Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence

Qualification code
603/3338/8 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence)

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.

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence is aimed at talented sports performers who are enrolled by a national governing body (NGB) on a Talent Pathway (a training and competition programme in order to compete at the highest level). This qualification is for performers in the sports where performers are not paid while they are on their Talent Pathways. The purpose of the qualification is to confirm competence in the elite sports arena, specifically the training environment of the student’s chosen sport, for both the practical and theoretical elements. It is underpinned by a range of competency-based evidence. This purpose can be met only through active involvement in elite sport. This qualification therefore meets the needs of those elite young athletes who have the potential to achieve excellence in their sport and who are looking to perform, as their main career goal, at the highest level.


The qualification and the units are graded pass/fail.

To achieve a pass on the qualification, students must pass all of the 19 units.


There is 100% internal assessment. This is quality assured through external standards verification, comprising visits and remote sampling of the marking of assessments.

Where learning outcomes relate to knowledge and understanding, assignments, case studies or projects will be the main methods of assessment.

Where learning outcomes relate to performance, observation by the assessor will be the most valid approach to assessment.

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 780 GLH. If it is presented for admission to HE it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.

This qualification is a direct replacement for the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Achieving Excellence in Sport and the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Sports Performance.

The following is a link to the specification for the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence.