Ofqual General Conditions – new systems, publications and guidance

The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 placed a duty on Ofqual (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) to set and publish general conditions of recognition, which all recognised awarding organisations like 1st4sport Qualifications are now required to comply with. To ensure that we comply fully with these conditions we have revised our systems, publications and guidance.

A brief summary of the most significant changes includes:

  • the launch of the 1st4sport Qualifications Centre Recognition Criteria and Conditions (which replaces the recognised centre requirements)
  • a rewrite of every 1st4sport Qualification Specification (which now contain qualification approval criteria and conditions)
  • the redesign of Athena, the 1st4sport Quality Assurance System (the web-based forms, titles and content have been updated and the home page launched to improve user navigation)
  • the redesign of our business processes in support of the revised publications and to improve customer service levels.

What is the impact of this on you?

All centres are required to comply with the 1st4sport Centre Recognition and Qualification Approval Criteria and Conditions. On this basis, you should:

  • access Athena, select My details at the top of the screen and tick to give yourself all of the roles to ensure you have full access to everything within the system. Remember to save your changes. Please remind any other users at your centre to do this.
  • access Athena, source the 1st4sport Centre Recognition and Qualification Approval Criteria and Conditions from the 1st4sport Qualifications key documents within the home page. Familiarise yourself and your staff with the contents
  • access Athena and source the qualification specification for the qualifications you are approved to deliver; these can be sourced from the Documents tab via the advanced search mechanism. Simply select to search 1st4sport documents and type in the title of the qualification to access the specification and familiarise yourself and your staff with the content. Please note that the full list of qualification specifications will be available within Athena after 1 October. If you require the revised specification prior to this time, please request the updated version from [email protected].
  • submit a Centre Compliance Declaration Form via Athena; to do this, please access Athena, select the Centre Compliance Declaration Report from the Start a new… section via the home page. Having read the 1st4sport Centre Recognition and Qualification Approval Criteria and Conditions, and the qualifications specifications relevant to your centres, please complete this web-based form and submit it to 1st4sport Qualifications
  • ensure your centre details and centre contacts are up to date. To do this, please access Athena and select the My centre tab. Update your details and then select the centre contact tab to update the details of your head of centre, finance officer and centre administrator
  • provide us with your most up-to-date list of staff for all of the qualifications you are approved to offer; this must include the qualification administrator, qualification coordinator, tutors, assessors and internal verifiers. To do this, please access Athena, and click on the Staff tab. Then select to Add staff member and insert the details of your staff confirming Add staff member. Then please select to link them to the qualification and roles selecting Finish when you have completed this. Please repeat this process for each of your staff members.

It is important you are aware that you will not be eligible to authorise any courses until you have successfully submitted the Centre Compliance Declaration Form, updated your Centre contacts andyour Qualification staff.

We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that the qualification structures, units, learning hours, learning outcomes and assessment criteria have not changed and you should continue to deliver the qualifications as normal. The specifications have simply been updated to improve the way we present the information to you and also to provide you with formal Conditions which must be complied with when delivering the qualification.

You will note that the most fundamental change to all of the qualifications is the addition of the pre-requisite to learner registrations whereby learners must now be able to communicate effectively in English (or Welsh or Irish where there is demand). This includes listening, speaking, reading and writing. If you have any worries about the new specification and any specific Conditions please do not hesitate to contact [email protected].

We would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation and hard work which will ensure that the standards of the qualifications that we award, and which you deliver, are effectively maintained.