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ukactive reveals details of new Active Standard, launching in 2021

By Tom Walker    04 Nov 2020
The 'Active Standard' will cover all aspects of delivery for the physical activity sector / Shutterstock.com/Slatan
Fundamentally, this new standard will provide each member with recognition that they have met a consistent set of standards
– Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Physical activity body, ukactive, has revealed plans to create a new sector standard for active leisure, to act as a product and service quality trademark.

Speaking at the ukactive Summit today (4 November 2020), chair, Tanni Grey-Thompson, said: "This standard will cover the full scale of our sector – from operators, suppliers and children’s activity providers and will be developed with key partners, stakeholders, members and customers.

“The 'Active Standard' will provide reassurance for customers that they are receiving the best possible service from ukactive members and help members access new partnerships across the wider health agenda.

"The ability to enhance a standard across the sector by capitalising on the collaboration of all sector channels shows the need of a defined standard to evidence quality to stakeholders and wider society."

ukactive will begin developing and consulting on the standard, with the aim of rolling it out from Spring 2021.

"The impact of the Standard will ensure member and the industry’s reputation are protected moving forward, while further raising the value of our work," Grey-Thompson added.

"The Active Standard is the all-encompassing, flexible approach needed to consistently maintain the standards necessary to enhance the continued professionalism of the sector."

Speaking at the Summit, Grey-Thompson also expressed her "overwhelming frustration" at the second lockdown decision to close gyms and places of activity, saying "While we have great sympathy for the Westminster Government...there are many people all over the country who will have been thinking about how to get fitter and healthier, along with their families and they will have been looking to our sector to support them to do that during this tough winter.

"It does feel like such a misstep that the Government has not heeded our strong and continuous calls to categorise our sector as essential and acknowledge the astonishing safety standards that our sector has sustained throughout this period.

"I fear this will have severe repercussions for the nation.

"We know from Sport England’s recent Active Lives survey that activity levels fell sharply during the first lockdown.

"Also, analysis from SAGE has warned us that health inequalities among some vulnerable and BAME groups will increase during a winter lockdown period.

"I share the frustration of members who play an essential role for communities across the country and have proven their ability to make their facilities COVID-secure.

"I understand the real anxiety that this second national lockdown will lead to business failure and major job losses within the sector.

"I fear the damage this lockdown will mean for the physical and mental wellbeing of the millions of people, of all ages and backgrounds, that depend on our sector.

"I also fear the new lockdown measures – brought in to combat this crisis – could well fuel another crisis in inactivity and mental health, unless we see a plan for addressing this.

"To this end, I and the team will continue to work tirelessly to represent and champion the needs of our members at this time, doing everything within our power and influence to convince our Government of the essential service our sector provides."

Grey-Thompson called on the government to wholeheartedly support the sector, saying: "In the midst of this storm, one thing is really important: we need to believe our Government has our back, that it understands the scale of the challenge we face, recognises the support we require and values the considerable role our sector plays in the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of communities and people all of over the country.

"It’s with a heavy heart that I feel there is a growing number of people across the sport and physical activity sector who don’t truly believe the Government appreciates this right now – and we must work together to change that.

"Today, I want to call on the Government to urgently bring together a diverse set of leaders from across the sector during this period of national lockdown to have real dialogue on both the survival of the sector and the full role it can play in our society’s renewal.

"It needs a strategy. The Government must develop the plans that I shared with the Prime Minister in September.

"We need a recovery plan that brings together taxation and regulatory reform, alongside investment and supports the sector to work its way out of this crisis.

"Furthermore, we need a fundamental shift in how our sector is valued across Whitehall.

"I have no doubt this can be achieved with sufficient will and energy from all sides, and this November lockdown is the moment to do just this.

"Failure to do so would be a tragic missed opportunity."

The 'Active Standard' will act as a product and service quality trademark for the entire physical activity sector / Shutterstock/gilotyna4
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