If you’re considering becoming a Personal Trainer, finding out where to start can be a challenge in itself, before you even get cracking on the coursework!
With personal training courses becoming increasingly popular, there are dozens of training providers and hundreds of courses to choose from.
So, how do you find the right course for you?
Sure, you’ll want to ensure it’s affordable, available in your area and covers the subjects that specifically interest you. But what makes the difference between a piece of paper and a qualification that will kickstart your fitness career?
We say, check the FAQ’s. That’s Finance, Accreditation, Quality and Success – four key areas you wouldn’t necessarily do your homework on, but those you’ll be glad you did.
Though parting with a significant sum of money in that quest for your dream career isn’t on everyone list of priorities, it’s an investment into your future, your education and your professional reputation once you become a fully fledged fitness pro.
As the Personal Training industry continues to grow, hundreds of new business are emerging offering cheap, fast-track or even fake professional fitness certificates for a highly discounted fee compared to the many reputable fitness qualification providers. Whilst for many students starting out in their studies, this may seem like a cost-effective route to becoming qualified, they quickly learn that all they’ve shelled out for at the end of the day is a worthless piece of paper – one that will get you nowhere when it comes to applying for jobs in the fitness industry.
If you’re worried your wallet may suffer from the cost of your course, ask whether your chosen training provider offers funding. Focus Training students that meet the criteria can currently take advantage of the Government’s 24+ Advanced Learning Loans. A loan will help towards the cost of a wide range of courses if you plan to start before 31st July 2014.
If you don’t meet the criteria for funding, you may benefit from a finance package (check the interest rates fully before you sign up! Some are as high as 30%APR). At Focus, we offer 0% finance which can be spread over 12 months. If you decide to pay in full, we’ll also throw in a 5% discount. We’re nice like that.
No matter how glitzy the advertising, or how slick the deal, do your homework and check out the validity of the qualification you’re considering.
Reputable training providers will provide qualifications that will allow you to join the REPS register on completion. If you plan to follow your studies with a fitness career, this is the register you’ll need to be on!
Check that your qualification is transferrable. Your certificate should contain a recognised Ofqual logo, providing proof of your achievements. If you decide to do a spot of further study, you’ll need to present this to the awarding body before you can proceed with a new course.
Ofsted will give you a benchmark as to the quality of your training provider. If they give the thumbs up, it’s a thumbs up. If they give the thumbs down… run like hell.
Ofsted look at all training providers to assess areas of good practice – everything from the procedures and systems they use, to the quality of the materials and support students receive throughout their course. As with anything, if you opt to buy cheap, you sacrifice on quality! When it comes to your future career in the fitness industry, a quality certification should be top of your list!
You can take a peek at recent inspections for any training provider at www.ofsted.gov.uk. Don’t be shy to ask potential course providers about their success rates. Those that are keen to share their results speak volumes over those that like to keep them quiet!
Naturally, you can’t expect the training provider to be 100% responsible for you passing the course – the majority of the hard work is up to you, but you need to know you’re armed with the expertise and tools you need to get there!
Speak to the team about our range of Personal Training course options!