Since the beginning of lockdown, there has been a dramatic increase in players and athletes working with personal development practitioners and participating in education courses and career transition initiatives.
The English Institute of Sport (EIS), the Professional Players Federation (PPF) and the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) regularly come together to share knowledge about how best to support athletes in all aspects of their lives away from sport and particularly at this challenging time.
The three organisations are developing new professional standards for Personal Development Practitioners in elite sport – working alongside The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).
The professional standards, currently out for consultation, have been in development for nearly two years and, when launched, will be an important step formalising the framework for personal development practitioners in sport in the UK.
They will provide industry-leading guidance for practitioners to help optimise the way they coach, mentor and support athletes, at a time when interest from all sectors in the quality of player and athlete personal development is at an all-time high.
The professional standards will outline the role and scope of elite sport Personal Development Practitioners, including:
• Applying coaching and mentoring skills to empower athletes to reflect on their personal and professional development.
• Optimising athlete welfare and well-being to promote positive mental health.
• Supporting athletes in managing their personal and professional development throughout various transitions, including entering, during and beyond their sporting career.
Between them, the EIS, PPF and TASS provide expert personal development support, coaching and mentoring to almost every elite athlete in England, at no cost to the athlete.
Lisa Delany, Chair of the PPF Education Committee and Chief Executive of the Jockeys Education and Training Scheme said:
“The development of these professional standards is hugely significant and will be of great benefit to both Personal Development Practitioners and athletes. This area is so fundamentally important to an athlete’s life during and after their sporting careers.
“I am extremely grateful to the hard work and expertise of the working group. We are all committed to raising the standards of our industry to ensure that the people supporting athletes, and the athletes themselves, can grow, develop and be the best they possibly can.”
Once the occupational standards are finalised, the EIS, PPF and TASS will work with CIMSPA to establish a professional body to oversee the standards and the accreditation of both practitioners and education courses.