The new Active IQ Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness and Performance has been proven by Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) to offer learners a genuine choice of pathways either to work in the leisure industry or take up a university place.

HSDC worked with Active IQ to develop and pilot the new two-year qualification from September 2016.  The results among its students in August 2018 proved beyond doubt that this comprehensive qualification can lead learners into the workplace or to university.

The Active IQ Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health Fitness and Performance is designed to be delivered in a further education setting.  Combining class room study with 90 hours per year working at a local gyms or health club, the certificate covers exhaustive technical industry knowledge alongside invaluable real-life case study work. 

The HSDC pilot cohort had 19 students: all of whom passed at the end of the two years: eight gained distinction (80% or above) which gave them the equivalent of 3 As at A Level and 144 UCAS points.  Two of the learners have taken up places at Brighton and Chichester University respectively to study degrees in sport sciences.

The other students have taken jobs in the leisure industry, working as gym instructors, group exercise instructors and personal trainers, poised to undertake CPD training to broaden their skills in the sector.

“There is simply nothing like this Extended Diploma on the market that combines such a high level of study and technical industry knowledge with 90 hours per year of work experience,” says James Florance, Course Manager at HSDC. “It bridges the gaps that existed between A Levels, BTec-style qualifications and private training provider Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications,” he says. 

“This extended diploma is a truly vocational course that has students absolutely industry-ready armed with comprehensive and detailed knowledge alongside unprecedented academic underpinning,” continues James. “It’s not for the faint-hearted – it’s a bit of an educational juggernaut. I advise whatever establishment to select carefully their delivery team and optimise all processes,” warns James. “It’s easily the biggest qualification I’ve ever delivered.  But it’s incredible too, giving students superior knowledge and extensive skill sets to set them on a clear pathway to either work in the industry or continue their studies at university.”

James set an entry level of a minimum of five GCSEs at Level 4 or above, including Maths, English and Science ensuring students are able to complete detailed coursework as well as sitting final assessment exams at the end of each year.

The Active IQ Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness and Performance is the ‘complete package’ as it includes a comprehensive syllabus of theory, extensive real-life practical work with clients and highly valuable additional elements including sport science research projects, entrepreneurship, business and psychology. This equips students for the work place while those looking to go to uni have a definite head start having learned a huge amount in a work/industry context rather than as ‘standalone’ academic PE, science or other A Level subjects.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Active IQ whose flexibility and progressiveness are second to none,” says James.  “Nothing is impossible with Active IQ.  The team is highly amenable and listens properly to your needs to develop solutions that really work.  Their on-going support is superb and they have worked tirelessly to adapt this qualification to meet the needs of today’s learners to be both industry-ready and university-ready.  From a tutor’s point of view, there’s nothing more I could wish for.”

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