Sporting Excellence Professional (L3) | Pearson qualifications

Apprenticeship Standards Sporting Excellence Professional (L3)

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About the role

This Level 3 apprenticeship standard is designed as a minimum 18-month programme and is for apprentices who wish to gain the skills, knowledge and behavioural competences required to work in a sporting excellence professional role.

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Sporting Excellence Professionals are competent players who perform consistently and effectively in training environments and competitions in relation to one of the following professional sports: cricket, football, rugby league, rugby union and equestrianism.

They are part of a playing team, supported and managed by a wider and multi-disciplinary team. They have a high level of autonomy in terms of responsibility for what happens on the field of play and need to be able to cope with extreme pressure.

The key activities of a Sporting Excellence Professional are to:

  • Effectively and successfully represent their employer on the field of play at a local, regional, national or international level

  • Undertake a daily training routine, supported by a multi-disciplinary team, to ensure that they retain and develop the technical, tactical, physical and psychological skills necessary for performing at the professional level

  • Practice a lifestyle conducive to maintaining a high level of performance

  • Act as an ambassador for their employer, sport and governing body in relation to younger players, fans and the local community – including their approach to diversity, equality and inclusion

  • Actively plan for life after their sporting career and supplement the next phase of playing contract. 

Employers will set their own entry requirements and will need to be registered with the National Governing Body and/or Leagues relevant to the professional player pathway for their sport to ensure they are able to provide the right environment in which to successfully develop Sporting Excellence Professionals.




We provide a clear learning programme to take apprentices from entry through to the gateway for end-point assessment.

You can use our on-programme offer regardless of whether you are using Pearson as your end-point assessment organisation or not.


Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this prior to taking the end-point assessment. 

For those with an education, health and care plan, or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and Maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. British Sign Language qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.

There are optional qualifications available which are designed to support both off-the-job and on-the-job training and development of apprentices on the apprenticeship standard:

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Sporting Excellent and Performance

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sporting Excellent and Performance

Both of these qualification sizes are mapped to this apprenticeship standard but must be used in conjunction with end-point assessment (EPA) materials and resources to prepare learners for their EPA.

As both a vocational and academic awarding organisation, we can offer a wide range of English and maths qualifications in line with your standards’ requirements from Functional Skills through to GCSEs.


English and maths resources
We have a wide range of resources and useful tools to complement your programme, including assessment tools, podcasts and training events.

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End-point assessment

End-point assessment

As an ESFA-approved Assessment Organisation, Ofqual accredited, we provide a full range of assessment services, resources and support from our experienced EPA team to equip you and your learners with the diverse requirements of the apprenticeship standards.

You can use Pearson as your end-point assessment organisation, regardless of whether you choose to use our on-programme offer or not.

We offer End Point Assessment for the following:

  • Football
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Cricket (not yet available)
  • Horse racing and equestrian (not yet available)

Once contracted with Pearson as an EPAO, the EPA resource pack for each specialism will be provided.

Specification and resources

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There are three components that make up end-point assessment for this apprenticeship standard.

Knowledge test

It will be onscreen computer-based, assessing the occupational standard’s knowledge as shown in Annex 1 – specifically around Anti-Doping, Nutrition, Injury, and Safe and Effective Practice.
Apprentices will be expected to complete an online knowledge test, containing 40 mandatory multiple-choice questions and 6 scenario-based questions.
Apprentices will have 90 minutes to complete the knowledge test
Grading = Fail/Pass/Distinction.
Practical observation with questions and answers

Apprentices will be observed in the workplace and assessed against a range of KSBs. The practical observation (with Q&A) is assessed by the independent assessor using the grade criteria and associated evidence requirements identified for each sport in the assessment plan. It consists of five activities, lasting for 3 hours in total:

  • Data Analysis session (15 mins)
  • Practical Training session (60 mins)
  • Practical Training session debrief (15 mins)
  • Video Showcase (45 mins)
  • Question and Answer session with IEA (45 mins).

Grading = Fail/Pass/Distinction.

Professional interview - supported by a portfolio of evidence

The professional interview is a structured discussion between the apprentice and independent assessor, assessing a range of KSBs. The interview is supported by a portfolio containing evidence that the apprentice has collected during their on-programme period. The apprentice must take their portfolio of evidence into the interview and use it to support their verbal responses.

The professional interview will last 90 minutes, where the independent assessor will ask the apprentice a minimum of 12 competency-based questions

Portfolio of evidence

The portfolio should comprise a number of holistic and/or discrete pieces of the apprentice’s best work collected over the duration of the apprenticeship. The portfolio of evidence should include a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 25 pieces of evidence.

Grading = Fail/Pass/Distinction.

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This EPA has three assessment methods.

The grades available for each EPA method are:

EPA method 1 - Knowledge Test:

The test includes 40 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and six scenario based multiple-choice questions (SBQs) covering injury and risk management, effective, safe and inclusive practice, anti-doping and nutritional performance.

MCQs – 40 questions each with three options, from which apprentices must select one correct answer.

SBQs – two separate scenarios. Each scenario has three questions (six questions in total). Each question has four options, from which apprentices must select one correct answer.

Scenario-based multiple-choice questions test the apprentice’s ability to analyse and evaluate relevant work-based scenarios and their ability to think critically, through objective analysis and evaluation of an issue, to form a judgement that can withstand challenge

Grading: Fail/Pass/Distinction

EPA method 2 - Practical Observation with Questions and Answers:

The apprentice is observed by an Independent End-point Assessor (IEA) undertaking a range of day-to-day tasks as part of their regular working patterns and training/match play schedules, which reflect typical working conditions in a sports performance academy

environment at a professional club or equestrian yard. As part of this, the observation includes the following three sessions:

  • Observation of practical training sessions or competition
  • Observation of data analysis session and video showcase
  • Question and answer session.

Grading: Fail/Pass/Distinction

EPA method 3 - Professional Interview - Underpinned by a Portfolio of Evidence:

The IEA will ask apprentices a minimum of 11 competency-based questions. The questions will be structured to elicit the evidence to meet the Pass and Distinction grade criteria associated with the KSB standard areas being assessed.

Apprentices can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence.

The portfolio itself is not assessed or graded; it is used to support the apprentice in their interview responses.

Grading: Fail/Pass/Distinction

The result from each EPA method is combined to decide the overall apprenticeship grade. The following grades are available for the apprenticeship: Fail/Pass/Distinction

Apprentices must achieve at least a Pass in all the EPA methods to get an overall Pass.

To achieve an overall EPA Distinction, apprentices must achieve a Distinction in the Practical Observation and one other assessment method.

Our range of EPA resources such as EPA specification, additional resources document and practice knowledge test are designed to enhance learners’ knowledge and/or hone essential skills required.

They are available to our customers who have signed up to Pearson EPA and include information on:

  • Structure
  • Grading
  • Gateway requirements
  • Assessment content
  • Evidence requirement for each component

We have designed a step-by-step guide, with signposts to our key supporting information, resources and services available at every stage of the process.

End-point assessment - Sport

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Sporting Excellence Credly badge

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Digital credentials

Apprentices who achieve their End-point Assessment for this standard will be invited to claim their Credly digital badge.

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Training and support

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Become and independent end-point assessor

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