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Grassroots Diploma

Grassroots Diploma

Overview: The Ontario Soccer Grassroots Diploma supports the coach in the grassroots and competitive environments.

Grassroots soccer is all soccer that is non-professional and non-elite. This includes, but is not limited to, children's, schools and youth, amateur, soccer for disabled players, and walking soccer.

Target Coach: The Grassroots Diploma is a requirement for U13 OPDL Assistant Coaches, Ontario Cup Head Coaches and IModel Pilot Project Head Coaches but is open to all coaches looking to advance their careers and understanding of the game. Please refer to each league’s rules & regulations for up-to-date information on Coach Licensing Requirements.

Course Duration: 35 hours

Learning Environment:

  • 2 days, In-person (On-field)
  • Independent Online Learning (asynchronous)
  • Collaborative Online Learning (synchronous)
  • Assessment of Understanding

Maximum Number of Candidates: 36


Course Fee: $800

Licence Validity: Upon successful completion of the Ontario Soccer Grassroots Diploma the coach will receive a coaching licence valid for five (5) years. The licence may be maintained by following the Ontario Soccer Maintenance and Renewal Process.

Structure of the Grassroots Diploma
Intensive Delivery: the course will consist of four (4) in-person days which include classroom & on-field components

Blended Delivery: the course will consist of eight (8) online sessions and two (2) on-field practical sessions.

2024 Course Dates

Courses are currently in progress with additional courses being announced for summer and fall 2024.

Please note: 100% attendance and engagement is required for the duration of the course. Coaches must be in a workspace that allows them to actively participate in the course online with their cameras on


Coaches are required to apply for the course via Jotform, providing proof of their completion of the pre-requisites.

Failure to adhere to the schedule and expectations may result in a coach's removal from the course with an administrative penalty of $150 being levied for being re-assigned to a new course. This includes if an individual registers for the course without the correct pre-requisites as listed above. Courses are required to attend on time and fully complete ALL components of the course. Refunds will be provided up until 1 week before the course with a $150 administrative fee to process the refund.

Changes to the Coaching Education Pathway in Ontario

Ontario Soccer supports the Canada Soccer Advanced Coach Education Program through the provincial delivery of the Canada Soccer C Diploma (formerly known as the National C Licence). Effective in 2024, the Canada Soccer C Diploma (to be renamed the Concacaf C Diploma in the future) has undergone significant development to align with the Concacaf Coaching Convention; most notably the expansion of content and contact hours (previously 32 hours to over 70 hours).

This new C Diploma course is significant in scope and the commitment demanded of coaches - so Ontario Soccer, with the support of Canada Soccer – have developed a new course to offer further education and address the needs of an entry-level coach.

Despite initially being branded as the “D Diploma”, this course will be piloted and launched as the Ontario Soccer Grassroots Diploma through 2024. A comparative chart is included below to assist with understanding these changes.


Canada Soccer National C Licence

(Pre-2024 - no longer offered)

Ontario Soccer Grassroots Diploma

(NEW 2024)

Canada Soccer C Diploma

(NEW 2024)

Cost $850 $800 $1650
Hours 32 hours 35 hours 75 hours
Learning Environment

1 day, in-person (on-field)

8x 2-hour online sessions

Observation of Competency

2 day, in-person (on-field)

8x 1.5-hour online sessions

Assessment of Understanding

6 days, in-person (classroom & on-field)

3x 2-hour online sessions

Assessment of Competency

Minimum Certification Requirement to Access Competitions

OPDL Assistant Coach

L1O 'B' & U20 Team Assistant Coach

IModel Pilot Project Head Coach

U13 OPDL Assistant Coach

IModel Pilot Project Head Coach

Ontario Cup Head Coach

U13 OPDL Head Coach

U14-17 OPDL Assistant Coach

L1O 'B' & U20 Team Assistant Coach

Pre-requisite Learn to Train or Soccer for Life (Trained) Learn to Train or Soccer for Life (Trained) Learn to Train or Soccer for Life (Trained) or Ontario Soccer Grassroots Diploma (Certified)

*The Safe Sport Roster, in full, is a requirement across all levels (except for Recreational soccer) in Ontario 

The changes relative to access to competitions are recommended for 2024 and will be fully mandated as minimum certification requirements for 2025.

Please note: Coaches who hold a valid National ‘C’ Licence trained or certified status will continue to be recognized until such a time as an upgrade or transition process is announced by Ontario Soccer and Canada Soccer. Coaches can also be provided an opportunity to submit a Coach Development Plan as they work to achieve the required certifications.