New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching (Level 3) - SIT2LRN Distance Learning

Qualification: Certificate
Level: 3

2019 Intake 4: 12 August to 01 November - Applications Close 22 July 2019

2019 Intake 5: 23 September to 13 December - Applications Close 01 September 2019


12 weeks full-time

Up to two years part-time

Intakes are 12 weeks long

Location: SIT2LRN Distance Learning
Credits: 40

Are you looking to get involved with one of your local sports clubs? Are you looking to help coach one of your whanau? Have you always been an active sport participant, and are looking to gain a deeper insight into sports psychology and coaching? The New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching may be the programme you are looking for.

This qualification has been developed for people wanting to pursue further development in sports coaching.  Content includes: 

  • Applied sports psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise prescription
  • Injury prevention
  • Sports conditioning
  • Sports coaching

Part-time students must follow one of the following enrolment plans:

2 papers per intake

  • 22265 + 20673
  • 25805 + 22768
  • 5366 + 21648 (must be taken together)
  • 20811 + 6572

4 papers per intake

  • 22265 + 20673 + 25805 + 22768
  • 5366 + 21648 + 20811 + 6572

22265 Demonstrate knowledge of exercise prescription (7 credits)

People credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of exercise; 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the components of fitness; 
  • Explain how various types of training are created; 
  • Explain potential reasons for undesirable training responses and poor adaptation, then identify remedial actions; 
  • Identify the role of preparation (warm up) and recovery (cool down) for various training types.

20673 Demonstrate knowledge of injuries, injury prevention and risks and hazards associated with sport or recreation (5 credits)

People credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Describe the types of injuries that may occur while participating in sport or physical recreation, their possible causes and methods for their prevention and/or minimisation; 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how to respond to common injuries for a selected sport or physical recreation and describe hazards and risks related to a selected sport or physical recreation.

25805 Demonstrate and apply knowledge of individual and group characteristics and needs for coaching activities in recreation (4 credits)

This unit standard is designed for people who coach, train, or instruct participants in recreation.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Identify key characteristics and general needs of participants from a recreation coaching community; 
  • Describe individual and group characteristics and needs of participants from a coaching community; 
  • Apply knowledge of individual and group characteristics and needs to a coaching session; 
  • Implement and review the activities within the coaching session.

22768 Conduct and review a beginner level coaching session (6 credits)

People credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Prepare self, materials, and equipment for coaching session; 
  • Conduct session according to session plan; 
  • Review session against plan.

Please note that students will need to to have a qualified or experienced coach conduct an observation for this unit standard. A list of potential observers could include: a certified New Zealand coach, a person with at least five years of coaching experience, or an individual possessing a sport qualification (minimum Level 4). If you are in doubt about whether or not the observer is acceptable, please consult the facilitator or Programme Manager.

5366 Apply the basic principles of applied sport psychology (6 credits)

This unit standard is intended as an introduction to applied sport psychology.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Explain the purpose and basic concepts of applied sport psychology; 
  • Develop performance profile of an athlete; 
  • Describe the process of developing basic psychological methods; 
  • Plan, implement, and evaluate a basic strategy to assist an athlete to perform consistently in a state of optimal arousal. Need to complete together with 21648

21648 Apply basic psychological skills to sports performance (4 credits)

People credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Explain psychological factors that affect performance in sport; 
  • Plan a psychological skills training programme to develop basic psychological skills to enhance performance in sport; 
  • Implement and review the psychological skills training programme. Need to complete together with 5366

6572 Apply the principles of nutrition to people involved in physical activity (4 credits)

People credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Explain the relationship between nutrients and physical activity; 
  • Explain the relationship between fluid replacement and physical activity and prepare to manage fluid replacement; 
  • Provide nutritional guidelines for people in physical activity to meet their unique nutritional requirements and for all stages of participation in physical activity and travel; 
  • Demonstrate the ability to interpret food labels.

20811 Train to develop conditioning for a selected sport at a basic level (5 credits)

People credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Explain the fitness requirements for a selected sport;
  • Plan a basic conditioning programme to meet specific training goals in the selected sport; 
  • Implement and monitor a basic conditioning programme for the selected sport; 
  • Review and modify the basic conditioning programme.

The Zero Fees Scheme applies to this course, so there are no tuition fees as long as you are a New Zealand citizen, resident/permanent resident (residing in NZ), BUT there is a student direct material cost per credit of study undertaken, plus a non-refundable administration fee of $50.00 for each application processed, and the required textbook/s listed below. You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to retain your Zero Fees Scheme entitlement.

