EPPP: Creating a world-leading Academy workforce

4 Dec 2022
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Discover how the Elite Player Performance Plan has worked to develop coaches and support staff

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The Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan was launched in the 2012/13 campaign and to mark the programme's 10th anniversary, we take a look at its impact on the English game.

Workforce development

Two of the six original critical success factors of the EPPP were directly related to the workforce, highlighting the importance of developing the people that develop the players.

The ambition of the EPPP was to be become world-leading in Academy coaching and support roles, and this has been met through significant investment in the size, expertise and development offer for the Academy workforce over the past 10 years.

Led by the drive to improve coaching provision and development, the Academy workforce has grown significantly in numbers and professionalism.

Staff growth

There are now more than 4,000 staff members at club Academies from Categories 1-4, more than three times the amount when the EPPP launched.

Alongside this growth in numbers, the Premier League is striving to establish a more multi-disciplinary approach to meet the needs of the modern player.

With this aim in mind, the Premier League has established the Integrated Coaching Strategy (ICS), a multi-stakeholder partnership to deliver and sustain world-leading coach and manager education, development and career pathways across English men’s and women’s professional football.

Download the EPPP Report (PDF; 4.5MB)

Alongside this, the Premier League has been delivering learning and development programmes since 2013/14, when the Elite Coach Accreditation Scheme (ECAS) was introduced.

This has been an expansive area of delivery over the years, with 350+ individuals now enrolled across the three programmes which are directed at different levels of management:

Elite Coach Accreditation Scheme (ECAS) for coaches of high potential, with 131 graduates so far

Elite Heads of Coaching (EHOC): empowering heads of coaching to increase the quality of coaching in their respective clubs; 62 post-graduate diplomas

See: 'The EHOC programme is a game-changer'

Elite Academy Manager (EAM): a leadership development programme for Academy Managers; 155 Academy managers enrolled

Diversifying the workforce

As part of EPPP's commitment to coaching, there is promotion of a more diverse coaching population.

Three positive action initiatives have been developed with the aims of increasing the number of professional players from underrepresented populations transitioning into coaching, and increasing the transition of existing coaches from underrepresented populations into full-time coaching roles.

Professional Player to Coach Scheme
Thirteen ex-players of Black heritage have been provided access to a 23-month fixed-term contract at an EFL club alongside a wider development curriculum. Six have been offered permanent roles.

Coach Inclusion Diversity Scheme
High-potential coaches from Black, Asian, and mixed heritage backgrounds and all women, are provided access to a 23-month fixed-term contract in a Premier League or Category 1 club alongside a wider development curriculum.

Currently 24 coaches are involved in CIDS with about 700 applications for the second cohort showing the popularity of this programme.

Coach Index
A self-registration system to provide underrepresented groups with access to information about employment and development opportunities. As of August 2022, 266 coaches had registered with the index.

Also in this series

Part 1: EPPP report highlights decade of progress in youth development
Part 2: Key facts about the impact of the EPPP
Part 3: England World Cup squad built on Academies' work
Part 4: Cooper: We are seeing the fruits of Academy investment
Part 5: Lampard: Academies are producing technically better players
Part 6: Creating access and opportunity for all
Part 7: Helping Academy players reach their potential
Part 8: Taking care of Academy players
Part 10: Saunders: We can be proud of youth development progress

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