We have been shortlisted at the Active Training Awards
In 2013, Future Fit Training created three specialist schools dedicated to Personal Training, Nutrition and Pilates. We are the only large training provider to take this unique approach and we believe this creates a better environment for learning and developing capability in the workplace. It’s this concept which impressed the panel for this year’s Active Training Awards and is why Future Fit has been shortlisted to win both ‘Large Training Provider of the Year’ and ‘Innovative Training Programme of the Year’.
Why three schools?
To put the reason for the development of the schools into context, the health and fitness industry is more competitive than ever before with more and more trainers, coaches and teachers. Consumers (such as clients and gym members) therefore have much more choice when it comes to who provides them with the services and products they’re looking for, so the need for specialists and experts is increasing. By creating these three schools, we’re able to foster this culture of specialisation right from the start of and throughout your journey with us, not just in the courses themselves, because they are part of a centre of expertise for your chosen career discipline.
How we tailor your training
To give an example of how our delivery has evolved to better meet the needs of both professionals and consumers in the industry, we can look at our diploma development. Up until 3-4 years ago, Future Fit Training had a training package called the Total Immersion Diploma. It contained all the elements we thought fitness professionals needed to do their job, and included exercise to music and Pilates as well as gym instructor and personal training qualifications. We thought that giving this broad skill base would enable trainers to offer more, to more people. But we now know the jack of all trades approach is increasingly less effective (see here for more on that) and so the creation of the three schools has allowed us to restructure and refine the diploma. The School of Personal Training Level 4 Total Immersion diploma now features the specific knowledge and skills PTs need work with clients in a one-to-one basis and with small groups, as well as further support to succeed in their career, as you’ll see below.
As an example of how our development reflects industry needs, the following courses were incorporated into the diploma:
A dedicated course on behaviour change coaching, a key topic for health and wellness professionals to understand with behaviour change a major trend in the industry at the moment.
We introduced our first Level 4 course last year to the School of PT – Low Back Pain Exercise Specialist. While it may have been more obvious to opt for obesity or heart disease as topics initially, statistically 80% of people are likely to suffer from low back pain at some point in their life so in actual fact having training in this area will potentially be more useful in terms of helping PTs to support their clients.
We are currently working with uk active to further identify workforce needs and develop our programmes in response to the outcome.
Specialist, real-world training
In terms of fostering learning, our students are able to move between each school to receive high quality training from a centre of expertise when necessary. The best example of this is the need for personal trainers to have applied knowledge of nutrition. Being such a key aspect of the role, it makes sense for the School of Nutrition to provide the necessary knowledge and skills in this area.
Having three schools also means we can tailor the support we offer students outside of their courses, so for instance when a School of Personal Training student requires help with preparing for their assessments or needs advice on how to set up classes, they will speak directly to a PT specialist.
Finally, a key feature of our programmes which we think is vital to helping you learn more effectively and to prepare for your career is realistic assessments rather than theoretical ones. School of Personal Training learners not only compile comprehensive portfolios of evidence documenting their work with real people, they also bring them along to live practical assessments where we observe them delivering sessions, while School of Nutrition students must do a case study with an actual client over a period of eight weeks for their Nutrition and Weight Management qualification.
It’s not just about courses
A key addition to our programme this year is the Career Accelerator Package. We recognised that beyond technical expertise, you need high quality guidance on the business-building aspect of your role as a health and fitness professional, as well as additional resources to get your career off to a solid start. In keeping with the specialist ethos it made sense to partner with organisations that can offer cutting edge support and resources to achieve that.
The Career Accelerator Packages are tailored to each school, so while they all include a sales and marketing workshop from an industry expert, a consultation with an accountant and a guide to using social media for business, the School of PT version also features a personalised website, business cards and flyers and dietary analysis software.
The School of PT also introduced the Premium Career Partner Scheme this year. Most training providers offer guaranteed interviews but we wanted to go a step further to create a clearer pathway into the industry for personal trainers who want to work within a major gym chain.
Fitness First, Virgin Active, YOUR Personal Training and Xercise4Less are the initial members of the scheme and in a nutshell, when you have achieved your Level 3 PT qualification, with your permission we pass your details onto these companies. That way they can contact you directly should positions be available. This shows the high regard our courses are held in. It’s worth noting that two of the companies (Your PT and Fitness First) are actually finalists in the Employer of the Year category at this year’s awards!
So we hope that has given you an insight into how and why we decided to develop this new approach to training and shows why we made it to the final in not one but two categories. Wish us luck for the awards ceremony on 27th November!