1st4sport Qualifications: New boost for school sport and the Olympic legacy


1st4sport Qualifications is delighted to announce a new suite of qualifications for those who want to work in physical education and school sport.

Developed in partnership with the Association for Physical Education (afPE), and with the support of Compass, the 1st4sport Physical Education and School Sport Suite is a set of qualifications that introduce learners to a number of roles in providing physical education and school sport, including:

  • Higher level teaching assistant (HLTA)
  • Teaching assistant (TA)
  • Sports development officer
  • Sports coach, volunteer and leader operating in a school environment

These qualifications develop learners’ knowledge and skills to support the delivery of PE and sport activities in a school environment.

This suite comprises three qualifications:

The qualifications are perfect for those who already work, or have aspirations to work, in a school sport setting, and can also be used in these apprenticeships:

Head of Qualifications Development at 1st4sport Qualifications James Robinson said:

“1st4sport Qualifications has developed these new qualifications to help raise the standards of those delivering PE and school sport activities. More and more schools are turning to external organisations to provide sports coaches and/or leaders to support their PE programmes. Although these coaches/leaders have the technical knowledge of physical activity and sport, they don’t necessarily know how to impart it to pupils in a school sport setting. The 1st4sport Physical Education and School Sport Suite of qualifications expand on learners’ technical knowledge of physical activity and sport, and provide them with a greater understanding of the programmes of study for physical education, national curriculum and environment in which they will be operating.”

Chief Executive at Compass Martin Gallagher said:

“With the government’s commitment to school sport, and increased investment, there has never been a better time for schools to work more closely with professional providers of sport and physical activity. We will be ensuring our members, organisations that are deploying children’s activity providers in schools, see these qualifications as the minimum operating standards for their employees to be able to support schools with the delivery of their physical activity programmes.”

The development of these qualifications is also seen as a further effort to help build on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Strategic Lead at afPE Sue Wilkinson said:

“We have an opportunity to ensure that we have the best equipped workforce to ensure a sustainable legacy for PE and school sport. These new bespoke qualifications will upskill colleagues supporting curriculum delivery and school sport. Our expectation is that by 2015 any adult supporting teachers in a physical education or school sport capacity should be qualified to a Level 2 National Governing Body (NGB) Award and working towards a Level 3 Certificate in Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport or equivalent.

“Sport emanates from good quality physical education, and we hope that teachers and other adults will work together to create a legacy.”

Any organisation looking to offer these qualifications needs to become a 1st4sport recognised centre, and approved to deliver the qualification(s). You can find out more about how to do this by downloading the Centre Recognition Criteria and Qualification Approval Criteria Forms for the respective qualifications.

For further information visit www.1st4sportqualifications.com or email enquiries@1st4sportqualifications.com.


Introducing Lifetime Awarding

Lifetime Awarding LogoLifetime Awarding is an Ofqual-regulated awarding organisation with an innovative and dynamic approach. We provide a range of vocational qualifications to FE colleges, training providers and employers, enabling them to achieve their objectives by offering qualifications that are fit for purpose.

We develop off-the-shelf, customised and fully bespoke qualifications across a growing number of sectors:

Active Leisure – Business Skills – Childcare – Health and Social Care – Hospitality and Catering – IT – Preparation for Life and Work – Retail – Sales and Warehousing – Distribution.

Maintaining relevant, up to date and first class qualifications is only part of what we do at Lifetime Awarding. We’re always moving into new sectors or rapidly expanding the portfolio in our current ones.

Moving with the times

Since we are an industry-regulated body, embracing change is not just a requirement for us; we see change as an exciting challenge. Vocational education, particularly apprenticeships are quickly evolving and we’re working hard to make sure we’re at the forefront of those changes, ensuring that our customers can deliver cutting-edge, credible qualifications that really work for the sector. This is why we have such a collaborative approach to working with training providers and employers so that we can achieve the goals we set out.

When you work with Lifetime Awarding, you’re working with experts. Our External Quality Assurance Consultants (EQACs) are experts in their own field so when one of our EQACs comes to visit you, you’re in capable hands.

If you asked our customers what the best thing about working with Lifetime Awarding was, they may tell you about our competitive and transparent fees. Perhaps they may quote the dedicated support they receive through our Customer Support Coordinators or even our easy to use and intuitive online registration and certification system. One of our approved centres, Somerset College of Arts and Technology said they were particularly impressed by our two day certificate turnaround time.

