Working as a Fitness Leader

 Fitness Leaders are people who instruct and/or otherwise facilitate other people to undertake activities intended to improve or maintain individuals level of physical (and sometimes mental) wellbeing.
The job of being a Fitness Leader has changed greatly over the past few decades, and looks certain to continue changing. In the mid 20th century, fitness leaders were fewer in number, and often just amateur fitness enthusiasts conducting exercise classes in a community centre or hall. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, public interest in fitness increased, as did the capacity of people in more affluent countries to pay people to help them improve their level of fitness.

Growth in interest, demand and economic potential has led the industry to develop in different ways in different countries. What was once dominated by amateurs and volunteers, has blossomed into an industry that employs people in a wide range of roles (eg. "Gym Managers", "Life Coaches", Personal Trainers, "Health Consultants", "Fitness Leaders",  "Recreation Officers" etc.). Concerns over legal liability have made it important for these "professionals" and their employers to be protected against legal action from disgruntled clients.  

Appropriate legal protection may be achieved through various means:

  • By acquiring skills and knowledge which show an unchallengeable capacity to do the job.Insurance

  • A professional indemnity policy to protect against any impact from a law suit.

  • Statements relating to Liability -Displayed notices or membership contracts which clients are clearly advised of limited liability prior to using any offered services.

  • Registrations and Memberships -Joining an appropriate professional association and/or registering as a fitness leader under an accreditation scheme can provide an indication that the leader is maintaining professional standing.

    Registration as a Fitness Leader alone may not provide adequate legal protection. Registration simply means you have satisfied what a government or industry body has determined as being required for their registration; but if the courts determine you were still not competent to have done something you may still lose a legal challenge.

What Do You Need to Be a Good Fitness Leader
A certificate may get you a job; but it doesn't guarantee you will keep it; or progress to a more senior and better paid position.
The ability to do the job, is in the end what counts the most.
The more you learn and the more experience you have; the better your potential will be for success as a fitness leader

Study Health & Fitness I


(Note: Though this course can be undertaken and a certificate awarded anywhere in the world; the UK accredited qualification can only be awarded if studying in the UK).
The course incorporates Exercise and Fitness Knowledge Level 1 and 2 in the U.K; and ALSO the Australian certificates III and IV in Fitness.
ACS has articulation arrangements with partner colleges in both Australia and the UK which allows graduates to obtain accredited fitness leader qualifications in either country (A small amount of additional work and extra fees will apply to upgrade and obtain additional, accredited qualifications). 

IMPORTANT: As with any government - accredited qualification, the conditions of accreditation can be changed without notice by government bodies. This is out of the control of any institution that is delivering a government accredited qualification.


To obtain a Fitness Leaders Certificate, students must meet the following five requirements:
1.  Complete the Fitness Leader's Certificate Core Theory which incorporates key sections of Human Biology IA, Human Biology IB, and Health and Fitness I (and incorporates theory from EFK Level 1 & 2 requirements for the UK; plus Cert III & IV in Australia)

2.  Undertake 40 hours of practical at an approved fitness centre (under the supervision of a reputable instructor)

3.  Obtain a current First Aid Certificate that includes resuscitation (Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance for example)

4. Sit and pass four examinations