Canada Soccer Association

Canadian Equivalency Process for Coaches with Coaching Licences from other Countries

What is the aim?

The Canadian Equivalency Process is in place to offer some form of official recognition for Coaching Licences earned only through foreign National Football (Soccer) Associations. Through this process a coach may be integrated into Canada Soccer’s Coach Education Program at a level deemed appropriate based on the credentials of the coach in relation to the parameters of the Canada Soccer Coaching Education Program. In this way a coach who has proven coaching credentials from another country does not have to deal with the frustration and expense of starting again from the beginning in Canada. Please note that as the aim of the Canadian Equivalency Process is to integrate coaches into Canada’s Coach Education Program, coaches may only apply for equivalence once, after which they would be expected to complete the Canada Soccer Coach Education Workshop in order to be awarded a licence in Canada.

Who is it for?

The Canadian Equivalency Process is primarily for those who have earned a Coaching Licence only through a foreign National Football (Soccer) Association.

What is a Coaching Licence?

A Coaching Licence is an award given to a coach who has taken part in a course deemed to be a Program of practical and theoretical study involving one or more successful evaluations/assessments of a participant’s on-field, practical coaching methodology and ability. This effectively is proof that a coach can satisfy the standards required of a National Association to meet a minimum standard of performance at that particular Licensing level.

Why should I apply for Canadian Equivalency? What are the benefits?

Although it is not mandatory, there are a number of reasons why a coach should consider applying for Canadian Equivalency:

  • Equivalency will allow you to be integrated into the Canadian Coaching System and enable you to be part of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP).
  • With our Provincial and Territorial Soccer Associations requiring coaches of competitive teams (travel, all-star, etc) be certified/trained through the NCCP in order to coach in their respective leagues and compete in Provincial Championships, equivalency will make this possible for coaches with foreign certification.
  • Involvement in Canadian National Programs (National Teams, National EXCEL Centres, Coaching Development, etc) an ‘A’ Licence has been a requirement since 2009. Equivalency will allow coaches with foreign qualifications to be considered for coaching positions within our National Programs.

What kind of equivalency can I expect?

This depends on the level of certification/licensing you are seeking equivalency for. Each case is based on its merits and the similarities existing between the program of the particular Country concerned and that in place in Canada.

It should be noted the Canadian Soccer Association does not presently award Canadian Equivalency at the ‘A’ Licence level. All coaches are, therefore, expected to participate in the Canadian ‘A’ Licence Program regardless of qualifications achieved in other countries.

With this in mind, Canadian Equivalency is awarded up to and including the ‘B’ Licence-National level. In some cases this may be awarded on par depending on the perceived strength of the overseas program concerned. In cases where a coach has a strong ‘A’ Licence from another Country (i.e., UEFA), that person will automatically be awarded Canadian Equivalency at the ‘B’ Licence-National level and encouraged to take part in the Canadian ‘A’ Licence Program at their earliest convenience.

Do I have to be an official resident of Canada?

Yes. The Canada Soccer will only award equivalency to coaches who are Canadian Citizens, Landed Immigrants, or Official Residents of Canada. The Process is designed to recognize those who are making a long term commitment to helping raise the standard of soccer in Canada. Those visiting on short term visas do not qualify for this process.

Is there a cost involved in applying for Canadian Equivalency?

Yes, there is a $249.00 administrative fee, which must accompany your application for Canadian Equivalency. 

What if I have some coaching certificates that did not require a practical examination of my practical coaching ability?

Canada Soccer does not award a Coaching Licence as equivalency for non-examinable courses from other countries. It is possible, however, to gain credit for the courses you have taken if they compare favorably to the courses offered in the Canada Soccer Community Coach Program. If you wish to make application for credit towards the Community Coach Certificate please contact your Provincial or Territorial Soccer Association. Contact details are available in our Directory of Contacts.

What does the Process involve?

A coach wishing to gain Canadian Equivalency must provide proof of their status in the particular country by supplying:

  1. A copy of the original Licence and/or Certificate from the Country concerned.
  2. A translation, in either English or French, of both the Licence/Certificate and the program transcript/overview, signed by a “Notary Public”.
  3. A brief resume outlining the coach’s career to date, including personal contact details (address, telephone, e-mail, etc).
  4. A transcript/overview of the course/program taken in the Country concerned showing:
    • the number of hours involved and the subjects covered
    • the examination process (practical and theory)
    • the status of the Licence within the Country’s Coaching Program
  5. A cheque for $249.00 made out to Canada Soccer, to cover the processing fee.

Once the applicant has compiled the above information s/he should forward it to:

Canada Soccer
237 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, ON
K2P 1R2


If you should have any further questions on Canadian Equivalency email coaching@canadasoccer.com

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