1st4sport Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sports Development

Qualification Number 600/4301/5
Guided Learning Hours 277
Totla Qualification Time 640
SFA/LAD Funding Code 600/4301/5
Entry Age: 18
Apprenticeships Competence component of the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sports Development
Qualification Operational Start Date 01/01/2012
Qualification Review Date 31/12/2018
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 NVQ Diploma in Sports Development has been developed to provide learners with a measure of their competence as a sports development practitioner. It is a competence qualification, assessed in a workplace environment that forms the competence outcome of the Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sports Development. This qualification is part of a suite professionally recognised by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), which supports an individual’s personal and professional development within the industry.

Please note that this qualification is designed to support operatives in the industry to demonstrate their competence in the workplace, possibly through an Apprenticeship. This is a Level 3 competence-based qualification and, as such, simulation is not appropriate/acceptable for the majority of units due to its real workplace focus. We do not consider it appropriate for those in full-time education, but for people employed in a Sports Development associated role. Please also note that the qualification’s minimum age limit of 18 is probably an underestimate. The qualification is designed for those in employment who would ideally have several years experience in an associated role and who are looking to progress to a management role and, as such, are likely to be older than 19.


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

Prior to registration, learners are required to:

  • be aged 18 years or over
  • have access to a sports development working environment in which to participate and gain workplace evidence for the qualification

Please note that this qualification is designed to support experienced operatives in the industry demonstrate their competence in the workplace, possibly through an Apprenticeship. This is a Level 3 competence-based qualification and, as such, simulation is not appropriate/acceptable for the majority of units due to its real workplace focus. We do not consider it appropriate for those in full-time education, but for people employed in an associated role. Please also note that the qualification’s minimum age limit of 18 is probably an underestimate. The qualification is designed for those in employment who would ideally have 3–5 years’ experience in an associated role and who are looking to progress to a management role and, as such, are likely to be older than 21.

You may be interested to hear that our Sector Skills Council – SkillsActive – has recognised the lack of vocational qualifications in this area. The interest from further education and others in such occupations who are in the process of developing new units (and qualification structures) for vocational qualifications for the roles of Sports Development Officer and Manager will hopefully be available in early 2013. We will be aspiring to award both qualifications and will be advising centres of their availability when we can. These qualifications may be more appropriate for those in education or for those aspiring to employed roles.

The qualification consists of five mandatory units (Group A) plus four optional units. At least one optional unit must come from Group B, and at least two optional units must come from Group C. The remaining optional unit can be drawn from Group B or Group C. The unit reference in brackets is the national occupational standards (NOS) unit reference.

Please note that this qualification is designed to support experienced operatives in the industry demonstrate their competence in the workplace, possibly through an Apprenticeship. This is a Level 3 competence-based qualification and, as such, simulation is not appropriate/acceptable for the majority of units due to its real workplace focus. We do not consider it appropriate for those in full-time education, but for people employed in an associated role. Please also note that the qualification’s minimum age limit of 18 is probably an underestimate. The qualification is designed for those in employment who would ideally have 3–5 years’ experience in an associated role and who are looking to progress to a management role and, as such, are likely to be older than 21.

You may be interested to hear that our Sector Skills Council – SkillsActive – has recognised the lack of vocational qualifications in this area. The interest from further education and others in such occupations who are in the process of developing new units (and qualification structures) for vocational qualifications for the roles of Sports Development Officer and Manager will hopefully be available in early 2013. We will be aspiring to award both qualifications and will be advising centres of their availability when we can. These qualifications may be more appropriate for those in education or for those aspiring to employed roles.

Mandatory Unit Group A

All units must be completed.

Ref. Title Unit Reference No. GLH Level Credit
SDA 1 Manage Own Resources and Professional Development (A323) M/502/8458 20 4 5
SDA 2 Contribute to Strategic Development in Sport and Active Leisure (A12) M/503/0534 23 3 7
SDA 3 Provide Leadership in Sport and Active Leisure (A322) K/502/9690 60 5 9
SDA 4 Promote Equality and Diversity in Sport and Physical Activity (D210) T/503/0535 51 3 15
SDA 5 Ensure the Health, Safety, Welfare and Security of Customers and Staff (C27) A/503/0651 23 3 4

Optional Unit Group B

At least one unit must be completed from this group.

Ref. Title Unit Reference No. GLH Level Credit
SDA 6 Facilitate Community-based Sport and Physical Activity (D61) F/503/0652 73 3 16
SDA 7 Support the Development of Sport and Physical Activity in Education (D62) J/503/0653 43 4 13

Optional Unit Group C

At least two units must be completed from this group, with an additional unit being chosen from either Group B or C.

Ref. Title Unit Reference No. GLH Level Credit
SDA 8

Lead and Motivate Volunteers (A325)

K/503/0645 59 3 10
SDA 9 Recruit, Select and Keep Colleagues (A319) H/602/1842 85 5 12
SDA 10 Involve, Motivate and Retain Volunteers (A326) Y/503/0656 60 3 10
SDA 11 Develop Productive Working Relationships with Colleagues (A324) A/502/9287 22 3 4
SDA 12 Allocate and Monitor the Progress and Quality of Work in Own Area of Responsibility (A320) M/602/1844 95 4 14
SDA 13 Provide Learning Opportunities for Colleagues (A321) K/602/1843 85 4 11
SDA 14 Contribute to the Prevention and Management of Abusive and Aggressive Behaviour (D211) T/601/1168 20 3 4
SDA 15 Recognise Indications of Substance Misuse and Refer Individuals to Specialists (D212) M/601/0648 24 3 4
SDA 16 Support the Efficient Use of Resources (A21) H/502/8456 19 4 5
SDA 17 Apply for External Funding for Sport and Physical Activity (A211) R/503/0655 58 3 11
SDA 18 Manage Information for Action (A41) K/502/8457 24 3 6
SDA 19 Contribute to Evaluating, Developing and Promoting Services (B227) H/602/1839 85 4 11
SDA 20 Plan and Organise Services (B229) D/502/9685 15 3 3
SDA 21 Manage a Project (A44) J/502/9678 26 4 6
SDA 22

Work with Others to Improve Customer Service (C33)

D/601/1553 53 3 8

Unlike many other awarding organisations, which 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 and assess the qualification
  • online qualification administration, enabling you to process learners quickly and effectively, and making the records we hold on your learners accessible to you at the click of a mouse.

Due to the complexities of the options available for this qualification Tutor/Assessor Guidance Notes are not available. We suggest having selected which optional units you wish to offer learners you review the assessment specification for those units contained within the Qualification Specification. If you require further clarification of the expectations of the qualification, or an individual unit, we will be happy to provide additional guidance, through our office or via your allocated external verifier.

For recognised centres and tutors, the qualification is supported by the following resources:

  • generic administrative guidance and tools for recognised centres
  • 1st4sport Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sports Development Qualification Handbook and Unit Specifications, outlining the requirements of delivering and assessing the qualification for both recognised centres and their workforce.

For learners, the qualification is supported by the following resource:

  • 1st4sport Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sports Development Learner Pack.

Fees are charged per learner and provide registration and certification for the qualification, as well as a 1st4sport Learner Pack, learning resources and certificate. Centre recognition, qualification approval and annual centre fees may also be applicable.

If you would like to offer this qualification, please contact [email protected]

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 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.