New Technical Award in Sport: kick-starting their future

Published: Wednesday 8 Jun 2016

We’ve developed a new Technical Award in Sport to give young learners a hands-on introduction to life and work in the sporting industry. The new qualification will be available for first teaching in September 2017. It will be available alongside our reformed GCSE Physical Education.

Technical Awards are practical, vocational qualifications available to 14-16 year olds to take alongside GCSEs. If approved by the Department for Education, a single award will be equivalent to a GCSE qualification and will count towards performance tables. They could then be included in Progress 8 as part of the non-Ebacc open group of subjects.

Course content

We have designed this new qualification around three key areas:

  • developing player performance
  • gaining and practicing coaching skills
  • learning about the sports industry and its related organisations.

Learners will have the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice through a combination of real-life case studies, practical tasks and theoretical study.

All learners will be taught and assessed in the same way, and there is no need to split your class into Level 1 and Level 2.

Assessment structure

There are two internally-assessed units, and a third unit that is externally assessed.

Unit 1: Practical Player Performance (30%)

Learners will develop player performance in two separate sports activities. They’ll be expected to assess their own sporting performance, as well as someone else’s, and may use a log book to record evidence of their work.

Unit 2: Coaching, Officiating and Organising a Sports Event (30%)

Learners will develop their coaching skills and have the chance to plan or officiate at a sporting event. They will be expected to evaluate performances and show how they might make improvements.

Unit 3: The Sports Industry (written exam – 40%)

Learners will study the basic structure of the sports industry. This unit covers:

  • health, physical fitness and safety
  • contemporary issues in sport
  • local and national sports organisations
  • careers in physical activity and the sporting industry.

Why choose AQA

Insight from teachers:

The course is inclusive and accessible to all. I like the points system which means that students are not branded by the lowest bracket but can achieve their highest potential. The coaching unit looks strong, it’s a valuable tool for self-development and confidence.

Emma Ince, Teacher, Bishop Stopfords School

I love the content of this new qualification. It’s accessible to more practically-minded learners and gives young people a really valuable introduction into life and work in the sports industry, it’s great that they get the opportunity to improve their sporting performance and learn coaching skills.

Rebecca Brown, Head of Teaching and Learning, Footsteps

Where this award leads

This qualification will introduce young people to a wide variety of career opportunities within sport. They’ll gain the up-to-date, practical sports skills and core knowledge needed to progress onto further study, apprenticeships or employment.

Learners will also develop valuable transferable skills including self-appraisal, teamwork, leadership, research, presentation, communication and problem-solving.

We’ve worked with post-16 education providers to ensure that Technical Awards count equally alongside GCSEs when applying to do further study in either general or vocational qualifications.

Support and resources

We’ll be submitting our draft qualification to the Department for Education in September 2016, when we’ll share the draft specification with you. We’re also planning a series of free support events throughout the autumn term, alongside a full set of resources..

Contact us

Our subject team is here to help. Sign up for updates on our new Technical Awards, or contact Amardeep Singh Sandhu and the customer support team on 01483 477 822 or by email at

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