Course introduction

This QCF qualification provides learners with an understanding of the sports sector in order to either start a career in sport, leisure or fitness, or to progress within employment in the sector. It may also be applicable for those in an entry level role who’d like to further their understanding and progress into the next level of employment or learning.

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Starting: September 2020

Course objectives

The objectives of this qualification are to help learners to:

  • enter employment in the sport, leisure and fitness sector, or to progress into higher/further education, or the NCFE Level 3 Sport qualifications and others
  • gain and develop essential skills that are valued by employers and higher and further education institutions.
  • develop knowledge and understanding of the sport, leisure and fitness vocational sector.

Units covered

To be awarded this qualification, learners are required to successfully complete 3 mandatory units and one optional unit, depending on their chosen pathway. The pathways within the qualifications allow learners to follow a particular specialist area, but still allow flexibility in the choice of unit combinations. Learners must choose a pathway from the following 4 options, showing the mandatory units within each one:

Sport, Exercise and Fitness

  • Participating in sport
  • Anatomy and physiology for exercise
  • Introduction to healthy exercise and nutrition


  • Participating in sport
  • Outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Leading an outdoor activity session

Working in Sport

  • Participating in sport
  • Understanding business in sport
  • Preparing to work in the sport and leisure industry


  • Participating in sport
  • Sports coaching
  • Developing sporting skills and tactical awareness

Each pathway will provide learners with the opportunity to develop their practical skills in sport, through organising and participating in sports activities. They’ll be able to work with others to plan and participate in a sports activity, and they’ll evaluate their own performance and the performance of others following the activity. Learners will gain the required knowledge and understanding of sport rules and regulations.

These qualifications have been mapped to Personal Learning and Thinking Skills, together with National Occupational Standards (NOS) which are owned by a Sector Skills Council (SSC). They describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to undertake a particular task or job at different levels of competence.

This qualification has been mapped against the relevant SkillsActive NOS.

Who is this qualification designed for?

This qualification is suitable for all learners aged 16 and above, especially adult learners and those returning to learning.

It’s an engaging qualification, which is useful for those previously disaffected with learning and can provide a supportive progression route into further learning or employment. This qualification is designed for learners who wish to develop skills and knowledge about sport and is ideal for learners who are looking to progress onto further learning in this sector.

There are no specific recommended prior learning requirements for these qualifications. However, learners may find it helpful if they’ve already achieved a Level 1 qualification. Entry is at the discretion of the centre, although learners should be 16 to undertake these qualifications.

This qualification would be useful for individuals wishing to enter the sector or progress within it. These qualifications are equally suitable for inclusion within the Study Programme for 16-19 year old learners.

What could this qualification lead to?

This qualification can support learners already working or who are looking to work in a variety of roles within the sport, leisure and fitness sector, including:

  • exercise instructor
  • sports coach
  • outdoor activities organiser
  • individual sports trainer
  • health promoter

Progression opportunities

There are progression opportunities available to learners onto a range of Level 3 Sport qualifications and they will prepare learners for higher or further education, through full time or part time study. Learners who achieve these qualifications could progress to:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing
  • Level 3 Certificate/Diploma/Extended Diploma in Sport
  • Level 3 Award in Nutrition for Physical Activity
  • Level 3 Diploma in Outdoor Programmes
  • Intermediate apprenticeship in Exercise and Fitness
  • Intermediate apprenticeship in Activity Leadership

Learners may be able to complete NGB qualifications as part of a college or university course in sport, leisure and recreation. Courses include Certificates and Diplomas, Foundation Degrees and Degrees, and postgraduate qualifications.

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