Coach and athlete huddle

Coaching Development Programme for Ireland


Coaching Development Programme for Ireland

Sport Ireland Coaching works with sporting bodies to develop coaches* at all levels in sport in Ireland. 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 20,000 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. A full list of NGBs recognised by Sport Ireland can be viewed here.

* 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 consists of a number of 'Frameworks' each of which set out common core knowledge and competencies for coaches, instructors and leaders working across different sports, activities and environments. Any coach education programme that wishes to be part of the CDPI must demonstrate how it meets the standards identified in the relevant CDPI framework.  The Frameworks facilitate recognition and accreditation of coaching awards against national and international standards as well as providing transparency across sports in Ireland.

  • 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.

Sport Ireland Coaching Support

Sport Ireland Coaching provide support to sporting bodies to design and review coach education programmes for inclusion on the CDPI. We also provide supports and resources to manage the certification of coaches. For more information on these, please click on the relevant section below.