The recent government backing given to several new vocational qualifications for 16-19 year olds preparing for a career in the physical activity sector, has been widely well-received by those in the industry and marks a key development in our Active Pathway for students.

The Department for Education (DfE) approval of Active IQ’s Level 3 Technical Diploma and Level 2 Technical Certificate in Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise Science will see the inclusion of these qualifications in the 2018 16-19 performance tables, and the Level 3 Diploma has also been accepted onto the new UCAS Tariff for progression to higher education from first entry 2017.

This latest development of professional and technical training for 16-18 year olds is a significant achievement for Active IQ, given that vocational qualifications have been the focus of enormous change over the past 18 months, affecting the entire further education landscape.

At a time when the design principles of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) have been withdrawn, making way for the new Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), professional and technical education has suffered over the recent past due to the confusion around a standard definition of Guided Learning Hours (GLH), contributing to the pressure the active leisure sector has come under in terms of quality.

Training providers choosing to promote the cheapest, fastest courses with no face-to-face interaction or tutor support has resulted in lesser-skilled graduates without the ‘soft skills’. They also miss out on meaningful engagement with peers, tutors and coaches who inspire and motivate the next generation of physical activity professionals. The very reasonable expectation to utilise technology in place of people has increased this downward pressure, with online learning getting a bad name, and a balance has to be found

The minimum GLH is soon to be clarified by way of consultation with the industry and training providers alike for key market entry qualifications (that is, the amount of real time teaching experienced on a Personal training qualification for example). By the end of 2017 it will be compulsory for all training providers to meet this minimum requirement in order to be compliant with awarding organisation (and Ofqual) requirements. New training providers wishing to enter the market place will only be successful if they are also aiming to offer the highest quality teaching and learning experience.

In these changing times, Active IQ is committed to upholding high quality vocational qualifications that provide a clear line of sight to gainful employment. By taking on board feedback of employers and training providers, we’ve ensured our new Tech Cert and Tech Level qualifications cover a range of career pathways. These include Exercise and Fitness, Health and Wellbeing, Leisure Operations, Physical Activity and Management. 

These diplomas, available to students as part of a two year college study programme, provide learners with a broad base of knowledge and skills to be able to work in a variety of customer-facing roles within the active leisure industry, including fitness instructing, personal training and leisure operation as well as being able to access higher education degree programmes.

Learners completing Active IQ Technical qualifications can feel assured that they’ve committed to a course that supplies them with all the soft-skills essential to their future employers, and in turn we help to provide leisure operators with skilled, high calibre graduates that are ready to hit the ground running.

Fitness is now recognised as a cradle to grave spectrum, encompassing physical activity, exercise in both formal and non-formal settings, from walking to work, through dance to sports and performance coaching. Employment opportunities in active leisure have never been stronger and our rigorous vocational qualifications are key to the future success of this vibrant and growing industry.

Sarah Edmonds is Director of Quality and Standards at Active IQ, the UK’s leading Ofqual recognised Awarding Organisation for the Active Leisure, Learning and Wellbeing Sector.


Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 6 hours 18 minutes ago

Zoom in on Apprenticeships

Georgia chats with Victoria Gage, Careers Hub Lead at Devon County Council.

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 6 hours 20 minutes ago

Future Skills Centre

Welcome to the Future Skills Centre. A fully refurbished venue operated by Exeter College in partnership with Devon County Council, the Future...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 6 hours 21 minutes ago

Activate Learning students are chosen to appear in nationwide showcase: Activate Learning (@Activate_Learn) is exci…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page