UEFA's Certificate in Football Management programme is benefitting European football, with England's Football Association staging its first graduation ceremony.
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England's Football Association (FA) – which along with the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) is one of two national associations piloting UEFA's innovative Certificate in Football Management (CFM) education programme as a national concept – has staged its first graduation ceremony at the association's St George's Park national football centre.
Twenty FA staff members participated in the UEFA CFM's English pilot-phase edition, the FA having agreed last year to pilot a specific national version of the course to meet the growing demand and interest in the UEFA initiative from other European associations.
Graduates also took the opportunity at the ceremony to present their work, identify key positive points from the pilot and propose ideas for future versions. FA general secretary Alex Horne was at the ceremony to present graduation certificates to the candidates. Four participants - Victoria Head, Hannah Buckley, Dermot Collins and Darren Lawrence - presented their key conclusions from their final assignment, and Mick Baikie thanked both Alex Horne and UEFA on behalf of the participants for giving them this valuable opportunity.
UEFA's CFM programme is linked to UEFA's Knowledge & Information Sharing Scenario (KISS) and aims to help UEFA's member associations reinforce their knowledge and management of sports, especially football. The national edition concept is a natural evolution from the existing UEFA CFM format, and could allow more people from national associations to enrol in the scheme.
The UEFA CFM is aimed at developing the theoretical and practical knowledge of middle managers in the European football associations, thereby contributing to the diffusion of up-to-date management techniques and best practices among the associations, and enabling participants to master the knowledge and skills that are expected of future senior executives.
The content of the six online modules is the same as in the previous international edition of the CFM programme, but the associations organising a national edition of the UEFA CFM have the chance to involve local experts in the face-to-face seminars staged during the course. UEFA also sends experts to assist, while the professors who devised the online modules continue to oversee the face-to-face seminars. The Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP) at the University of Lausanne supervise the marking of the participants' reports at the end of their studies, and ultimately issues the Certificate in Football Management.
The FA edition of the UEFA CFM has spanned a six-month period, and has comprised online learning modules, face-to-face seminars and networking opportunities. Topics covered included the organisation of football; strategic and performance management of a football association; operational management of a football association; football event management; football marketing and sponsorship; and internal and external communications in football associations.