New Vision for Sport & Leisure Industry

Back to News Listings

ICON Launches New Vision for Sport and Leisure Industry

Leading sport and leisure industry training provider ICON has today announced a complete overhaul of its’ training structure that will enable learners for the first time to progress from Level 1 courses (Aspiring Professional) through to Masters Level 7 qualifications (Director) across a range of sector disciplines.

From September 2015, ICON will offer accredited courses aimed at those interested in a career in sport and leisure as a long-term option. The industry to date has primarily offered courses up to Level 4, in addition to individual courses accredited or validated by national awarding bodies such as Active IQ & NASM, the ASA, ILM and endorsed by key organisations such as Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

The new structure at ICON means individuals who are interested in sport and leisure as a career option, can progress to a senior level, with comparable financial and recognition rewards, as many other industries. The new course structure has been divided into a portfolio of five key areas of focus:



APRIL_2012_JULIAN_CELTIC_MANOR_1Julian Leybourne, CEO, ICON says:

As we celebrate 20 years of raising standards and leading the way in helping create Sport and Physical Activity professionals within our sector, I am delighted to be part of an organisation that leads from the front with integrity and innovation. We are revealing our unique offer to deliver Career Pathways through levels 1 to 7. We want to continue to change the face of Sport and Physical leadership across the UK.”

“For too long our industry has evolved through incidental management where staff have been put in place without the correct training or support, resulting in high staff turnover, and an undervalued sector. We need to dramatically change perceptions of the sport and leisure industry, not just as a career option but as an integral part of the future health and wellbeing of our people and the communities we are part of.”


“ICON’s quest is to change the face of management and to repurpose leisure to what it was intended”



Gary Denton, Director of ICON added:

This significant change to our course delivery model is the culmination of many months spent looking at how ICON can ultimately raise the standards of qualifications across our sector. I’ve worked in this industry for 15 years and there is an urgent need to improve what providers deliver in training and evaluate why they do it, so that they keep people engaged long-term increasing sector relevance and quality for the UK as a whole”.

The new courses can all be accessed via a personalised approach that allows each learner to choose options from across all five disciplines.  The qualification levels are identified as follows:

Level 1 – 3:  Introductory level courses that focus on teamwork and basic skill requirements for specific roles including Lifeguards, Swimming Teachers, Front of House Staff.

Level 4: More advanced leadership skills for roles such as Team Leaders, Duty Officers.

Level 5 & 6: This is also called a ‘Mini MBA’ and includes topics such as finance, aimed at roles including Assistant and Deputy Managers

Level 7: Aimed at Directors and Chief Executives this qualification explores creativity, complexity, uncertainty, coaching and more.

For more information on the full range of courses available call 0800 844 2280.