EdStart – the Salford-based children’s sports education provider – has become the first primary school provider in the UK to secure gold accreditation and fellowship membership of the Children’s Activities Association (CAA).

Securing this elite accreditation marks a major milestone in EdStart’s mission to help raise the bar in children’s sport across the nation: and the highly-respected accolade has been achieved in record time.

The CAA is a not-for-profit, industry led, national organisation that aims to give parents peace of mind and the power to make informed choices when selecting their children’s clubs and classes. In a UK first, through its robust accreditation and code of practice, the CAA offers a benchmark for all organised children’s activities, raising industry standards across the sector and celebrating excellence.

EdStart supports schools in offering full coverage of the primary P.E. curriculum, a wide range of afterschool sports clubs as well as innovative new health and fitness software, specifically designed to suit young people and help teachers deliver government targets in getting children active.

Managing Director of EdStart, Chris Irwin, has also been appointed as a non-executive director of the CAA: working closely with the organisation to put strategy in place and to help generate discussion and influence government policy around sport and physical exercise for children.

Chris commented, ‘I’m absolutely delighted to have secured gold accreditation.  The role of the CAA is vital and its stringent code of practice, policies and accreditation mean parents can rest assured that the clubs they’re entrusting with their children’s safety, work within rigorous guidelines.

‘It’s vital that children’s activity clubs are accredited. We’re campaigning for control in the sector to get even tougher – with a number of historical child abuse cases coming to light in sport, I think we owe it to parents.

‘I’m particularly proud that we achieved gold status in the first round of accreditation and in such a swift time frame. It’s a reflection of how demanding we are of ourselves at EdStart to go above and beyond the norm: we’ve always had a strong set of policies in place, and the accreditation simply underscores our drive to continually improve the services we provide children and parents as well as the children’s activity sector as a whole.’

Achieving gold CAA accreditation means that EdStart has been independently verified as having met or exceeded the CAA Code of Practice and completed all 5 accreditation modules covering: compliance, training, customer service, programme and delivery. EdStart also welcomed a visit to confirm all policies and evidence were in order by Dr Amanda Gummer PhD, one of the UK’s leading experts in child development and Founder of Fundamentally Children – the CAA’s independent accrediting organisation. Dr Gummer said of EdStart:

‘I was continually impressed by EdStart’s commitment to striving for excellence: whether that’s in their stringent policies or their innovative course content.  I was delighted to confirm that they had passed the Gold accreditation with flying colours: it’s the first time a gold accreditation has been secured so quickly  – a clear reflection of EdStart’s embodiment of CAA’s values.’