Switching is simple and straightforward

We remove the hassle of switching. If you are already approved with another Ofqual-approved awarding organisation, you can send a recent EV report from the relevant sector along with your application form and we’ll get the ball rolling. Even better, there is no approval fee for providers assessed as ‘low risk’ and no annual fees to worry about.

We set out to make a difference and working in partnership with you can only extend that aim.

No quibbles, no fuss, it’s high-quality education and facilitating the learner journey that we’re more interested in.

Find out more by visiting our website, or emailing direct on contactus@lifetimeawarding.co.uk.

Blog: New Physical Education and School Sport Qualifications explained


James Robinson, Head of Qualification Development at 1st4sport Qualifications, shares some of the background and his views.

Here, he explains how the new Physical Education and School Sport Suite of qualifications came about, and why he feels they could make a significant contribution to raising the standard of delivery of physical education and school sport. The Suite includes:

What does 1st4sport Qualifications do?

As an awarding organisation regulated by Ofqual and the SQA, our job is to develop qualifications that meet the industry’s needs, support our recognised centres in the delivery of our qualifications to learners, and provide the quality assurance in the awarding of those qualifications that satisfies the regulators.

We do this predominantly by working in a pretty unique partnership with a variety of organisations, including SkillsActive, to develop and award qualifications for the Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being sector.

How did the chance to develop these qualifications come about?

Although coaching, through our partnership working with governing bodies of sport, is our prime area of expertise, we have recently invested in developments in the emerging area of physical education and school sport (PESS).

The original opportunity was presented to us by the Association for Physical Education (afPE). afPE provides quality assured services and resources, and valuable professional support for its members and the physical education and sport profession. Its aspiration was to work with 1st4sport to rejuvenate its unaccredited training for adults supporting learners, primarily targeted at learners working towards the now defunct 14–19 Diploma (remember those?), and develop it into an accredited qualification specifically designed for young learners interested in pursuing a career, or further learning opportunities, in the area of PESS.

As the future of the 14–19 Diploma became increasingly uncertain, we felt that the qualification could not only be used as a springboard to further opportunities in PESS, but also as a valuable piece of CPD for those already employed and/or contributing to PESS activities, such as sports leaders and coaches. As more and more coaches are being utilised by schools, we (afPE and 1st4sport) felt that developing the knowledge and skills of how coaches could apply their technical expertise in a PESS environment, to work alongside teachers to meet the physical development needs of pupils, could really help deliver afPE’s vision of high quality PE in schools. This proposal was put to SkillsActive, which, through its engagement with employers, also felt it was a great idea. Hence the 1st4sport Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Learning in Physical Education and School Sport (QCF) was created. SkillsActive duly included it in the Intermediate Apprenticeship in Activity Leadership (through creating a new ‘leadership’ pathway to that framework), making it even more pertinent and attractive to the industry.

Why were these new Level 3 qualifications developed?

Due to the rapid growth and success of the 1st4sport Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Learning in Physical Education and School Sport (QCF), employers and colleges alike were crying out for a qualification for their learners to progress to. As we began research into the development of a Level 3 with afPE, SkillsActive invited other interested AOs to work in collaboration with the Compass to develop further provision in this area to meet the needs of employers, as identified by some extensive research carried out by Compass. As our research (with afPE) came out with almost identical outcomes to that completed by Compass, it was felt that we were the best-placed AO to lead such a development. This led to the evolution of both the 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport (QCF) and 1st4sport Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport (QCF).

What do you hope the qualifications will achieve?

1st4sport Qualifications has developed these new qualifications to help raise the standards of those delivering PESS activities. More and more schools are turning to external organisations to provide sports coaches and/or leaders to support their PE programmes. Although these coaches/leaders have the technical knowledge of physical activity and sport, they don’t necessarily know how to impart it to pupils in a school sport setting. The qualifications in the 1st4sport Physical Education and School Sport Suite expand on learners’ technical knowledge of physical activity and sport, and provide them with a greater understanding of the programmes of study for physical education, national curriculum and environment in which they will be operating.

Colleges are finding the qualifications particularly attractive as they require the learner to operate and be assessed delivering PE activities in a school, adding further value to their work placement and sports programmes, and allowing their students to gain industry-recognised qualifications that are valued by employers.

Furthermore, these qualifications introduce learners to a number of roles in providing PESS, including:

  • Children’s activity professional
  • Sports coach, volunteer and leader operating in a school environment
  • Higher level teaching assistant (HLTA)
  • Teaching assistant (TA)
  • Sports development officer

Moreover, they’ve become fundamental qualifications for those looking to gain industry recognition and acknowledgement through SkillsActive’s new register for this area, the Children’s Activity Professionals Register (Capre).

