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Over the past few years and particularly in the last 12 months, we have seen a growing demand right across the industry for the need to develop our workforce with a rising demand from operators particularly concerned over the lack of soft skills amongst PTs.

Increasingly PTs are called upon to work with special populations and a greater awareness of clients’ medical and healthcare needs is also deemed a priority now among gym owners. So what can we be doing as an industry to ensure that fitness professionals have a wider skill set and fully embrace the modern approach to planning, monitoring and evaluating clients’ programmes? After all, this is what will help them differentiate themselves in what is an increasingly competitive market.

Earlier in the year we took the decision to refresh our Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training, which now includes new and specific modules to address professionalism, client counselling, motivation and behavior change as well as additional anatomy, physiology and nutrition content. Welcomed by operators, this also sparked the question what more we could do to encourage further specialism and professionalism within the industry.

Active IQ’s qualifications will also give the learner useful soft skills in addition to professional skills knowledge


Taking the views of operators and speaking to PTs who themselves are seeking advanced training and a qualification to match, we have developed a Level 4 Certificate in Advanced Personal Training. Prior to this qualification, there were few further areas for development for experienced PTs unless they wanted to pursue Exercise Referral and Special Populations.

The Level 4 Certificate in Advanced Personal Training focuses on the client journey and will provide learners with enhanced knowledge and skills to fully understand their clients, utilise an evidence-based approach to programming and develop a successful and sustainable personal training business. The advanced training includes:

  • Research, evaluation and use of credible research and information to inform personal training / coaching practice.
  • Integration and application of technologies, digital and social media into personal training practice to support, enhance and manage the client journey.
  • The application of behaviour change and communication techniques to support, enhance and manage the client journey.
  • Assessment, performance analysis and evaluation to support, enhance and manage the client journey.
  • Design and application of long-term periodisation, planning, coaching and evaluation to optimise client success.

All this will result in a PT who is not just proficient in safe, effective, practical training of clients but shows a clear and thorough understanding of the planning, implementation, monitoring, adjusting and management of complete, robust client programmes. A qualification of this stature, along with the high quality of teaching we expect to be associated with its delivery, will ensure that we have more highly trained, intuitive, skilled professionals that meet the expectations of our sector.

Stepping up to Level 4 won’t just benefit the individual PTs. Gym owners who employ advanced PTs will have a valuable asset in a highly skilled PT with advanced knowledge and a superior skillset. What better way to ensure client retention and attract new clients than proving your facility can manage clients with even very complex health and wellness issues?

As we strive to drive up standards and professionalise our PT workforce, we need to ensure challenging and insightful training programmes are readily available to really bring out the best in our trainers. Outside the industry, critics remain. But faced with a PT who has advanced skills like these, those who view the fitness industry as a poor relation to the health, wellness, rehabilitation and medical sectors which we undoubtedly support will have to think again.


If you are interested in Active IQ’s qualifications, please contact us on 01480 467950.