Code of Practice

SkillsActive is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being. SkillsActive works across the industry to maintain and improve qualifications, apprenticeships and vocational training.

SkillsActive strives to integrate and maintain quality standards throughout the sector via processes including the alignment of qualifications to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and approval of Awarding Organisation qualifications for entry to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

SkillsActive also coordinates the Endorsement process for a wide range of training (including conferences, online learning, workshops etc) to support the CPD requirements across the different sub-sectors of the industry.

The Code of Practice for Training Providers embodies rights, relationships, responsibilities and professional standards and aims to clarify the Training Provider’s role and responsibilities in relation to quality assurance and setting a benchmark for an acceptable standard of training provision.

Who does the Code Cover?

All Training Providers that have successfully completed SkillsActive’s Endorsement process (Lead, Endorsed or Compliant) must accept and work within the Code of Practice for Training Providers. (NB those Training Providers certified by an Awarding Organisation would also be expected to abide by the code of practice in place for any approved centre).

Verification and External Assessment

Training providers delivering endorsed CPD will be subject to external assessment from an independent Quality Assurer (QA). This process of external quality assurance (EQA) ensures reasonable compliance with the delivery of training against established standards and procedures. The purpose is to help organisations to raise standards to support their business and meet the needs of learners. The EQA process is conducted in a spirit of cooperation and negotiation with the Training Provider and will include feedback from the QA. All EQA reports are subject to sampling for moderation purposes, which may result in amendments to a decision made by the QA.

Appeals and Hearings

SkillsActive reserves the right to suspend a Training Provider should they not meet the standards set out in this Code of Practice on external assessment. During the period of suspension, all SkillsActive-endorsed training offered by the provider will also be subject to suspension.

In the event of a complaint/s made against a Training Provider regarding SkillsActive endorsed Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training, SkillsActive’s Professional Development Panel will liaise with the Training Provider to ensure that the necessary procedures are followed. If however, the complaint relates to a qualification, then the complaint will be passed to the relevant Awarding Organisation.

SkillsActive will work with Training Providers to address the area/s where standards have not been met and seek to reinstate endorsed status in a timely manner.

The Objectives of the Code of Practice for Training Providers are:

  • To raise standards of conduct and professionalism across the industry.
  • To establish, publicise and maintain standards of ethical behaviour in delivering training and qualifications.
  • To protect users of Training Providers against poor practice and failure of quality training provision.
  • To provide users of Training Providers the opportunity to raise complaint/s about poor quality training provision or issues of professional misconduct.

The Purpose of the Code of Practice for Training Providers:

The Training Provider will:

1.1 Promote the rights and opportunities for individuals to take up personal learning and development.

1.2 Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every human being and their ultimate right to self-determination. Specifically, everyone must be treated equitably and sensitively within the context of their activity and ability – regardless of gender, age, disability, occupation, ethnic origin, colour, cultural background, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or political opinion.

1.3 Ensure due account is taken of an individual’s level of achievement and prior learning.

1.4 Accept the level, status and categories previously awarded by SkillsActive and which should be recognised as prior learning and experience.

1.5 Not condone or allow to go unchallenged any form of discrimination, nor to publicly criticise or engage in demeaning descriptions of others.

1.6 Be discreet in any conversations and not impart any personal information about learners, results of examinations, tests or assessments to any third person without consent.

The Training Provider will:

2.1 Develop a relationship with learners based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect.

2.2 Not engage in behaviour that constitutes any form of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, bullying, etc).

2.3 Always promote the welfare and best interests of learners, and encourage and guide them to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and actions in training and in their relationships with others.

2.4 Ensure that physical contact is appropriate and necessary and is carried out within recommended guidelines and with the learner’s full consent and approval.

2.5 Avoid sexual intimacy with learners whilst instructing and demonstrating and arrange to transfer the learner to another tutor if it is clear that an intimate relationship is developing.

2.6 Clarify to learners in advance the number of sessions/time commitments, training fees, methods of payment, and any other potential costs involved in undertaking the training/qualification.

