Accreditation Pathways for Performance Analysts

Jason Lear‘s reply to a Kirsten Spencer question on LinkedIn has sent me off on a three week journey.
Jason has a clear sense of accreditation for performance analysts which he has shared in discussions. He has prompted me to think about how we might develop a taxonomy of performance analysis activity that maps pathways.
My interest has been in how we might offer an inclusive model of accreditation that would be acceptable to and of interest to the sport industry (defined very broadly) and education providers. My hope is that many of the vocational requirements of national education award bodies can be addressed to ensure and assure equivalence.
The exchanges on LinkedIn about accreditation have included Jason, Venugopal Rajagopalan, Ruud van Elk, Luke McCoy, Mark Upton, Darrell CobnerCarl Cunningham, Ben McGahan, and Mark Davies.
There are ongoing discussions at Accreditation Organisation PAS on LinkedIn too.
In my three-week journey, I have been thinking about competencies, prior experience and learning, formal education content and lifelong learning opportunities. I do like Jason’s focus on continuing professional development and the issues such development have for currency and a global, industry standard of practice.
I am thinking about how the pathways to and in accreditation for performance analysis can use open portfolios to share and discuss practice.
My hope is that an open sharing of what we do, and imagine, might connect performance analysts as a community (or communities) of practice. I like the idea that we can become produsers of the knowledge capital that we create in our passion for observing and analysing performance.
This week a friend directed me to Ben Mayhew‘s blog. I really enjoyed the scope and detail of Ben’s work. He, like many other young graduates, offers a vibrancy to digital performance analysis. I think that Ben and all his colleagues have a great deal to share as we contemplate the ties that bind us as performance analysts. I am convinced that we must include all those entering the performance analysis profession to work through the identification of a dynamic 21st century set of skills and dispositions.
Our accreditation proposals can address loose and strong ties. I do think this requires a sensitive approach to accreditation that values diversity and personal learning journeys. Jason had made a start on this delicate task. This post is my way of working through some of the ideas that the conversation has prompted me to consider.
I wonder if you think we can have an accreditation system that is open and inclusive whilst still meeting the rigours of professional standards and educational relevance and resilience.


    • Thank you, Darrell. I think your vast experience in industry and education is critical in any discussions we have. I think your recent experience of a validation event will have honed your critical wisdom.
      Thank you for responding so positively.
      Best wishes

  1. Well, I’m going to say ‘No’ !
    In the first place we already have experience of vocational learning and assessment and certainly here in the UK there is a growing debate about the need to get the fundamentals ‘right’. The current Coalition Government suggests there should be a return to the ‘3 Rs’ and more learning by rote.
    The current spat started when a letter signed by 100 educatiional academics was published in the Daily Telegraph
    Since then the Telegraph has been filled by material attacking the view of the academics. There’s this or this
    I note that its now 10 years old but I was intriged by this paper: which, if I have read it correctly, is suggesting the problem with vocational qualifications is the Assessment process. That its very difficult to achieve consistency. The point being made is much the same as some of the teaching unions; you end up teaching the test (or the Asssessment).
    So whilst I think the idea is good, where it will come to grief is ‘Accreditation’. Finding the balance between that which is theoretical and that which is practical will not be easy. If you make it too proscribed then accreditation becomes little more than an examination of memory. Too practical and it just becomes a race to collect and display data.

    • Hello, Gordon
      I was hoping you would call by. When I wrote the post i was thinking about how you might help to locate our practice.
      Thank you for the links. I have been thinking about the wisdom we have as a community.
      1. Are we facing an intractable problem?
      If we are could we be the first to resolve it through deliberation?
      2. Can we plan for a future rather than a past?
      If we are a community of practice … and we can collaborate to address vocational, educational, professional and industry issues … perhaps we can be in control of our destiny.
      I see consensus as the key to this and a powerful way to start to address the issues you raise, Gordon.
      I am so delighted you did. Your comment has made a bright start to Easter Saturday here in rural NSW even brighter! We are off for coffee to Dojo’s.

  2. My treat is afternoon tea travelling in this: next chance will either be tomorrow (Sunday) or Monday afternoon.
    1. Are we facing an intractable problem?
    Probably not, but the issue will probably come down to the notion of “Who pays the piper, calls the tune” if the push for a system of ‘formalised’ accreditation comes from HEIs then my guess is that somewhere along the line there will be a call for some academic rigor. Which begs the question who else (outside academia) is pushing for Accreditation? Do we understand what it is they want? Is it to help appoint analysts;, thus its a bit like saying minimum 2.2 degree required? Or is it seen as a spot of quality assurance?
    If we can determine who wants what (and why) then at least we can begin to define the ‘problem’ that we wish to solve.
    2. Can we plan for a future rather than a past?
    I suspect that this is going to be quite important, given the increasing degree to which technology in this area is changing. Which makes me slightly suspicious of an academic approach; by the time the relevant standards have been agreed, the marketplace will have moved on and developed new products.
    Assessment and CPD milestones are (to my mind) the way forward, Getting the assessment criteria flexible enough so that there is more than one route (and answer) through the confirmation of knowledge/experience will be important.


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