Physical activity sector calls for single skills development body at ukactive and CIMSPA conference

Leading employers from the physical activity sector have called for skills and workforce development to sit within a single organisation.

The Active Training Conference, held in Reading’s Crowne Plaza, saw ukactive, CIMSPA and SkillsActive, the sector’s key training and workforce development organisations, answer calls for a unified outlook on skills.

The result is a clear timeline and platform for the development of a “single structure” for skills, led by employers.

The move follows the ongoing “Trailblazer” project in which employers have been tasked with developing an apprenticeship standard.

Following a day of discussions, ukactive CEO David Stalker closed the event by presenting a timeline for the initiation of three ‘guiding principles’ of workforce development:

  • The custodianship of standards and the framework for skills to sit within one body
  • A continuum of training provision across further education and higher education
  • A minimum standard for assessment and delivery protocols across all qualifications within the sector

Following on from this event, all three organisations have agreed to discuss the timeframe and details of delivering this sector-led change in workforce development.

Also discussed at the event were the future of apprenticeships within the sector and the need for greater levels of communication between education providers and employers.

ukactive CEO and CIMSPA chair David Stalker said: “It’s absolutely right that employers should be leading the skills agenda and today we have seen the sector’s skills development bodies take note of their recommendations and pledge to getting this right. It’s only by having a workforce that is fit for purpose that we can begin to deliver on the promise of turning the tide of inactivity.”

CIMSPA CEO Tara Dillon, who also spoke at the event, said: “Now that we have a firm commitment on how the future of the skills development agenda should be shaped, we must not squander the opportunity we have collectively been given by the sector. CIMSPA pledges to maintain momentum and to act with pace to embed the agreed ‘guiding principles’ into workforce development norms.”


CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector. CIMSPA provides leadership, support and empowerment for professionals working in sport and physical activity and a single unified voice for the sector.

The institute holds two long term strategic priorities: To provide opportunities for young leaders to develop and succeed, and to provide leadership on the development and management of career pathways

About ukactive:

ukactive is the UK’s leading not-for-profit health body for the physical activity sector, with over 3,500 members from activity providers to major consumer brands, training facilities and equipment manufacturers. Members come from across the private, public and third sector and are united by ukactive’s longstanding and uncompromising commitment to getting more people, more active, more often.

ukactive facilitates big impact partnerships, conceives and drives breakthrough campaigns, conducts critical research and galvanises key stakeholders to develop and deliver key projects that support and champion the physical activity agenda. The organisation’s efforts are centred on supporting a national ambition to “Turn the tide of physical inactivity”.

Incorporated by Royal Charter Charity registration number 1144545

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