Sport England backs CIMSPA to professionalise physical activity sector
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Sport England backs CIMSPA to professionalise physical activity sector

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Sport England has pledged to work with CIMSPA to produce a new workforce strategy by the end of 2016 as it seeks to crank up efforts to professionalise the physical activity sector.

Sport England’s new strategy seeks to implement recommendations made in the government’s Sporting Future strategy to work with CIMSPA in creating a framework of sector skills, formalising career development pathways and improving the quality of CPD offerings.

Speaking to Health Club Management ahead of the report’s publication, Sport England CEO Jennie Price said the quango will be funding CIMSPA to produce a new workforce strategy, but said the extent of that funding is still to be decided.

“If you look at the recommendations made in the government strategy about how we work with CIMSPA, we’ve essentially accepted all of those and this is reflected in our detailed strategy,” said Price.

“I think this will be widely welcomed by the sector. It’s absolutely vital that we create a comprehensive skills framework, develop a proper career development pathway and generally increase the professionalisation of the sector to drive up standards.”

The announcement brings greater clarity to what has been a challenging 24 months for the sector as CIMSPA and SkillsActive have been at odds over the direction of workforce development, with several big name employers calling for change in the form of new skills standards being established under CIMSPA.

The lack of a mention in the Sport England strategy for SkillsActive, or its professional register REPs, is a further blow to the organisation, having previously been a national partner of Sport England as the Sector Skills Council for active leisure. A Sport England spokesperson recently confirmed to Health Club Management that its funding to SkillsActive has now ceased, with no plans to extend the April-March 2015/16 agreement between the two organisations.

Reacting to the Sport England strategy, CIMSPA chief executive Tara Dillon said the new direction is “great news” for sport and physical activity professionals.

“Not only does it direct funding into tackling physical inactivity; it also reaffirms Sport England’s support for CIMSPA in professionalising the sector and delivering a workforce that is fit for purpose,” said Dillon.

“Working with Sport England, CIMSPA and its partners are developing a new workforce strategy with a clear skills framework for all roles and the provision of good quality CPD. This is crucial in creating a workforce that is equipped to tackle the high levels of inactivity across the country in line with the government’s Sporting Future strategy.”

Read more on the Sport England strategy

NGB funding system overhauled by Sport England

Hundreds of millions invested in location-based Sport England pilotSport England readies £250m war chest to tackle inactivity epidemic

Small local facilities to benefit from increased Sport England supportSport England funding: the seven new investment programmes

Sport England scraps Active People Survey

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Sport England has pledged to work with CIMSPA to produce a new workforce strategy by the end of 2016 as it seeks to crank up efforts to professionalise the physical activity sector.
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