CPD courses

Continuous Personal Development for Rugby Coaches

Traditionally, coaches have been developed through attendance to a qualification or award programme, working through levels one to four. Coaching qualifications play a key role in developing coaches and provide a standardised set of competencies for coaches across the country.

To complement the coaching qualification pathway, a range of continuous personal development (CPD) short courses are available to further develop coaching expertise. These CPD courses help to develop coaches’ knowledge and application of technical, tactical, physiological, psychological and lifestyle factors that affect a player’s performance.

CPD plays an important part in the development of a coach, and coaches should undertake these courses before, after and alongside attendance at qualification courses.

The courses are designed to support coaches with training appropriate to the type of player they are working with. Within rugby union there are six broad categories of player: elite, adult performance, adult participation, talent development, youth and children.

Back Attack from Set PieceYesYesYes
Continuity ball in handYesYesYes
Maul & RuckYesYesYes
The Line-out GameYesYesYes
Understanding the Kicking GameYesYesYes
Defence in Phase PlayNo16+Yes
Goal SettingYesYesYes
Performance ProfilingNoYesYes
Game PlanningNoYesYes
Planning & PeriodisationYesYesYes
Team SelectionNoYesYes
Performance AnalysisNoGenericGeneric
Half Back PlayYesYesYes
The Lineout ThrowGenericGenericGeneric
TAG to TackleYesNoNo
Coaching Children RUYesNoNo

CPD courses will be delivered or facilitated by an accredited Coach Educator or Coach Developer, have clear and explicit course descriptions, have set outcomes and include appropriate resources.

Current programme of non-award courses can be found here:


This is quite straight forward and you will already see that there is a great deal of scope for CPD in all of these areas. What is less easy is to identify the level of knowledge that may be required by the players you coach.

In the past CPD has been delivered almost as a “catch all”. For example: a coaching seminar on line-out delivered by a Premiership Coach. This may have a good deal of benefit for coaches working with adults in, or just below, National League; it will be of less benefit for those working below that level but within the adult game, and there may be hardly any benefit for those working with Under 15s and almost no practical application for those coaches working within the mini age group.

This does not mean that these events are not valuable, and something can always be gained from attending such seminars in any of the above mentioned categories. However, in order to maximise the usefulness of CPD it is most important to make it relevant to the needs of the audience rather than have a random delivery of inappropriate knowledge.

As a consequence of this coaches have been attributed to, and CPD designed for, the following areas:

  • – Children’s Coach – working with children aged between 7 and 12 years of age.
  • – Youth Coach – working with young people aged 13 to 18 years of age
  • – Talent Development Coach – working with County and Regional age group squads, Schools of Rugby and England Rugby Academies.
  • – Adult Participation – working within the adult game, probably below level 5 of the playing structure.
  • – Adult Performance – working below National One, and or with Adult County sides.
  • – Elite Performance – National 1 and above, National age group coaches, National coaches.

Of course there is a good deal of cross over and coaches may be working across many of the areas described. Most importantly the coach can identify where s/he is working and choose the appropriate CPD from a range of courses specific to their needs.


For further information on developing you current coaching knowledge or qualifications contact Ian Dowdle (Club Coaching Coordinator) ccc@havantrfc.co.uk