Don’t miss out on Doncaster…..

APPI International Pilates Conference 2011

A few places are still available at the REPs Northern Convention on Wednesday 16thNovember at the Doncaster Dome. Delegates will be able to listen to a key note presentation on obesity and fitness as well as taking part in a choice of 12 workshops including ones on Muscle Testing, Physiology and Strength and Conditioning, Speed Training and Social Media.

Prices are £35 for REPs members and £55 for non-members*. This price includes a buffet lunch and REPs members can earn up to 4 CPD points. Group discounts are available. *Bookings made after 9th November will be charged at £40 and £60 respectively. For more information, and to book, visit

Exercise referral requirements for multiple level 4 qualifications

Existing REPs level 4 Specialist Instructors wanting to undertake an additional level 4 category qualification will not have to undertake the level 3 Exercise Referral qualification. Currently instructors wishing to move to level 4 must achieve the level 3 Exercise Referral qualification from a SkillsActive endorsed training provider as a prerequisite before they can embark on a level 4 specialist instructor course. However, the level 4 steering group, comprising representatives from SkillsActive, the Register of Exercise Professionals and the fitness industry’s Technical Expert Group have decided that this will not apply to existing REPs level 4 specialist instructors

Here, Nichola Curran, who sits on the SkillsActive Techincial Expert Group, and level 4 Panel, explains the rationale behind the decision.

Q1.  Why is Exercise Referral a pre-requisite for Level 4 qualifications?

As of 30th September 2011 Level 3 Exercise Referral is a mandatory pre-requisite for all those who wish to undertake a Level 4 Specialist Instructor qualification for the first time. Examples of such courses include, Back Pain, Obesity and Diabetes, Cardiac Disease, Mental Health, Chronic Respiratory Disease, Cancer Rehabilitation, Long Term Neurological Conditions, Falls Prevention and Stroke.

This decision has not been made lightly and is based on extensive review and comparison of the knowledge and skills gained from undertaking Level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications to those gained through Level 3 Exercise Referral. A panel of experts unanimously agreed that a Level 4 Specialist Instructor should have an understanding of the referral process and common medical conditions. It is highly likely a client will present with more than one medical condition (comorbidities) which must also be taken into consideration when prescribing exercise. The Exercise Referral qualification provides this information which is not covered in the Level 3 Personal Training Certificate.

Q2. What happens if I have a Level 4 qualification but do not have a Level 3 Exercise Referral qualification?

If you achieved a recognised level 4 qualification prior to 30th September 2011, you WILL NOT be expected to go back and complete Level 3 Exercise Referral.  You WILL be able to go on to do other Level 4 Specialist Instructor qualifications.

Q3. What conditions are now covered in the Level 3 Exercise Referral Qualification?

After much debate and consultation, some conditions have now been removed from this qualification; based on the complexity of the condition and the specialist skills required to prescribe safe and effective exercises.  The conditions now covered, and those you will be qualified to work with, are:

  • Hypertension
  • Hypercholesterolaemia
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Diabetes Type 1 & 2
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Joint Replacement
  • Simple Mechanical Back Pain
  • Depression
  • Stress and Anxiety

Q4. What qualifications do I need before I can do a Level 3 Exercise Referral course?

You can access this course with a recognised Level 2 qualification e.g. Gym Instructor or Exercise to Music etc.  Exercise Referral now includes Level 3 Anatomy & Physiology ensuring you cover the necessary knowledge previously gained by completing either Level 3 Advanced Fitness Instructor or Level 3 Personal Trainer.  It must be stressed, however, once you successfully complete this qualification, you will only be able to deliver sessions to referred clients within the context of your Level 2 qualification.  For example, a qualified ETM instructor can deliver referral sessions within a studio setting but NOT within a gym based setting and vice versa.   Instructors who hold both Level 2 qualifications can obviously deliver either type of referral session.

Nichola is the MD of Evolve Leisure and has more than 21 years’ experience in fitness including exercise referral.

Pre-register to be part of London 2012

FitMixPro Sponsor AdREPs registered fitness instructors are being offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of London 2012, by official Olympic fitness equipment supplier Technogym and its ‘Our Greatest Team’ campaign in conjunction with Team GB and ParalympicsGB.

REPs level 2 and 3 members can pre-register their interest to become part of the Technogym Team that will manage the Olympic Village Gym during the Olympics and Paralympics. Successful applicants will be giving comprehensive training, which has been endorsed by SkillsActive and will also carry CPD points. Competition details will be released in January 2012 when the “Our Greatest Team” campaign officially starts.

Technogym London 2012 Project Director, Tony Majakas explains: “We want to build on the amazing legacy of London 2012 by offering the fitness industry, and its trainers, a chance to be part of it in a very real way, as well as encouraging members of the public, inspired by the games, to embrace a healthier lifestyle through sport and activity. This is a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a REPS Trainer.”

REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch added: “This is an incredible opportunity for REPs members and we’re thrilled to be working with Technogym on it.”

For more information, and to register your interest in making a pledge to be part of “Our Greatest Team” visit and pre-register now!

Tax amnesty for instructors launched

A new ‘tax amnesty’ has been launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in a bid to encourage fitness instructors to come forward with any undeclared liabilities.

HMRC’s Tax Catch Up Plan is aimed at those who currently profit from private tuition and instruction, either as a main or secondary income, on which correct tax has not been paid. The new crackdown will see private tutors and coaches given until 31 March 2012 to declare any outstanding tax liabilities for the years to 5 April 2010 and to pay what they owe.

HMRC said those who come forward ahead of the deadline would receive the “best possible terms”, which is “unlikely” to amount to more than a fifth of any outstanding tax debts. However, HMRC warned that anyone who does not come forward by 31 March 2012 are to incur “much higher penalties”, while criminal proceedings could also be pursued.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC campaigns, said: “We are making it as easy as possible for people offering tuition and coaching to use this unique opportunity to put their tax affairs in order by making a full disclosure, and benefit from the best possible terms.”


Training Provider Feedback Needed

In an attempt to streamline the endorsement and approval process that sport and active leisure companies must complete when delivering qualifications, courses, workshops or seminars, SkillsActive and the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure today launch an online survey. The survey aims to find a solution that is better aligned with training providers’ business needs.

Sport and active leisure companies currently apply for endorsement or approval from one of two organisations, according to their sector and business needs. SkillsActive, the sector skills council for active leisure, learning and wellbeing, is responsible for endorsing continued professional courses, workshops and seminar content as well as providers in health and fitness and playwork.

Meanwhile, SkillsActive’s National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure approves providers across various subsectors and brokers training solutions with employers on their behalf. SkillsActive’s endorsement manager, Tom Bell says: “The current system means some providers have to go through two application processes to meet their needs, which can be confusing. The Skills Protocol Employer Leadership Group (SPELG), a group of leading sector employers, has expressed the need for a single qualification structure for the industry, with a single endorsement system. We want to work with training providers to simplify the process and come up with a solution that is better aligned with their business needs.”

SkillsActive has consulted with the Fitness Industry Association forum and SkillsActive industry panels. Interested training providers can have their say by completing an online survey at before 31 October 2011

Heading North in November…..

Don’t forget to book your place at the REPs Northern Convention on Wednesday 16th November at the Doncaster Dome.  Delegates will be able to listen to a key note presentation on obesity and fitness as well as taking part in a choice of 12 workshops including ones on Muscle Testing, Physiology and Strength and Conditioning, … Continue reading

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