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What happens in an accreditation?

The program seeking accreditation (the “client”) assembles and then submits a folio of documents and supporting materials that address the NCACE guidelines for the operation of an accredited program. There are 14 broad guidelines that govern how an accredited program should be administered, and a set of 42 curricular content standards that align with the National Standards for Sport Coaches.

This folio is then reviewed by a folio coordinator and 2 folio reviewers. The folio coordinator is a member of the NCACE, and the folio reviewers are chosen for their subject-matter and contextual expertise. Reviewers complete a training prior to the review process. The coordinator and reviewers provide ratings on how well the program meets each of these guidelines and curricular standards. Based on these ratings, the reviewers and folio coordinator make a recommendation to the full committee to accredit the program or not; in many cases, a rejoinder (or revision) may be requested.

When a program meets the requirements for accreditation, a letter is sent to the client on behalf of their program. A press release is generated and the program is added to the list of NCACE accredited programs.

How long does an accreditation last?

NCACE Accreditation lasts for 7 years from the date it was granted. During that time, the accredited program’s institution must maintain an organizational membership with the US Center for Coaching Excellence. If there are major changes to the configuration of the accredited program, the program is expected to communicate these changes with the NCACE, who will decide if the program needs to submit additional materials to maintain their accreditation status.

Want to learn more?

This tutorial video takes a detailed walk through the accreditation process from start to finish. You can also register to attend a live webinar to learn more about the process. The NCACE typically conducts live, in-person training events at the annual North American Coach Development Summit.

Schedule a consultation

with the Accreditation chair

Reach out today to schedule a phone call with the accreditation chair. This is often a great way to ask specific questions about your program.

What information must be provided for an Accreditation application?

The information for accreditation is contained in a folio that is assembled and submitted by the client. The folio must address the program administration guidelines and the curricular content standards. A full-outline of the requirements can be found in this checklist.


  • The cost of accreditation is $4,200 in the first year of the accreditation process. This covers the first year of organizational membership in the USCCE.
  • In the final 6 years of the accreditation cycle, the program must maintain an organizational membership with the USCCE (currently at $250 per year).
  • Over the 7-year accreditation period, the total cost is $5,700.
  • For comparison, here are the costs of accreditation for similar fields:
    • Educator preparation (CAEP): $3,000 – $6,890 annually (cost varies depending on number of students)
    • Business school (AACSB): $29,450 for new accreditations. For continuing accreditations, $5,500 continuing review fee + annual fee between $3,650-$5,950

When do I pay these fees?

Fees are paid at the submission of the accreditation folio.

Benefits of Accreditation and Recognition


Specialized accreditation provides external accountability for the quality of your coaching education program. Demand for this type of accreditation is growing in the public domain and the sports industry.



Recognition by an established and regarded third-party organization enhances the reputation of your coaching education program among the public and within sports and coaching education industries.



Through the accreditation process, NCACE ensures that your coaching education program adheres to the characteristics of excellence as prescribed by the National Standards for Sport Coaches. Coaches and their employers, as well as athletes and their parents, need and are entitled to readily identify evidence as such quality.



The art and science of sport coaching is constantly changing. The accreditation process requires internal review thus fueling continual improvements in your coaching education program to ensure that it continues to meet the guidelines set by the National Standards for Sport Coaches.


Accredited programs may use the NCACE logo for promotional purposes, which differentiates your program from the competition and showcases the evidence that your program produces quality coaches who can provide positive sports experiences for your athletes.