Another significant breakthrough to support the emergence and professionalisation of the industry has been provided through the foresight of SkillsActive, as well as a demand from employers, with the creation of a new apprenticeship for this area – the Advanced Apprenticeship in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Physical Education and School Sport – which has recently become approved and is now available for funding (for those eligible).

We believe these qualifications could make a significant contribution to raising the standard of delivery for coaches contributing to, and supporting/working alongside teachers in, the delivery of PESS. Employers such as Fit for Sport, Evolve Education, Premier Sport, the Premier League and The FA are all excited about their development, with the latter making them an essential component for its skills coaches operating in primary schools.

How can organisations offer the qualifications?

Any organisation looking to offer these qualifications needs to become a 1st4sport recognised centre, and approved to deliver the qualification(s). You can find out more about how to do this by downloading the Centre Recognition Criteria and Qualification Approval Criteria Forms for the relevant qualifications.

For further information visit www.1st4sportqualifications.com or email enquiries@1st4sportqualifications.com.

HABC makes a splash with pool lifeguarding qualification


In 2011, Highfield Awarding Body of Compliance (HABC) launched its first ever pool lifeguarding qualifications.

Although previously better known for qualifications in fields such as food safety, security, first aid and health and safety – and an enviable list of clients including McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Heinz – it was the first time that HABC had launched a qualification for a sector within the SkillsActive footprint.

Brands now working with HABC include Lifespan UK, which provides training for Virgin Active – one of the UK’s largest employers of lifeguards in the leisure industry with over 100 sites across the country. Holgates, which runs a number of touring, camping and holiday home sites across the country, are also a client.  Joanne Holgate, Director, puts it down the customer service that HABC is able to offer, saying:

“We’ve commenced using HABC’s pool lifeguard qualifications for both our own staff lifeguarding qualifications and for new candidate lifeguards.  The customer support and assistance we receive from HABC is exceptional.”

For educators, one of the biggest factors to switching to HABC has been how easy HABC has made that process.  Gordon Potts, Trainer at Sport Central Northumbria University, said:

“The University is delighted with the change from our previous provider. Our lifeguards undertook the few changes between our previous qualification and HABC’s qualification during norming in-house lifeguard training sessions.”

Adam Chaplin, a trainer at Aquafyn Training Ltd echoed that sentiment:

“HABC made a daunting task of converting awarding bodies the easiest decision we have ever made” he said. “Sometimes when looking at swapping awarding organisation, whilst there is a big cost saving you often receive less of a service.  However, this wasn’t the case. Not only did we save money but the service we received far surpassed any we had received before.”

Local authority leisure trusts have been quick to see the benefits too, particularly in terms of ensuring that local rate payers receive value for money whilst improving training standards and maintaining public safety.  Jon Whitely, Head of Community Engagement at Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, said:

“Since transferring to HABC we have realised a number of significant benefits from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective, namely reducing re-validation costs, increasing profitability, supporting workforce development strategies and much faster provision of course literature and certification.”

Shirley Brown, Training Manager at North Country Leisure in Northumberland, adds:

“Not only is the qualification the most cost-effective on the market, but the supporting training materials are of the high quality we’ve come to expect from Highfield. Certification time is also extremely quick and we feel we’re being listened to by our HABC account manager.”

For more information on HABC’s lifeguarding qualifications click here or email HABC direct on info@highfieldabc.com.

The SkillsActive Endorsement Panel Explained


The SkillsActive Endorsement Panel is made up of industry experts who currently tutor and assess training programmes covering: private Training Providers, Higher Education Institutions, colleges and freelance trainers, ensuring that they are kept up to date with current practice.

The Endorsement Panel are responsible for making governance decisions surrounding SkillsActive Endorsement and for discussing submissions from prospective and current Training Providers applying for Endorsement. The panel meets quarterly and is serviced and attended by the SkillsActive Endorsement Team. Typical discussions include: Endorsement criteria e.g. assessments, allocation of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points, appeals and suspensions of centre’s, an update from the Technical Expert Group, and a work to date report from the Endorsement Team.

The last meeting was held on 16 October, where the panel discussed raising awareness for Endorsement and standardizing the evaluator’s guidance material.

The next Endorsement Panel meeting will be on Wednesday 15 January 2014.

All Endorsed Training Providers are invited to submit questions or topics for discussion by the panel to by Tuesday 24 December 2013. Please email endorsement@skillsactive.com if you would like to do so.

Brand NEW Awarding Organisation Partnerships launched!


SkillsActive is delighted to announce a new partnership with many leading Awarding Organisations (AOs).

