Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program - Executive Summary
The Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program is designed to guide member organizations throughout the country toward best principles for organizational development both on and off the field. Member organizations play an essential role in the development of players, coaches, and officials and provide both the daily playing environment and primary contact for participants. By raising the standards of member organizations, both the daily playing environment and participant experience are enhanced; thereby improving the overall soccer system in Canada.
In developing the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program, the underlying philosophy is to take “high standards” to “best principles”. Many Provincial/Territorial Soccer Organizations (PTSOs) have existing charters or standards-based programs, which provided a guide for the development of the national standards. By consolidating these programs along with those of Canada Soccer’s governing bodies, CONCACAF and FIFA, it is envisioned that the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program is vertically aligned (from FIFA through the PTSOs) and integrates best principles from several sources to create a standard that is both high quality and recognizes the unique Canadian soccer landscape. The following PTSOs are recognized for providing information on their existing standards-based programs to support the development of the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program:
- BC Soccer
- Saskatchewan Soccer Association
- Manitoba Soccer Association
- Ontario Soccer
- Fédération de Soccer du Québec
- Soccer New Brunswick
Beyond those that contributed to this project with existing programs, the feedback from PTSOs and member organizations from across the country was invaluable in developing the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program and ensuring it is supported. These contributions are recognized and appreciated.
The Soccer Club
Within the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program, the soccer club is defined as being any organization that is a member of Canada Soccer either directly or affiliated through membership with a PTSO that registers players and coaches and delivers soccer programming. The status of the organization as either not-for-profit or private is not relevant to the eligibility for inclusion in the Club Licensing Program, which is open to traditional not-for-profit soccer clubs, private academies, and any other soccer organization in membership.
The Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program is designed to guide member organizations throughout the country toward best principles for organizational development both on and off the field. By raising the standards of member organizations, both the daily playing environment and participant experience are enhanced; thereby improving the overall soccer system in Canada.
The primary goals of the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program are to:
- Set clearly defined standards and expectations for member organizations;
- Recognize excellence in the soccer community;
- Raise the level of all soccer organizations throughout Canada; and,
- Drive change in the soccer system.
To achieve these goals, the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program takes a principles-based approach. Principles provide direction but not detailed prescription, allowing organizations to develop and select the methods by which they will operate based on their available resources and unique situation and context.
The principles of the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program are grounded in the values being established for the Canadian soccer community to guide the behaviour of all organizations and can be utilized to inform choices, establish impacts, and drive outcomes. The Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program Principles are as follows:
- Prioritize Fun
- Emphasize Physical, Mental, and Emotional Safety
- Provide Developmentally-Appropriate, High Quality Programs
- Maximize Attraction, Holistic Personal Development, Progression, and Long-Term Engagement
- Focus on Participant-Centred Decision Making
- Foster Accessible, Inclusive, and Welcome Environments
- Act as a Good Corporate and Community Citizen
Elements of the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program
To achieve the goals and align to the principles, the Club Licensing Program requires a broader scope than simply classifying organizations into different categories. Beyond Classification, which is a traditional staple of licensing and charter programs, the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program also includes elements of Development and Appraisal, which will be described in greater detail in the Canada Soccer Licensing Program Information Manual.