Croatia currently holds the Presidency of the European Union and organised a highly successful International Sport Seminar in Zagreb on 27-28 February. The seminar had a focus on the skills and qualifications required by sport coaches and fitness trainers and was attended by over 160 experts from across Europe.
The guidelines produced in the recent report by the Expert Group on Skills and Human Resources Development provided the framework for looking at some of the core conditions and requirements to be a qualified coach and trainer. There was separate session looking at the specific requirements (explained using occupational standards and qualification structure) for higher-skilled professionals working with people with disabilities and lifestyle diseases such as type II diabetes.
Cliff Collins, Programme Director for EuropeActive moderated a session on the position of regulation for sport coaches and fitness trainers. The four experts who presented their different national positions demonstrated that there is wide practice in the area of qualification recognition, regulation and licensing of coaches. He commented that “the Expert Group Report provides a clear set of guidelines on who we can reasonably expect to be qualified and competent coaches and trainers, but now we need a system of common recognition of individual achievement. This will help employers, customers, users of fitness and sport, and even other healthcare professionals to be able to identify more easily the qualifications that exist and what the coaches and trainers can actually do”.