Coaching Certifications

Coaching Certification

The purpose of the CIF Coaching Education Program is to enhance the experience of student-athletes by assuring that their coaches meet a minimum level of professional training. The program provides strong, pragmatic and comprehensive instruction for coaches of interscholastic athletics in California that is consistent with the highest national standards as set by the legislature, state Department of Education, California Interscholastic Federation and National Federation of State High School Associations.

The primary requirements for coaching high school sports in California are:

1. A General Coaching Education Course  The most commonly utilized courses are:

2. A Concussion Course

3. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Training
4. Heat Acclimatization Course (Jan. 1, 2019 State law goes into effect)
5. First Aid and CPR Certification  Please consult your school district for this requirement.

6. Cheer coaches ONLY


Who is required to pass the Coaching Education class?

CIF Bylaw 22.B. (9) states: “Definition of a coach, paid or unpaid: Any individual that the school/district is required to approve under California Education Code 33190-33192, 45125.01 and 45125.1.” Simply stated, the law applies to anyone who is required to be fingerprinted and/or is approved by their local school board/directors to have contact with students. This applies to all CIF member schools, public and private.

What Coaching Education Courses are accepted for certification?

The NFHS “Fundamentals of Coaching” Course, the ASEP “Coaching Principles” and the ASEP “CIF Coaching Orientation” courses meet California’s standards for Coaching Education.

How do I get the coaches certified in my school/district?

  1. Coaches can go on their own to and take the “Fundamentals of Coaching” course online for $52.
  2. Any representative from a school/district can also go to and purchase license #’s in bulk ($52 each), for their coaches. The coaches then go online and complete the “Fundamentals of Coaching” course to become certified.

We cannot always fill our coaching positions before the season. How do we get coaches certified when someone is hired at the last moment?

The CIF Bylaw and the Education Code allows for this common situation. A school/district may hire a coach that is not certified but only for one sports season. The coach must complete the certification before they can coach another season and/or a second sport. The State law (SB39) allows for this one sports season exception in the case of an emergency.  Because there are online options for same day certification, it should be a rare situation when this exception is utilized.

If I completed and passed the former CIF/ASEP Coaching Education program or AACCA National Safety Certification for cheer coaches, do I have to retake the class?

At the present time, NO! If you completed the course and passed the test, you are certified and will be listed on the “Coaches Registry” database at or

Do I have to renew my Concussion, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and Heat Acclimatization certification?

Yes, Concussion, SCA and Heat Acclimatization course renewals are directly tied to the renewal date for your First Aid/CPR.  Whenever you renew your First Aid/CPR, you should retake the concussion, SCA and Heat Illness Prevention courses.  NFHS offers FREE courses titled, Concussion in Sports, Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Heat Illness Prevention.