The KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association) and NMC Bright introduced the Quality & Performance Program for youth academies in the 2014/’15 season. The aim of this program is to certify the clubs’ academies and support them in developing and improving their youth academy programs. Over the years, the Quality & Performance program has gained in popularity and as of now more than one hundred amateur clubs have participated in this program!
One of the clubs that participated in the 2017/’18 season is HV&CV Cuick from The Hague, which was awarded the Regional youth academy certificate. Head of Academy, Arjan de Wit: “For us, participation in the Q&P program was mandatory in order to meet the KNVB’s licensing terms. At first, we were sceptical about the program and what it could do for our academy. Eventually, however, the program has been very useful! Because we were able to provide the KNVB and NMC Bright with a lot of data they were prepared and able to translate their findings and implement them directly into our organization. In my opinion, the practical implication of this program is key to its success”.
Audit & Review
The Q&P program exists out of both an audit and a review. The audit focuses on the club’s strengths and identifies what could be improved, in which the club’s identity, culture and ambitions serve as the starting point. Furthermore, the audit is where the club gets the opportunity to be certified the ‘local’ or ‘regional’ youth academy certificate. Simultaneously, this step provides the KNVB and NMC Bright with a better insight into the club, which helps in the preparations for the next step; the review. This step focuses primarily on the improvement of the youth academy.
Loek Heijnen at SV Julian ’31: “In cooperation with experienced specialists we have been able to define concrete ideas and ‘next steps’ for our club. These specialists have given us advice about the vision of our youth academy; what should be included and how do we present it in such a way that it is clear for everyone. In addition, we have discussed a variety of ways to reorganise our youth teams. In short, we want to offer our players more and better-quality training sessions, an idea that was welcomed with open arms”.
Recertifications have started
Meanwhile, the recertification period for the 2018/’19 season has started. Once a club gets awarded a status it remains active for a duration of 3 years. The recertification period provides clubs with the possibility to extend their certification. DVS’33, a club located in Ermelo, is the first club that successfully extended their ‘Regional’ youth academy certificate for 3 more years.
“This recertification is a nice way to see how we have developed over the years” says Jack van Santen, academy coordinator at DVS’33. “We have been given an extremely accurate insight into our youth academy, which highlighted the aspects that still need improvements. We are very proud that we were one of the first clubs in the 2014/’15 season to be awarded the ‘Regional’ youth academy status, and now are the first amateur club to get recertified.”