Training and qualifications within our sector cover foundation degrees, vocational qualifications, such as Scottish or National Vocational Qualifications (S/NVQs), Apprenticeships and the new diplomas.
Employers in our sector are often concerned with workplace competence, which is why emphasis is placed on vocational qualifications as they are based on national occupational standards which reflect the skills and knowledge required to do a job effectively.
The vocational qualifications system is changing to become more responsive to the specific needs of employers and learners. The content of qualifications will be more relevant to employers’ needs and qualifications will be more accessible to a wider range of learners.
Part of this reform includes using Qualifications & Credit Frameworks offer a new way of recognising achievement through the award of credit for units and 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.
An SSC can only recommend qualifications for public funding for 19+ year-olds; the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) makes the decision about which qualifications are ultimately fundable, under what conditions, and to what value. Furthermore, an SSC can only recommend for funding those qualifications which meet its Sector Qualifications Strategy (SQS). SkillsActive’s SQS clearly sets out its priorities to be the qualifications which prepare and qualify the learner to do a particular job, and those which allow the learner to demonstrate their competence within a job. In the case of Edexcel BTEC qualifications which do neither of these therefore, SkillsActive cannot recommend these qualifications for funding unless they are with foundation learning, ie at entry level or level 1. This situation cannot change unless the SFA’s criteria for recommending funding changes.
Much of this work is based on our national occupational standards, which establish the competence required by those in the sector and form the key component of many qualifications.
Training providers and employers have the opportunity to input into the development of these qualifications and standards, look out for details on our latest projects.
Activity Sheffield deliver a variety of sport, play and activity sessions across the city, with the goal of leading the city to a more active, healthy and sporting future.
Richard says, traditionally, Activity Sheffield recorded staff training on paper. Details were entered into a spreadsheet programme and manually updated once a year as part of an individual's performance appraisal.
"We wanted a more modern way of recording and maintaining personal training records," he says.
Richard organised a demonstration of the activepassport through SkillsActive. The activepassportTM is an online tool that provides a verified record of an individual's training, qualifications and personal and professional achievements. It reduces administration by recording achievements, identifying skills gaps and setting reminders for training renewals and refreshers. It also quickly identifies individual and organisational training needs.
Easy access to training records
Richard says the electronic system appealed because it could hold all staff qualifications in one place and be easily updated. He bought 120 activepassportTM for Activity Sheffield's permanent staff who have now entered their training, qualifications, personal and professional details into the system. They will also soon upload their certificates.
"We've got coaches, development officers, operational managers, and office staff all using the system," Richard says. "The feedback is it's easy to use and navigate their way around, even for those who are less computer literate."
Alerts keep qualifications current
Activity Sheffield has used the system to produce reports identifying skills gaps.
"I like the fact that it flags up when staff qualifications expire so you don't have a situation where, for instance, a person's first aid certificate has run out and they're no longer qualified in that area," Richard says.
"The report also identifies if there are several people requiring training in a key area so we can then set up a course for them. And if a staff member leading a coaching session calls in sick, we can search through activepassportTM and see who else is qualified to take the session."
Saves time and creates staff incentive
The activepassport reduces the paperwork and time taken to record staff training, Richard says. It also shows staff that Activity Sheffield takes workforce development seriously.
"Staff are able to upload their training goals onto the system, so we can see these and help them to progress. They know that by putting this system in place, Activity Sheffield genuinely cares about them and investing in their professional development."
In the future, Activity Sheffield plans to extend the activepassportTM to its 80 casual and part time staff. It also wants to use the tool as an incentive for volunteers.
"The activepassport is an excellent way to capture staff training electronically. It's easy to use, it saves time and it's given us a proper hold on staff training. I'm not aware of anything else like it."
Volunteering plays an important role in the sport and active leisure sector, with many local community schemes being run and managed by volunteers. There are many opportunities open to people in the sector - from government funding to free training and qualifications.
For funding opportunities in coaching, please see our Coaching Investment Programe.
There are several different ways to become a sports volunteer: