Glossary of Terms

In order to foster better understanding between national assosciations, you will find below a definitions based on those used in ITF and European Union documents of many of the key words and phrases used in this website. Glossary (printable version).

Certification & Recognition

Awarding Body

Accreditation (of programs, institution)

Program (of education and training)

Certification (of knowledge, skills and competencies)


Coaching Licence



Qualifications Framework


Regulated Profession

Modes of Learning

Continuing Education & Training

Lifelong Learning

Formal Learning

Informal Learning

Non-formal Learning

Program (of education and training)

Validation (of non-formal and informal learning)

Competency Terminology


Competency (Tennis Australia)

Learning Outcome

Performance Criteria

Description of Standard



Formal Assessment

Formative Assessment

Independent Assessment

Informal Assessment

Internal Assessment

Summative Assessment


Learner-centred Coaching Philosophy

Holistic Approach

A body issuing qualifications (certificates or diplomas) formally recognising the achievements of an individual, following a standard assessment procedure.

Process of accrediting an institution of education or training, a programme of study, or a service, showing it has been approved by the relevant legislative and professional authorities by having met predetermined standards.

An inventory of activities, learning content and/or methods implemented to achieve education or training objectives (acquiring knowledge, skills or competences), organised in a logical sequence over a specified period of time.

The process of formally validating knowledge, know-how and/or skills and competences acquired by an individual, following a standard assessment procedure. Certificates or diplomas are issued by accredited awarding bodies.

An official document, issued by an awarding body, which records the achievements of an individual following a standard assessment procedure.

The following description of coaching licence is taken from ‘ECC 5-level review’ document (chapter 8.3 Coaching licence):

‘The sport-specific coaching licence should act as a registration and recognition system overseen and validated by the national sports federations supported by the international federations and, if needed, by the national competent authority. The coaching licence will be the primary criterion for the recognition of the coaches’ mastery of the practical demands and competencies of sports coaching.’

A meta-framework can be understood as a means of enabling one framework of qualifications to relate to others and subsequently for one qualification to relate to others that are normally located in another framework. The meta-framework aims to create confidence and trust in relating qualifications across countries and sectors by defining principles for the ways quality assurance processes, guidance and information and mechanisms for credit transfer and accumulation can operate so that the transparency necessary at national and sectoral levels can also be available internationally.

A qualification is achieved when a competent body determines that an individual's learning has reached a specified standard of knowledge, skills and wider competences. The standard of learning outcomes is confirmed by means of an assessment process or the successful completion of a course of study. Learning and assessment for a qualification can take place through a programme of study and/or work place experience. A qualification confers official recognition of value in the labour market and in further education and training. A qualification can be a legal entitlement to practice a trade.

A qualifications framework is an instrument for the development and classification of qualifications according to a set of criteria for levels of learning achieved. This set of criteria may be implicit in the qualifications descriptors themselves or made explicit in the form of a set of level descriptors. The scope of frameworks may be comprehensive of all learning achievement and pathways or may be confined to a particular sector, for example initial education, adult education and training or an occupational area.

Some frameworks may have more design elements and a tighter structure than others; some may have a legal basis whereas others represent a consensus of views of social partners. All qualifications frameworks, however, establish a basis for improving the quality, accessibility, linkages and public or labour market recognition of qualifications within a country and internationally.

a) Formal recognition: the process of granting official status to skills and competences either
    - through the award of certificates or
    - through the grant of equivalence, credit units, validation of gained skills and/or competences and/or
(b) social recognition: the acknowledgement of the value of skills and/or competences by economic and social stakeholders.

Professional activity or group of professional activities access to which, and the practice of which (or to one of its forms) is directly or indirectly subject to legislative, regulatory or administrative provisions concerning the possession of specific professional qualifications.

Education or training after initial education or entry into working life, aimed at helping individuals to:

  • improve or update their knowledge and/or skills
  • acquire new skills for a career move or retraining;
  • continue their personal or professional development.

All learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and/or qualifications for personal, social and/or professional reasons.

Learning that occurs in an organised and structured environment (in a school/training centre or on the job) and is explicitly designated as learning (in terms of objectives, time or resources). Formal learning is intentional from the learner’s point of view. It typically leads to certification.

Learning resulting from daily activities related to work, family or leisure. It is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support. Informal learning is in most cases unintentional from the learner’s perspective. It typically does not lead to certification.

Learning which is embedded in planned activities not explicitly designated as learning (in terms of learning objectives, learning time or learning support), but which contain an important learning element. Non-formal learning is intentional from the learner’s point of view. It normally does not lead to certification.

An inventory of activities, learning content and/or methods implemented to achieve education or training objectives (acquiring knowledge, skills or competences), organised in a logical sequence over a specified period of time.

The process of assessing and recognising a wide range of knowledge, know-how, skills and competences, which people develop throughout their lives within different environments, for example through education, work and leisure activities.


Competence includes:

  1. cognitive competence involving the use of theory and concepts, as well as informal tacit knowledge gained experientially;
  2. functional competence (skills or know-how), those things that a person should be able to do when they are functioning in a given area of work, learning or social activity;
  3. personal competence involving knowing how to conduct oneself in a specific situation; and
  4. ethical competence involving the possession of certain personal and professional values.

Application of ?specific knowledge and skill to a required standard of performance in a given situation.

The set of knowledge, skills and/or competences an individual has acquired and/or is able to demonstrate after completion of a learning process. Learning outcomes are statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to do at the end of a period of learning.

Performance criteria are the elements which shows that the candidate has demonstrate the competence related to specific task - Learning outcome. 

Description of performance standard define the achieved level of competency in given Performance criteria. 

A set of actions followed when setting up a training course: it includes defining training goals, content, methods (including assessment) and material, as well as arrangements for training teachers and trainers.

The sum of methods and processes used to evaluate the attainments (knowledge, know-how, skills and competences) of an individual, and typically leading to certification.

A form of assessment that is highly structured and is often used to make some form of judgement as to a person’s learning or presentation of a skill: for example, a written test.

A form of assessment that provides feedback to the candidate and is used to improve the quality of learning and to inform the learning process, and should not be evaluative or involve grading of candidates. 

A form of assessment of candidate coaches that is carried out by assessors who do not have vested interests in the outcome. 

A form of assessment that allows a candidate to practice the assessment activity or provide opportunities to gauge learning that may not contribute to the final achievement of the qualification. 

A form of assessment where tasks are set and candidate coaches' practices and work is assessed wholly within the candidate coach’s centre, subject (where appropriate) to external moderation or verification. 

A form of assessment that is primarily used to check learning at the end of a programme. 

Facilitated learning is where the students are encouraged to take more control of their learning process. During facilitated learning the trainer supports and facilitates the participants who develop and shape their own learning goals and achievements. The trainer's role becomes that of a facilitator and organiser providing resources and support to learners. 

Learner-centred teaching stems from the realisation that not all methods of teaching are equal. A learner-centred process includes:

  • Giving the player a clear picture of where they are at currently (awareness)
  • Shaping a strategy for the player to progress towards achieving their goals (goal-setting)
  • Determining what the player is willing to do to get to their goals (commitment)

By applying this approach coach is focused on complete systems rather than with individual parts. The Holistic approach to player development (sometimes also called the "Global" approach) simply recognizes that there is much more than stroke execution (technique).

There are 4 "Performance Factors" that go into a match perfomance:

  1. Psychological (including Mental, Emotional and Social),
  2. Physical,
  3. Tactical,
  4. Technical.