1st4sport Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence

Qualification Number 603/3337/6
Guided Learning Hours 780
Total Qualification Time 864
SFA/LAD Funding Code 603/3337/6
Entry Age: 16 – 18 only 
Qualification Operational Start Date 01/09/2018
Qualification Review Date 30/09/2021
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.

Developed in partnership with SkillsActive and with the support of experts across a range of National Governing Bodies, the 1st4sport Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence is designed to give learners the opportunity to gain the skills, competences, credit and ultimately a qualification in performing within the elite sports training and competition environment, specifically within their chosen sport. The learner will be able to help to plan, manage and evaluate their training programme and the extent to which their sport influences their life.

The 1st4sport Diploma in Sporting Excellence  (DiSE) programme gives athletes more high quality coaching hours, better access to modern, well equipped facilities and the use of new technologies. It also provides for second career development, should an athlete fall short of their ultimate sporting goal or choose to follow an alternative career path.


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

Only learners who are accepted on to the DiSE programme will be able to access and achieve the 1st4sport Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence . DiSE entry routes are only open to:

  • full-time contracted apprentices at professional clubs
  • full-time elite athletes receiving support from the lottery world class programme and identified by their governing body of sport
  • any young people involved in the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS)
  • those talented young people in the ‘academy environment’ at professional clubs not yet offered full-time terms.

Learners will need to refer to governing bodies of sport for further information on entry and eligibility to access the 1st4sport Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence.

The qualification is divided into the following 19 mandatory units:

Unit Title Accreditation No. Level GLH
1 Develop own technical skills to achieve excellence in a sport M/617/1209 3 160
2 Understanding technical skills to achieve excellence in sport H/617/1210 3 30
3 Develop own tactical skills to achieve excellence in a sport K/617/1211 3 160
4 Understanding tactical skills to achieve excellence in sport M/617/1212 3 30
5 Develop own physical capability to achieve excellence in a sport A/617/1214 3 130
6 Understanding physical capability to achieve excellence in sport J/617/1216 3 30
7 Develop own nutritional programme to achieve excellence in a sport L/617/1217 3 15
8 Understanding nutrition to achieve excellence in sport Y/617/1219 3 20
9 Develop own psychological skills to achieve excellence in a sport L/617/1220 3 30
10 Understanding psychological skills to achieve excellence in a sport Y/617/1222 3 30
11 Manage own lifestyle to achieve excellence in a sport M/617/1226 3 10
12 Understanding lifestyle to achieve excellence in a spor T/617/1227 3 15
13 Develop own career in sport F/617/1229 2 15
14 Understanding how to develop own career in sport T/617/1230 2 15
15 Communicate effectively with other people to achieve excellence in a sport A/617/1231 3 20
16 Understanding communication and teamwork  to achieve excellence in a sport F/617/1232 3 30
17 Work in a healthy and safe way at training and competition venues J/617/1233 3 10
18 Understanding health and safety at training and competition venues L/617/1234 3 15
19 Culture, values and behaviours in sport R/617/1235 3 15

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 mapping tools to assist the learner in submitting evidence towards qualification completion
  • tutor/assessor guidance notes, which include guidance to evidence gathering and assessment completion 
  • 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.

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

  • generic administrative guidance and tools for recognised centres
  • Qualification Specification outlining the requirements of delivering and assessing the qualification
  • 1st4sport Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence Delivery, Assessment and Quality Assurance Approach.

For learners, the qualification is supported by the 1st4sport Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence  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.