Physical Education: Further qualifications Objectives: Understand the types and varieties of PE accredited courses. Consider some of the career pathways these qualifications may lead to. Key terms: Accredited – a recognised standard of award leading to a higher learning level. Proficiency – being adequately or well qualified. There are many accredited courses and qualifications relating to PE and sport. GCSE Includes the course you are currently studying! It is possible to make this a double award worth 2 GCSE’s. As well as GCSE PE there is GCSE dance. GCSE’s are the first step towards higher qualifications but in order to progress you must achieve a high end grade (grade C or above). BTEC These were introduced in 2002. They are diplomas in sport which are equivalent to GCSE’s but are vocationally based. They give a basic understanding and knowledge of the sports sector. GCE The next level of exam qualification up from GCSE. It is divided into two parts: 1st year AS level followed by A2 level the next. (Both combined lead to an ‘A level’ qualification.) A points system related to grades achieved at A Level is how University places are decided. Sports Performance Awards These are linked to specific sports, eg athletics. Another type often offered in schools is the Sports Leaders Award, open to anyone over the age of 14. This award can lead to further qualifications such as the Community Sports Leader for those over 16 Years. Proficiency Testing and Awards Sports National Governing Bodies are offering increasing numbers of proficiency awards for their sports, many being offered through schools, eg football/ hockey leaders. Many PE departments use award schemes to test and reward activities, eg gymnastics (BAGA), athletics (5 Star), swimming (Personal survival and lifesaving). Examiners tip Whilst you will not be tested on exactly what a specific award is, you might well be asked what the benefits would be of following an exam course. You will be able to use your own experiences as examples here.