NCFE Level 3 Sport suite

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

These qualifications are not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables because they are not designed to meet the requirements of the Key Stage 5 performance tables.

Countries
  • England
  • Wales
Purpose

Vocational qualifications are either work-related qualifications designed to enable learners 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 learners.


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 learners who wish to further develop their skills and knowledge in a range of sport techniques and skills.

They aim to help support learners’ 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 learners for higher or further education.

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

The objectives of these qualifications are to:

  • allow learners to choose a pathway and units that reflect their career or academic aspirations
  • enable learners 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.
Education context

These qualifications are designed for post-16 learners and fall under the oversight of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

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.

These qualifications have not been subject to the same reforms as Applied General and Tech Level qualifications (which are specifically designed for 16-19 year old learners). 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.


These qualifications form part of a study programme. Study programmes normally include substantial academic or applied and technical qualifications, together with non-qualification activity including work experience, and the study of English and mathematics where students do not hold a GCSE graded A*–C in these subjects.

Awarding organisation
  • NCFE
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)
Structure

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

The unit grades are aggregated to form the final overall qualification grade. A Distinction* grade will be awarded to learners who have consistently achieved a Distinction grade in every unit.

Subject areas

Pathway 1: Sport, exercise and fitness, consists of two mandatory units:

  • Unit 01 Exercise, health and lifestyle (10 credits)
  • Unit 02 Principles of anatomy and physiology in sport (10 credits)

and 27 optional units:

  • Unit 03 Practical team sports (10 credits)
  • Unit 04 Practical individual sports (10 credits)
  • Unit 05 The physiology of fitness (10 credits)
  • Unit 06 Assessing risk in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 07 Fitness training and programming (10 credits)
  • Unit 08 Fitness testing for sport and exercise (10 credits)
  • Unit 09 Sports nutrition (10 credits)
  • Unit 10 Psychology for sports performance (10 credits)
  • Unit 11 Technical and tactical skills in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 12 The athlete's lifestyle (10 credits)
  • Unit 13 Current issues in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 14 Instructing physical activity and exercise (10 credits)
  • Unit 15 Sport injuries (10 credits)
  • Unit 16 Sports facilities and operational management (10 credits)
  • Unit 17 Sports coaching (10 credits)
  • Unit 18 Sports development (10 credits)
  • Unit 19 Leadership in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 20 Analysis of sports performance (10 credits)
  • Unit 21 Ethics and values in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 22 Business in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 23 Sport and exercise massage (10 credits)
  • Unit 24 Organising sports events(10 credits)
  • Unit 25 Work experience in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 26 Research project in sport and exercise sciences (10 credits)
  • Unit 27 Applied Strength and conditioning (10 credits)

Pathway 2: Outdoors, consists of two mandatory units:

  • Unit 01 Exercise, health and lifestyle (10 credits)
  • Unit 02 Principles and practices in outdoor adventure (10 credits)

and 26 optional units:

  • Unit 03 Practical team sports (10 credits)
  • Unit 04 Practical individual sports (10 credits)
  • Unit 05 Principles of anatomy and physiology in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 06 The physiology of fitness (10 credits)
  • Unit 07 Assessing risk in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 08 Sports nutrition (10 credits)
  • Unit 09 Psychology for sports performance (10 credits)
  • Unit 10 Current issues in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 11 Sport injuries (10 credits)
  • Unit 12 Sports facilities and operational management (10 credits)
  • Unit 13 Sports coaching (10 credits)
  • Unit 14 Sports development (10 credits)
  • Unit 15 Leadership in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 16 Impact and sustainability in outdoor adventure (10 credits)
  • Unit 17 Alternative pursuits in outdoor adventure (10 credits)
  • Unit 18 Environmental education for outdoor adventure (10 credits)
  • Unit 19 Equipment and facilities for outdoor and adventurous activities (10 credits)
  • Unit 20 Skills for land-based outdoor and adventurous activities (10 credits)
  • Unit 21 Skills for water-based outdoor and adventurous activities (10 credits)
  • Unit 22 Outdoor and adventurous expeditions (10 credits)
  • Unit 23 Ethics and values in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 24 Business in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 25 Sport and exercise massage (10 credits)
  • Unit 26 Organising sports events (10 credits)
  • Unit 27 Work experience in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 28 Applied strength and conditioning (10 credits)

