SkillsActive works with employers, training providers and awarding bodies to develop qualifications that enable people to be competent in a specific area of work or type of role.
These include vocational qualifications, such as Scottish or National Vocational Qualifications (S/NVQs) and vocationally related qualifications (VRQs).
Scottish/National Vocational Qualifications
Scottish/national vocational qualifications (S/NVQs) are qualifications based on national occupational standards (NOS) - statements that describe the skills and knowledge a person needs to do a job effectively.
Scottish/ National vocational qualifications are available at levels 1,2 and 3.
- Active leisure and learning - an introduction to the sector and a pathway into the specific S/NVQs at level 2
- Activity leadership
- Coaching, teaching, instructing (assessed in the context of a specific approved sport or activity)
- Instructing exercise and fitness
- Mechanical ride operations
- Operational services
- Spectator control
- Sport and play installations
- Coaching, teaching, instructing
- Development, training and recreation
- Operations and development
- Outdoor education
- Spectator control
For a list of training providers offering vocational qualifications see
Vocationally related qualifications
Vocationally related qualifications (VRQs) are practical learning programmes that relate directly to a specific role or sector. They cover almost every sector, at every level, and are not purely based on national occupational standards.
Awarding bodies offer vocationally related qualifications in a broad range of subject areas including:
- National governing body coaching, instructing and officiating qualifications
- Fitness-related qualifications
- Lifeguarding qualifications
- Playwork related qualifications
- Outdoor-related qualifications
Common assessment requirements
SkillsActive is concerned with the continued availability of high quality qualifications that are fit for purpose, meet the needs of employers in the sector, command public confidence, and are understood by those taking them and those who use them for recruitment, or for other purposes. SkillsActive has long advocated that consistent standards are maintained across the awarding organisations who deliver qualifications on behalf of the Sport, Active Leisure, Learning and Wellbeing industry. To ensure that the assessment guidance and evidence requirements for each new qualification is uniform SkillsActive have created a Quality Assurance document for the delivery of S/NVQ qualifications and other more specific Assessment Strategies which the awarding organisations should comply with when delivering qualifications.
Quality Assurance Strategy for qualifications that confirm occupational competence
This document sets out the recommendations of SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council and Standards Setting Body for Active Leisure, Learning and Wellbeing for the assessment and quality control mechanisms required for S/NVQ qualifications which confirm occupational competence in the workplace.
Qualification specific assessment strategies and evidence requirements
These qualification specific assessment strategies have been developed by SkillsActive and appropriate industry experts to provide assessment guidance and evidence requirements for the awarding organisations to implement within their processes for the verification and awarding of each qualification. These documents are to be used with close reference to the more generic quality assurance strategy detailed above.
Health and fitness
- Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing
- Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
- Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training
- Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Personal Training
- Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral
- Level 3 Award in Conversion of Advanced Fitness Instructor to Personal Trainer Status
- Level 3 Certificate in Leisure Management
- Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Leisure Management
- Level 2 Certificate in Leisure Operations
- Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being Operational Services
- Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Spectator Safety
- Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Spectator Safety
- Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Spectator Safety Management
- Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork (from Early Years)
- Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Playwork
- Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Playwork
- Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Playwork
Sport and Play Surfaces
Sport and Recreation
- Level 1 NVQ Award in Sport and Active Leisure
- Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Activity Leadership
- Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sports Development
- Level 3 Certificate in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance
- Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Sports Performance
- Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance
Additional agreed principles
Coaching qualifications based on common units
SkillsActive has worked with awarding organisations and NGBs to develop eight coaching qualifications based on common units to meet the needs of employers, staff and volunteers.
The Register of Regulated Qualifications
The Register of Regulated Qualifications contains details of Recognised Awarding Organisations and Regulated Qualifications in England (Ofqual), Wales (DCELLS) and Northern Ireland (Ofqual for vocational qualifications and CCEA for all other qualifications).
Visit the Register to view Recognised Awarding Organisations, Regulated Qualifications, Units and Diploma structures.