Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

School of Behavioural and Health Sciences

Unit rationale, description and aim

This micro-credential aims to provide students with an understanding of the role of the coach and their coaching practices in creating an environment that promotes the health, safety, and wellbeing of children in sport. Poor coaching practices and toxic sporting environments are known to create an unacceptable risk to the safety and wellbeing of children. Children are highly influenced by their coaches. The effects of poor coaching practice and culture can have a long term and debilitating effect on a child’s overall development and wellbeing. Through the adoption and understanding of positive coaching practices, coaches can protect children from harm and create a safe and inclusive environment for all children. In this micro-credential students will explore the factors associated with risk within the coaching environment and the potential negative impact of poor coaching practices, as well as the pivotal role of the coach in facilitating the health, safety, and wellbeing of children in a sporting environment.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify factors associated with risk in the sports environment (GA1, GA5)

LO2 - Understand the impact of the sport environment on the health, safety, and wellbeing of children (GA2)

LO3 - Apply the coaching roles and practices that can be used to promote health, safety, and wellbeing of children in sport (GA1, GA2, GA5)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 


Topics will include:

·       Factors that lead to a ‘risky’ sport coaching environment for children including coach-athlete relationships and other stakeholders (e.g., parents, schools, clubs, sponsors).

·       Physical and psychological impacts of high-risk sport coaching environments on the health, safety, and wellbeing of children.

·       Leadership and organisational practices to reduce risk and promote the health, safety, and wellbeing of children in sport.

·       Empowerment of the child and acknowledgment of the importance of the child’s voice, fostering an environment where children feel comfortable to speak up.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, case-based learning, online learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities. These strategies will provide students with access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for application of this learning in sport coaching contexts. These strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the microcredential. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessments offer an authentic learning opportunity that will be transferable to a work situation, and includes (1) a risk assessment of a sport coaching environment, and (2) an action plan (presented in an appropriate format) for managing risk within a sport coaching environment to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of children. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Students will be required to conduct a risk assessment of their own sport coaching environment.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA5

Students will be required to develop an action plan as to how they will manage risk within their sport coaching environment to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of children.


LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA5

Representative texts and references

Australian Human Rights Commission (2021). Change the Routine: Report on the Independent Review into Gymnastics in Australia. Retrieved from

Horn, T.S., (2019). Examining the impact of coaches’ feedback patterns on the psychosocial well-being of youth sport athletes. Kinesiology Review, 8, 244-251.

Jacobs, F., Smits, F., & Knoppers, A. (2017). 'You don’t realize what you see!': the institutional       context of emotional abuse in elite youth sport. Sport in Society, 20(1), 126-143.

Kerr, G., & Stirling, A. (2019). Where is safeguarding in sport psychology research and     practice?. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 31(4), 367-384.

Kingston, K., Wixey, D. J., & Morgan, K. (2020). Monitoring the Climate: Exploring the Psychological Environment in an Elite Soccer Academy. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 32(3), 297–314.

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