UKCC Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the UKCC Frequently Asked Questions; for further information on what qualificationsd you may need please see our "Become a Coach" and "Become a Teacher" sections. 

If your question isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact education@scottishswimming.com, we will be happy to help you.

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UKCC stands for United Kingdom Coaching Certificate.

Many governing body programmes are UKCC-endorsed – meaning that they meet an agreed set of standards. The UKCC – managed by sports coach UK – is a framework for developing, endorsing and continuously improving sports coach education programmes. 

The level of each qualification can be mapped onto the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) which includes qualifications across a variety of sectors and subjects.

Learners can be confident that these are nationally respected and recognised qualifications which sit alongside other similar qualifications on the Scottish Framework.

The Structure of the UKCC Aquatics qualifications within Scotland

The UKCC Aquatics qualifications are provided by Scottish Swimming in Scotland and awarded by the SQA. The SQA is the awarding body for qualifications within Scotland and are responsible for

  • Registering qualifications on Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
  • Monitoring quality through external verifiers
  • Ensuring standards of training provider (i.e. Scottish Swimming)

Scottish Swimming is the training provider for UKCC aquatics qualifications in Scotland and responsible for:

  • Training, licensing and supporting tutors
  • Providing tutor CPD
  • Appointing and training assessors
  • Appointing and training expert witnesses
  • Appointing and training internal verifiers
  • Registering courses and learners
  • Awarding bursaries to Scottish Swimming members
  • Providing resources
  • Providing assessors
  • Monitoring quality (internal verifying)
  • Awarding certificates
  • Supporting course organisers
  • Licensing teachers and coaches

The UKCC provides a recognised stamp of quality coaching across sport and across the UK.  It makes it easier to identify the right coach for the right job and will help to professionalise coaching by establishing a recognised framework for coach education.  The UKCC will ensure that sports are delivering the best available, athlete centred coaching and in due course reap the rewards of sporting success, both in performance and recreational enjoyment of sport.

Benefits of the UKCC for Teachers and Coaches

  • An SQA endorsed qualification on the SCQF framework
  • Enhanced coaching or teaching skills
  • A professionalised role for sports coaching in the UK
  • More flexible coach-centred training programmes
  • Sport-wide recognised seal of quality qualifications
  • Provides a benchmark for employers and clubs
  • Qualifications underpinned by National Occupational Standards

Swimming Teachers predominantly work with non-swimmers or those not fully confident in the water. Teachers promote swimming for life to all, and can guide those swimmers with potential down a competitive swimming pathway. 

A swimming Teacher has an understanding of the aquatic fundamentals and a basic understanding of appropriate correction to common aquatic faults.

Swimming Coaching is a very different role; they help their participants to grow and develop their swimming technique and skills. Coaches guide and improve the existing technical skills of the aquatic discipline they work in, including swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo. 

A swimming Coach has an understanding of speed swimming techniques, a basic understanding of appropriate corrections to common faults and be able to deliver a series of effective training sets. 

A teacher/ coach will be able to perform different duties at each of the 3 available levels:

Level 1 – Assist more qualified teachers/ coaches, delivering aspects of sessions/ lessons, normally under direct supervision.

Level 2 – Prepare for, deliver and review coaching session(s)

Level 3 – Plan, implement, analyse and revise annual coaching programmes

All course costs vary depending on the cost of hosting the course in a swimming pool, hiring a room for theory delivery, tutor costs, resources and assessment costs.  Therefore we cannot give a definitive cost.  However all registration and assessment costs will stay at the current level. 

The maximum cost for a Level 1 course is £300 and £600 for a level 2 course.

Level 1 Approximately 32 hours

Level 2 – Approximately 66 hours

Level 3 – Approximately 100 hours

All timings include pool time, delivery, theory aspect and assessment.

We now deliver all UKCC courses using our electronic OneFile ePortfolio system. 

Level 1 – There will be assessment through a written exam paper, practical delivery and written assessments

Level 2 – There will be assessment through written exams, practical delivery to include vocational assessment, and written assessments

Level 3 – There will be assessment through written exams, practical delivery to include vocational assessment, and written assessments.

Scottish Swimming recognises that there are many avenues, outside of the UKCC pathway, by which individuals may have developed their teaching/ coaching skills. E.g. teachers/ coaches may have gained coaching skills abroad or through working in other sports.

Scottish Swimming values these skills and welcomes coaches from different backgrounds into our sport in Scotland.

In order to assist these teachers/ coaches in integrating into swimming teaching/ coaching in Scotland we offer a number of rotes to recognise achievement valuing it against the current UKCC pathway. 

There is a set application process for which encompases Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Exemption and Overseas Qualification Comparison). Application forms and further information can be found under our Qualification Comparison section.

Scottish Swimming is pleased to announce the availability of Sport Scotland subsidy funding for Scottish Swimming members who wish to attend a Scottish Swimming UKCC course.

Subsidies are currently available for all Level 1, 2  and 3 courses held in Scotland. Further details can be found on our subsidy section.

Scottish Swimming state that results will be issued up to 8 weeks after the course has finished and Scottish Swimming has received all relevant documentation.

Please note that results cannot be disclosed over the telephone and can only be issued to candidates by letter/email.

Candidates who do not acheive the required pass mark for an exam paper or practical assessment can apply for a reassessment by filling in the reassessment application form and returning along with the correct fee. Please note that without the fee, a reassessment cannot be arrange.

Once Scottish Swimming has received the application form and fee a reassessment will be arranged.

Relevant forms can be found in the UKCC Forms and Paperwork section.