Club Support

Coach Registration

At the beginning of each academic year, we ask that all coaches and volunteers associated to any Sports Union club register with the CVA. Registration should be completed by all coaches and volunteers, irrespective of whether they are students or non-students and whether they are paid or volunteers. If you are yet to register with the CVA, you can complete the 2021/22 registration form here

During registration, each coach will be asked to select their club email address - this will automatically send an email to the club account once your coach has registered and the club will be asked to approve their list of coaches. Once your club has approved the coach, the coach will be given membership to the CVA and access to our brand new Coaches Teams which allows coaches the opportunity to network, share resources and collaborate with other coaches and volunteers across the Sports Union.

More information on coach registration, including services agreements, can be found here.

Note: A Coach Pass is no longer required to access the Pleasance during club sessions. Moving forward, coaches will be added to the approved coaches list within a week of registration (completing the above form), and will then be able to gain access to the relevant facility by giving their name, and showing a form of ID.


Coach Qualifications

If your club are looking to get some more coaches qualified, please have a look at the checklist below to get started. If you have any further questions then please contact

  1. Talk to your club's head coach to find out more information on how they became qualified and the process involved. 
    • This will allow you to understand the time required for the qualification and what level of qualification you are going to put your coaches through. 
  2. Visit the website for your sport's National Governing Body to see what qualification courses are currently running. 
    • Some courses will be running online, some will be blended and some courses will still be using in-person teaching. Depending on who you are getting qualified, you may wish to pick courses that are delivered in a certain format. 
  3. Once you have found a course, ensure that you apply to the Coaching & Officiating Fund
    • This is a fund run by the CVA which subsidises qualifications for coaches and volunteers in the Sports Union. You can also apply from additional funding in the form of a Sport Scotland Subsidy. 
  4. Once the qualification is complete, ensure that all new coaches Register with the CVA
    • This will give your new coaches access to support from the CVA and allow them to learn from other coaches within the Sports Union. Additionally, they will be able to access all of the CPD opportunities that the CVA run throughout the year. 



Recruiting coaches can be a tricky, and sometimes daunting, task. The following step-by-step guide will hopefully provide you with a starting point, and some key guidance.

  1. Identify a gap, and the resources you have available to fill the gap.
    • Ensure that there would be a clear remit for the coach you are recruiting, and get together as a club committee to discuss the resources available. 
    • You may not have any money to pay the coach, so ensure that it is labelled as a voluntary post prior to advertising. 
  2. Pull together a job description for the role, with a deadline decided for applications.
    • Examples: Sports Union, Club 1, Club 2, Club 3 (Got a better example? Send it our way!)
    • Finalise the reward package on offer using the 'Reward and Recognition' section at the bottom of this web page.
    • Please ensure to cover points around safeguarding and behavioural expectations, including SGB / NGB policy awareness. 
    • Please request two references from previous employers and contact references for successful candidates.
  3. Advertise the job description.
  4. Shortlist candidates for interview
    • Get in touch with all applicants to either invite them to interview, or thank them for their application.
    • Select a small interview panel, and plan together to come up with a list of relevant questions, and a scoring system.
    • The Sports Union can help with room bookings, and interview preparation / support, if required.
  5. Host the interviews, and make an appointment
    • Appoint the successful candidate by ensuring they complete their coach registration and services agreement (if a paid coach).
    • Thank any unsuccessful interviewers for their time, and offer to feedback if appropriate.
  6. Seek support from the Sports Union ( at any stage of the above process.

There are other ways to recruit coaches that do not involve open recruitment - this may be through your current coaches' contacts, student members, alumni, community club partnerships. The Sports Union can support with the exploration of these options, if desired.



Retaining good coaches should mean you won't have to go through the above process too often - not only will your coaches be returning year-after-year, they will be walking and talking advertisements of your club's offer within their networks and to their fellow coaches. Don't underestimate the power of this!

Here are few tips to ensure you give yourself the best chance to retain your coaches.:

  • Give your coaches an excellent induction. Don't underestimate how little they may know about student sport, the facilities they will be working in, or basic things like where matches get played and equipment gets stored.
  • Regularly communicate with your coaches, even just to check in on a monthly basis to check how training / matches have been going. If possible, facilitate coaches meetings to allow coaches to share best practice, discuss new ideas, and receive key club updates.
  • Be organised with regards to paperwork, policies, key communications etc. - the smoother the administration side of things, the more time for coaching which will result in a better experience. 
  • Offer training, development, and networking opportunities. If the club can't support financially with these then get in touch with Sports Union to see what is available through the Coaching & Volunteering Academy
  • Make sure the relationship gets handed over from year-to-year, and from outgoing to incoming committee.
  • Read the 'reward & recognition' section below, as this is a key contributor to the experience your coaches will receive.
  • Start thinking about the next academic year as early as possible. Having conversations with current coaches about the future will mean you can rectify any issues, or at least be aware, and prepared, if they are planning to move on.


Reward & Recognition

Not all clubs are in a financial position to pay their coaches, and not all roles should be paid depending on the level and experience required for the role. Regardless of whether a coach is financially reimbursed or not, there are many things your club can do to reward and recognise your coaches.

Some of the ideas below can be included in the job description when advertising a role to make the offering as attractive as possible to potential coaches.

  • Kit. Everyone loves a bit of kit, and the sense of belonging it can give. If affordable, one piece of kit could be bought for each coach.
  • Access to development opportunities via the Coaching & Volunteering Academy - check out up coming events here.
  • Access to funding towards future coaching qualifications via the Coaching & Officiating Fund.
  • Student priced Sport & Exercise membership is available to all non-student coaches.
  • Nominate your coach for Coaching & Volunteering Academy Member of the Month.
  • Invite your coaches to appropriate club events - i.e. free ticket to 'Club Awards Night'.
  • Profile your coaches on your club's social media to recognise the work that they do.
  • Say thank you. Two tiny words that cost nothing but can go a long, long way.


Further Support

The information above is provided to support your club to better support your coaches / session leads / deliverers. If anything is unclear, or not covered, on this page then please get in touch via or call 0131 650 9866.