The Level 3 Practitioner Personal Trainer Diploma qualification allows entry as a CIMSPA Personal Trainer Practitioner.
If you prefer a pay-as-you-go option click here.
If you hold a previous qualification or a relevant degree and have gym and personal training work experience you may be eligible to take the qualification by a self-study version (£695.00) or even by the RPL route (as low as £295). Please get in touch or 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.
There is a total of 245 guided learning hours. The minimum total duration is from about 8-16 weeks and up to a maximum of a year. The study hours are from about 5 to 40 hours per week depending on the duration of your course. There is no attendance days for distance learners.
- Some experience of gym-based exercises, including free weights, is highly recommended.
- A degree of physical fitness is necessary for the course.
- There is also an element of communication (discussing, presenting, reading and writing) involved. Learners should have basic skills in communication pitched at level 2.
- 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.
Full distance learning format (strict conditions apply)
- Level 3 Personal Trainer home study course.
- Live internet-based individual tutorials throughout.
- Level 2 remote practical skills development programme.
- DVD submitted for level 2 practical assessment (date to suit candidate).
- Level 3 remote practical skills development programme.
- DVD submitted for level 3 practical assessment (date to suit candidate).
Level 3 Practitioner Personal Trainer Diploma Syllabus and Assessments’ Format
The Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification comprises of 10 mandatory units (6 for Level 2 and 4 for Level 3).
Level 2 Gym Units:
1 – Anatomy and physiology for exercise – Extended Worksheet.
2 – Know how to support clients who take part in exercise and physical activity – Short Worksheet.
3 – Health, safety and welfare in a fitness environment – Short Worksheet.
4 – Principles of exercise, fitness and health – Extended Worksheet.
5 – Planning gym-based exercise – Short Worksheet and Assignment.
6 – Instructing gym-based exercise – 60 mins practical assessment (live with us or filmed by you).
Level 3 Personal Trainer Units:
1 – Anatomy and physiology for exercise and health – Extended Worksheet.
2 – Applying the principles of nutrition to a physical activity programme – Extended Worksheet.
3 – Programming personal training with clients – Short Worksheet and Assignment.
4 – Delivering personal training sessions – 60 mins practical assessment (filmed).
5 – Business Acumen for Personal Trainers – Worksheet and Assignment.
Successful achievement of all seven units must be achieved for the full qualification.
Aim 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.
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. This is achieved by employing appropriate motivational strategies.
The personal trainer should be involved in:
- Collecting information relating to individual clients.
- Carrying out fitness assessments to establish client fitness and skill level.
- Analysing information relating to individual clients.
- Identifying, agreeing and reviewing short, medium and long term goals to ensure the effectiveness of exercise programmes.
- Providing a range of exercise programmes in accordance with the needs of the clients by applying principles of exercise programming.
- Making best use of the environment in which clients are exercising.
- Providing clients with accurate information on the principles of nutrition and weight management.
- Developing and applying strategies to motivate clients to join and adhere to an exercise programme.
- Acting as a positive role model for all clients.
- Proactively interact and develop positive relationships with clients in order to facilitate client retention.
- Promoting healthy activities and related strategies for daily living to clients/members.
- Keeping up-to-date with health and fitness industry developments. This ensures high standards of programmes that meet client needs in the short, medium and long term goals.
- Making the appropriate decisions relating to clients and their programmes/goals and, where required, refer the client to a more appropriate professional.
- 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.
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.
L3 Personal Trainers should:
- Be aware of their professional role boundaries as listed.
- 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.
- 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
- 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).
- Prescribe any form of exercise session or individual exercise that they have not been trained to deliver/teach effectively.
- 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).
- Provide prescriptive nutritional advice or develop bespoke individualised nutrition plans for clients.
Still Have Questions?
Contact Alison at HFI on 0208 568 5336 or 07799 621 456 or email