Get yourself on-line for free

The Register of Exercise Professionals is delighted to announce the introduction of new member benefits.
One of these is upgrading its Advanced Directory Listing (ADL) with the option to personalise your profile with specific information, a picture and include links to your own website or social medial pages, for free.
This will allow new clients or prospective class members to then find and contact you through the REPs’ website.
REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch said: “With current trends and the growth of social media and marketing we feel it is vital that our members have the opportunity to give detailed information on their CPD training and skills on the REPs’ website free of charge.
“We’re doing a lot of work on raising public awareness of the Register and directing members of the public to it and want our members to benefit from that as much as possible.”

http://www.exerciseregister.org/members/advanced-directory-listing

REPs Registrar responds to Daily Mail article

REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch has responded to an article published in the Daily Mail claiming Pilates could have hidden dangers and make bad backs worse.

The article tells the story of a woman who has scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine) who took Pilates classes shortly after giving birth. She told the Daily Mail the exercises aggravated her weakened spine causing one of her discs to rupture.

To read more click here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2161301/Pilates-make-bad-worse-Experts-agree-help-reduce-pain-improve-posture-hidden-dangers.html

Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch commented: “The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) was set up to deal with this very issue of inappropriately qualified instructors.

“Using National Occupational Standards written by SkillsActive, the sector skills council for the industry, we’ve established various levels of membership which band fitness professionals according to their qualifications.

“Currently only fitness professionals with an approved level 3 certificate in Pilates can register with us as Pilates teachers. Pilates is graded as a level 3 qualification which reflects the level of expertise needed to teach it properly.

“Pilates is a very well-established and structured discipline and should only ever be taught by an appropriately qualified instructor. Taught well, and in small groups, it is a highly effective exercise discipline.

“However, as demonstrated in the article above, taught carelessly it can (as can any exercise) exacerbate a pre-existing condition.

“Any instructor worth their salt will check a clients’ health before embarking on an exercise regime with them and work with their personal health and physical limits.

“All 29,000 plus REPs’ members (including 1,700 Pilates instructors) have their qualifications listed on the REPs’ register which members of the public can access for free via http://www.exerciseregister.org

“REPs would urge any person wanting to use the services of a fitness professional (no matter what they teach) to ask if their instructor is REPs’ registered and verify their qualifications. In the same way you wouldn’t use a non-Gas Safe registered engineer to service your boiler you should check your instructor is REPs’ registered.”

UK fitness industry worth £3.86bn

The UK health and fitness industry increased its total market value by 1.4 per cent to £3.86bn during the year to March 2012, according to the 2012 State of the UK Fitness Industry report.

The figures mean that – since 2009 – the fitness industry’s total market value is up 2.4 per cent, while there has been an increase of 3.6 per cent in membership numbers and a 1.8 per cent growth in the total number of facilities.

At the end of March 2012, 12.1 per cent of the UK population were registered as members of a health and fitness club or publicly-owned fitness facility – compared with 11.9 per cent in March 2011.

A total of 163 new public and private facilities opened during the year to 31 March 2012 – an increase on previous years (149 in 2011; 122 in 2010; and 114 openings in 2009).

Richard Hunt, chair of CLOA said that the results were “remarkable”.

“Against the background of a sustained period of a shrinking UK economy a squeeze on lending, and local authority spending reductions, these headline figures reflect a truly resilient sector that has continued to invest, innovate and appreciate market change and opportunity in difficult times,” he said.

“The fact that membership numbers continue to grow is encouraging for the sector ahead of the potential for a 2012 Olympic health and fitness legacy.”

The State of the UK Fitness Industry Report is compiled each year by independent leisure market analysts, The Leisure Database Company.

Simon Johnson, chief executive of Business In Sport and Leisure (BISL), added: “I recognise how our members are contributing to what the last government was so fond of calling the ‘Golden Decade of Sport’.

“Architects including S&P, many consultants and contractors of family firms like Wilmott Dixon; national governing bodies of swimming, tennis and rugby; leisure management contractors DC Leisure, Leisure Connection and SERCO; and the database specialists and authors of this report, The Leisure Database Company, are all working to help develop new sports and leisure sites and improve existing infrastructure.

“This in turn encourages more people to be more active using more and better facilities – a key policy aim and one which unites all of BISL’s sports members. The government, via the Olympic bid team, promised a sporting legacy and our members have been working, often in wide effective partnerships, on the delivery.”

To read more about the report, click here: http://www.theleisuredatabase.com/news/news-archive/fitness-industry-back-in-growth

222,000 OAPs break bones in falls each year

More than 220,000 pensioners break their bones as a result of a fall every year, figures have suggested.

Age UK said that in England in 2010, more than 88,000 people aged over 60 fractured a hip, 43,000 broke an arm and nearly 17,000 suffered a fractured pelvis.

The charity warned that falls are one of the leading causes of death in over-75s.

Age UK, which released the figures as part of its Falls Awareness Week, urged elderly people to take part in programmes which improve strength and balance.

Charity director general Michelle Mitchell said: “The impact of a fall can be devastating and the scale of the issue is a real concern, especially as we know that prevention is so much better than cure.

“Age UK’s Falls Awareness Week highlights this important issue and provides a host of local community events so that older people can find out about helping to prevent falls and keep bones strong and healthy.

