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The Development of a framework and toolkit to support a physical activity for health pathway in England


Sport England/Active Partnerships

Value to Coventry University


Project Team

Dr Nikita Rowley

Craig Blain, Elaine McNish and Jane Thomas (Move Consulting)

Annie Holden (Active Partnerships National Office)


18 Months


Physical activity pathways support people with/at risk of health conditions to becomes more active, through a systematic process that involves recruitment, triage, behaviour change, support, supported opportunities and signposting into wider activity community based opportunities.


The aim of this project is to create a framework for the delivery of physical activity for health pathway that provides clear standards for a variety of settings and the professionals involved. The standards will aim to improve consistency of quality services across England, whilst also reducing inequalities and enhance equity of access and inclusion through service design and delivery.

Include a toolkit of guidance and resources to support the implementation of physical activity pathways including self-monitoring tools / audit, to guide local development and subsequent quality assured implementation. 

  • Include key characteristics to streamline the pathways, including for example, a core integral function to assess the needs of an individual and allow them to access the right level and type of support they require, through a single point of access.Be informed by existing research, emerging insight and intelligence gathered at place. 
  • Identify the component parts of the Framework and its developed standards which will act as enablers (as well as overcoming barriers) for successful implementation and adoption at place.
  • Ensure its processes are underpinned by behavioural support, reflecting the principles of personalised planning and care.
  • Provide clear guidance, resources, and support to enable safe and effective management for people with long-term health conditions, presenting with multi-morbidities, to be physically active
  • Include consideration of workforce requirements.
  • Outline the knowledge, skills, competences, and behaviours of key roles as part of the pathway’s development, from triage through to behavioural support and activity guidance.
  • Consider the role of Specialist Exercise Instructors in line with tiered approach to interventions.
  • Include any recommendations for employers recruiting into these roles, particularly reflecting on the patient/customer needs and the lived experiences of the workforce they connect with.
  • Consider any increased level of participant risk according to their presenting symptoms and condition and behavioural support needs and recommend relevant experience and qualifications required from the PA / Exercise provider.
  • Recommendations should be identified to cover. 
  • Future accessible to the resource for the framework guidance and standards developed, enabling easy access to its component parts and as a whole.
    Future evidence requirements based on the identification of gaps in evidence and practice.
  • Make recommendations for data systems to capture a recommended minimum dataset to improve monitoring and evaluation of PA services.
  • Future work / alternative organisations to address: Basic requirements for knowledge and skills of all activity providers to effectively interact, engage and support people with long term health conditions to be physically active.
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