Personal Trainer Qualifications

We frequently get asked about personal training qualifications, personal trainer courses and which certificates you'd expect to find in a personal trainers portfolio.

So with personal trainer qualifications so important, does it matter which personal trainewr courses a PT has taken? How can you recognise which ones are bonefide? Also how do you know they keep their trainer qualifications up-to-date?



  • How will I know if my trainer is properly qualified?

    We always suggest that potential clients ask to see copies of their qualifications and ask direct questions such as when was the last time they took a qualification and which awarding body presented their certificate. Any bonefide trainer will be more than happy to show you copies of certificates and qualifications - so don't be afraid to ask.

    All NRPT members are required to have a recognised level 3 personal training qualification as well as public liability insurance for membership, so you can search the NRPT directory in the knowledge that trainers hold those relevant certificates.


  • Why do trainers need to continue to gain qualifications?

    As well as basic fitness programmes and exercise plans, there are a wide range of areas where trainers specialise, called "Special Population groups". This includes areas such as pre and post-natal fitness; cardiac rehab; obesity; Fitness 50+; asthma; arthritis; eating disorders and many more.

    The skills and knowledge required for these areas is vastly different from the basics and so most trainers attend further courses throughout their working life to develop their particular interest of training.

  • How does a trainer keep their knowledge up to date?

    With the exercise industry changing all the time, Personal Trainers should have up-to-date knowledge. This ensures they are able to provide you with the latest thinking about exercise and fitness.

    Typically, personal trainers attend conferences every year and seminars on the latest advances in training techniques. Some undertake weekend courses in specific areas such as GP referral or Pre & Post Natal. We always suggest you ask your trainer when they last updated their qualifications and whether it was practical or theoretical based.


  • Why does a trainer need insurance?

    It is a condition of NRPT membership that all trainers hold public liability insurance to cover themselves in the event of a claim from a client.
  • Do trainers need a current CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or first aid certificate?

    We strongly encourage trainers to attend at least a basic first aid course in the event that a client has any health dificulties or emergencies while they are training them.

  • Which qualifications are recognised in the UK?

    We recognise only accredited qualifications and relevant experience. The qualification structure in the UK is fairly straight-forward, however we do consider recognised qualifications from countries such as Australia, America, Canada, South Africa and Europe. We ask that the trainer gets their qualifications assessed by the Register of Exercise Professionals to ensure they meet the UK standards, prior to us approving their membership.

    Examples of UK held qualifications:
    • Future Fit Training
    • Focus
    • YMCA Personal Trainer Diploma
    • Lifetime HF Personal Trainer
    • FIE Certified Personal Trainer
    • Premier Training Diploma
    • ACE Personal Trainer Certificate (American Council on Exercise)
    • The Training Room
    • Discovery Learning
    • European Institute of Fitness
    • ACSM HFI (American College of Sports Medicine).

    In essence we look for qualifications that are equivalent to the Government NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) system, many of which are accredited by the Exercise Register providing even more assurance.

    All NRPT members should have at least 6 months practical experience and must hold current Public Liability protection insurance and a current first aid / CPR certificate.


PT Courses