As the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being, it is our responsibility to ensure that not only do individuals have the opportunity for professional development, but also that training is of a high standard to maintain the high levels we have set in our sector.

These new and innovative partnership’s will see SkillsActive working with:

All of these fantastic AOs develop the qualifications according to what is needed by the Government, the industry and the individual.

By committing to a new partnership with the AOs, SkillsActive will continue to help develop and quality assure the skills and qualifications needed within the sector, as well as improving standards and providing consistency in qualifications across the Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being Sector.

At present, there are over 130 AOs in the United Kingdom including: large providers, Sector Skills Councils, companies and single qualification suppliers. This partnership will see SkillsActive and AOs working more closely than ever before.

Ian Taylor, CEO of SkillsActive, said “I am extremely pleased to be able to announce this partnership. Our work with AOs goes a long way to help maintain the high levels set by the industry, to ensure its employees are fully qualified and competent, and these AOs are the perfect partners for this work”.

If you are an AO and interested in working in partnership with SkillsActive please contact marketing@skillsactive.com

Latest Training Information & Job Vacancies


SkillsActive Training Days

Essential training for tutors, assessors and internal quality assurance.  Ensure your team has the correct skills to support your business. Gain CPD points today!

Take advantage of our dedicated Tutor Training, Assessor Training and Internal Quality Assurance Workshops.

These one day training events are tailored to suit Endorsed Training Provider needs, are aligned to the relevant National Occupational Standards (NOS), and award six Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points to all Professional Register members who attend.

Training Dates:

Please visit the SkillsActive Shop to find out all dates available and to book your place.

For further information, please contact endorsement@skillsactive.com or call 020 7632 2006.

Job Vacancies at SkillsActive

To see all the latest vacancies at SkillsActive please click here.

Are you using the SkillsActive Quality Training Portal to its full potential?

Invest a little time to update your training listings today and see the return tomorrow!


See below for various updates that will help you to make the most out of the
Quality Training Portal (QTP).

For further information on how to do this please follow this link to read our SkillsActive QTP FAQs.

Historic Training Listed on the QTP

Remember the QTP is your shop window, if you are listing obsolete courses it will confuse potential clients and could lead to complaints. Please remove all training that has expired.  It is no longer necessary to keep it listed for REPs members to claim their CPD points because they now claim their points using activepassportTM.  All old training programmes have been uploaded onto activepassportTM and therefore should be removed from the QTP if you are no longer delivering it.

To remove old courses:

  • Go to the QTP webpage
  • Click on courses
  • Then click on amend next to the course you want to remove
  • About half way down you will see “Active” with the YES option selected. Change this to NO.
  • The course will be removed from your active listings.

NOS Mapping Update

We’ll soon be making some changes to the QTP to make it better for you as well as for users searching the database. As a part of this, you’ll soon have to submit details of the NOS mapping toolkits that you have completed for each piece of Endorsed training. You will also need to inform us of any changes. Please keep your eyes peeled as we’ll be announcing more details in the coming weeks!

SkillsActive opens up new market to Endorsed Training Providers

SkillsActive Endorsed Training Providers who hold a Qualification Credit Framework (QCF) Verification approval to deliver aqua can now be listed on our QTP under the Register of Aquatic Professionals (RAPs).  This means that there are a number of opportunities to market to new aquatic professionals looking to take up an aqua qualification.

If you are approved through an Awarding Organisation that delivers aqua, what are you waiting for, visit our Endorsement website to apply, you will be listed on our website and receive the new industry recognised RAPs logo.

Should the FAQs not answer any of your queries in relation to the QTP please contact endorsement@skillsactive.com

Endorsement Extras: Introducing SkillsActive Advantage

SA Advantage

We are pleased to announce the launch of Endorsement Extras, various initiatives designed to help you as a SkillsActive Endorsed Training Provider develop your business. Over the coming months we will be sharing a wide range of high quality business services with you that we feel add considerable value to our service.
The first initiative we would like to tell you about is:

SkillsActive Advantage

The scheme is designed to help Endorsed Training Providers increase their profit by reducing their bottom line operating costs. Many Endorsed Training Providers are already benefiting from: free and lower direct costs for print and marketing, reduced card processing fees, and lower business utility bills.

To secure your free audit and find out more please go to www.skillsactiveadvantage.com

Alternatively please contact Jacqui Hobbs on Jacqui.hobbs@skillsactive.com or 07973 524 253.

Training Provider Success Stories


Read on to find out more about two of our SkillsActive Endorsed Training Providers and their business success!

