Welcome to the Fitness Industry
I wish you all the best with your new beginnings in the wonderful place that is the fitness industry. I also urge you to be led by science, be different and keep your clients at the centre of your practice. In other words, stand out from the crowd.
Professional Registration and Insurance
The personal training industry is very, very simple but for some reason many people are trying to make it sound really complicated.
CIMSPA is the OFFICIAL government register for gym instructors and personal trainers. As a gym instructor you will register as an ‘Exercise & Fitness Affiliate’ and as a personal trainer you will register as an ‘Exercise & Fitness Practitioner’. Then you can purchase the ‘public liability’ insurance that you need. Gym instructors need insurance even though they are also insured by their employer at the gym, and personal trainers need it as they are usually self-employed working out of a gym or in their own business from clients' homes.
Reps (the register of exercise professionals) is the 'old' register and now comes under the CIMSPA umbrella as well. So if you have previously join Reps instead of CIMSPA, you will be moved to the CIMSPA register as long as you have the correct qualification for CIMSPA. All our qualifications are recognised by CIMSPA.
To register with CIMSPA you need to be properly qualified and your certificate must from a CIMSPA recognised ‘awarding body’. We use Focus Awards as they are one of the CIMSPA recognised awarding bodies. Active IQ and CYQ are the other main ones. If you are looking at a qualification that doesn’t use one for those 3 awarding bodies do check with CIMSPA before going ahead. Also, be aware of 'courses' that don’t lead to an actual 'qualification'. A 'course' isn' the same as a 'qualification' and you need to be 'qualified' to be a personal trainer. Gym qualifications are called "level 2" and personal trainer qualifications are called "level 3".
CIMSPA consult with the government and the government consult with employers to ultimately decide what knowledge, skills and abilities are required for gym instructors and personal trainers to become qualified. The awarding bodies keep up-to-date with what is required content for these qualifications. This is how the fitness industry works.
If you have an ‘old’ or different qualification other than the "level 2 gym" or "level 3 PT", or have a certificate which isn't from one of the main awarding bodies, please get in touch as we can help you fill in the gaps to get you properly PT qualified and registered with CIMSPA.
CIMSPA have a code of conduct which is worth a look.
HFI Training’s recommendations for new personal trainers
The gym instructor role is a precursor to the personal training role. Before getting out there and 'being a personal trainer' you must gain some gym instructor work experience in order to ensure your practices are in line with the current practices within the industry. In addition, it is always recommended that you also gain 'employed' personal trainer work experience (ie it is supervised by a fitness manager) before you become self-employed and alone in your practice.
For your continuing development and quality control you must maintain your membership of CIMPSA. You will have to do provide 12 continuing education credits.
Don’t get dragged down by the ‘facebook’ personal trainers
There is still a lot of weird and not-so-wonderful personal training stuff happening in our gyms. Here are some reputable organisations to follow to keep you grounded, science-based, effective, and humble:
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) - the world scientific leader for what to do for the best business, safety and effective exercise as a personal trainer.
UK Active – the government’s official organisation for improving the health of the nation.
Health Club Management (from Leisure Media) (UK) – to keep a track of what’s going on in the industry.
Health & Safety – look to the HSE for all your health and safety at work information.
National Strength and Conditioning Association –the World's leading organisation for S&C for all your health and safety at work information.