Coach Development

Sport Ireland Coaching is responsible for the development of coaches* at all levels in sport in Ireland in cooperation with sporting bodies (see Sport Ireland Act 2015, 8:1;l). This is achieved through the Coaching Development Programme for Ireland (CDPI), an all-island programme to facilitate and support the development of coaching and coach education in Ireland. The programme is managed by Sport Ireland Coaching and operates in partnership with National Governing Bodies and other key agencies involved in sport. The CDPI was first launched by the National Coaching and Training Centre in 1993. The aims of the CDPI are:

  • Ensure every participant, player and athlete can access a qualified coach, whatever their age, background or level of performance.
  • Develop and support coaching and Irish coaches.
  • Provide a framework for the delivery of coach education and development opportunities.
  • Implement an internationally-recognised coaching development system.

There are currently over 50 National Governing Bodies engaged in the CDPI, certifying approximately 25,000 coaches each year on 130 different accredited coach/instructor awards.  Since its inception in 1993, over 222,000 people have been trained and certified as coaches through the programme.

The Coaching Plan 2020-2025 guides the work of Sport Ireland Coaching in a number of key areas and is informed by the National Sports Policy 2018-2027 and Sport Ireland Strategy 2022+

* The term 'coach' is used in its widest sense to include coaches, instructors and leaders working with participants in competitive and non-competitive sport, physical activity and outdoor recreation.


The CDPI has a number of frameworks relating to different types of coach, instructor & leader awards. These frameworks set out core common knowledge & competencies for coaches, instructors and leaders working across different sports, activities and environments.

  • The Coaching Framework has 5 levels (0 - 4) and is used for coaches of players, athletes & teams in sports where they are, or will be participating in competitive sports.
  • The Adventure Sports Instructor Framework is used for Instructors in Adventure Sports & Outdoor Recreation where the Instructor's primary objective is to increase the skills, knowledge & competency of the participants they are working with.
  • The Adventure Sports Leader Framework is used for Leaders and Guides in Adventure Sports & Outdoor Recreation where the Leader's primary objective is to enable and facilitate a safe and positive experience of the outdoor environment.

Any programme that wishes to be part of the CDPI must demonstrate how it meets the knowledge and competencies identified in the relevant framework

Adventure Sport Instructor Framework

Adventure Sport Leader Framework