Through coming into contact with hundreds of fitness professionals, we're often asked the same questions repeatedly. Whether it be during study, upon qualification, or months to years later, those in the industry are still unsure on their scope of practice with their current qualification.
Hopefully, this weeks blog clears up some of the confusion and gives more information on what you can and can't do with whatever fitness qualification you may have...
Let's start with the entry level qualification into the industry, the Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing:
With this qualification, you learn the basics of anatomy and physiology, health and safety and planning gym-based exercise. This qualification gives you scope to plan gym-based programs for apparent healthy individuals, aged 16-69, with no medical history, no injuries or any medical conditions. With the level 2 certificate in gym-based exercise, you may also take group inductions and classes, as per the requirements of your organisation (as long as insured) which is often provided by your employer.
This qualification DOESN'T allow the holder to personal train clients on a 1-2-1 basis, plan long term progressive programmes or work, regularly, with children, older adults, those with a disability or pre/post natal clients.
Next up, the Level 3 Personal Training qualification:
With this qualification, you learn anatomy and physiology at a more advanced level, for exercise and health, nutrition for exercise and how to plan and deliver progressive programmes to individuals. This qualification gives you scope to do everything a level 2 instructor can, plus personal train clients on 1-2-1 basis or 1-2-group basis. Once again, the individuals involved in such sessions, must also still be apparently healthy, injury free and with no medical conditions. At this level, you can also advise and recommend on nutrition, but you definitely CANNOT prescribe supplementation or diet plans to clients.
Some employers (and insurance providers) may require extra CPD to deliver classes or sessions involving specialist equipment, such as suspension training, pad-work or kettlebells.
The Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral:
With this qualification, you will learn advanced anatomy and physiology for exercise and health, planning exercise referral programmes and understanding medical conditions. This qualification allows the holder to all of the above at level 2 and 3, but now enables the holder to work with those with medical conditions, included, but not limited to: Obesity, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many more!
Once again, prescribing diet/meal plans and/or supplementation to individuals is still out of scope of practice and not recommended due to the nature of the conditions you may face, however advice and recommendations and overseeing of food choices is allowed, in partnership with said patients GP.
As most patients you work with, with this qualification will be referred by a GP, appropriate skills, training and insurance is non-negotiable and should always be undertaken.
For more information on courses, advice on a career path once qualified or to simply up-skill, feel free to get in touch with us :)