The New & Improved NCAS Coach Accreditation Scheme


National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS)

The NCAS is an initiative of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). It is a progressive coach education program offering courses at various levels. Coaches who are accredited through the NCAS are recognized by national and state sporting organizations and the ASC. Currently over 70 sports participate

PCA NCAS Pony Club Accreditation

The new course structure and delivery methods make the system very attractive in the Pony Club environment. Adoption of policies relating to flexible delivery, competency based assessment and mentoring will allow the courses to be delivered in a variety of ways. Prospective coaches from the absolute beginner to the more experienced can work through the course at their own pace depending on their level of experience and access to assistance.

Flexible course delivery

This policy recognises that coaches can be assessed in a number of ways which will enable people in remote areas or those with time constraints to have access to accreditation.

Competency Based Assessment

This policy recognizes that people gain knowledge and skills in a variety of ways, by formal training or life and work experience. The Candidate must provide evidence that they have the skills and knowledge for the competencies they are claiming. They would then demonstrate the required skills in front of an appointed, recognized assessor. 

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC)

This was formerly called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and is an understanding that people gain skills and knowledge in many ways. In a formal course setting a candidate may feel that they can already perform some of the learning outcomes to the required standard. RCC allows them to identify the skills required and assess themselves against the learning outcomes at their leisure prior to the final assessment.  

Some of the areas that can be recognized are;

Recent completion of another training scheme (recent usually means within the previous 4 years). These schemes could include any thing from PCA Efficiency Certificates to other recognized coaching courses.

On the job learning in the equestrian industry – life experiences

The individual learning at their own pace using educational material

PCA NCAS Accreditions offered by Pony Club

PCA currently has two courses accredited under the NCAS which are sequential in nature

Preliminary - this is the entry level to the PCA NCAS System set at D/D*

Level 1 - The pre requisite for this level is PCA NCAS Preliminary Accreditation (Mounted Games Specialist)



How does the New NCAS System Work?



The New NCAS a flexible approach to learning

These two examples are extreme but serve to illustrate how the system of competency based assessment allows for a much greater flexibility in course delivery and assessment. Once a Coach has achieved NCAS qualification the qualification is valid for 4 years. To maintain accreditation it is necessary to complete updating activities and achieve a certain number of points over a 4 year period. This ensures that coaches attend some courses to keep them up to date with current trends and developments.

Example 1 - Mary the Experienced Coach

Mary is an experienced pony club coach. She went through Pony Club herself and obtained her “K” certificate. Her children are at the club and she has been helping out as an Instructor for 4 years and now wishes to become NCAS qualified.

*       Mary would obtain the Preliminary Coach Course material from the PCAT zone coaching committee.

*       After reading the competencies and learning outcomes she would recognize that she could complete all the skills expected in the horse care section

*       The Coaching Modules contain some new information. Mary would complete the work book at her own pace using the course material provided. This includes a section on sports safety which replaces the necessity of a workplace first aid certificate. (Coaches are still encouraged to have current First Aid qualifications but it is no longer a compulsory requirement.)

*       Once Mary felt she was skilled in all the competencies required she would arrange to be assessed by a PCAT appointed Assessor. This could be done in her own club on a rally day or at another time and place convenient to both.

*       Mary has been found competent in all areas and submits her signed worksheets and fees to the PCAT State Coaching Co-Ordinator (Marisa Hall) to be checked and then sent to the Australian Coaching Council (ACC). Accreditation is achieved.

  Estimated time to obtain NCAS accreditation 6-8 hours


Example 2 - Joe the New Pony Club Parent

Joe is a new Pony Club parent; he has just bought his daughter her first pony and is discovering what he does not know about horses and their care. His club runs an information night for new parents where they have lots of literature and information on display. Joe picks up the Preliminary Coach Syllabus and Coaching notes and discovers it contains a lot of the information he needs.

*       He works through each of the competencies in the horse care section by observing others, reading the literature and attending some of the theory sessions at his daughter’s club.

*       He watches his daughter’s sessions at each rally and would like to understand more so he attends some instructor courses.

