Apprenticeship Focus: Level 4 Sports Coaching

Posted on: 24th Mar 2022

In February 2021, a new Level 4 apprenticeship for aspiring and current sports coaches looking to take their coaching and organisational abilities to the next level was launched.

As part of Ignite Training’s apprenticeship portfolio expansion last year, we became one of the first training providers in the UK to deliver the Level 4 Sports Coaching qualification.

This led to the recruitment of course tutor Wayne Goss, who works with apprentices across the UK at all stages of their careers by providing them with the key skills, knowledge and behaviours their job requires.

In our latest Apprenticeship Focus blog, we explore who our newest Level 4 qualification is for, what is taught, why people decide to enrol and how it benefits organisations.

The course

The Level 4 Sports Coaching qualification is a 12 to 18-month apprenticeship for people aged 19 or older who either aspire to become a sports coach or currently work in the industry and want to upskill their knowledge and understanding of the role.

The course is open to people at all stages of their careers and can be tailored to suit coaches across a range of disciplines including football, tennis, cricket, rugby and more.

Apprentices combine 80% of their contracted hours with 20% education, which is delivered online via Teams through weekly group-based lessons and one-on-one sessions. Online delivery means the course appeals to businesses on a national scale, with current apprentices based in London, the Midlands and as far north as Wigan.

Wayne Goss is the course’s lead tutor, who together with Neil Harding – a former coach educator for the Football Association and current academy coach at West Bromwich Albion – visits apprentices in person to monitor progress.

Tailored education

To make the apprenticeship appeal to multiple organisations, the syllabus has been split into three streams. They are:

High Performance Elite Pathway

For coaches working in an elite environment such as with a semi-professional or professional sports club.

Community Coach Pathway

For coaches either working or aspiring to work in a community environment such as grassroot clubs and organisations.

Schools PE Pathway

For coaches either working or aspiring to fulfil a career in physical education teaching in a school environment.

The stream an apprentice decides to study will determine who they complete online group activities and lessons with. This encourages likeminded people to share ideas which can benefit the productivity of organisations learners work for.

READ MORE: Apprenticeship Focus, Junior Content Producer

Wider knowledge

In addition to broadening their understanding of how to deliver engaging sessions, apprentices are also taught about the key off-field responsibilities of any sports coach.

This aspect of the course prepares learners for careers which might sit outside the perimeters of the sports field, such as Head of PE or Head of Coaching. Other units on the course help to establish knowledge in areas including:

  • How businesses are structured
  • How activities can be inclusive and appeal to everyone
  • Key considerations for coaches away from the pitch
  • Developing research papers and presentations
  • Use of technology for player and team analysis

Course Tutor Wayne Goss said: “It’s about understanding elements away from the pitch to prepare learners for careers in wider management roles.

“We’ve got a variety of ages and abilities enrolled onto the programme which really showcases how versatile apprenticeships are. This apprenticeship has a really wide appeal, which is why we’ve experienced high demand in our first year of delivery.”

Suitable for everyone

One of the first people to enrol onto the Level 4 Sports Coaching apprenticeship was Olga.

The 34-year-old mother-of-one was hired by Emma Wells Tennis last year. The Wimbledon-based tennis coaching organisation wanted to develop a new coach who would be equipped to deliver sessions independently via on-the-job development and bespoke education.

“I’ve always wanted to be a sports coach,” said Olga. “I played tennis growing up, so coaching was my dream.

“But I had no way of gaining hands-on practical experience to develop job specific skills and make key contacts in the industry. A friend suggested I should consider an apprenticeship, so I did some research and haven’t looked back.

“Already, I feel so confident coaching children, teenagers and adults and the lessons with Ignite Training are really progressing my knowledge and understanding of the job.”

You can read Olga’s full story by clicking here.

Your questions answered

So, you’ve heard from our tutor Wayne and Emma Wells Tennis apprentice Olga, is there any further information we could assist you with? If so, contact or see if our FAQs below answer one of your enquiries.

Who is the course for?

Typically, our Level 4 Sports Coaching apprenticeship is suitable for learners aged 19 or older. Some previous knowledge or understanding of sports coaching is advantageous.

How long does it last?

This can vary depending on the learner with some completing the course faster than others. In all examples, the apprenticeship will take a minimum of 12 months to complete.

Can I enrol an employee?

Absolutely! If this apprenticeship seems like a good fit and you’d like to enrol a new or existing member of staff onto the course, contact Sorcha Murphy our Business Development Manager today!

Sorcha can be contacted via

Further information about our other apprenticeship provisions is available on our Apprenticeship Standards page.

About Ignite Training

Established in 1999, Ignite’s primary aim is to actively inspire people, and to help create a sense of achievement for everyone. Based in Oxford and operating nationally, we provide a portfolio of training and services to individuals, schools and the sports industry, ranging from weekly clubs for tots to adult courses and apprenticeships.

About Ignite Training