, to enhance your coaching abilities. This might include attendance at AFCA seminars; training sessions of other coaches (particularly mentor coaches); attendance at courses or sessions within courses; training, in CPR, First Aid, communication skills, and so on.

For information about courses, updating accreditation and the Australian Football Coaches Association (AFCA) contact your state coaching manager. 

Get details of your state coaching manager

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