Rules FAQ: Competitive Experience and the United Kingdom

NAIA Bylaw Article V, Section B, Item 18 (Seasons of Competition) requires that a student be charged with a season of competition for participation or training on an amateur team after graduation from high school, if such participation meets the additional conditions stated in the bylaw. Further, the NAIA utilizes the Guide to International Academic Standards published by the NCAA to review academic standards for international students.

According to the Guide, high school graduation occurs in the United Kingdom when a student receives one of the following certificates:

1) General Certificate of Secondary Education/GCSE
2) General Certificate of Education, Advanced Level/GCE
3) General National Vocation Qualification/GNVQ Foundation Level
4) General National Vocation Qualification/GNVQ Intermediate Level
5) General National Vocation Qualification/GNVQ Advanced Level
6) Business and Technology Education Council/BTEC National Diploma

Most students receive these certificates at age 16. Students in the United Kingdom must complete additional academic work before attending university-level academic institutions.

In response to recent requests, the NAIA National Eligibility Committee reviewed the competitive experience regulation with relation to students from the United Kingdom and has issued the following rules interpretation:

"Within the United Kingdom system, students engaged in A-level or Advanced Subsidiary-level work, ordinarily required for admission to colleges and universities within the United Kingdom, shall be regarded as within the framework of secondary education and the competitive experience rule shall not apply."

Therefore, current and future students are not charged a season of competition for participating on an outside amateur team while enrolled in this level of schooling in the United Kingdom.