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Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training

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Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training

Quick Overview

The Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification is required to become registered in the UK as a Personal Trainer. Registration will be with either with REPs (as a Level 3 Personal Trainer) or CIMPSA (as a CIMSPA practitioner).  This "combined" Diploma qualification includes both the Level 2 Fitness Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer. Candidates can progress through at their own pace – an intensive 4 weeks or a slower and steady rate taking up to a year. 

Click here to download the Qualification Guide.

Click there to see all our training and assessment dates.  **COVID-19** Due to the current global health crisis we are obviously not running and live face-to-face training. But we are very busy doing lots of live distance learning with our existing students and newly registered students to complete their qualifications from home. Please get in touch if you would like to join them.

For candidates who already hold a Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing only need to take the Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training.

If you hold a relevant degree and have gym and personal training work experience you may be eligible to take the qualification by an "assessments only" route. Please go to our Accreditation for Prior Skills, Qualifications and Experience information.

For further information call Alison Hall on 0208 568 5336 or 07799 621 456 or email us.

Availability: In stock



In the UK, qualified personal trainers must be registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals (as a "REPs Level 3 personal trainer") or with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (as a "CIMSPA practitioner").  

Those who don't already hold the Level 2 Gym Instructing Certificate will need to take the Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training as this includes both Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer. Those who have the Level 2 Gym Instructor already only need to take the Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training.

All our qualifications are available as "blended learning" or "pure distance learning". "Blended learning" means that candidates have some distance learning and also come to our London training and assessment centre. "Pure distance learning" means that they have some distance learning but are not required to come to our London centre.

Click here to see our training and assessment dates for the face-to-face elements of our blended learning courses. There are no days to attend for pure distance learning.

Dates and Duration

There are up to 4 separate days to attend - two training days and two assessment days (none for distance learners). There is a total of 245 guided learning hours. The minimum total duration is from about 4 weeks and up to a maximum of a year. So the study hours are from about 5 to 40 hours per week depending on the duration of your course. Click here to see our training and assessment dates.  There is no attendance days for distance learners.

Entry Requirements

• Some experience of gym-based exercises, including free weights, is highly recommended
• The course requires physical exertion and individual participation is essential; therefore, a degree of physical fitness is necessary
• There is also an element of communication (discussing, presenting, reading and writing) involved and learners should have basic skills in communication pitched at level 2

Target Learners:
• Adults (aged 16+) wishing to pursue a career in the health and fitness sector as gym-based fitness instructors and personal trainers
• Please note that 16 to 18 year-olds may need to be supervised in the workplace, once they have achieved the qualification

Course Formats 

i) Blended learning format

-        Home study course
-        Live internet-based individual tutorials throughout
-        1-day level 2 gym practical workshop 0900 – 1700 (select one of our monthly workshop dates)
-        1-day level 3 assessment (select any of our monthly assessment dates)
-        1-day level 2 gym practical workshop 0900 – 1700 (select one of our monthly workshop dates)
-        1-day level 3 assessment (select one of our monthly assessment dates)

ii) Pure distance learning format 

-        Home study course  
-        Live internet-based individual tutorials throughout
-        Level 2 Internet practical training session
-        DVD submitted for level 2 practical assessment (date to suit candidate)
-        Live Level 2 internet theory assessment (date to suit candidate)
-        Level 3 Internet practical training session
-        DVD submitted for level 3 practical assessment (date to suit candidate)
-        Live Level 3 internet theory assessment (date to suit candidate)

PAY-AS-YOU-GO Click here to read more about paying in instalments.

Location of Training and Assessments

For those who choose to attend face-to-face the location is London Metropolitan University at 166-220 Holloway Rd, London N7 8DB. It is 2 minutes walk from Holloway Road tube station which is on the Piccadilly Line. There is no attendance for distance learners.

Qualification Structure

This qualification comprises of  10 mandatory units (6 for Level 2 and 4 for Level 3)
Level 2 Gym Units:

Unit 1 - Anatomy and physiology for exercise
Unit 2 - Know how to support clients who take part in exercise and physical activity
Unit 3 - Health, safety and welfare in a fitness environment
Unit 4 - Principles of exercise, fitness and health
Unit 5 - Planning gym-based exercise
Unit 6 - Instructing gym-based exercise

 Level 3 Personal Trainer Units:

Unit 1 – Anatomy and physiology for exercise and health
Unit 2 – Applying the principles of nutrition to a physical activity programme
Unit 3 – Programming personal training with clients
Unit 4 – Delivering personal training sessions
Successful achievement of all seven units must be achieved for the full qualification.

