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Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training (for already qualified Level 2 Fitness Instructors)

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Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training (for already qualified Level 2 Fitness Instructors)

Quick Overview

This qualification is for those who already hold the Level 2 Gym Certificate and want to become a qualified personal trainer. The Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training qualification enables registration with REPs as a Level 3 Personal Trainer, which is the highest category of Personal Trainer. Candidates can progress at a pace to suit the individual – intensive within 8 weeks or slow and steady up to one year. Those who don't have the Level 2 Gym Certificate can reach Level 3 Personal Trainer with the combined qualification Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training

Click here to download the Course Guide and Syllabus

Click here to see all our training and assessment dates.

Pure online/distance learning is also available - please contact us for rules about eligibility. 

For candidates who already hold similar qualifications but can't get REPs registered go to our Accreditation for Prior Skills, Qualifications and Experience information.

If you are not sure which qualification is the right one for you, please call Alison Hall on 0208 568 5336 or 07799 621 456, text for a call back or email us.

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This qualification provides full registration with CIMSPA as a health & fitness practitioner and at level 3 with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) in the Personal Trainer category. This course requires candidates to currently hold the Level 2 Fitness Instructor (Gym) Certificate. Candidates who do not currently hold the Level 2 Fitness Instructor qualification can take the Level 2 Fitness Instructor Gym and the Level 3 Personal Trainer together as the Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training. The course is offered in both the blended learning and pure distance learning formats. All candidates are allocated their own personal tutor. They receive personal support and have regular live internet-based individual tutorials throughout the learning process in preparation for assessments. The blended learning format means candidates need to attend two separate face-to face days - one day for the practical workshop and one day for the assessments. There is no face-to-face contact for distance learners. Candidates can opt for an intensive course which takes about 4 weeks in total or a longer duration course of up to one year. HFI hold dates every month so there is no waiting to start and our course dates are never cancelled. 

Dates and Duration

There are two separate days to attend - one for practical training and one for assessments (none for distance learners). Total duration is about 4 weeks minimum or up to one year maximum. Click here to the monthly training and assessment dates we have.

Entry Requirements

• A suitable Level 2 qualification in Gym Instructing
• The course requires physical exertion and individual participation is essential, therefore a degree of physical fitness is necessary
• There is an element of communication (discussing, presenting, reading and writing) and application of number involved, and learners should have basic skills in communication and application of number pitched at levels 3 and 2 respectively

Target Leaners:
• Gym instructors wishing to pursue a career in the health and fitness sector as personal trainers
• Individuals, who already hold a gym instructor

Course Format Options 

i) Blended learning format 
-        Home study course
-        Live internet-based individual tutorials
-        1-day practical workshop 0900 – 1700 (select one of our monthly workshop dates)
-        1-day assessment (select one of our monthly assessment dates)

ii) Full distance learning format 
-        Home study course  
-        Live internet-based individual tutorials
-        Internet practical training session
-        DVD submitted practical assessment (date to suit candidate)
-        Live internet theory assessment (date to suit candidate)

Click here for information about Government Loans and 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. 

Qualification Structure

This qualification comprises of  7 mandatory units
The following 3 units have already been achieved at Level 2
• Know how to support clients who take part in exercise and physical activity
• Health, safety and welfare in a fitness environment
• Principles of exercise, fitness and health
Level 3 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 (Syllabus)

Course Aim and Objectives


  • To develop learners with existing knowledge and skills in gym instruction who would like to develop their skills and 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 management
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

Assessments (units)

Unit 1 - External theory paper – 1 ½  hour (Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise and Health) – 70% required.
Unit 2 - Internal 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.


• Learners learners may broaden their knowledge and skills by progressing onto qualifications mapping to additional branches of the Level 3 Standards, such as Exercise Referral. The Level 3 Personal Trainer together with the Level 3 Exercise Referral Qualification (See Exercise Referral Personal Trainer Package) allows access to all Level 4 Qualifications
• This 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 07799 621 456 or email

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