Karl Grainger from London Metropolitan University gives us an insight into the fitness programmes offered at the university and why they decided to go for endorsement.
London Metropolitan University is a hugely diverse university, with a vibrant mix of students of all ages and all backgrounds. An inclusive university, employability is at the core of the curriculum. In our school we offer a range of Sports Science and Sports Therapy undergraduate degrees, and also a Sports Therapy MSc. I am currently a personal academic tutor and lead the Training Principles and Biomechanics modules.
With ever increasing numbers of students attending university, and employability at the centre of our PISO (Project for Improved Student Outcomes), offering more applied work based learning qualifications will help our students into employment. As a previous Personal Trainer I know the benefit of having a REPs recognised qualification on entering the workplace. As our common first year already covered about 80% of the Skills Active Level 2 and Level 3 syllabus it seemed an obvious choice to go for Endorsement.
The benefits of endorsement to London Met are many but these were the 5 key factors that pushed us towards endorsement,
For the student:
- It gives graduates the additional qualifications they will need to either become gym instructors or personal trainers, which many move into.
- For the Sports Therapy graduates, it gives them a potential additional income stream when they start work. All students can in effect take part time work as Gym Instructors and/or Personal Trainers from the end of their first year, given them a stronger financial position to take them through years 2 and 3 of their chosen degree – as well as improving their CV.
- Even though we have to charge a small amount for the courses, the students get the option of taking 2 valuable qualifications at a fraction of the cost of external providers.
For the University:
- By charging a nominal sum for the Level 2 and Level 3 courses, the whole project is self-funding.
- By including the REPs options in our prospectus, it gives the School and University an edge over other universities in the area that do not offer the qualifications.
We were endorsed just over 12 months ago, and have so far run the Level 2 course twice – to allow as many students as possible to take part. Nearly 40 students have taken part so far. For the forthcoming year, we have made modifications to our first year which means the Level 2 and Level 3 are now approximately 90% embedded into the students’ normal programme of study, so we’re looking at perhaps another 50 students taking the Level 2 and 20-30 taking the Level 3.
In 2016-17 we will be revalidating our degree programmes, so will be looking further at Level 2/3 embedding, and also looking at the Level 3 Exercise Referral and perhaps 2 or 3 of the Level 4 qualifications. Our degree programme already contains a large proportion of the content, so is a real no-brainer when it comes to offering industry standard qualifications that our graduates can take out into the workplace.
If you are interested in endorsement for your HE programmes, contact the Professional Development team at firstname.lastname@example.org.