The Vice President of the NOC, Tõnu Tõniste, is glad to know that there is now an opportunity to check the level of competence and background of any coach quickly and easily. “By providing it, we are demonstrating that the Estonian sport system is becoming more and more transparent and, when necessary, allows easy verification. This might be yet another motivator for coaches to pursue personal development,” he said.
The head of the Foundation of Sports Education and Information, Toomas Tõnise, says that a lot has been done for the credibility of the coaching profession in the last 15 years. “We trust doctors and teachers, pilots and ship captains as professionals because we know that people’s lives or health would not be entrusted to self-proclaimed experts who are in fact incompetent. I hope we are beginning to realize that obtaining a profession as a coach is normal; it is a guarantee of safety and proper coaching. If we keep demanding it as athletes, parents, municipal government executives and sport event organizers, if this ‘neighbour watch’ in the best sense of the phrase continues, coaches with no skills or knowledge will have no place in the sport system,” Tõnise pointed out.
At the moment, 3500 coaches are operating as the holders of professional certificates issued by the Estonian Olympic Committee. Still, there are those without a certificate, and their work is not monitored in any way. One can use the web page www.treenerikutse.ee to check if a coach has a professional certificate and what his or her formal education is. If the name you enter yields no results, the coach in question has no valid professional certificate.
For the organization of education for the profession, formal training and refresher training, the NOC has established professional certification committees jointly with sport federations; the committees check the applicant’s qualification, organize professional examinations and make decisions on certifying the qualification.