CIMSPA, the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector has a duty to be active and visible and it has undoubtedly made excellent progress over the last two years.

It was announced this week that CIMSPA has received Sport England investment to transform delivery of sport and activity services across the sector. The investment and commitment of £1.2 million covers a 21-month period and will enable CIMSPA to contribute to the workforce development goals of Sport England’s 2016 Towards an Active Nation strategy.

Andy Reed, CIMSPA Interim Chair, said:

Our partnership with Sport England keeps CIMSPA at the centre of the work to achieve the government’s workforce improvement ambitions, as asked in the Sporting Future strategy, and will support our sector’s positive role in tackling the nation’s inactivity crisis.

Andy Reed OBE has been the Interim Chair since June 2015 and has worked hard to raise the profile of CIMSPA and its influence in government. Other recent achievements include the establishment and calibre of the Professional Development Board (PDB), which CEO Tara Dillon said is “shaping the future of the sector”.

Another source of pride is CIMSPA’s ambitious project to develop a set of new professional standards for the core identified occupations and technical specialisms within the sport and physical activity sector. This will help to create better career pathways for those working in the sector. In his role as Interim Chair, Andy has been key to steering these improvements however the work has not been without its challenges and it has been a steep learning curve.

The success of the CIMSPA conference has been another highlight. The second annual event held in March attracted 300+ delegates and some notable speakers including Andrew Honeyman, head of health, workforce and diversity at the DCMS.

CIMSPA membership has grown by 60% year-on-year and there is great support for its work to professionalise the sector. Tara Dillon has praised the board who have held their nerve at testing times whilst keeping momentum going. What once seemed impossible is now working and CIMSPA is being recognised in every corner of government.