Principles of Coaching Spor

1st4sport Level 3 Award in the Principles of Coaching Sport

Qualification Accreditation Number 500/8753/8
Credit Value (Guided Learning Hours) 11 (67)
SFA/LAD Funding Code 500/8753/8
Entry Age 16+
Qualification Accreditation Start Date 01/04/10
Qualification Review Date 31/03/2018
Certification End Date 31/03/2021
Qualification Specification Download

This qualification is equivalent to Level 4 on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF)*.

To find out how to apply to deliver this qualification see the How to Apply section. There are no costs involved in applying or becoming a 1st4sport recognised centre.

The 1st4sport Level 3 Award in the Principles of Coaching Sport provides your learners, aged 16 years and over, with the knowledge needed to develop their confidence and start them on the road to an engagement with coaching sport. Utilising the common-knowledge units for coaching, learners gain the required generic knowledge that all sports coaches need to plan, conduct and evaluate safe and effective coaching programmes in sport. This includes:

  • the principles of safe and equitable coaching practice
  • the fundamentals of coaching programmes
  • the principles of planning coaching programmes
  • how to support participants’ lifestyles through coaching programmes.

The qualification also provides the foundation for all Level 3 UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) sport-specific coaching programmes.

Who is the Qualification for?

Anyone over the age of 16, who has an interest in becoming a sports coach.

Why Deliver this Qualification?

Opens the door of sport to your learners

It provides an excellent way to develop your learners’ knowledge and understanding of coaching, which can support progression to UKCC sport-specific programmes.

Save time with flexible delivery options

Should you or a governing body of sport wish to offer a sport-specific coaching course to learners, you can now support the option of delivering the generic content, enabling the governing body of sport to focus on the sport-specific content, which could save you both time and money.

The coaching experts

As with all 1st4sport qualifications, we work in partnership with industry experts to develop the most meaningful and relevant qualifications that meet end-user needs. Our partnerships include:

  1. The Football Association (The FA)
  2. Rugby Football Union (RFU)
  3. Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)

…and many more others.

Make best use of recognition of prior learning

Once this qualification is attained, it can be used as recognition of prior learning (RPL), meaning learners only have to cover generic coaching content at level once, rather than duplicate it.


*Please note there may be exceptions to the above. Further information about the EQF can be found on the EQF Portal.

Learners are required to be aged 16 years or over, prior to registration.

The qualification is divided into the following units:

Unit Title Accreditation No. Credit*
Understanding the principles of safe and equitable coaching practice M/601/2108 2
Understanding the fundamentals of coaching programmes T/601/3535 3
Understanding the principles of planning coaching programmes A/601/3536 3
Understanding how to support participant(s)’ lifestyle through coaching programmes F/601/3537 3

*Each credit is equivalent to 10 hours of learning time. When learning time is not exactly in a multiple of 10, it must be rounded up or down as credit can only be represented in whole numbers (14 hours of learning would be rounded down to represent 1 credit, 17 hours of learning would be rounded up to represent 2 credits).

Unlike many other awarding bodies that just supply you with the basic qualification standards, we go that extra mile to support you by providing:

  • full and comprehensive learner packs,which include a full set of structured learning and assessment tasks to help you deliver the qualification
  • tutor/assessor guidance notes, which include sample answers to support you when assessing your students
  • qualification administration that is all carried out online, enabling you to process students quickly and effectively, and making the records we hold on your students accessible to you at the click of a mouse.

Fees are charged per learner and provide registration and certification for the qualification, as well as a 1st4sport Learner Pack, learning resources and certificate. There are no costs involved in applying or becoming a 1st4sport recognised centre. Further information on fees is available in your qualification application pack.

Organisations new to 1st4sport

If you are not already a 1st4sport recognised centre, you need to apply to become one. The first step is to check you can meet the Centre Recognition and Qualification Approval Criteria for this qualification and submit the forms to us.

You can find more information on this process by visiting: Five Steps to Becoming a 1st4sport Recognised Centre.

Please note: you will not be able to become recognised or approved until you have confirmed that you can meet these criteria.

Existing 1st4sport recognised centres

If you are already a 1st4sport recognised centre and would like to seek approval to deliver this qualification, please check that your centre can meet the Qualification Approval Criteria.

You can find more information on this process by visiting: Four Steps to Becoming Approved to Deliver an Additional Qualification.

Please note: you will not be able to become approved until you have confirmed that you can meet these criteria.

This qualification sits on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). Further information about the benefits of the framework can be found by visiting the Ofqual website.

All learners being registered for RQF qualifications are required to have a Unique Learner Number (ULN) issued by the Learner Register. To be approved to offer this RQF qualification, you will need to demonstrate that you can access and verify learners’ ULNs with the Learner Register. For more information about this process, please visit the Learning Records Service website.