1st4sport Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning (QCF)

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This QIP covers a vocational qualification which is not listed on the Department for Education (DfE) 16 – 19 performance tables for England.

This qualification is not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables because it is not designed to meet the requirements of the Key Stage 5 performance tables.

  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales

Vocational qualifications are either work-related qualifications designed to enable students to gain the skills required to perform a particular job , or qualifications that may be taken as part of a wider study programme or an apprenticeship.

Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the DfE performance tables, if approved for teaching to 16-19 year olds by the Secretary of State for Education in England under Section 96, where this is in the best interests of individual students.

This qualification provides an introduction to the active leisure and learning industry, covering the sector as a whole, employment rights and responsibilities, and understanding the employing organisation.

This qualification is a mandatory component of the following advanced apprenticeships offered in the Active Leisure footprint:

  • Leisure Management
  • Exercise and Fitness
  • Coaching
  • Sports Development
  • Spectator Safety 
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Physical Education and School Sport
Education context

This qualification is designed for post-16 students and falls under the oversight of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). A significant number of students will undertake these qualifications post-19.

Following its 2012 review of post-19 qualifications the ESFA removed 1,800 qualifications from public funding and a further 1,000 in 2014. In March 2014 the government published a Reform Plan for Vocational Education.

This qualification has not been subject to the same reforms as Applied General and Tech Level qualifications (which are specifically designed for 16-19 year old students). However the ESFA has implemented a new set of business rules for the approval of qualifications for funding, based on the 2013 Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications in England. These rules recognise that adults may have different needs, aspirations and ambitions to younger people and include that qualifications should be:

  • relevant to individuals and employers and affordable for all sizes of business and for individuals
  • rigorous and based on a robust future-looking occupational standard designed and assessed by the sector
  • recognised as worthy of investment, giving a clear signal of the economically valuable skills, knowledge and understanding required in an occupation now and in the future

Regulation of vocational qualifications

The regulation of vocational qualifications is the responsibility of the respective regulators in each UK country – Ofqual (England), CCEA Regulation (Northern Ireland) SQA (Scotland) and Qualifications Wales (Wales). The regulatory approach undertaken for vocational qualifications is different from A levels. This is because there are no specific qualification criteria for vocational qualifications, as there currently are for GCSEs, AS and A levels. Vocational qualifications must comply with the regulator’s general rules, as is the case with all regulated qualifications.

The 1st4Sport Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning supports the achievement of the employee rights and responsibilities element of apprenticeship programmes in the Active Leisure and Learning sector, a mandatory outcome for achievement of the programme.

Awarding organisation
  • 1st4sport Qualifications
Qualification code
500/7423/4 (1st4sport Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning [QCF] )

To qualify for the 1st4sport Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning (QCF), students must successfully achieve three mandatory units. There are no optional units.

All learning is theory-based. Content has been developed by SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure, Learning, and Well-being, through consultation with a range of employers in the sector footprint.

Subject areas
  • Working in sport and leisure
  • Understanding Employment Rights and Responsibilities
  • Understanding the Active Leisure and Learning Sector
  • Understanding the Employing Organisation
  • Level 3

This is a Level 3 qualification regulated to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).¹

Level 3 is broadly aligned to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6/7.

¹ The QCF was a credit-based transfer system which recognised qualifications and units by awarding credits. It has now been withdrawn for all new qualifications and replaced by the RQF and the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales.


This qualification is awarded on a Pass/Fail basis. All three mandatory units must be passed for a learner to be awarded the qualification.


This qualification is internally assessed in its entirety. 

Students are provided with pre-standardised assessment tools and templates, centres are provided with assessment guidance in order to assess that students work effectively. These tools and templates have been developed to ensure full coverage of the learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

Internal quality assurance is required for all centres, and external quality assurance is conducted at regular intervals by subject-specific external quality assurers deployed by 1st4sport Qualifications.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

The internally assessed element forms 100% of the overall grade. There is no external assessment.

Resit arrangements

The recognised centre is required to ensure students who are unsuccessful in any aspect of assessment are offered a maximum of two opportunities to resit the appropriate assessment component within their period of registration (three years).

All reassessments must be conducted in accordance with the assessment specification.

Guided/notional learning hours
Award: 61 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

This qualification is worth eight credits. 

UCAS Tariff points

Unknown qualification

Grade Points


Key issues for UK HE admissions

There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing vocational qualifications that are not listed on the DfE 16-19 performance tables for England:

  • Some of these qualifications are occupational, and may not be designed specifically for progression to HE.
  • Applicants holding these qualifications may be school or college leavers, however, some may be more mature students who are likely to have other relevant experience alongside these qualifications. 
  • These qualifications may have been taken as part of a wider study programme or an apprenticeship.
  • If they are presented for admission to HE it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.

In respect of this qualification:

  • It is delivered as part of an advanced apprenticeship in the Active Leisure and Learning sector.
  • It is a small qualification of 61 GLH. If it is presented for admission to HE it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications, normally taken within an apprenticeship structure. 
  • The qualification raises the awareness of employment and the rights and responsibilities of both the employer and the employee. It provides a good understanding of employment issues, preparing the learner for the world of work.
  • This qualification has been available for a number of years, and applications can be expected from 2017.
Timing of assessments/results for learners

Students undergo continuous assessment during the programme.

Assessment outcomes are communicated to students at the time of assessment and reported to 1st4sport at the successful completion of the assessment programme.

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Sep 2009
Qualification dates notes

This is a current qualification.

Reporting and certification information

The results of this qualification are not reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL). This does not reflect the validity of the qualification. HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

View the results available through ABL.

Progression information

This qualification leads to further learning or training relating to the active leisure and learning industry. This qualification may lead to paid or voluntary roles in the industry.

The skills and knowledge developed through this qualification may also be used to enable students to progress to other industry-relevant qualifications in coaching, activity leadership, supporting physical education in school sport and sports development.

This qualification may lead to paid or voluntary roles in the industry should the learner wish to complete other industry/role-specific qualifications. Such roles they may look to take up could include:

  • official
  • coach
  • sports volunteer