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By Jenny Patrickson, Managing Director, Active IQ

The Sporting Future Annual Report highlights the extensive work carried out by CIMSPA in its progress to develop a single set of standards for all sport and exercise professionals and “a single system of assessing, awarding and validating qualifications”. At Active IQ, we read this statement with interest, in the knowledge that Active IQ (and other awarding organisations) is regulated by Ofqual in England, Qualifications Wales in Wales, CCEA in Northern Ireland and also potentially moving forwards by SQA in Scotland.

Awarding organisations also have to meet the requirements of the Department for Education when developing specific qualifications, such as Tech Levels and Tech Awards, the requirements of UCAS when seeking UCAS points for qualifications, as well as adhering to funding rules set by the Skills Funding Agency. Furthermore, in April, the Institute for Apprenticeships comes into being, and plans moving forwards also include the renaming of the Institute as the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, with an additional responsibility for college-based technical education.

The concept then of a ‘single system of assessing, awarding and validating qualifications’ is therefore perhaps a misconception, certainly in the eyes of an organisation like ours, which operates (quite rightly) in a heavily regulated environment to ensure we fulfil our role in maintaining quality and driving up standards in the delivery and assessment of qualifications. However, the model of a ‘single set of standards for all sport and exercise professionals’ is most certainly a worthy goal to provide a clear and transparent workforce professional development framework and to ensure consumer confidence in our sector’s diverse workforce.

CIMSPA clearly has a job of work to do in order to develop professional standards for 64 occupations and specialisms, however progress has been made and momentum in gathering with the support of a wide range of stakeholders, including awarding organisations, employers and training providers.