The following letter has been sent to all clubs about coaching qualifications in Leinster
The coaching landscape in Leinster has undergone significant changes in the last decade, involving the types of qualifications available, the awarding bodies, and the syllabus covered on the various courses. It is worth updating all coaches on the current situation.
Cricket Ireland has recently made substantial progress in re-establishing the historical links between cricket coaching in Ireland and the ECB coaching structure (formerly NCA). The result of this is that the full range of ECB courses is now available to those in the province who wish to gain a coaching qualification. The system is further strengthened by the recent increase in the number of qualified tutors and assessors in Leinster from two to six. Similar increases in the numbers in both Munster and the northern unions means that there is now a very strong coach education system throughout Ireland.
Extensive discussions have taken place regarding the status of all current and historical coaching qualifications with a view to clarifying the situation for all coaches. Since 2010, all courses run in Leinster have been under the auspices of ECB, and accredited by First4Sport in the UK, the national accrediting body for all sports coaching. The main qualifications are UKCC1 and UKCC2. In addition to attending a course and being deemed competent at assessment, to obtain these qualifications coaches must have a Garda clearance, and they must have attended a First Aid course and a Child Protection workshop. Coaches fulfilling all these criteria are now categorised as qualified and registered, and this allows them become members of the Leinster branch of the ECB Coaches Association (ECBCA). Coaches who have other qualifications, obtained before 2010, such as NCDP/ICU or ECB club, senior, Level 1 or Level 2 awards, though qualified, are not deemed to be registered, because their qualifications are not up to date. Qualified coaches who have fulfilled the extra criteria (Garda Clearance, Child Protection & First Aid) are eligible to become members of the ECBCA, and are strongly encouraged to do so.
In summary, the end result is that we now have three groups of coaches:
Registered Coaches: Members of the ECB Coaches Association with current qualifications, insurance and all the relevant additional courses.
Qualified Coaches: Coaches previously qualified by NCDP/ICU or ECB before 2010 who may or may not have done the additional courses.
Assistant Coaches: Club level ECB, teachers and ‘gap’ year coaching courses
The current UKCC1 & 2 courses include a wealth of new technical information and a much stronger emphasis on the “how to coach” skills. For this reason, the coaching committee strongly recommends that all qualified but not registered coaches consider attending the ECB Conversion Course, which will update both their “what to coach” and “how to coach” skills to UKCC2 level. If in addition they fulfil the extra criteria mentioned above, this would allow coaches to be designated qualified and registered, and would entitle them to become members of the Leinster Branch of the ECBCA. In conjunction with Cricket Ireland, the coaching committee is committed to running at least one ECB Conversion Course per year, to facilitate those coaches who wish to update their qualification.
Although not yet mandatory in Ireland, best practice guidelines are that all coaches working with children should have a Garda Clearance, and should have attended the Child Protection Workshop. The responsibility for determining the suitability of unregistered coaches currently lies with the clubs. This includes consideration of First Aid, Child Protection and Insurance issues.
ECB Coaches Association (Leinster Branch]
All qualified & registered coaches are entitled to become members of the ECBCA. The branch in Leinster has been operating at a relatively low level in recent years, but is currently being relaunched as part of a Cricket Ireland initiative to develop the ECBCA structure throughout all the unions. There are many benefits to ECBCA membership:
Further information on the ECBCA and application forms for membership are available on all coaching courses being run in Leinster. More detailed information on the ECBCA Leinster Branch will shortly be available on the Cricket Leinster website www.cricketleinster.ie
Leinster Cricket Union
The LCU would look to clubs to encourage players and others involved with youth cricket to take one of the new ECBCA coaching courses and for qualified coaches to take the conversion courses. Regardless of the nature of the qualification, clubs should ensure that persons involved in the coaching of young cricketers have Garda Clearance. Clubs should also check their insurance policies to ensure that coaches without personal cover [such as is provided as members of the ECBSA] are properly covered within the club’s own insurance policy.
Information on coaching courses will be put up on the Cricket Leinster website.