At the end of 2016 the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) launched the CIMSPA Professional Standards Matrix, which along with it had a new set of professional standards for the health and fitness sector. One of the new standards to be launched was for the role of a personal trainer, which had been written following feedback from employers and training providers from within the health and fitness sector.
Awarding organisation Active IQ was one of the first to market the new Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training, which reflected the new standards and ensured the ‘work ready’ employer-led qualification was refreshed and redeveloped. The new qualification had a far greater emphasis on updated and more relevant content and a more rigorous assessment.
Fast forward to 2018 and it’s now time for the training providers start rolling out the new qualification, with the realities of implementing a new qualification and course content.
The launch of a new qualification like this takes months of planning. We need to ensure what’s written on paper by the awarding organisation can in fact be effectively delivered in a classroom environment and that our students have enough time and support to fully understand and implement what they are being taught.
We take a change like this extremely important and as a result we take our time and get feedback from our entire tutor team. This also gives us an opportunity to make other tweaks and changes resulting from previous feedback.
The launch of this new qualification is long overdue, and I believe it can and will have a positive impact on the sector for both retention of PTs as well as satisfaction from gym and health club operators.
From our point of view, it’s great to see more soft skills added to the qualification as this is where the previous qualification had limitations. When a gym member or private client works with a PT they need to feel and build a relationship and ultimately have a connection. The new qualification enables us to spend more time on this and provide strategies and techniques to help.
Retention of PTs within the sector has been an ongoing issue for a few years now and I believe a lot of it is down to confidence. The qualification, as you would expect, teaches the students all about the science and physical education needed to develop effective programmes for clients but what it lacked was the focus on how to connect with a client. A qualified PT will always be able to create a great work out and ongoing programme for any client but if they can’t effectively interact or motivate them, then they will never succeed.
I think there’s a real opportunity for the more credible training providers to now build upon this qualification and graduate more lifechanging, inspirational teams of PTs who will not only improve and enhance the health of the general public but who will also have the skills to build a strong client base, understand how to motivate them and empathise with them. This all results in PTs remaining within our sector for longer and building long and meaningful careers.
The team at The Training Room are excited about what lies ahead. We pride ourselves on employing the very best tutors who I know can bring to life this qualification and ensure our PT graduates are leaving job-ready and ready to excel in their careers as PTs. I can’t wait to hear the success stories roll in!
Greg Slade, Head of Health and Fitness at The Training Room