Download the Course Guide

Aims and Objectives

• To train learners to a professionally competent level, enabling them to prescribe, plan and deliver safe and effective exercise programmes developing their skills knowledge to pursue a career in personal training

• To provide learners with the knowledge of anatomy and physiology, functional kinesiology and concepts and components of fitness
• To provide learners with the knowledge and skills to successfully gather and analyse client information using the most accepted techniques
• To provide learners with the knowledge and skills to assess a client’s current health and fitness status
• To provide learners with the knowledge and skills to be able to plan and conduct a physical activity session, within a variety of environments using multiple resources

Occupational Description

A fitness instructor/personal trainer’s role includes designing and implementing exercise programmes for a range of individual clients by collecting and analysing client information to ensure the effectiveness of personal exercise programmes. A personal trainer should also actively encourage potential clients/members to join and adhere to regular exercise programmes, employing appropriate motivational strategies to achieve this.

Occupational Roles

The personal trainer should be involved in:
1. Collecting information relating to individual clients
2. Carrying out fitness assessments to establish client fitness and skill level
3. Analysing information relating to individual clients
4. Identifying, agreeing and reviewing short, medium and long term goals to ensure the effectiveness of exercise programmes
5. Providing a range of exercise programmes in accordance with the needs of the clients by applying principles of exercise programming
6. Making best use of the environment in which clients are exercising
7. Providing clients with accurate information on the principles of nutrition and weight managemen
8. Developing and applying strategies to motivate clients to join and adhere to an exercise programme
9. Acting as a positive role model for all clients
10. Proactively interact and develop positive relationships with clients in order to facilitate client retention.
11. Promoting healthy activities and related strategies for daily living to clients/members
12. Keeping up-to-date with health and fitness industry developments to ensure high standards of programmes that meet client needs in the short, medium and long term goals
13. Making the appropriate decisions relating to clients and their programmes/goals and, where required, refer the client to a more appropriate professional
14. Working within the parameters given at Level 3, recognising the standards and professional limitations that this provides, referring to appropriate members of staff for guidance and support

Assessment Descriptions

Level 2 Gym:
Unit 1 - Theory paper – 1 ¾ hour (Exercise and Fitness Knowledge) – 70% required.
Unit 2 - Client interview
Unit 3 - Worksheet or professional discussion
Unit 4 - Theory paper  90 minutes (Principles of Exercise, Fitness and Health) – part of the 1 ¾ hour multiple-choice theory paper - 70% required
Unit 5 - Worksheet or professional Discussion, PAR-Q, Programme card, Session plans 
Unit 6 - Observed summative assessment, session and self-evaluation, observed formative assessment  (this is completed at the practical workshop or dvd for distance learners).

Level 3 Personal Trainer:
Unit 1 - Theory paper – 1 ½  hour (Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise and Health) – 70% required.
Unit 2 - Theory paper  - 1 ½ hour Applying the Principles of Nutrition to a Physical Activity Programme - 70% required
Unit 3 – Programming with Personal Training Clients - real time volunteer client case study – client screening, client interview, client analysis, programme planning, 8 weeks progressively training client and programme modification.
Unit 4 – Delivering Personal Training Sessions - Observed summative assessment, session and self-evaluation.


Download the Course Guide 


- Learners may broaden their knowledge and skills by progressing onto qualifications mapping to additional branches of the Level 3 Standards, such as Exercise Referral and then also be eligible for Level 4 modules
- The qualification will provide knowledge and practical skills to enhance provision alongside other academic courses such as: National Diploma in Sports Studies, A-level PE and HND in Sport and Leisure

Occupational Competence

L3 Personal Trainers should:
1. Be aware of their professional role boundaries as listed.
2. Give guidance to encourage special population clients* to follow the key safety guidelines and discourage them from anything deemed to be potentially hazardous/contraindicated to enable them to take part in sessions.
*Special population clients including:
• 14-16 year old young people
• disabled people
• older people (50+)
• ante and postnatal women
3. Get advice from another appropriate professional if there are any objectives, physical activities or risks that fall outside their professional boundaries or that they do not feel competent to deal with and/or refer on to the appropriate person.
L3 Personal Trainers (who do not posses the appropriate special population qualification/s in older adults, ante/postnatal women and disabled people) should NOT
1.• Be a specialist instructor in the area of special populations, or advertise as such
• Instruct special population clients 1:1 or in groups on a regular or progressive basis
• Plan a progressive, long-term special populations exercise or physical activity programme
• Play any role in exercise or physical activity programming or monitoring in condition management on a 1:1 or group basis. (For this, a Level 3 Exercise Referral
qualification is required and for certain conditions, where national occupational standards are in place, a Level 4 qualification).
2. Prescribe any form of exercise session or individual exercise that they have not been trained to deliver/teach effectively.
3. Instruct exercise in disciplines in which they are not qualified or where they do not hold appropriate endorsed training (e.g. a Level 2 fitness instructor should not ‘cover’ an ETM class or a spinning class if they do not hold the appropriate certificates).
4. Provide prescriptive nutritional advice or develop bespoke individualised nutrition plans for clients. 

For Further Information

Contact Alison at HFI on 0208 568 5336 or 07799 621 456 or email



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