Coaching Performance Rugby Union

Qualifications for Coaching Performance Rugby Union

UKCC Level 3: Coaching Youth & Adult Rugby: Advanced 

Applications are now CLOSED

Course Cost: £TBC (between £150-£400 depending on the subsidy you'll receive from sportscotland). Your subsidy rate will be confirmed upon being shortlisted for the course.

To apply for the course, you are required to:
This course acts as a progression for experienced youth and adult coaches who have undertaken their UKCC Level 2 qualification (or equivalent), and have shown a commitment to their own development through attendance at CPD workshops. The course is aimed at head and lead coaches within U16, U18 and Adult rugby, and those who are responsible for leading and managing rugby programmes at their club or school.   

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Be activity coaching U16, U18 or Adult rugby at a club or school in Scotland
  • Show evidence of regular attendance at CPD workshops and/or conferences;
  • Complete the player profiling task using template provided (see download below) for all positions (1-15)
  • Submit a 20min video recording of you coaching a principle of attack (please choose any attacking principle – e.g. scanning). The video clip should have audio so your voice can be heard.

The UKCC level 3 course demands high standards of applicants.  Level 3 looks to develop future leaders within the game who are equipped with the skills to inspire.  To benefit fully from the course and achieve the qualification, the coach should have a full range of experiences in a wide range of disciplines relating to coaching the game.  This can be achieved through a combination of appropriate CPD attendance coupled with well-developed reflective skills and application of learning to practical coaching. 

Unlike the UKCC Level 1 and 2 qualifications, which are designed to assist the coach to reach the required standard of coaching, the UKCC Level 3 is a real test of your ability as both a coach and manager of playing programmes and personnel.



Every rugby club in Scotland must ensure that ALL their mini and youth coaches has a PVG Disclosure Scotland check and that Scottish Rugby is in receipt of their PVG number by Monday 14 August 2017. 

Any mini or youth coach without a PVG Disclosure Scotland check must be removed from Scottish Rugby’s active coaching database and cannot coach youth rugby until they have completed the PVG Disclosure Scotland process. 

Scottish Rugby will continue to monitor a club’s compliance in this area across the season from Monday 14 August 2017.

Please click here for a useful flowchart displaying the steps that clubs need to take to process PVG checks for their youth coaches.

Please note, if a club is working with a school and sending their coaches into that school to coach, it is the club’s responsibility to ensure that the coach has a PVG Disclosure Scotland check, not the school.

Please visit Child Protection for further information. 


On successful completion of the UKCC Level 3 all coaches should be able to:

  • Analyse participants’ current and potential performance needs and aspirations
  • Plan a coaching programme per agreed goals
  • Manage a safe and effective coaching environment
  • Deliver a coaching programme using a range of coaching styles and interventions to meet participants’ needs
  • Manage and develop personal coaching practice
  • Coach techniques and tactical concepts of rugby union
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the units and sub-units and their contribution to team play and the principles of rugby union
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of attack and defence. 


The course consists of 3 modules, delivered over 6 classroom days. Two of these modules are delivered face-face, and one as development in the coaching workplace, supported by a trained Scottish Rugby educator.  The course lasts one season and applicants should make themselves available for all modules.  The course is a mixture of practical and classroom based activities. 


Assessment is competency based allowing you to be continually assessed & receive support & action planning throughout the course.  Coaches will also be externally assessed at least twice in their own coaching environment.



UKCC Level 4

Applications are now CLOSED

This course provides an advanced programme of professional education within the UKCC framework and expectations, which will enable coaches to become visionary, outstanding and knowledgeable decision makers. Coaches involved in this course will impact significantly on the performance of their players and on the sport in general. Napier University will partner Scottish Rugby in the delivery of this qualification.


The UKCC Level 4 programmes is designed to provide successful coaches with:

  • In-depth knowledge in a breadth of domains
  • The ability to synthesise and integrate this knowledge in unpredictable and novel coaching situations
  • Well-developed analytical and intuitive decision-making skills supported and assessed in practice by support staff
  • Critical reflective skills and behaviours consistent with personal excellence and continued self-development
  • A deliberate, effective and ethical coaching practice that combines imaginative leadership with the fostering of individual responsibility

 At the end of the programme, successful coaches will be able to:

  • Design, implement, adjust (regulate) and monitor systematic and integrated coaching systems and programmes that have a positive effect on individuals, units and teams’ performance.
  • Create the culture and environment and manage relationships that promote personal responsibility and enhance the effectiveness of individuals, units and teams (playing, coaching and support).
  • Accelerate the learning and development of players and support staff
  • Investigate, analyse, synthesise and critically evaluate coaching and performance knowledge in order to develop themselves, their players and their support staff.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate complex and unpredictable coaching situations, make informed decisions and critically reflect on their impact.
  • Employ continuous critical self-awareness and reflection and monitor its effect on their coaching practice.
  • Adapt interpersonal behaviours and interventions according to the needs of players and the context and appraise and monitor its effect.
  • Lead and manage change in rugby coaching programmes in an ethical and professional manner.


The course is postgraduate in nature, with coaches on the course receiving academic credit, in the form of a Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip), for achieving the UKCC Level 4 in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University. The PGDip is the equivalent to 120 postgraduate academic credits, which equates to 2/3 of a Masters degree course. Coaches will have the opportunity to ‘top-up’ to a full Masters course should they wish to do so, at their own additional expense.


Assessments will take place throughout the UKCC Level 4 course, by means of portfolio development, on-field observations, case study reports, presentations and subject specific assignments.

The final assessment will take the form of a Long Term Assignment (LTA), where coaches are tasked with identify one area of specialism, e.g. line out lifting, and carrying out an in-depth analysis to inform future coaching practice.


For enquiries, please contact [email protected]

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