“We’re encouraging people to go to an event to find out how to introduce simple strength and balance exercises into day-to-day life to help prevent falls. The events will also look at the importance of getting out in the sunshine and incorporating calcium and sources of vitamin D in your diet. This all helps to strengthen bones to protect you if you do fall.”

Research suggests most employees believe a healthier workforce benefits businesses

New research from networking solutions firm Cisco UK and Ireland has found that the vast majority (90 per cent) of employees believe that “healthier workforces” benefit businesses.

The Health and Wellbeing survey involved 501 middle managers in part or full time employment, a further 89 per cent believe a fit and active employee performs better at work.

However, only 15 per cent of employees said their businesses had made changes to improve health and wellbeing as a result of major sports events taking place this summer.

A mere 13 per cent of firms were said to be running sport-inspired activity this summer, and just 38 per cent said their workplace was promoting team building through exercise.

Cisco UK and Ireland head of HR Phoebe Leet said: “2012 is a phenomenal year for sport and other large events, and I would urge companies across the UK to build on their existing health and HR policies in the coming months.

“This year is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to encourage and inspire employees to be proactive about their health in the long term which could help build a brilliant future for both their employees and their business.”

The research was conducted throughout December by Vision Critical.

Details:  www.ciscolondon2012.co.uk

ActiveAmbition to help sector drive business growth

SkillsActive, the sector skills council for active leisure, learning and wellbeing has announced a significant development with the launch and roll-out of its ActiveAmbition programme.
The aim of the programme is to help drive business growth by professionalising the active leisure sector, improving standards and raising the aspirations of current and prospective employers and employees through effective skills development.
Over the next two years ActiveAmbition, which has received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills through the Employer Investment Fund (EIF), will see SkillsActive working with employers, trade associations and stakeholders across the UK, expanding on the work undertaken on the Skills Protocol within leisure.
James Emmett, Head of Employer Engagement at SkillsActive, comments: “It is widely recognised that upskilling existing and new employees is vital to the growth of the sector. ActiveAmbition represents a clear and simple framework to provide improved skills delivery for the industry, building on the work undertaken by leading leisure operators during 2011 to create the Skills Protocol and the subsequent report by the Skills Protocol Employer Leadership Group (SPELG)”.
ActiveAmbition will enable SkillsActive to work with all active leisure sub-sectors and the home nations to create appropriate skills protocols that fit with their development needs and growth ambitions.
ActiveAmbition will connect employers to solutions that the protocol identifies as priorities, through activepassport™, networks of approved training providers and the single qualifications framework.
To find out more about ActiveAmbition, please visit http://www.skillsactive.com/activeambition

REPs’ Customer Satisfaction Survey 2012

• 95 per cent of REPs’ registrants say having a registration body that provides recognition of professional status is important.
• 82 per cent feel well-supported by the Register.
• Customer satisfaction amongst members contacting the REPs’ team has grown by nearly 20 per cent in the last three years.

A record number of REPs’ registrants have taken part in the fourth REPS Customer Satisfaction Survey.

This year 1,930 current members (and lapsed registrants) took part – nearly four times as many as last year making this year’s annual survey the most comprehensive to date.

The value of the Register

Nearly all REPs’ registrants feel that a membership body that provides recognition of professional status is either very or fairly important (95%). A record number this year feel it is very important at 72%.

This year has seen a 9% increase in the proportion of those who feel very or fairly well supported by the Register, taking the total to 82%.

The proportion of members who think the Register is well advertised or promoted (very and fairly) has risen to 6 out of 10 this year, from 50% in 2011.

Satisfaction with information, products and services

Insurance services were voted the most commonly used product, (utilised by 6 out of 10 registrants). Of those asked 65% said it was very important. Ranked by very and fairly important, the registration certificate/card is neck and neck with insurance services, followed by the REPs’ Journal and CPD online guidance.

Insurance services and the REPs’ Journal were rated very or fairly good by more than 7 out of 10 members, followed by the registration certificate/card.

Satisfaction with registration by new members

Almost three out of ten respondents joined REPs in the last year, so we asked them about their experiences registering for the first time. There has been a substantial improvement in satisfaction with the initial registration process since last year, with a 14 per cent increase in those who are very satisfied with the information provided, a 15 per cent rise in the proportion of new registrants who are very satisfied with the simplicity of the application forms and a 12 per cent rise in the proportion of those very satisfied with communication with the REPs’ office.

Another important area has been improving customer service. Almost half of registrants (48%) had been in contact with REPs in the past year mainly by telephone (80%). Queries were mainly about REPs status, registration, CPD and insurance. Overall, 8 in 10 respondents felt their query was dealt with to their satisfaction in 2012, 10% more than in 2011.

Registar Jean-Ann Marnoch said: “Feedback from our registrants is the most important indicator we have that we’re doing a good job. While there is, as ever, room for improvement we’re very pleased with these results, which the team has worked hard to achieve.

“Although our main role is to protect the well-being and interests of the general public and professionalise the industry we are always keen to listen to the views of our registrants and improve the services and products we offer them.”

Paving the way for Europe-wide e-learning

In-roads have been made to create a European e-learning platform for Gym, Group Exercise, Aqua and Personal Training at a partner meeting in Malta.

The eLearning Fitness project (or eLF) also hopes to produce a platform for national registers that may then be used by European countries.

The Register of Exercise Professionals is leading this part of the project and working with other project partners from all over Europe including France, Germany, Lithuania,Holland,Portugal,Finland,Norway,Ireland,Belgium,Spain,Poland and project-leaders Italy.

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