BTF new coaching levels

So I received a rather non informative email that the BTF coaching qualifications are changing. No longer will we have Level1, Level2, Level2 - Diploma and Level3 but Foundation Coach, Group Coach, Personal Coach and Pathway Coach

Its said that all remits from passed qualifications and awards will remain the same but the foundation looks like a reduced Level 1, it’s not really clear as they are not releasing all the required info like ‘What exactly is the difference…’ I hope that will be apparent in due course.

Any thoughts or insights of is it just BTF rebranding?


More info there but it does sound like a rebranding exercise in the main

a resetting of levels…yes, the foundation coach course is being reset to that probably similar to the old old Level 1

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arr so no coaching groups alone as a “L1” anymore? if so a good move, always thought the change in (2016?) was wrong as you could do a 2 day course and basically coach groups of kids (or novice adults) and as you know, how are you meant to develop and learn with no one to learn from or with.

but it means that ‘coaches’ will need supervision…

With your experience do you not think that is good?

I guess for me its a double edged sword; we both know how hard it is in “volunteer coached” clubs to get volunteers who are reliable, and if the L2 doesnt show up, is the “L1” just going to cancel the session (will lead to sessions being run less than ideally “uninsured”), but then the duty of care to athletes says to me that at the minimum you should be more experienced than a 2 day course. Then again some "L1’s may have been that level for a long time and are probably better/more experienced than a lot of L2 coaches.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Depends on the level 2…

It also depends on whether the level 2 signed up to coach or supervise…

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Big problem for me as in our club is all “volunteer coached”. I guess a lot of clubs will be going through this.

I have a mix of UKA trained that do the running and then BTF so say 7 for swimming but only 2 Level 2 coaches and we can have 2-3 pool swim sessions a week so there is no way the 2 L2 can cover that.

Trying to get the L1s to upgrade has its on issues also with lack of courses and TBH some of them don’t want to.

Fingers crossed that they stay as L! and can coach unsupervised or just deliver prewritten sets……

Bit of a panic now….

currents remits remain the same, so any L1s will remain as they are

This is one of the reasons all coaches should be paid for their time. My club has 3 x L3 , 3 x L2 and a couple of L1’s , all paid and quite well, I get nearly double what my swim club pay (I’m only L2 swim as SE don’t let individuals apply for L3 has to be club backed as a head coach, but I am a L3 tri)

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that’s what i told the BTF…

Current L1 qualified retain their qualification level…

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The longer answer to your question is whether you want your coaches developed by other coaches or by coach developers.

Certainly this happens to an extent anyway…but the plan is to fill the development gap by training L2s to be mentors…whether anyone has polled the L2s to see if this is what they want to do or has identified whether L2s all have the skills to be mentors is a different matter…

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yes that makes a lot of sense. I will also add that a L2 doesn’t guarantee competence or expertise, to be fair even a L3 doesnt, but with a L3 it does show they are willing to invest financially and in time for their development so shows a willingness to progress and learn. I also know L2’s that got their L2 without coaching a single session outside of the face to face days, they “made up” they 6 week blocks etc. One in particular did his L1 in Jan, started L2 in early March and was a fully qualified L2 by end of July without a single coached session taken.
My development goals all still largely lie around running practices. I still feel a lot of imposter syndrome coaching running. The kids enjoy it, my athletes improve and don’t appear to get injured during my session (always a good thing) but I would feel odd “mentoring” someone from an extensive run background. I think in a long winded way I’m saying whilst development is gained through working with others, BTF cant rely on L2’s for doing “coach ed” for them


or a willingness to play the game and climb the hierarchy…

and so you should…it helps to make you a good coach…

as i did with swimming…i long ago put my energy into becoming the best swim coach i could be…but you ought to forget the thought that a ‘good runner’ has more knowledge of coaching running than you…

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this can usually be ‘found out’ by any half decent coach developer…

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Just received details of the new “L1” and “L2” . L1 is now 2 * 90min zoom sessions and 1 day on site, L2 is 1 90min online session and 2 days. Is that really it? Must be more to it or a mistake.
I thought 3 and 5 days on site wasnt enough as L2 swim before Covid was an 8 day course + external work! Now SE is 6 * 3hrs and 1 * 90min Zoom sessions, then 4 * on site practical sessions (about 4hrs each time) that include the 4 * 2hr practical coaching in a live club environment (another club not your own) , then you have the ~15-20hrs of work and reflection coaching in your own environment (have to plan 2 microcycles a mesocycle, 6 athlete profiles, 6 * 2hr sessions (and you should be coaching them) and all the reflection and feedback you receive based on it. Oh and testing the athletes and the education/examiner will contact the club HC also about it all (or should)


Yep…plus a bit of home work and videoed coaching back at the club…

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And that L2 is also then expected to “mentor” L1’s in the clubs

I’m lost for words.


we weren’t…most have had plenty to say…but we no have to view coaches on a different level…

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Every time I look on BTF for coaching courses there are close to none advertised. Is there not more market for people wanting to do them?
Two currently, and both full.

Places at Worksop

This is the end of the academic year…a new set of courses begin in September…

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