*       He decides to work through the riding section of the syllabus so he can help his daughter. 

*       Finally he becomes keen to seek NCAS accreditation as he has helped at the rally on a couple of occasions when the club has been short of Coaches and really enjoyed the experience.

*       He works through the competencies with help from coaches at his club and when all the learning outcomes have been achieved he applies to be assessed by a PCAT appointed Assessor. This could be done in his own club on a rally day or at another time and place convenient to both.

Estimated time to obtain NCAS accreditation 2 years

Course Pre Requisites & Prior Learning Recognition


Enrolment Pre-requisites

Candidates must be:

*       16 years of age to commence the NCAS Preliminary Coach Accreditation but must be 18 years of age or over before they can be assessed

*       a financial member of a Pony Club, affiliated through their State Association, with Pony Club Australia Inc.

Recognition of Prior Learning

As the Pony Club qualifications are not solely course based, candidate’s prior learning can be recognised at any time.  
This can be achieved in one of two ways:

*       by providing evidence of formal coaching qualification from another equestrian organisation, or 

*       candidates with life skills, work experience or other formal training can assess the skills they have with the learning outcomes of the course and decide how much formal training they need prior to assessment


All candidates must complete the formal assessment activities as these are designed to determine the ultimate competence of the candidate in the Pony Club environment.


Equivalency recognition

A Pony Club certificate held from oversees that equates to an Australian qualification in full may be considered for equivalency recognition. Coaching Qualifications from other sources will require applicants to submit their qualification and detailed information on the course and its learning outcomes to the PCA Instructional Sub-committee for consideration.



Keeping your NCAS Accreditation Updated



Updating Policy

All levels of coaching accreditation are current for a four year period.  To re-accredit, coaches must undertake a range of updating activities outlined in the updating policy.

Update Points for Re-Accreditation

PCA requires all accredited NCAS Pony Club Coaches to complete updating tasks in line with the requirements of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC)

Our policy requires Preliminary Coaches to attain 12 points over a four year period and Level 1 Coaches to attain 24 points over a four year period to remain accredited.

Upon receiving notification from the PCAT or a letter from the ASC advising your update is due, Coaches are required to send to the Coaching Co-Ordinator (Marisa Hall):

:  Your update activites

:  Your current contact details and date of birth

:  The name of the pony club of which  you are a current member

:  A cheque for $15 made payable to the Pony Club Association of Tasmania Inc, being the renewal fee.

Following verification of the Update information, the Coaching Co-Ordinator will forward a completed NCAS Update Registration Form to the Australian Sports Commission.  Your information will be updated on their database, and a Coaching Card will be processed and forward to you.

Level of Accreditation

Points per 4 years

Minimum per year

Points in excess available to carry over









Updating activities are those which will help you as a coach to improve your knowledge and skills in the sport and your teaching and communication skills.

The types of activities attracting points are many and varied the examples on the next page will provide you with a good idea of what you can do to earn points. Coaches are encouraged to obtain and maintain First Aid qualifications which will attract updating points.

Update Points

Preliminary Coaches must attain at least 5 points through practical teaching at a recognised Pony Club activity during the four year period and at least 3 points must be gained from attendance at a Pony Club Coaching & Professional Development Course during the four year period.

Level 1 Coaches must attain at least 12 points through practical teaching at a recognised Pony Club activity during the four year period and at least 6 points must be gained from attendance at a Pony Club Coaching & Professional Development Course during the four year period.



Coaching at an affiliated Pony Club. List the total number of days spent coaching


Act as a Mentor Coach for a coaching applicant for a period of not less than 6 months


Coaching other than at Pony Club, on a regular basis. i.e. RDA


Participate in NCAS refresher training or professional development course, including examiners or coach educator workshop


Attend judges school/course building/technical delegate course (run by Pony Club or EFA)


Obtain or renew First Aid Certificate


Act as a demonstration rider in a coaching/judges course


Write an article in a magazine/newsletter on coaching riding or horse management


Complete TAFE or other recognised equine course at tertiary institution.
(If in doubt check with your Pony Club State Association)


Attend a train the trainer course (TAFE, EA or private provider run).
These courses can be of value even if not directly related to equine topics


Involvement in State/Territory, National or International competitions as a coach (not a competitor).


