1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Sports Coaching and Performance

Qualification code

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.

1st4sport Qualifications are regulated in England by the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual), in Wales by Qualifications Wales and in Northern Ireland by the Council for the Curriculum, Examination and Assessment (CCEA) Regulation.

The 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Sports Coaching and Performance contextualises coaching knowledge and application for the sports performance environment.

This qualification is not included in the Key stage 5 performance measures because it has not been designed specifically for full time 16-19 programmes as this is an occupational qualification.


This qualification is graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must pass all units to achieve the qualification.


This qualification is internally assessed.

Students are required to complete a series of assessed tasks covering the role of the coach; plan, deliver, manage and evaluate a sports coaching programme and to demonstrate their ability to coach sessions. Observation of coaching practice is typically carried out in a simulated, on-course environment. There is no synoptic assessment requirement for this qualification.

Learners are also required to deliver presentations to further demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the sports performance landscape.

Centres are required to internally quality assure students in line with their centre’s IQA policy and sampling plan.

1st4sport externally quality assure each centre in line with a centre’s risk profile.

Further information

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.
  • This qualification is 369 GLH. If it is presented for admission to HE it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.

This qualification would be suitable for consideration for progression to HE. Particularly suited to HE focussing on the sport and physical activity sector, students holding this qualification will have developed coaching skills and personal skills. Students holding this qualification could also use the qualification to enter employment as a coach, working either freelance or under the umbrella of a sports club/organisation.

This qualification has been operational since September 2019.



For full qualification handbook and unit specification content, please request from c[email protected]