Open Nav


Sport for development set to benefit from new standards and training handbook

By Ben Gittus, EOSE

The 3-year, EU-funded CHANGE project ( successfully concluded in December 2021, having delivered a systematic exploration of employment, education and skills in the field of sport for development. CHANGE implemented EOSE’s 7 Step Model for workforce and skills development to identify and define skills and competences needed to work in sport for development roles. The project partners, including ISCA, also produced a Training Handbook produced to provide guidance to those developing education and training in sport for development.

Innovative outputs to be published 
Six indispensable outputs of the CHANGE project will be published to support the field of sport for development in Europe and beyond:

Research Report and Occupational Map for sport for development in Europe - Report on CHANGE desk and primary research into characteristics and tendencies in sport for development.

Occupational Descriptors for sport for development positions in Europe - Analysis of the roles of coordinator and activator in sport for development. 

Functional Map for Sport for Development in Europe - Representation of all the main functions coordinators and activators must be able to carry out to be competent in their job roles.

Competence Framework of Occupational Standards for Sport for Development in Europe: Good Practice Guidelines for Practitioners - The standards take each of the functions in the functional map and add performance criteria which will enable practitioner’s performance to be evaluated (either by themselves or by colleagues) to decide whether they are implementing good practice and to identify any training needs.

Training Handbook for sport for development in Europe: Guidance for the training and continuing professional development of sport for development coordinators and activators - Training Handbook containing a Framework of Attributes, Skills and Knowledge (ASK) and 25 Sample Module Outlines with learning outcomes based on the Occupational Standards.  This Handbook also includes advice to organisations wishing to develop education to support the competence-based development of coordinators and activators.  

Implementation and Sustainability Plan for sport for development in Europe - The project created a guide for implementation, sustainability and quality assurance actions to ensure all the other project outputs are implemented going forward.

The CHANGE partners look forward to the implementation and use of these innovative outputs in the sport sector. 

Successful Final Conference 
On the 24th of November 2021 ninety-five participants from 32 countries around the world joined the CHANGE partners for the project Final Conference organised as an online webinar titled International Event on Skills and Education in Sport for Development. 

In the first half of the event participants heard from leaders in the field of sport for development. First Dr Ben Sanders from the International Platform on Sport and Development discussed what is sport for development and questioned how it can contribute to social change. Next Mark Lawrie and Meg Smith from CHANGE partners StreetGames and Women Win presented the importance of education and skills in sport for development and the work of their own leading organisations. 

The second hour was dedicated to the CHANGE project outputs with an introduction to the project and results of the research phase presented by Ben Gittus from EOSE and Simone Digenarro from the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio. Geoff Carroll from EOSE and Stephen Robson from Leeds Beckett University presented the Occupational Standards and Training Handbook for Sport for Development, and finally Kate Roberts from StreetGames presented the sustainability actions of the CHANGE project. 

The webinar was ably facilitated by David Ferguson from the Observatory for Sport in Scotland. The webinar also featured some interactive features and polls – this showed participation in the event from a range of types of organisations from NGOs and charities to sports clubs and universities. Participants were involved in both programme delivery and creating training programmes. Most participants felt the CHANGE outputs will be very useful for the sector, and 93% indicated they would be interested in using the CHANGE products in the future. 
Final partner meeting lays foundations for sustainability  
On the 6th of December 2021 the CHANGE partners gathered online for the final full partner meeting. Partners discussed the results of the external evaluation of the project which was overwhelmingly positive. They also discussed finance, communication and the completion of the project outputs. 

A focus of the meeting was on sustainability actions, led by SteetGames the lead partner for developing the Sustainability Strategic Action Plan. Partners are determined for the CHANGE project to be a driver for change in the sector and for ongoing implementation, use and further development of the outputs to be actively explored and achieved in the future. Key sustainability actions include: 

  •  Continue to promote the role of sport for development and the importance of supporting and developing the sport for development workforce
  • Dissemination of high-quality publications of CHANGE outputs
  • Seek additional investment to be able to test and embed the CHANGE outputs in sport for development organisations
  • Promote the value and use of the CHANGE occupational descriptors and occupational standards as tools for organisational and personal development to enhance the quality of the sport for development workforce
  • Promote the value of the CHANGE training handbook and the use of the 25 module outlines to enhance the support and continuous professional development of the sport for development workforce
  • Influence major organisations and funders to use and endorse the occupational standards
  • Support stakeholders to customise and/or integrate the modules outlines into existing sport for development workforce training and education programmes

The CHANGE partners now look forward to seeing the implementation and use of the CHANGE outputs in the sector and continuing to promote the importance of sport for development to individuals and communities and supporting skills and workforce development in the sector.

Full list of partners: European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE); International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA); University of Cassino and Southern Lazio; Leeds Beckett University; General Secretariat for Sports; Greece, Italian Sport for All Association (USIP); Sport Union of Slovenia; StreetGames; Women Win.

Contact - Ben GITTUS – EOSE Director of Standards –

Posted on 11/01/2022 by Ben Gittus, EOSE


Subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates on our events, activities and opportunities in our network