It is agreed that the role and value of the coach is essential to the performance and delivery process of athlete or team in the culture of sport. In order that the role be effectively exercised, and value afforded basis for measure, it is fundamental that the coach works within a framework of operational understandings. Such understandings are a bond between the coach and those who avail themselves of and benefit from the service offering afforded by the coach.

Notwithstanding that the coach may variously range from being voluntary to being partly or wholly dependent on coaching as their professional career, the coach will constantly apply best endeavours to deliver professional standards in all things to ensure that the best interest of athlete and sport are addressed in terms of wellbeing, development and performance.

On this foundation, the framework of operational understandings is constructed as a set of eight fundamental rights and responsibilities. Whereas access to the rights of the coach may have to be negotiated in light of cultural variations, or their coach may choose the nature and degree of exercising rights, responsibilities are mandatory.



The Coach has:

A right to an accessible and coordinated program of coach education. A responsibility to actively pursue continuous personal and professional coach development and to maintain a level of education compatible with effectively addressing their athletes’ needs.


The Coach has: 

A right to an accredited system of coach certification. A responsibility to achieve and maintain that level of certification consistent with their coaching role and professional status.


The Coach has:

A right to a formal contract with athlete or Club or Federation. A responsibility to meet all aspects of their coaching role as set out in that contract and to pass on an athlete or team when personal coaching competencies are not suited to addressing the athlete’s or team’s development and performance needs.



The Coach has:

A right to economic or other consideration for services rendered. A responsibility to effectively apply best endeavours to meet agreed performance and development objectives, ensuring highest standards of product and service offering.



The Coach has:

A right to a working environment supportive of coaching and coaches. A responsibility to contribute to enriching the coaching culture of sport and nation; and to further the profession of coaching.



The Coach has:

A right to belong to a professional association. A responsibility to operate at all times within relevant employment law and the international code of ethics for coaches.


Ethical Relationships

The Coach has:

A right to enjoy parity of esteem whatever their role in the athlete development pathway and this applies equally to coaching able bodied athletes and those with disability and to be treated fairly and honestly A responsibility to treat athletes, coaches and officials with respect and integrity.



Coaches have:

A right to a voice in the decision-making body of their National Federation, Area Association or International Federation A responsibilityto ensure that the collective view on issues critical to coaches, coaching and the sport is competently represented in the forum of the sport’s relevant Federation, Area or International decision-making body. Such view will reflect a balance between the interest of the athlete, the interest of the sport and the rights and responsibilities of the coach and coaching as enshrined in this charter.   In the interest of good order, this Charter of Coaches’ Rights and Responsibilities is herewith agreed by the Coach and those with whom the Coach engages his/her services as undersigned.

Prof. Frank W. Dick OBE ©


European Athletics Coaches Association

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