Exercise & Fitness Leadership SCQF Level 6

Learn essential practical and theoretical skills for working in the sport and fitness industries.


Why take this course?

The sport and fitness industry is becoming more regulated, and employers and insurance tends towards professional recognition for many positions. It is therefore seen as very important that candidates are as well-prepared as they can be. Throughout the course you will undergo significant personal development, and gain valuable skills in organisation, planning and leadership - essential for your future progression within education and/or employment.

This National Progression Award at SCQF Level 6 (equivalent to a Higher) will improve your skills and knowledge relating to sport and fitness. You will be introduced to the rationale behind the use of circuit, cardiovascular and fixed weight training techniques, and equipment used in each exercise type. You will also develop safe and effective practical skills in these areas.

On successful completion of this course you will be able to identify safe and effective exercises, and describe their advantages and disadvantages. You will also be able to demonstrate and evaluate both the exercises and their own technical abilities, together with personal and facility equipment relating to the selected activities.

What you will experience

There are five units available, three of which must be completed to achieve the NPA. For some of the units teamwork will be involved, but all candidates must play a full part as it is the work/contribution of each individual that will be assessed. The units are designed to underpin the knowledge and skills required by employers, and are closely linked to the National Occupational Standards for each of the subject areas covered in the units. Units are as follows:

  1. Exercise and Fitness: Cardiovascular Training
  2. Exercise and Fitness: Fixed Weight Training
  3. Exercise and Fitness: Circuit Training

The course is designed to enhance your interest in exercise and fitness training, improve personal performance, develop reflective learning, and aid progression to further study of the subject. During the course you will learn:

  • The main physiological effects of different types of training on the body;
  • How to personalise training for selected clients;
  • How to identify advantages and disadvantages of a range of training methods;
  • How to give a rationale for the selection of exercises;
  • How to demonstrate cardiovascular, fixed weight and circuit training exercises;
  • How to evaluate personal performance.

As well as this, you will build a valuable understanding of health and safety in the workplace.

You will be taught using a range of methods and technologies - this includes practical participation work, group work and theory-based classroom teaching. The course will also be supported via the use of the College’s Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

To achieve the full qualification, you must attend regularly and successfully complete all units. Assessment will be carried out using a range of formative and summative approaches including observation of practical performance, closed-book assessment and review of case studies. Assessment is carried out on an ongoing basis, meaning there are no end of course exams.

female sitting on and holding pole vault equipment

Key facts

Entry requirements

This course is suited to pupils who expect to achieve National 5 Physical Education.  The course can be studied alongside Higher PE, but this is not a requirement.  To progress to further related studies it would be beneficial to study Higher Biology.

What you will need

You will need generic sports clothing and shoes.

What you need to know

Anything else?

Whilst you are taking part in the course you will be required to:

  • Always be ready to start your class at the given time;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning and self-study;

Adhere to the School Pupils Code of Commitment.Eating and drinking are not permitted in workshops and classrooms. Drinking water is available from water dispensers in the corridors within the College buildings.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

Upon successful completion of this course (if accompanied by the required Higher and/or NC level qualifications) you may be able to progress to one of the following full-time courses at North East Scotland College:

At University

Articulation with Degree studies in courses such as Applied Sports Science at RGU may available. Possible subject areas include:

  • Sport Coaching with Sport Development
  • Fitness Health and Exercise
  • Sport and Recreation Management
  • Sports Therapy
  • Applied Sports Science


Those who wish to progress directly to employment within the sport and fitness sector will find that there is a substantial range of job opportunities available for properly qualified staff.

The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.