If you are passionate about surfing and want to make a difference in the sport you love, coaching is a great opportunity to get involved.

This page will help you select the right coaching course and guide you through the accreditation process.

Surf Coaching Courses

Foundation Surf Coaching

Want the best job in the world? Start your career in surf coaching today with the Foundation Surf Coaching Course.

You’ll learn how to introduce beginner surfers to the sport in a safe, fun and supportive manner that goes beyond the simple instruction of skill.

You’ll also be eligible for nationwide employment as a coach at any of our 100+ Surfing Australia affiliated surf schools.

Progression Surf Coaching

Becoming a Progression Surf Coach is a fulfilling experience where you’ll give intermediate and advanced surfers the opportunity to further develop their skills both in and out of the water.

You’ll support surfers in their technical, physical and psychological development as they transition to more advanced levels of surfing and for some, a competitive career.

Note: you must have held a Foundation Surf Coach accreditation for a 12 month period before you can enrol in this course.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How have surf coaching accreditations changed?

In 2019, Surfing Australia and its state associations commenced a major update to align our coaching pathway with the Australian Sports Commission’s National Coaching Accreditation Scheme. 

The coaching pathway now has three levels of accreditation: Foundation, Progression and Elite. These levels have replaced the previous Level 1 and Level 2 accreditations.

The Level 1 Surf Coaching course is now called Foundation Surf Coaching and the Level 2 Surf Coaching course is now called Progression Surf Coaching. The Elite Surf Coaching course is currently in development and will give a select group of Australian coaches the knowledge and skills required to work with athletes at the highest level of our sport.

Have the courses changed?

Yes, the two day face to face components of both courses is now delivered online via Surfing Australia’s learning management system. This means that people can access coaching courses 24/7 and are no longer restricted by a limited number of courses in select locations.

All course materials have undergone an extensive review and include the latest coaching techniques used by Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). Surfing Australia has also invested heavily in the development of engaging, interactive content to deliver an industry-leading online learning experience.

Both courses still include 20 hours of practical coaching experience to ensure the highest level of coaching competency and safety standards. These hours can be completed in our network of 40+ affiliated surf schools or with independent operators that hold a current Surfing Australia coaching accreditation.

Which course is right for me?

This depends on the level of surfer you intend to work with.

The Foundation Surf Coaching course will teach you how to introduce beginner surfers to the sport in a safe, fun and supportive manner. You’ll learn how to identify and manage risks and provide a safe environment for surfers to develop their skills. This course is best suited to those seeking employment in a Surfing Australia affiliated surf school.

Once you have held your Foundation Surf Coach accreditation for a 12 month period, you will be eligible to enrol in the Progression Surf Coaching course.

The Progression Surf Coaching course will give you the skills and knowledge to support surfers both in and out of the water. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the technical, physical and psychological elements of competitive surfing to help athletes progress to more advanced levels of surfing. This course is best suited to those looking to run their own intermediate and advanced coaching programs.


What is the difference between a course and an accreditation?

Once you have completed a Surfing Australia coaching course, you are required to obtain several supporting qualifications before you can become an accredited coach. These qualifications include (but are not limited to) ocean safety, first aid and a Working with Children Check.

Below is a detailed list of these supporting qualifications and their associated costs. These are all administered by external training organisations and the prices listed below are those currently provided by the Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA) in 2021.

Ocean Safety (Surf Rescue Certificate, Bronze Medallion, Ocean Safety Surf Coach Award or equivalent)

  • Currency for 1 year
  • $77

First Aid (HLTAID003)

  • Currency for 3 years
  • $143

CPR (HLTAID001) – IMPORTANT NOTE: HLTAID001 is an included competency in all first aid courses

  • Currency for 1 year
  • $66

NSW Working with Children Check

  • Currency for 5 years
  • $80

NSW Coaching and Judging Membership

  • Currency for 1 year
  • $15
How much does it cost to become a surf coach?

Based on the prices above, the all-inclusive cost to become a Surfing Australia accredited coach is $725.

Surfing Australia and Surfing NSW charge an annual renewal fee that totals $55 and the all-inclusive cost to maintain the accreditation (including all supporting qualifications) is $255 per year.

Will I get a certificate?

You will receive a certificate upon completion of your course, but the validity of your accreditation is determined by your credentials i.e. if your first aid was to expire, your accreditation would no longer be active.

If your employer requires a certificate in the interim, you can use the course completion certificate you received after finishing your online learning and practical coaching hours.

What is the Surfing Portal?

The Surfing Portal or Go Membership is a web based application for member management that is used by national and state sporting associations. Surfing New South Wales uses this application to manage all memberships, event entries and accreditations for its network of surfers, coaches, judges, and officials.

Coaches can access the Surfing Portal for free and use it as a central location for all accreditation documents, with automated reminders letting you know if something is coming up to expiry.

If you’re working in an affiliated surf school, it also allows your employer to view the status of your accreditation. The owner/operator or supervisor has a legal obligation to ensure your accreditation is active and meets all state-based requirements.

Detailed video tutorials for the Surfing Portal are available here or you can contact customer support on (02) 6671 0000 .

Why are there different names in the Surfing Portal?

There are a few naming conventions in Go Membership that are different to the language we normally use for coaching accreditations. These names are configured at a system level and unfortunately cannot be changed from sport to sport.

  • A “qualification” refers to your accreditation e.g. Foundation Surf Coach
  • A “credential” refers to a supporting qualification that is required to keep your accreditation current or “active”
  • “Active” is the status of your accreditation when it is current
  • “In Progress” means there are still outstanding tasks that need to be completed before you accreditation becomes active

SUP Coaching Courses

Foundation SUP Coaching

Want the best job in the world? Start your career in coaching today with the Foundation SUP Coaching Course.

The role of a Surfing Australia Foundation SUP Coach is to introduce beginner stand-up paddle boarders to the sport in a safe, fun and supportive manner that goes beyond the simple instruction of skill.

You’ll also be eligible for nationwide employment as a coach at any of our 100+ Surfing Australia affiliated surf and SUP schools.

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Events & Courses

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