The Training Provider will:

3.1 Ensure all tutors and employees demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times.

3.2 Be fair, honest and considerate to all learners, potential learners and others working in the Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being sector, and will display control, respect, dignity and professionalism.

3.3 Set out and adhere to protocols for the provision of learner support and assessment decisions to ensure tutors and other employees do not find themselves in a vulnerable position requiring them to exert their own discretion.

3.4 Not smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs before or whilst teaching, or take actions which could compromise the safety of learners.

3.5 Not promote practices which might jeopardise the safety, well-being and future participation of their learners, nor should providers advocate or condone the use of prohibited drugs or other banned performance enhancing substances.

3.6 Ensure that the activities and training programmes they advocate and direct are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the learner/s.

3.7 Have valid public liability insurance, professional indemnity, product and employer’s liability cover to adequately and appropriately cover their legal liability in the event of any claim being made.

3.8 Ensure to uphold and abide by relevant health and safety at work policies, and as far as is reasonably possible, protect the safety of learners at all times.

3.9 Recognise the diverse needs of learners and make reasonable adjustments for those with particular requirements to enable them to have fair and equal access to qualifications, assessment and to demonstrate attainment.

The Training Provider will:

4.1 Maintain their subject and occupational competence at all times.

4.2 Confine themselves to practice those activities for which their own training and competence is recognised by awarding organisations, the government and its agencies.

4.3 Promote learners’ achievement towards attaining a high level of competence through encouraging a commitment to ongoing learning and development.

4.4 Promote the execution of safe and effective practice and plan all sessions so that they meet intended learning outcomes and expectations of learners.

4.5 Seek to achieve and maintain up-to-date knowledge of technical developments in the industry, and to support the use of the National Occupational Standards.

4.6 Not assume responsibility for any role for which they are not qualified or prepared.

4.7 Only use the names and titles of ‘Award’, ‘Certificate’ and ‘Diploma’ for recognised qualifications and ensure titles for CPD are agreed with SkillsActive, and/or the relevant awarding organisation as appropriate.

4.8 Make sure all learners are given a clear explanation of the outcome in terms of achievement of qualification, training, number of CPD points, etc.

4.9 Not deliberately mislead learners in the expected outcome from undertaking endorsed training.

4.10 Always differentiate endorsed training which supports an individual learner with CPD from NQF/QCF delivered qualifications or units (see 4.7).

4.11 Welcome evaluation and external assessment of their work by SkillsActive and be able to account to learners, employers, and trade associations.

4.12 Not make false claim or representation about their company or training/qualification.

4.13 Not make any false statements or value judgements about any other Training Provider.

4.14 Respond to any comments, suggestions or complaints made by learners to SkillsActive or awarding organisations.

4.15 Ensure that all marketing materials, online and otherwise, accurately represent the relevant sector and are presented professionally and without error.

5.1 Application for registration as a Lead Provider, Endorsed Training Provider or Compliant Training Provider will indicate acceptance of this Code of Conduct.

5.2 Training providers who deliver approved qualifications and/or endorsed training will supply any supporting evidence that SkillsActive may require to maintain their endorsed status.

5.3 This Code of Practice and details of SkillsActive’s endorsed Training Providers and their endorsed CPD and/or qualifications are available through the Quality Training Portal for all interested parties.

5.4 Any complaints received for poor practice or failure in quality training provision by the training provider will be referred to the Professional Development Panel for consideration.

5.5 The Professional Development Panel will apply an appropriate disciplinary sanction if the complaint is upheld.

5.6 The appropriate logos will be released to the Training Provider, if applicable, upon approval by SkillsActive.

5.7 The use of the SkillsActive logo and name is protected as a registered trademark. Use is through Endorsement only and misuse and/or abuse of the logo will result in the suspension of the Training Provider’s approval. This also applies to the Endorsement and CPD point logos.

5.8 Any certificate/s awarded to learners should, where applicable, carry appropriate logo/s and number of CPD points as agreed through the formal Endorsement process by SkillsActive.