National Development Programme for Coaching Excellence

The National Development Programme for Coaching Excellence (NDPCE) is aimed at coaches who sustain and grow participation in equestrian sports.

This course is relevant for coaches working with adults and young people who participate in equestrian sport for competitive recreation motives. Coaches wanting to join this programme will be ambitious in improving their own performance and will already have success in encouraging people to participate in equestrian sport and retaining them by creating enjoyable coaching environments.

This is a cross discipline programme involving; British Showjumping, British Dressage and British Eventing, The Pony Club, British Horse Society, British Endurance and other equestrian member bodies. 

About the programme

The NDPCE is an 18 month programme which involves eight workshops and additional supporting activity (see below for workshop dates). The next course starts in Autumn 2023 and all places will be allocated following an interview process. There will be a group of 20-30 coaches involved, sharing best practice from across a range of equestrian disciplines.


  • To recognise the importance of high performing coaches working with riders at a recreational level.
  • To use research and case studies from within and outside of equestrian sport to inform coaching practice.
  • To support coaches to reflect and review their own performance and set personal development plans.
  • To develop coaches with expertise to influence coaching programmes that improve rider experiences.
This course has helped me to take care of myself as a person and professional, re-adjust my work-life balance so I am able to give my best to the people I coach.
A Previous NDPCE candidate

Programme content

The programme content is partly prescribed and partly guided by the individual needs of the coaches involved. To see an outline of the type of content that will be covered, download our NDPCE information sheet below:


Who should apply?

  • Any coach who wants to improve their own performance and is particularly interested in supporting recreational competitors.
  • Coaches should already hold a level 3 qualification issued by an equestrian member body.
  • Coaches who already demonstrate a degree of the high performing criteria listed below:

High Performing Grassroots Coach Criteria

  • Ability to think innovatively and put ideas into action.

  • Ability to build strong relationships with riders and between riders.

  • Ability to establish and maintain a positive environment for riders.

  • Aids the development of riders on an individual basis and are perceptive to their needs and wants.

  • Builds and sustains riders’ love of the sport and their involvement.

  • Works to establish and maintain a culture of enjoyment.

  • Shows a commitment to on-going learning and personal development.

  • Acts as an ambassador for the sport and positively influences the development of programmes to  improve rider/driver experiences.

  • Understands participant pathways into and across equestrian sports.

  • Understands the importance of self-reflection and self-directed development.

Key information

Dates and timescales

Deadline for applications 11:59pm, 17 September 2023
Interviews w/c 2 October 2023
Workshop days:
Workshop 1 and 2 11 and 12 December 2023
Workshop 3 23 April 2024
Workshop 4 9 July 2024
Workshop 5 8 October 2024
Workshop 6 28 January 2025
Workshop 7 and 8 29 and 30 April 2025


The programme is part funded by Sport England and part self-funded, the overall cost of the programme is £750, with candidates required to pay £500 in two instalments over the duration of the programme.

How to apply

Application to this programme is via the application form below. Please look closely at the criteria for the high-performing grassroots coach so that you are able to show how you currently demonstrate some of these.


If you have any questions, please contact our Training and Education Team at