The number of football coaches in New Zealand is growing. With the quality and number of coaches increasing, this is an exciting time for football coaching in New Zealand.

To help coaches get the best out of themselves and their players, NZF’s Coach Education framework offers a range of high-quality flexible options ranging from junior and youth football right through to courses for coaches working in the senior competitive arena.

The comprehensive Coach Education Pathway is available to assist with any coach’s development, regardless of age or experience. The content of the courses on offer will have  a direct impact on the development of our players; whether that be with grassroots or high performance squads.

There are three age-related pathways so that coaches can choose relevant and applicable learning opportunities that are specific to their coaching needs. 


The New Zealand Football and WaiBOP Football approach is founded on the following principles:

  • Appropriate for New Zealand – reflective of New Zealand’s unique culture and football environment.
  • Flexible – providing coaches with more choice and a higher degree of ownership in selecting and following their own development pathway.
  • Player Centred – based on the needs of the players and designed to meet the age-related development needs of players throughout the game.
  • Applicable and practical – ‘on-the job learning’ experiences (creating and recognising learning experiences in the coaching environment).
  • Life-long learning – promoting continued personal development and self-responsibility for learning.

The new approach will provide a myriad of learning opportunities that allow coaches to identify and access personal development that corresponds with the players they are coaching and their specific developmental needs.


The New Zealand Football Coach Education Pathway has courses available at all levels of the game including Junior, Youth and Senior. Each course provides coaches with age appropriate learning to enhance their players experience and development in the game.


​​​​​​​For more details about each course, take a look at the coaching course descriptors HERE.


The quality of the coach development opportunities now available through New Zealand Football have received a further seal of approval after formal recognition of several courses by the Oceania Football Confederation.

To go with the OFC / NZF A and B Licences, a further three awards have now been recognised at confederation level with the NZF Senior Level 2 and the Youth Level 3 now becoming the OFC / NZF C Licence (Senior) and the OFC / NZF C Licence (Youth) respectively. The small-sided game has also been included with the NZF Futsal Level 3 Coaching Award being known as the OFC Futsal C Licence (Youth / Senior) from now on.

But the recognition is about far more than a set of name changes with OFC’s official endorsement also underlining the high standing in which these qualifications are now held.

In addition to the recognition from OFC, there is further positive news for the rapidly-growing sport of futsal with the NZF Futsal Level 2 Coaching Award now updated and available through all federations from next week. This is the next step on the pathway for the hundreds of futsal coaches across the country who have already acquired their Level 1 award as they work towards the new OFC Futsal C Licence.


During 2016 New Zealand Football updated the NZF Coach Development Pathway and elected to introduce a dual pathway system to better reflect the needs of the players and provide coaches with a more effective self-determined development programme.

The two pathways now means that there is now a course for all coaches at whatever level they choose to work at. For coaches working in the Participation pillar of the Whole of Football Plan there is the Community Pathway, and for coaches working in the Talent pillar there is the Advanced Pathway.

The Community Pathway is aimed at coaches who, while still dedicated, prefer to coach (primarily) at grassroots level and are much less ambitious about coaching at higher levels. It is essential that these coaches understand how to prepare, deliver, organise, and conduct safe and enjoyable, age-related training sessions. The community courses are designed for this and delivered in an easily accessible manner on a modular basis.

The Advanced Pathway, as the name implies, is for coaches who have a greater aspirations to their coaching and who may eventually wish to coach at the professional level. As such these courses demand a significant investment of time and commitment given the depths of content covered.

With the introduction of the Dual Pathway coaches can elect to start on the Community Pathway and gain experience, perhaps choosing to access the Advanced Pathway in time. However it is no longer a prerequisite to undertake the Community courses before progressing to the Advanced Pathway. The entry level for these courses are the NZF Junior Level 3 and OFC/NZF C Licence Coaching Awards.


All Courses: Prior to registration on any accredited courses, candidates are required to be at least 16 years of age (18 years of age for Senior courses). Applications for candidates below the recommended age of 16 years will be assessed on an individual basis by Football Development Officer (FDO) in conjunction with the Football Development Manager (FDM) at the relevant Federation.

Level 2 Courses: Have completed the age group appropriate Level 1 Football Coaching Award. 

Accreditation: Achievement of these qualifications is based on full attendance at the workshops. Upon completion, a licensed New Zealand Football Coach Educator will register candidate completion of the award on COMET (NZF online database of registered coaches).


All Courses: These courses are administered and led by New Zealand Football with support from the relevant Federation. The NZF Junior Level 3 and OFC/NZF C Licence are the entry points to the advanced pathway. It is no longer a prerequisite to undertake the Community courses before progressing.

Accreditation: Achievement of these qualifications is based on full attendance at the workshops along with completing the video assessment procedure.

The accreditations for all courses are valid for 3 years from the date of completion. To remain accredited all coaches then must accrue 100 points during the 3 year cycle under the NZF Coach Points system. This is a system which keeps accreditations active on an ongoing basis while also ensuring all coaches are kept up to date with the evolution of the NZF Coach Development pathway.



Scott Parsonage
Federation Development Officer
Mobile: 021 915 459


Nico Girard
Federation Development Officer
Mobile: 021 063 9371