Attend a clinic as a rider or a spectator with an internationally recognised coach or a Level 3 coach.
The clinic can be of one or more days and the coach must spend at least 8 hours watching and participating.


Examine at Pony Club C Certificate level or a higher level




Overview - PCA NCAS Preliminary Coaching Accreditation





Coaching Outcomes

1. Role of the Coach

1.Undertake the varied roles of a Pony Club coach

2.Work effectively with parents, officials and administrators

3.Develop and implement a personal coaching philosophy

4.Outline the coach’s ethical responsibilities

2. Planning and Reviewing

1.Plan a series of lessons for D/D* level riders

2.Review effectiveness of plans

3.Risk Management

1.Apply the principles of risk management to minimise injuries to people and horses

2.Outline the legal responsibilities of the coach

3.Implement minor incident management procedures

4. The Coach in Action

1.Demonstrate effective group organisation

2.Ensure the safety of riders and horses during the session.

3.Manage group behaviour

4.Conduct coaching sessions to teach basic skills

5.Demonstrate effective communication strategies

5. Rider Development

1.Plan and implement activities and lessons that consider the physical, social and emotional development of riders

2.Cater for the individual differences of riders.

6. Horse Care

1.Teach riders the D and D* horse care skills as outlined in the PCA Syllabus of Instruction.

2.Provide advice to riders and their parents with regard to horse selection and care in accordance with PCA Syllabus of Instruction.

7. Riding Flatwork

1.Teach riders the D and D* riding skills as outlined in the PCA Syllabus of Instruction.

2.Teach rider exercises, agility, school figures and the use of the arena to D/D* standard. Including a Mounted Games activity.

8. Riding Jumping

1.Teach riders to ride over trot poles and small jumps as outlined in the D and D* PCA Syllabus of Instruction



Overview - PCA NCAS Level 1 Coaching Accreditation




Coaching Outcomes

1. Planning and Reviewing

1.Plan a series of lessons for C/C* level riders

2.Review effectiveness of plans

2. Group Management

1.Demonstrate effective group organisation

2.Manage group behaviour

3.Develop supportive relationships with riders

3.Horse Care

1.Teach riders the C &C* Horse Care skills as outlined in the PCA Syllabus of Instruction

2.Provide advice to riders and their parents with regard to horse selection and care in accordance with the PCA Syllabus of Instruction

4.Riding Flatwork

1.Teach riders the C & C* riding skills as outlined in the PCA Syllabus of Instruction

2.Teach rider exercises, agility, school figures and the use of the arena to the C” standard.

5.Riding Jumping

1.Teach the forward position, strides distances and gymnastic jumping to C” standard

2.Teach show jumping and cross country to C* standard


1.Describe the correct equipment for safe lungeing of a horse and explain the reasons for its use

2.Teach riders how to correctly fit lungeing equipment

3.Teach riders the basic techniques of lungeing a quiet horse



Overview - PCA NCAS Level 1 Mounted Games Coach Accreditation


Coaches undertaking the specialist qualification of Mounted Games Coach must already have completed the Preliminary Pony Club Coach qualification and Modules 1, 2 and Module 3 topics 3.1- 3.5 of the Level 1 Pony Club coach prior to qualification as a specialist Mounted Games Coach.


Coaching Outcomes


  1. Demonstrate application of state, national and international rules for mounted games.
  2. Describe theprocess for dealing with official rulings

2.Riding Skills Specific to Games


  1. Teach the riding skills for Mounted Games

3.Preparing the Competitive Rider

  1. Prepare the rider for competition

4.Arena Safety and Care of Borrowed Horses

  1. Provide a safe environment and safe activities for riders and horses.
  2. Teach riders appropriate care for borrowed horses and courtesy and consideration toowners of loaned horses



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