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Development Framework FAQs


Before Joining

Do we have to opt-in to the Development Framework as an Accredited College?

No. We realise that due to capacity, self-assessing your football provision can be a difficult task for some colleges and so opting into the Development Framework is optional.

Do we have to meet any minimum operating standards (MOS) to opt-in to the Framework?

You must be registered as an ECFA Accredited College before you can opt-in. More details on becoming an ECFA Accredited College and the MOS can be found here.

Can we still be part of the process if we have no football teams?

Yes. Being part of this process is about developing your football provision, so this opportunity is open to all AoC member colleges.

Are non-colleges able to opt-in to the Development Framework?

This development framework is part of a grant funding initiative, which AoC Sport runs in partnership with the Football Association (FA) and therefore is only accessible for AoC member colleges.

How do we achieve overall provision stars?

You must achieve all criteria in 1, 2 or 3 stars to receive an overall provision star logo. This logo can be used on marketing material to promote your college’s approach to offering quality opportunities across Participation, Competition, Workforce and Community football.

Who will have access to the data that we share?

We have a data sharing agreement in place with Sheffield Hallam Universities Sport Industry Research Centre that ensures that we are GDPR compliant. It is important that you redact any sensitive student information such as names, DOBs, addresses prior to uploading.

How will this help us with OFSTED inspections?

You can use the evidence that you collect during the process to evidence Behaviour and Attitudes and Personal Development to OFSTED. Collecting this evidence throughout the year will ensure that it’s easily accessible when it is time to evidence.


How long do we have to gather evidence?

You will have until 31st May to populate your digital evidence folder. This evidence will then be used to calculate the final stars awarded across the pillars and overall provision.

Who will have access to our digital evidence folder?

We can provide access to as many staff members as possible to the digital folders.

How will we know what evidence to provide?

When you opt-in, you will be sent a criteria & evidence document that will include all of the criteria for each of the pillars with required evidence detailed next to it.

What happens if we don’t collect all evidence in one year?

That’s ok. The framework has been set up to allow colleges to develop their football provision at their own pace. You can continue to access our support while working towards your action plan to achieve the criteria that you think your college are capable of.

How will you be verifying the evidence?

We will be working with Sheffield Hallam University Sports Industry Research Centre (SIRC) to verify the evidence uploaded to the folders.

Can evidence be used from curriculum provision?

No. The criteria can only be evidenced by extra-curricular delivery. Curriculum delivery is quality assured by OFSTED.

The evidence list states ‘OR’ in some places and ‘AND’ in others. What does this mean?

To evidence some criteria, you must produce one piece of evidence from several suggestions. Other criteria will require you to produce more than one piece of evidence. These criteria will state this using ‘AND’ rather than ‘OR’.

Post Award

What happens if we don’t receive any stars?

That’s ok. You can use the action plan to identify areas of priority that your college wishes to focus their efforts on developing.

What happens if we receive stars in one pillar but no stars in another?

You will be awarded a star logo for that pillar. This can be used on marketing material to promote your college’s commitment to developing Participation, Competition, Workforce or Community opportunities.

How can we use this to promote our football provision?

You will be awarded with digital assets that correlate to your provision once you have been through the process. These asset can be used to promote quality Participation, Competition, Workforce and Community delivery. if you achieve 1 2 or 3 stars against all 4 strands then you will receive an overall stars logo for your overall provision.

How can I find a list of stars awarded to colleges?

All colleges that are awarded stars will be placed on an online register that can be accessed and shared publicly. This register will exist both on AoC Sport’s website and The FA’s website.

We aim to be a 3 star college. How long will this take us?

This will be different for each college depending on a range of variables including where your existing provision scores against the current criteria. To achieve stars in any pillar is aspirational and so it is important that colleges are realistic in what can be achieved in a given timeframe.

Are we able to appeal the stars award?

Any decision will be based on the evidence submitted against the criteria. There is no appeals process due to capacity but we will be happy to discuss any decisions with your college.

We want to specialise in one pillar. Does this matter?

Not at all. If your college is passionate about developing one pillar over the others, then you will still be awarded achievement stars for that strand. However, you will only be able to achieve overall provision stars if you also meet the required criteria for the other three pillars.

What if some criteria are out of reach for our college?

We have worked with the FE sector to create the criteria and ensure that stars are aspirational. The criteria will be reviewed annually in partnership with Sheffield Hallam Universities Sport Industry Research Centre to ensure that it continues to be aspirational but achievable for all.