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Future Fit Traning

Government-funded PT courses: what do you need to know

What is a government-funded personal training course?

A government-funded personal training course is a free PT course that is supported by funding from the government for those who are looking to become personal trainers for free. Government funding can work in different ways, it involves the government funding some of the course cost or in some cases the whole cost.

Although this seems like the logical approach to becoming a qualified personal trainer in a Level 3 Personal Training Qualification, it is important to remember like everything, government funding can be limited.

When applying for funding there are certain criteria that are checked prior to receiving the funding which include age, circumstances and eligibility. Here is a list of different PT courses: 

We have put together some key points regarding the different funding options available to provide you with a better understanding of what will work best for you.

Personal trainer talking client through workout plan

What are non-funded personal training courses?

A non-funded personal training course means that you are responsible for funding the full cost of your course, without support or assistance for the funding from the government.

This isn’t to say that with a non-funded personal training course, there aren’t options and payment methods to support you in repaying the cost of the course.

For example, Future Fit personal training courses offer 0% finance options, pay as you learn and deposit and balance. Therefore, it is important you research different non-funded personal training courses and enquire to understand more about what is available and achievable for you.


When looking to study personal training it is likely you will come across a number of non-funded personal training courses which vary in price between £1,500 up to £4000 mark. Price can have a big influence on which training provider you go with, however, it is important you carry out a complete course comparison checklist prior to committing to ensuring you are getting everything you want from a course. 

Some training providers may seem like the go-to as they sit in a lower price range, but often these types of courses only qualify you on an online learning basis with no practical experience. Practical experience in personal training courses has a huge determination on how successful you can be as a personal trainer. You wouldn’t learn to drive a car based solely on some online learning you completed.

Therefore take into consideration that a course with practical experience may seem more costly at the time, but it’s worth investing more into yourself to outshine those PTs without practical experience. 

Payment options

Once you have determined what it is you want from a personal training course, you can move on to discussing payment options with training providers to work out how you can fund your learning. Many non-funded personal training courses have in-house career advisors or customer support who can discuss payment options in greater detail to determine what is the best option for you. 

Payment options such as 0% finance or pay as you learn can be good options to look for when researching training providers. This helps you avoid any surprise costs at a later date and also means you are paying as you go, just like a phone contract!

Personal trainer Resistance training

What government-funded personal training course options are there?

1. Advanced learner loan

An advanced learner loan is a form of government funding support that provides students with a flexible way to pay their personal training course fees. This works similarly to studying for a university degree, whereby the government loan the initial money and this is then paid back once you finish your course and earn over £25,000 a year. This form of government funding for personal training courses is popular due to it being one of the easier application processes.

2. Where can I find an advanced learner loan course?

Some training providers will provide you with advanced learner loan options, but before you decide this is the route you want to take, you should consider what you are looking for in your personal training course and whether that training provider gives you that. In the fitness industry, there are very few providers who have this option available, those that do such as YMCA and FitAsylum have stages involved in their application process when applying.

3. What do I do if I have found an advanced learner loan course that I like?

If you have decided that a government-funded personal training course is for you, next you need to request a ‘learning and funding’ letter. This letter is provided by most training providers as part of the application process, which you need to submit in order to receive your funding. Below we have highlighted key points in the application process for a government-funded personal training course. 

  • You will need at least 30-40 minutes to complete this application process.
  • You can apply for a student loan by phoning Student Finance and requesting a form.
  • Before applying ensure you have essential details with you including passport, address, contact details, national insurance number, course you are looking to study and course cost.
  • Once you have completed this application process you will receive a confirmation for the course you are studying after 2 weeks.

4. Study an Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is another government-funded personal training course which is a type of study program that combines both on-the-job training and studying for qualification into one process. Apprenticeships can vary in study days versus working days but the standard is usually one day of study at a college and the rest of the week in your place of work. 

Depending on the route you want to take there are several apprenticeships available that require different entry levels, the majority of them require you to have a GCSE or equivalent in Maths and English. You can then choose to study a Level 2 qualification to become a fitness instructor or a Level 3 qualification to become a personal trainer. 