Enrolment category

Zero Fees Scheme – applies to NZ citizens and residents/permanent residents (residing in NZ)

International Students

2019 Cost (NZ$)

$7.00 per credit + admin fee $50.00 per application  (e.g. $700.00 for 100 credit course) - includes GST

$100.00 per credit

Fees must be paid by the due date shown on the invoice.

Withdrawals & Transfers

  • Early withdrawals within the first week of the intake starting are entitled to a full refund of the Student Direct Material Costs but not the non-refundable administration fee of $50.
  • Withdrawals have to be requested within 75% of the intake, withdrawals after the early withdrawal date are not eligible for a refund.
  • Transfer requests have to be within the first two weeks of the intake starting and will incur a $50 transfer fee. Transfers can only occur to a subsequence intake within the same calendar year.

All SIT2LRN courses are approved by Studylink. Any queries regarding Studylink allowances, loans, and terms and conditions should be made directly to Studylink on 0800 88 99 00 or

Graduates will be able to:

  • Create a supportive sport coaching environment and demonstrate positive sideline behaviours for the safety of participants while coaching a chosen sport
  • Model simple skills and apply general coaching principles and group management techniques to achieve performance outcomes
  • Apply basic injury prevention techniques, including warm up and cool down procedures, to meet the physical requirements of the chosen sport
  • Give constructive, specific and positive feedback on performance to achieve outcomes while coaching a chosen sport
The qualification can lead to employment (paid or volunteer) or as an entry level coach, school sports coach, club coach or assistant coach, or graduates may progress to higher level study.

Applicants should demonstrate a likelihood of success in the New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching (Level 3) (sports training and development) programme of study. Likelihood of success may be demonstrated through a variety of means, including: relevant work experience (e.g. CV), letter of intent, achievement of Level 2 NCEA standards in human biology, or an interview.

All applicants are required to have access to a sports team to undertake coaching sessions with an experienced coach and to observe coaching sessions.

All applicants are strongly recommended to complete First Aid training if they do not already hold First Aid certification.

School Leavers

Applicants should be a minimum of 17 years of age, and have attained NCEA Level 2.

Mature Applicants

Applicants over the age of 20 years at time of enrolment will be considered where they can demonstrate the ability to succeed in a programme. Examples of demonstration of ability to succeed are the provision of evidence of successful completion of a programme of study at Level 2 or above in a related discipline and/or employment in the related sector for one or more years. They may be admitted subject to programme regulations approved by the Head of Faculty in consultation with the Programme Manager as appropriate.  Personal commitment and a belief in one’s own ability to succeed are important personal traits and will always be taken into consideration during the selection process.

Language Requirements

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 per cent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having achieved an NZQA approved English Proficiency Assessment, or achieved the required score in one of the following internationally recognised English Proficiency tests within the preceding two years:

  • IELTS test - Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5
  • TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT) – Score of 500 (with an essay score 4 TWE)
  • TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) – Score of 35 (with a writing score of 20)
  • Cambridge English Examinations – FCE or FCE for schools with a score of 154.  No less than 154 in each skill.  OET at Grade C in all sub-tests.
  • NZCEL – Level 3 with General, Workplace, or Academic endorsement
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) – PToE (Academic) score of 36
  • City and Guilds IESOL – B1 Achiever with a score of 43

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate below 80 per cent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English must provide evidence that they:

  • Have gained NCEA Level 3 and met New Zealand University Entrance requirements or
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree of at least 3 years from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America or
  • Have achieved a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, CELTA or
  • Have achieved the required score in one of the internationally recognised English Proficiency tests (specified above) within the preceding two years. 

All SIT2LRN courses require you to have a computer and Internet access. Students are required to use their SIT webmail only for all SIT2LRN communications. All course materials and information, including assessments and due dates, are located on the online Blackboard system. Once you have been accepted into a programme you will receive an Important Information Booklet that includes information that you can use to familiarise yourself with our online Blackboard learning environment. From the intake start date you will have access to the online course materials to work through.

Facilitator Assistance: During the enrolled intake period, students have email access to Facilitators, who endeavour to respond to emails within 48 hours (week days only).  All students are required, within the first two weeks of an intake, to send an email to their Facilitator confirming their start on the programme of study.  Students who have not emailed their facilitator or embarked upon their course of study by the end of the 2nd week of an intake, will be Faculty Withdrawn from the programme.  Such withdrawals may impact on future access to SIT Zero Fees Scheme and Student Direct Material Costs are still liable for payment.

