Sports Coaching Award SCQF level 5

The Sports Coaching Award at SCQF level 5 provides learners with a qualification that will demonstrate their aptitude in this area. The Award will introduce learners to coaching skills and to their role as a coach in a supervised environment. It will develop learners' understanding of professional practice in sports coaching and how to assist in the delivery of planned sports coaching sessions.

This Award will develop the learner's confidence and awareness of the skills that they have acquired which they can use for deployment and/or further study.

This qualification is available through sports/national governing bodies only.

Why deliver this qualification

This qualification enables the learner to demonstrate both underpinning knowledge and performance evidence of competence in a sports coaching vocational area.

This qualification is based on the most current version of CIMSPA Coaching Assistant Professional Standards and the Sportscotland Effective Coaching Map.

The Award can be offered via sports/national governing bodies.

Who does this qualification suit

This Award is suitable for learners, with an interest in sport and physical activity to develop the skills and knowledge required to enable them to assist with sports coaching sessions.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.


The SCQF level 5 Award could provide progression to:


Learners must be at least 14 years old before starting this qualification. Young people under 16 years of age may complete this qualification and may use this in their role as coaching assistant/youth volunteer but cannot operate as a lead coach or hold sole responsibility for a coaching session until after their 16th birthday.


This Award and its unit are not auto-approved and are non-devolvable to centres. SQA centres considering delivering the qualification should be aware of the approval stipulations which must be fulfilled.

The following approval criteria apply to this qualification:

  • Centres must contact Sportscotland ( to obtain a Letter of Support prior to seeking SQA approval. This should be submitted with the Approval Application to SQA.
  • Assessors/internal verifiers must be recognised by the Sports/National Governing Body (S/NGB) of the sport being delivered.
  • Assessors and internal verifiers must:
    • hold an assessor/internal verifier qualification, as determined by the S/NGB.
    • be occupationally competent and have evidence of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) which the S/NGB of the sport recognises. CPD may be different across sports. This could include the following (as appropriate to the sport): upskilling days; standardisation; evidence of course and sport delivery; generic across-sport CPD.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide. The specific delivery requirements are set out in the group award specification.

How to assess

Assessment of this Award will be through a series of theoretical and practical assessments or tasks. The unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

Qualification Structure

Group award code: GR31 45

The Sports Coaching Award at SCQF level 5 consists of one mandatory unit. Please refer to the qualification structure for details on the unit making up this qualification.  

GR31 45 (503 KB)

National Occupational Standards

Unit information for this qualification is available on our Unit Search.

Awarding partnership arrangements

This Award is jointly certificated with Sportscotland and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

Portability statement

Each of the home nations sports councils, UK Coaching and CIMSPA are committed to working with the respective sports governing bodies to maximise the portability of coaches working across the UK. Home Country Sports Councils have agreed the following portability statement:

'All qualifications and learning opportunities developed in line with the sector's Professional Standards and endorsed by CIMSPA will allow people to operate in their chosen occupation, population and environment across and throughout the UK, eg coach (core occupation), working in the school environment (environment), working with children (population).'

(27 February 2020)