How do you select where you study to become a personal trainer?
As with any field of study, not all certifications are equal. SO, how do you go about selecting the best Personal Training Course?
Yes, as a training provider, we would obviously have a bias in terms of writing this article. However, we also want to provide our prospective students with the best possible information before they decide on a path that could dramatically impact the rest of their lives.
There are many things to consider when selecting an institution, but the best Personal Training Course must have the following:
Accredited Personal Training Course?
There are many Health and Fitness Colleges in South Africa, but not all of them are accredited as training providers within the criteria set out by the Department of Education. Further to that, not all of them have bothered to go through to process of aligning their courses with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). This is vitally important, as most large gym chains in South Africa, will not recognise qualifications that do not comply with this criteria. We have experienced may cases of employed Personal Trainers who do not have recognised qualifications, having to scramble to become certified, or risk losing their job!
So, how can you ensure that the qualification and institution that you are looking at, ticks or the boxes?
STEP 1: Search for the service provider on the REPSSA website
If you can’t find the service provider on the REPSSA website, then don’t waste your time. Secondly, ensure that the provider has properly accredited the course they are offering to you. This course should appear under the providers offering on the website. If the course you want isnt registered under that provider on the REPSSA website, you could be heading for a world of trouble down the line.
STEP 2: Ask the service provider for confirmation of their accreditation
Every service provider will be issued with a letter from the accrediting body (CATHSSETA). If you request a copy, they are obliged to provide you with one, or at least their SETA registration number. Alarm bells should go off when a provider delays in issuing you with this confirmation. If you are applying for a study loan you will require the letter of registration of the service provider in any event
Choosing the Best Personal Training Course?
Once you have established the legitimacy of the service providers, you will need to decide what makes one better from another. To make this decision, you will need determine what your needs are:
Do you want to travel and work overseas or on the cruise ships?
Every accredited service provider in South Africa is registered with REPSSA. Once you, as a certified Personal trainer register with REPSSA, you will be able to travel to any country with a REPS, and transfer your certification to that particular REPS.
For countries outside of REPS, you will need an internationally recognised qualification. Although many service providers will claim that their qualification is internationally recognised, they are essentially claiming their REPS recognition. Physical IQ is the only service provider that offers a true internationally recognised qualification through their NASM CPT.
Are you planning to work while you are studying?
If you are unable to study full time, then you will have to choose between part-time study, blended learning or distance learning. To offer good part-time or distance programs, a service provider will need to have a top online learning platform, a dedicated student support division and excellent student feedback response time. Check what each service provider offers in this department, and hold them accountable to their promises.
Would you like interaction with top lecturers?
If you want to be become the best, it makes sense then that you’d better be taught by the best. This is something that very few students check before starting a course.
Who will be teaching you?
The minimum qualification for any facilitator in Health and Fitness Education is a NQF Level 5 certificate. However, would you like to be taught by someone who is as qualified as you will be when you complete the course? Unlikely. The minimum requirement to become a facilitator at Physical IQ is an honours degree in Human Movement Science, Biokinetics, Physiotherapy or Teaching.
What sort of experience would you like to gain from your course?
Once you have completed all the requirements of your course, you will become certified as a Personal Trainer. You will have the necessary knowledge and, hopefully, the necessary skills. That doesn’t mean that you will have the necessary experience to become a successful Personal Trainer. The training provider should endeavor to place you with experience and successful Personal Trainers who can mentor you and provide you with an internship. The training provider should also seek to expose you to all the field of Health and Fitness so that you can make an educated choice on the field that you would like to establish yourself in, once you are qualified.
This is very often the single most important consideration, which will distinguish one training provider from the other!
This article is merely an introduction to the topic of selecting the Best Personal Training Course in South Africa.
Take it upon yourself to call a training provider and seek career guidance. They should offer this guidance to you, and hopefully you don’t just speak to a salesperson at a call centre.