CIMSPA professional standards – an overview

The CIMSPA Professional Standards Matrix outlines occupations and job roles within the sport and physical activity sector, by defining what knowledge and skills an individual must understand and demonstrate to undertake a particular role.

What this means for YOU as a sport and physical activity professional 

The CIMSPA-endorsed qualifications, training and CPD you complete will be designed around real-world employer needs.

The matrix will help CIMSPA create pathways to chartered status for many sector professionals.

If your career changes direction you will not have to repeat core learning to progress.

CIMSPA will maintain the matrix through robust endorsement and quality assurance of qualifications, training and CPD.

We also facilitate and support the development and use of apprenticeship standards.

Occupations and job roles in sport and physical activity


Our professional standards project – timeline

Coaching professional standards

JUNE 2018

CIMSPA launches the sector's first coaching-related professional standards.

  • Coach
  • Coaching Assistant
  • Working in the School Environment (Out of Curriculum)
  • Safeguarding and Protecting Children
  • Working with Children

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Raising the Bar Report 2018

MAY 2018

The headline finding of the report, produced by Future Fit Training and supported by ukactive, is that “100% of operators believe the CIMSPA professional standards for fitness will have a positive impact on raising the quality of Personal Trainers entering the industry.”

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First standards-aligned fitness qualifications

MARCH 2018

CIMSPA partner YMCA Awards is first to gain professional standards endorsement for fitness qualifications:

  • YMCA Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing
  • YMCA Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training (Practitioner)
  • YMCA Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training (Practitioner)

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First standards-aligned swim teaching qualification

FEBRUARY 2018

The Institute of Swimming Level 2 Teaching Swimming qualification is the first qualification to be endorsed against CIMSPA’s Swimming Teacher professional standard.

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Leisure Duty Manager apprenticeship standard approved

JANUARY 2018

The Institute for Apprenticeships greenlights the sector’s first apprenticeship standard, with employers able to use up to £5000 of levy funding to help with training costs.

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BASES and CIMSPA agree partnership

JANUARY 2018

Joint working will ensure that degree endorsements, career pathways and professional standards are aligned to the needs of employers, employees and the wider sport and physical activity sector.

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CIMSPA higher education partnership pilot starts

JANUARY 2018

The pilot will finalise the endorsement and recognition process for UK sport and physical activity-related degree programmes. Endorsed degrees will be certified as meeting employer-set professional standards – an important employability benchmark.

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First six professional standards released

NOVEMBER 2017

The professional standards era is underway for the sport and physical activity sector as six key roles get covered: Personal Trainer; Swimming Teacher; Core Group Exercise Instructor; Gym Instructor; Recreation Assistant and Lifeguard.

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