The PEP and STEP Programmes will have most impact when they are supported by a programme of Coach, Administrator and Referee Education (CARE). Making adequate provision for Applied Lifelong Learning (ALL) will ensure that Coach, Administrator and Referee Education programmes are even more effective.

These programmes are designed to:

  • Educate Coaches, Administrators and Referees in a progressive manner from Club through to National Level.
  • Continually improve the quality of Coaches, Administrators and Referees through the incorporation of internationally recognised principles of best practice.
  • Ensure an appropriate and high standard of support is available to Players as they progress through PEP and STEP.

Coach, Administrator and Referee Education (CARE).

The CARE Programme caters individually and specifically for each of its 3 distinct components:-

Coach Education
Administrator Education
Referee Education

Coach, Administrator and Referee Education (CARE) are delivered through specifically designed courses, workshops, and conferences incorporating internationally recognised principles of best practice. Each progressive course across each of the 3 disciplines caters for a greater level of specialisation and expertise based on the qualification and experience of the participants and aligned to the level of the Association at which they are operating. These courses include a combination of theoretical and practical inputs, and allow for (and encourage) the use of digital and e-learning modalities.

1. Coach Education

The core structure of the Coach Education Programme is a Coaching ladder which is organised across five levels (for both Hurling and Football) beginning with Foundation Level (Juvenile Coach) and culminating at Level 4 (Advanced Inter-County Coach). While each level is aligned to coaching at a particular grade, the courses are designed to provide a greater level of knowledge applicable to each grade as a Coach progresses up the ladder.

2. Administrator Education

The voluntary worker, committed to the promotion and development of our games, is the source of richness that sets us apart in the sporting world. It is vital, that as an Association, we continually assess our resources, structures and future direction. As such t he Chomhairle Training programme supports the work of Club and County Officers in the organisation and development of our Games and facilitates a planning process to develop a short, medium and long term plan suited to the individual needs of each unit.

The programme consists of the following inputs:

(i) Club Officer Programme

The Club Officer Programme includes a series of inputs on the roles and functions of the Officers of a GAA Club.

(ii) Club Planning and Development Programme

This course provides information and expertise for Club Officers in evaluating the status of their Club in relation to infrastructure, facilities, and player development amongst others, enabling members to take ownership of their clubs by taking part in a process of planning for the club’s future. The course includes setting realistic aims and goals for development in a systematic and feasible manner.

(iii) Pre-AGM Course

The Pre-AGM course is designed to assist Clubs in structuring a successful Annual General Meeting to encourage more members to become actively involved in the running of their club.

(iv) Club na nÓg programme

This course provides an opportunity for individuals involved in the organisation of juvenile games within a Club to increase their knowledge in relation to the Code of Best Practice for Youth Sport, juvenile games structures and development related issues.

(v) Bord na nÓg Programme

Providing an opportunity for those involved in organising juvenile games at Divisional and County Board level, the Bórd na nÓg Programme again includes inputs on the Code of Best Practice for Youth Sport, juvenile games structures and development related issues.

(vi) Board Officer Programme

The Board Officer Programme includes a series of inputs on the roles and functions of the Officers of a Divisional or County Board.

3. Referee Education

The Referee Education programme is organised across Club, County and National levels of the Association (for both Hurling and Football) aimed at providing Referees who can facilitate the proper conduct of our Games at all stages of the Pathway to Elite Performance.

The Referee Education programme consists of the following inputs:

(i) Foundation Course

As the basic course required to Referee at official level within the Association completion of the Foundation Course certifies participants as Club Referees. Including inputs on the practical elements of Refereeing, the spirit of our Games and a detailed study of the Rules of the code the Foundation Course provides a fundamental introduction to the application of the Rules of Gaelic Games. Participants must be 17 years of age or older. A Conversion Course provides an opportunity for those active Referees who have never achieved certification to enter the system. A modified version of the Foundation Course is geared towards post-primary school students, while a number of introductory initiatives are available at Primary School And Underage Club level.

(ii) Serving Referees Course

The Serving Referees Course is an annual refresher course for active Club Referees. The Course again looks at basics of Refereeing and also includes a more in-depth look at the role of the Umpires and Linesmen, and adaptations or clarifications of Rule that occur year to year.

(iii) Provincial Referees Course

A series of 3 seminars for Referees identified as having the potential to officiate at Inter-County Level the Provincial Referees Course provides an opportunity for Referees to study a wider variety of elements required for Refereeing at an advanced level, including Role, Player Management, Physical Fitness for Refereeing and Team Work for Officials among others.

(iv) National Referees Seminars

These are a series of seminars held over the course of the playing season which cater for Referees who officiate at Senior grades at National Level. Including specialised inputs relating to various aspects of Referee performance the seminars focus on issues of interpretation and clarification in an open and interactive environment.

Applied Lifelong learning

The Programme of Applied Lifelong Learning (ALL) is a series of Workshops, Clinics, Ancillary Courses, and Conferences on various topics and disciplines related to the role and performance of Coaches, Administrators and Referees. Applied Lifelong Learning also creates a link to Diploma and Degree courses in Third Level Institutions which serve to further the knowledge of the participants and which may provide credits towards progression as Coaches, Administrators and Referees within the Association. Applied Lifelong Learning makes provision for Coaches, Administrators and Referees to (i) continually develop their vocational skills, (ii) progress at a rate suited to their own development, and (iii) ensure that as players progress through PEP and STEP, they are provided with the proper CARE for ALL. The latter explains why the aphorism “ align and combine PEP and STEP with CARE for ALL “ highlights the key challenge facing the GAA, and its centrality to the successful implementation of the OTú Games Development Model.