Working in partnership with South Devon College

1st4sport Qualifications provides award-winning college with the employer-focused qualifications it had been looking for.

Recognised Centre

South Devon College is a general further education and higher education college, with a reputation as one of the best learning environments in the country, having received recognition for its teaching, learning, leadership, management and work with employers.


The college prides itself on doing the best it can to make sure it prepares its learners for employment when they leave the college. Matt Burrows, Senior Section Head for Sport and 14–16 Direct Entry, says ‘As good as other qualifications available are, for example BTECs, they don’t necessarily hit all the right buttons with employers. We were looking for qualifications that would give our learners the best chance of being employable.’

Why 1st4sport Qualifications works for South Devon College

Looking for more employer-focused qualifications led South Devon College to choose to become recognised and approved to deliver our football coaching and generic coaching qualifications:

It also took the opportunity to add several qualifications that it could include as part of its apprenticeship programme:

The way all the qualifications are structured made them particularly appealing as the college found them straightforward to implement, with the support available from 1st4sport Qualifications being particularly valuable.

Matt says ‘An issue with providing new qualifications can be the difficulties in terms of setting up, accessing support and then complying with the quality assurance process, which can create a barrier. With 1st4sport Qualifications, the external verifiers were allocated very swiftly and effectively, and we were not charged for their visit. Their team were also very helpful to us throughout the recognition and approval processes, answering any questions we had.’


In the 2012–2013 academic yearSouth Devon College put through 83 learners, enjoying a success rate between 95% and 100%.

What’s more, in 2012 it won the inaugural national Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award for Sport in the Curriculum, for its approach to providing high quality teaching and learning through a distinctive, inclusive and comprehensive sport curriculum that had inspired the local community through sport.

Never content to rest on its laurels, it is always looking to add new qualifications to its provision that it feels will benefit its learners. At present, it is going through the approval process to deliver the 1st4sport Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport (QCF).

Matt says ‘We currently use a sports development qualification from another awarding organisation as part of the apprenticeship we offer to local schools. However, for apprentices working in a primary school environment, this qualification isn’t ideal. This new qualification developed by 1st4sport Qualifications is perfect as we will now be able to provide our 14 apprentices with a qualification that is much more closely aligned to their needs and the work they do for their employers.

We want to know about your people and your successes.

Send your story and any pictures you may have to [email protected].