Pathway 3: Working in sport, consists of two mandatory units:

  • Unit 01 Exercise, health and lifestyle (10 credits)
  • Unit 02 Work experience in sport (10 credits)

and 22 optional units:

  • Unit 03 Practical team sports (10 credits)
  • Unit 04 Practical individual sports (10 credits)
  • Unit 05 Assessing risk in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 06 Fitness training and programming (10 credits)
  • Unit 07 Fitness testing for sport and exercise (10 credits)
  • Unit 08 Sports nutrition (10 credits)
  • Unit 09 Psychology for sports performance (10 credits)
  • Unit 10 Current issues in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 11 Instructing physical activity and exercise (10 credits)
  • Unit 12 Sport injuries (10 credits)
  • Unit 13 Sports facilities and operational management (10 credits)
  • Unit 14 Sports coaching (10 credits)
  • Unit 15 Sports development (10 credits)
  • Unit 16 Leadership in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 17 Outdoor and adventurous expeditions (10 credits)
  • Unit 18 Analysis of sports performance (10 credits)
  • Unit 19 Ethics and values in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 20 Business in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 21 Sport and exercise massage (10 credits)
  • Unit 22 Organising sports events (10 credits)
  • Unit 23 Research project in sport and exercise sciences (10 credits)
  • Unit 24 Applied strength and conditioning (10 credits)

Pathway 4: Coaching, consists of two mandatory units:

  • Unit 01 Exercise, health and lifestyle (10 credits)
  • Unit 02 Sports coaching (10 credits)

and 23 optional units:

  • Unit 03 Practical team sports (10 credits)
  • Unit 04 Practical individual sports (10 credits)
  • Unit 05 Principles of anatomy and physiology in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 06 The physiology of fitness (10 credits)
  • Unit 07 Assessing risk in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 08 Fitness training and programming (10 credits)
  • Unit 09 Fitness testing for sport and exercise (10 credits)
  • Unit 10 Sports nutrition (10 credits)
  • Unit 11 Psychology for sports performance (10 credits)
  • Unit 12 Technical and tactical skills in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 13 The athlete's lifestyle (10 credits)
  • Unit 14 Current issues in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 15 Instructing physical activity and exercise (10 credits)
  • Unit 16 Sport injuries (10 credits)
  • Unit 17 Sports development (10 credits)
  • Unit 18 Leadership in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 19 Analysis of sports performance (10 credits)
  • Unit 20 Ethics and values in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 21 Business in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 22 Sport and exercise massage (10 credits)
  • Unit 23 Organising sports events (10 credits)
  • Unit 24 Work experience in sport (10 credits)
  • Unit 25 Applied strength and conditioning (10 credits)
Levels
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England and Northern Ireland and the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales, though many may be offered on a three-country basis.

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

Grading

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

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

Assessment

Internally assessed and externally quality assured portfolio of evidence.

Learners 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 learners would be relevant, current and robust.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

100% of the assessment is by the internally assessed and externally quality assured portfolio of evidence.

Resit arrangements

To achieve the NCFE Level 3 Sport and Physical Activity qualifications, learners must successfully demonstrate their achievement of all learning outcomes of the units as detailed in the qualification specification.

Learners who are not successful can resubmit work within the registration period.

Guided/notional learning hours
NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Sport: 180 hours
NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Sport: 360 hours
NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport: 540 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Sport: 30 credits. Total qualification time (TQT): 300 hours

NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Sport: 60 credits. TQT: 600 hours

NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport. 90 credits. TQT: 900 hours

UCAS Tariff points

NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport

Grade Points
D* 84
D 72
M 48
P 24

NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Sport

Grade Points
D* 56
D 48
M 32
P 16

NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Sport

Grade Points
D* 28
D 24
M 16
P 8
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 progresssion to HE.
  • Applicants holding these qualifications may be school or college leavers, however, some may be more mature learners 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 learners 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.

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

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Learners are assessed throughout their programme of learning and may submit their portfolio of evidence at any point.

Results are provided on a rolling basis.

Qualification dates notes

These qualifications are current.

Reporting and certification information

The results of these qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

View the results available through ABL.

Certification of these qualifications is reported on the basis of the number of certificates achieved over a 12-month period.

Progression information

The content of these qualifications is current and relevant and can lead to employment within the sport sector.

The higher level skills developed by these qualifications support progression to higher education.