Personal and professional developer

Personal and professional developers – role explanation

This is our proposed approach to developing professional standards for these occupations. The proposal is based upon a mini review of literature of publications in this area. CIMSPA would like to formally thank the following organisations for providing access to their literature and contribution to our work informing the development of this document:

The International Council for Coaching Excellence
UK Coaching Logo
UK Coaching

UK Sport Logo
UK Sport
Open University Logo
The Open University

Throughout numerous sector consultations by CIMSPA and the partners listed above it is clear the role(s), purpose, titles, and competencies of people who develop other people within the sport and physical activity sector are diverse and consensus has been difficult to find.

This document aims to provide a line in the sand and a standard reference point for all organisations that employ/deploy people who develop other people who may currently be referred to as: tutors, mentors, coach developers, people developers, work placed mentors, work-based assessors, assessors and other titles.

We have reviewed all role descriptors of the workforce in the roles identified above and propose the roles outlined below will cover everyone working this area across the whole sport and physical activity sector.


Personal and professional developer

Mentoring, coaching and support through the professional's learning journey.


Teaching small groups of coaches through a syllabus provided by an organisation.


Evaluating the competence, capability or skill, either within a programme of learning or in work-based assessment.
Each of the three roles will require a professional standard to be developed – the professional standard will outline the scope of the role and knowledge, skills and behaviours of the post holder.

It is common people working in our sector may hold multiple roles and/or act in a different capacity depending on their circumstances. A post holder may be required to demonstrate competence of having achieved competencies across multiple professional standards.

Flexible Professional Standards
Keep in mind that professional standards are not limited to just developing learning products such as degrees, vocational qualifications, learning programmes and CPD.

They can also curate job descriptions, help write performance appraisals and build competency frameworks. CIMSPA supports flexible application of professional standards, with employers using appropriate methods for their industry to assess competency.

CIMSPA Personal and Professional Developer Professional Standard

This the first of the suite of three professional standards outlined above. We will develop and consult on the roles of Tutor and Assessor in the winter of 2019.

They will work with a range of people including; leisure operatives, coaches, personal trainers and managers, they will act as a mentor and as a critical friend to support the personal and professional development of the individual.

The draft professional standard linked below outlines the key knowledge and skills required for an individual to carry out the role of a Personal and Professional Developer.

  • A Personal and Professional Developer is someone who will provide focused support offering a variety of appropriate support mechanisms.
  • They will not undertake formal assessments of capabilities but will support the development of an individual – providing comprehensive feedback on how they can develop personally and professionally.
  • The Personal and Professional Developer will support the development of the individual to learn and progress.
  • They will demonstrate empathy, excellent listening and communication skills.
  • They will stretch and challenge the individual to encourage their best thinking and practice, create a positive inclusive learning environment where information and knowledge can be shared within a safe environment and help the individuals to improve the experience that they are creating with people that they work with.

Draft standard and consultation

We also ask for your feedback on the draft professional standard for the role of Personal and Professional Developer.

Access the draft standard and consultation


We welcome your thoughts on the 3 role definitions above and whether these encompass everyone working in this area across the whole sector.

Colin Huffen MCIMSPA
CIMSPA Head of Regulation and Standards

Natasha Eason MCIMSPA
CIMSPA Education Officer – Professional Standards and Apprenticeships

Incorporated by Royal Charter Charity registration number 1144545

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