NCFE Level 3 Sport suite

Qualification codes
601/3060/X (NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Sport)
601/3059/3 (NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Sport)
601/3061/1 (NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport)

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.

These qualifications provide students with a structured and challenging individualised learning programme that supports their development and progression in line with their future career plans.

They are the substantial qualification component of the study programme and the NCFE Level 3 Certificate, Diploma and Extended Diploma in Sport are ideal for students who wish to further develop their skills and knowledge in a range of sport techniques and skills.

They aim to help support students’ development by providing them with the advanced skills and knowledge to either start a career in sport or progress within employment in the sector.

They will also provide progression opportunities and prepare students for higher or further education.

The pathways within the qualifications allow students to follow a particular specialist area, but still allow flexibility in the choice of unit combinations. 

The objectives of these qualifications are to:

  • allow students to choose a pathway and units that reflect their career or academic aspirations
  • enable students to enter employment in the sport and active leisure sector, or to progress to higher or further education
  • gain and develop essential skills that are valued by employers, and higher and further education providers.

The qualifications are graded Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*.

A Distinction* grade will be awarded to students who have consistently achieved a Distinction grade in every unit.


Internally assessed and externally quality assured portfolio of evidence.

Students are set assignments. These may be in the form of briefs, scenarios, problem solving exercises and/or research investigations. They are contextualised using realistic scenarios. The assessment may require students to write a report, write a business proposal, deliver a presentation, or make conclusions based on extensive research into a practical investigation.

All assessment is criterion-referenced, based on the achievement of specified learning outcomes. Each unit within a qualification has specified assessment guidance.

Content was developed with experts from FE, HE and employers to ensure that the skills and knowledge gained by students would be relevant, current and robust.

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 progresssion 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.

This suite of qualifications has been developed in partnership with employers, universities and other subject experts to ensure that the content is current and relevant.

Level 3 criteria require students to analyse, draw conclusions, interpret or justify, which are all examples of higher level skills. This means that evidence provided for the portfolio will also demonstrate the development and use of higher level learning skills.

Students may combine the Level 3 Certificate/ Diploma in Sport with other qualifications e.g. A levels or other vocational qualifications.

The Sports suite qualification had an operational end date of 31 January 2019, therefore the specifications are no longer available and we are no longer accepting learner registrations.