Demand for properly-qualified coaches may outstrip supply because of increased interest in the Olympics and forthcoming Commonwealth Games, the sport minister has heard.
Shona Robison was asked if she thinks volunteers will have to step up to take on roles in community sport which are supposed to be filled by people with formal training.
The concern was raised by Bob Doris, deputy convener of Holyrood's Health and Sport Committee.
"Yes, I fully support the professionalisation and the certification of best practice in coaching, but if it's not possible to fully meet that demand, are we going to have to look more at volunteer coaches that are working towards qualification?" he said.
Government agency sportscotland aims to make coaching more professionally regulated and will assess supply and demand, according to its framework for the years 2011 to 2015.
Ms Robison, minister for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, said: "There is a balance to be struck. You have to make sure that clubs are run in a proper way and people have the right training and support. It was why the framework was developed in the first place, to make sure that there's proper training underpinning those positions in club.
"The whole volunteer workforce is key to all of that, in making sure that we support volunteers to really help us deliver that expansion of capacity. People volunteer at different levels. Some will want to become coaches, some will want to help with the club in a more informal way."
The committee has previously heard from Andy Murray's tennis coach mum Judy Murray and former distance runner Liz McColgan. They both warned that more effort must be put into supporting young people with accessible, affordable facilities and quality coaching.
Ms Murray said there is enormous opportunity to harness people's imagination after the London Olympics. Ms McColgan warned that current conditions for sport provision are "a sad state of affairs".
As well as general support, the committee is looking at the contribution of volunteers, the benefits of local sports clubs and the facilities available across the country.