NCACE Domain Specific Review

Domain-specific accreditation status is awarded when a coaching education program  successfully demonstrates that its collective program meets all applicable standards within a single domain of the National Standards for Sport Coaches (NASPE, 2006). Domain-specific accreditation entails a unit of review called the “curricular model” (CM) that is necessary for coverage of all standards within a single domain. A curricular model can be represented by any form of training so long as it addresses all standards within the domain. The CM has a portability characteristic that allows for it to be considered self-contained and can be in-sourced or out-sourced among coaching education programs.

The purpose of domain-specific approval is to provide a basis for review of specialized coaching education programs that are designed to be a component of a comprehensive program or to meet focused or specialized continuing education needs for coaches. This will enable coaching organizations to select specific training courses/programs that have been reviewed and approved as reflective of the National Standards for Sport Coaches (NASPE, 2006). Such programs would meet the requirements in specific domain areas within the National Standards for Sport Coaches and one or more components of the Guidelines for Accreditation for Coaching Education required for NCACE approval. Domain-specific approval will allow quality, domain-specific programs to compliment other components of coaching education programs that in combination might comprise a total quality certification program.

The areas in which a coaching education program or organization can become domain-approved are:

Domain 1 – Philosophy and Ethics
Domain 2 – Safety and Injury Prevention
Domain 3 – Physical Conditioning
Domain 4 – Growth and Development
Domain 5 – Teaching and Communication
Domain 6 – Sport Skills and Tactics
Domain 7 – Organization and Administration
Domain 8 – Evaluation

Domain approved programs will be self-contained training programs for coaches that address all standards in that particular domain. By documenting how an organization addresses each standard contained within a domain, a program may become accredited at either the basic, intermediate or master level of NCACE accreditation and the coaching education curriculum must reflect the graduated requirements if they intend to train coaches at all three levels.

How domain-specific review benefits organizations:
  • If you specialize in any of the areas addressed in the eight domains of the National Standards for Sport Coaches, you can share that expertise with other organizations.
  • If you require specialization in any of the areas addressed in the eight domains of the National Standards for Sport Coaches, you can access expertise from these specialty organizations and know that what you receive has been approved by NCACE as appropriate and quality content.
Why domain-specific accreditation?

The goal of NCACE is to maximize the availability of qualified coaches for all sport programs. By offering a variety of training programs from experts in the field, we envision more coaches having access to proper training and receiving the education necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. Qualified coaches will benefit all aspects of sport, particularly the athletes.

Organizations can seek domain-specific accreditation in any and all domains. Each domain must be independent of each other. That means, that if an organization is domain-specifically approved in all eight domains that there are eight independent coaching curriculums and resources. Each domain must fully meet the requirements for that domain independent of the other seven domains.

All programs seeking domain approval must join NCACE as an organizational member and maintain an active organizational membership for the duration of their approved status. Should a domain-approved program allow their membership to lapse, they will no longer be deemed an accredited organization.

Programs that achieve domain-specific approved status will be recognized as such for a period of seven years, to begin at the time of approval. All programs must submit changes in curriculum, resources, and faculty/trainers to NCACE to ensure that the program continues to meet the criteria of a domain-approved program. Should a program no longer maintain the integrity of the program and meet the requirements outlined in the NCACE Guidelines for Accreditation of Coaching Education or the National Standards for Sport Coaches, the program will no longer be deemed an approved organization.


All programs that satisfactorily meet the NCACE Guidelines for Accreditation of Coaching Education will be deemed domain-approved in that particular area. NCACE will provide language to those programs that achieve domain-specific approval and will promote these programs to organizations seeking coaching education resources.