Progress reports are sent out 6-8 weeks after the end of each intake.

We recommend students new to SIT2LRN read through the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website for further study and enrolment information.

Please use the following checklist to ensure that all relevant information and documentation has been included. Remember, your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide us with.  Processing of your application will be delayed if we need to come back to you for missing information.

  • I have read all sections of the Programme Information on this page
  • I have read the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions section
  • I have met all admission criteria for the programme (found under Application Criteria)
  • I have met all the criteria for individual papers (found under Course Content).
  • I have selected the paper(s) I wish to study
  • I have selected intake(s) (I have selected alternate intakes rather than overlapping intakes)
  • I know my intended payment method
  • If my organisation/company is paying for my studies, I have a completed and approved purchase order to attach to my online application.  I am aware that should my organisation or company not pay my fees, these will become my responsibility.
  • I have completed and attached a cross credit form (if applying for a cross credit)
  • New students – I have provided an active NSN in the name I am enrolling in or I have verified ID and will attach it to my online application.
  • New students – I will attach academic documentation (NZQA record of achievement/academic transcripts/certificates).  These do not need to be verified. (If you do not have any academic documentation to support your application, please attach a comprehensive CV outlining your education and work experience).
  • I understand that this is a Level 3 programme therefore I will be required, by the Tertiary Education Commission, to complete at least one literacy and one numeracy assessment as part of my studies
  • I have computer access,  an Internet connection and access to software to create electronic documents e.g. Microsoft Word or Open Office

What is the Zero Fees Scheme?

The Zero Fees Scheme means we do not charge tuition fees. However, there is a Student Direct Material Cost that you need to pay and a non-refundable administration fee. The administration fee is for processing your application and the Student Direct Material Cost gives you secure access to Blackboard® our online learning environment and to student support services throughout your study with us.

Who qualifies for the Zero Fees Scheme?

  • A New Zealand citizen completing the full qualification or 
  • An Australian citizen/New Zealand Resident or Permanent Resident who will be residing in New Zealand for the duration of your enrolment.

Instructions to help you with your application:

  1. Read the Programme Information on this page and the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions and find out if you meet the application criteria for both the programme and the unit/s you wish to study.
  2. Check your eligibility for Zero Fees. If you are not eligible to study under this scheme, please call
    0800 748 257 for further options.
  3. Complete your online enrolment checking that:

If you are a new student …

  • Provide an active NSN number in the name you are enrolling in (contact NZQA on 0800 697 296 to get your NSN number if you do not know it);
  • If you do not have an active NSN, then attach a copy of your verified ID in the name you are enrolling in.
  • If you are a Resident or Permanent resident of NZ, please provide a copy of proof of residency;
  • Attach all academic documentation to support your application including copies of any certificates of courses you have undertaken / NZQA record of achievement / transcripts / CV;

Attach supporting documents as required and outlined on the previous page.

  1. Please check that you have included all the required information and supporting documents.  Your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide.  Missing information will delay the processing of your application.
  2. Please scan and email all additional documentation to

What happens next?

  • You will receive an automatic email confirmation when we receive your online application. Processing may take up to three weeks. However, we will get in touch with you sooner if we require further documentation.
  • Once your application has been accepted you will be sent a conditional offer of acceptance with an invoice and instructions on how to make payment.
  • Once we have received your payment (or if you have opted to pay by Credit Card, Student Loan or Purchase Order) you will be sent an Enrolment Confirmation Letter and Important Information Booklet. Closer to the start of the intake you will receive a Time To Get Started Letter which will give you all the necessary information, tools and guidance to start your study with us.

To satisfactorily complete the New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching (Level 3) (sports training and development) programme of study leading to the New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching (Level 3), and be awarded this qualification the student must successfully achieve:

  • A minimum of 40 credits in accordance with the programme schedule for the New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching (Level 3) (sports training and development) programme of study
  • The student will normally be expected to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching (Level 3) (sports training and development) programme of study full-time over three months or part-time over two years.

Please Note: Students failing to engage in study as per programme requirements may forfeit Zero Fees entitlement.

SIT offers a wide range of Sport and Exercise programmes at our Invercargill and Christchurch campuses, at certificate, diploma, bachelor (degree) and graduate diploma levels.

Graduates of this Level 3 Certificate may wish to continue into further study at Level 3, 4 or 5, such as:

Assessments for this programme generally include short answer assessments. Some units involve developing and monitoring training programmes. Others involve an observation from coaches. There are no exams for this programme.