I have a good academic profile and am expecting good GCSE results. Can I do A Levels?
Yes. The NVQ Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance and the BTEC in Understanding Excellence in Sports Performance are completed alongside the academic courses of your own choice.
What is the purpose of doing these two qualifications?
They are designed to prepare a player for the life of a professional rugby player; to become self-sufficient, analytical and knowledgeable. If a rugby career does not materialize, then the player will have looked at other career pathways.
Will it help me get into university?
There are no UCAS points for these qualifications. However, it is possible to negotiate some points, if you talk with the Admission Tutor. The course should be a major part of your personal statement on your application form. It proves that you are well-organised, have a good work ethic, are self-motivated – all qualities required of a serious student.
How do I apply?
The clubs seek to recruit the very best players in their catchment area and a place on the programme is offered to elite players who demonstrate high levels of performance. Any prospective player can access information about the programme from the club Academy Manager and education providers listed in the ‘Contact’ section.
What is the NVQ and BTEC?
NVQ stands for National Vocational Qualification. It is a vocational competence-based qualification (“Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance”) which means you learn practical, work-related tasks designed to help you develop the skills to do a job effectively and show competency in an area of work/employment. The BTEC (“Understanding Excellence in Sports Performance”) provides the underpinning knowledge and understanding for those skills.
What is a Coach-Assessor?
A Coach-Assessor is someone who will provide you with assistance throughout your qualification. They will judge the evidence of each Apprentice’s performance, knowledge and understanding and make decisions on whether they have demonstrated competence against the standards in order to achieve the qualifications.
Can I go to any school/college I wish to?
The concept of the apprenticeship is that those on it play, work, train and get educated together. For this purpose, each club/academy involved has found an education provider as a partner. These partners have been given the approval of the RFU.
Can I live in digs?
Where it is unreasonable for an Apprentice to travel to the Club from home, lodgings may be recommended by the College / Club which are in keeping with those required by a professional sportsman.
Can I sign a professional contract?
Yes, as of your 18th birthday you would be able to sign a professional contract.
Do I still have to continue with my education?
You would still have to continue with your education programme through to completion. It is imperative that you work hard on your academic qualifications to give you a pathway into a secondary career as a contingency plan.
An agent has phoned us up, is it a good idea for me to sign with him?
The RFU would advise that before signing with an agent you discuss this with a representative of the PRA or the Coach-Assessor / Academy Manager who will be able to advise you on the benefits or otherwise of signing with an agent.