Qualified Success

Gaining the right qualification is vital if you are committed to progressing along your chosen career path. Without an industry-recognised qualification, your chance of being taken seriously by employers is restricted.

And it isn’t just the qualifications – how you get them is important for retaining your motivation and enthusiasm for your craft. This is a vital point for providers just as much as learners – without a credible training programme, you will attract very few students.

The team at 1st4sport Qualifications knows the value of apprenticeship programmes/work-based learning as the route to employment and how their qualifications can help guide learners towards employment.

The company is a brand of Coachwise, the trading arm of sports coach UK, a charity wholly committed to recruiting, retaining and developing coaches. This deep-seated industry expertise, as well as their relationships with other industry experts, means they are committed to making the training journey comprehensive, rigorous, rewarding and enjoyable.

And someone who knows this better than many is Samantha Davies, a Trainer/Assessor for sport at Warwickshire-based Heart of England Training (HOET). Like her peers at HOET, Davies is an enthusiastic advocate of what 1st4sport can offer.

‘1st4sport offers a broad suite of qualifications, and has excellent resources to provide us with exactly what we needed,’ she said.

An excellent example of the value of the work-based learning/apprenticeship route is apparent from HOET’s partnership with North Warwickshire School Sport Trust. This comprises five learners all working 30 hours a week in a primary school. One particular learner, Paisley Mulholland, has made superb strides during her time, something recognised by the school – and its pupils.

HOET’s Paula Bellingham has been the main deliverer to Paisley and was enthusiastic in her report on her progress.

‘Paisley has been an exceptional apprentice,’ she said. ‘It has been a real pleasure to see her develop from a hesitant teaching assistant to a confident and well-liked member of staff in her school.’

And the effectiveness of 1st4sport’s qualifications is demonstrated in the fact that Paisley is set to step up to achieve Level 3 status and complete her advanced apprenticeship, thanks to her success so far and excellent portfolio.

Paula explains: ‘She is about to commence her advanced apprenticeship, which will give her further opportunities to progress, and her school have offered her a permanent position in the future.’

HOET has been running a number of apprenticeships using 1st4sport’s qualifications for three years. They deliver:

They offer a first class learning journey, and feedback from students has been immensely positive.

Learners say the qualifications are clearly defined, and easy to understand and follow.

For Level 2 learners within apprenticeships and study programme courses, they deliver:


Component Qualification
Competence 1st4sport Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Activity Leadership (QCF)

1st4sport Level 2 Award in Leadership through Football (QCF)


1st4sport Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Preparations for Coaching Sport (QCF)


1st4sport Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Learning in Physical Education and School Sport (QCF)

Employee rights and responsibilities 1st4sport Level 2 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning (QCF)
Functional skills N/A
Additional employer requirements N/A


At Level 3 stage, HOET delivers the following qualifications via 1st4sport:

Component Qualification
Competence 1st4sport Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sports Development (QCF)
Knowledge 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Managing Sports Volunteers (QCF)
Employee rights and responsibilities 1st4sport Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning (QCF)
Functional skills N/A
Additional employer requirements 1st4sport Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport (QCF)


Along with this comprehensive programme, HOET also delivers the 1st4sport Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football (QCF) as a private course or an alternative to the intermediate apprenticeship.

And it is not just the range of qualifications on offer from 1st4sport that finds HOET singing their praises, but the all-round service provided:

‘Crucially, their support network is very good,’ Samantha Davies explains. ‘And another key bonus is their resources are very visual and straightforward.’

Samantha Davies says she would not hesitate to recommend 1st4sport to other providers as the organisation has a certain style that fits the bill for HOET: ‘They use specific wording, provide good guidance and basically offer exactly what we are looking for.’

If you are committed to a career in sport, choosing the right qualifications provider is one of the most important decisions you can make, both as a learner and a centre.

Find out how 1st4sport Qualifications can help you deliver your apprenticeships.