Endorsed Provider: JPilates
Joanne Cobbe, Owner

JPilates is a small team of highly qualified professionals who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the company. JPilates was originally founded to address an apparent gap in the Pilates training industry – a lack of affordable accredited workshops and short training courses designed to enhance, develop and further progress knowledge gained on the Level 3 Pilates Diploma. Over the past 24 months JPilates has grown into a training provider which delivers Level 3 and 4 qualifications, CPD courses including the all Studio equipment, CPD workshops, webinars and an annual convention.

SkillsActive have been incredibly supportive and informative. The initial approval process was clearly explained and the guidance paperwork detailed all the necessary steps. The team was extremely helpful and always answered any questions quickly and clearly, and their on-going support is fantastic. The Quality Training Portal creates many sales opportunities and is easy to navigate for a potential student.

JPilates created a series of workshops which offered instructors one day CPD training to either bring more creativity and inspiration to their mat classes or deepen their knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology and clinical application of the movements. These workshops are incredibly popular and evolve each year as instructors feedback which areas and issues they would like addressed. It is so important that instructors continually revisit and further develop their knowledge and experience as the industry is evolving as new concepts and research are introduced.

For further information visit the JPilates website.

Endorsed Provider: KBT Education
Sam Dovey, Managing Director

I have had the pleasure of engaging with SkillsActive over the last four years. In that time SkillsActive has provided continual support and proactively helped KBT Education, which has contributed significantly to our success as a specialist CPD training provider across the UK and Ireland. SkillsActive has helped with everything from understanding the SkillsActive policy to marketing, always provided a first class service.

In my view, endorsement is critical to the success of CPD Training Providers in the UK. Endorsement doesn’t just mean your courses are recognised, but they are refined and meet the criteria set by SkillsActive. This ensures you provide a consistent learning experience for the student in relation to delivery and course assessment. However, it doesn’t affect your company’s ability to remain unique and differentiate itself in the marketplace.

Endorsement has made KBT Education even more successful, as it’s opened up pathways to many different areas of the fitness industry that we were not engaged in. I would recommend this to any Training Provider starting out in this arena.

KBT Education increased its profits by 20% in year one and have continued to grow 15% year on year for the last 3 years. Endorsement has been a key reason for this continued growth.

KBT Education is a UK based training organisation delivering REPs & British Weightlifting accredited courses, across the UK and Ireland. We specialise in delivering Strength and Conditioning Courses and Weightlifting and Nutrition Courses. We also are one of the original Kettlebell training course providers in the UK and remain the only original company still trading and delivering courses. We are the sole Training Provider for Strength and Conditioning to the Royal Navy and have worked with the military for the last seven years as well as other large public and private sector organisations.

Click here for further information about KBT Education

Endorsed Provider: Fit4Life

Having worked in the fitness industry for over 15 years, at Fit4Life we have always been aware of SkillsActive and the positive input they have. When we were writing our training course we wanted to be reassured that we could provide quality to instructors and ensure that the course would be interesting, fun and cover different learning requirements. SkillsActive provided us with the confidence that we were able to do this. I am still continually in contact with SkillsActive, for advice on marketing, sales and for that they understand what we need and the support required.

Fit4Life Cycling Training is an indoor heart rate based cycling class. We base our training on many years of coaching athletes and VO2 testing. The course is one day and is suitable for cycling instructors who are looking to improve and enhance their knowledge. The information gained in heart rate training is extensive, but we also ensure that there is an understanding of how cycling outside can be brought into the studio. Technique, posture and cycling terminology is an important part of the philosophy and as cycling in the UK is having such a boost, instructors need to have the knowledge to feed the participants hunger for information.

Every session is led by an interval based card, during the course instructors learn how to deliver the class reading from the card. As the sessions are interval based over a year, every four weeks the cards progress with subtle changes in the intervals which provide the class with a well balanced and effective work out which they will be able to achieve for life – Fit4Life!

Based in Oakley, Buckinghamshire, we are tutors, trainers, instructors and BC Coaches. We deliver our training throughout the UK and hopefully internationally in the near future.

We were awarded with 16 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for our training course; these points generate the right impression for FIt4Life Education and highlight to instructors that they will receive a high level of training. As we have only just started to deliver our training we cannot give an exact figure of what the SkillsActive involvement has projected our training, but on interest alone, we have been inundated with inquiries, all of which have come from being on the SkillsActive database.

Click here for further information about Fit4Life Training and Education

If you have any questions for the Endorsement Panel/Endorsement Team or would like to contribute content for future newsletters please email endorsement@skillsactive.com