Personal Training Apprenticeships can be a good way to study whilst also gaining practical experience, they provide you with the knowledge inside the application making it more of a streamlined learning process. Gaining practical experience is something to consider when looking at non-funded personal training courses, some training providers don’t include this which can make it difficult to apply your knowledge successfully once qualified. 

A personal training apprenticeship can take anywhere between 1 year to 18 months depending on which ones you apply for. If you do not have the set entry requirements you may have additional time added to your studies to pass these.

Personal trainer explaining to client

What are the advantages of government-funded pt courses?

Government-funded personal training courses have both their advantages and disadvantages which mainly focus on the financial benefits over the educational ones.

This is a way the government can support learning and ensure that people aren’t held back financially to become qualified. Below we have discussed some of the key advantages of a government-funded pt course.

1. Small repayments

Similar to any other student loan you will not make any large repayments if you follow the government-funding personal trainer courses. The repayments are based on an earning value, prior to earning this, you will not make any loan repayments. 

The agreement of a student loan scheme is based on your income once you start working, when you earn over a certain amount you will start paying this back. At this point, the repayments are very small and can be somewhere between £10-£15 a month.

2. No pre-credit checks

Most training providers will carry out credit checks on the basis of needing to meet particular criteria to apply for different payment methods. When applying for a government-funded personal training course non of these checks are carried out, making it solely based on your wanting to learn and become qualified without being limited by your financial situation.

3. No deposits or prepayments are needed

Non-funded personal trainer course providers will usually include a deposit or pre-payment when you get started, which means you need to ensure you have some money aside for this as you apply for qualification.

A government-funded personal trainer course will not ask for a deposit or any prepayments, this provided you with the opportunity to start your studies without having to worry about paying a fee you may struggle to afford.

What are the disadvantages of government-funded pt courses?

1. Limited support 

Due to this being a government-funded personal training course learning support may seem limited due to limited resources to deal with any queries or hurdles you hit during your learning. This could later impact your progress in studying because you don’t have the support required to succeed.

2. Limited by entry requirements 

Some applicants find that they do not have the entry requirements needed to apply for a government-funded personal training course, meaning they are limited by their current skillset. This can be a frustrating disadvantage to funded courses for individuals who are looking to make a change in their career yet are limited in doing so.

3. Limited availability 

As a government-funded scheme, these personal training courses tend to have limited availability which can make it difficult for individuals to find a course that is suitable for them. This is also reflected in the study options available, funded courses have a limited selection of qualifications compared to non-funded personal training courses.

4. No flexibility

Due to government-funded courses being based on a timeframe for studying, it provides little flexibility for how you may want to approach your learning. Starting a government-funded course may mean you need to make larger lifestyle changes to adapt to the time commitment needed to complete your course on time.

Personal Training Course tutor teaching students

Why would people do a Non-funded personal training course over a government-funded personal training course?

Non-funded personal training courses may not seem like the best option at the first research stage of wanting to become a personal trainer.

However, there are a few key advantages that are unique to non-funded personal training courses which influence people to follow this route instead of a government-funded personal training course.

Flexibility in qualifying

The majority of the non-funded personal training courses will give anywhere between 6 months – 3 years to complete your training. With this in mind, these training providers will look at providing a flexible learning approach so that people can start studying alongside a full-time job or alternative commitments.

The opportunity to study around your personal commitments makes the decision easier rather than having to prioritize your learning to sacrifice something else in your life.

Future Fit personal training courses have a blended learning approach meaning you can complete some of your studies in your own time online and the rest is gaining practical experience through face-to-face workshops.

This style of learning makes the course more approachable knowing that you are in control of the rate you complete your learning, whilst being able to access elements of learning from the comfort of your own home.

Increased return on investment

Qualifying as a Personal Trainer with independent training providers can create a highly rewarding and well-paid career. You have the opportunity to qualify at Level 2 at the start of your learning which means you can start earning from your qualification after the first 2-3 months.

This can support you in covering the monthly cost of your course whilst also gaining industry experience whilst studying. Once you are fully qualified as a Personal Trainer you have the potential to earn up to £60,000 per year when working with specialist clients.

Studying with an independent training provider can deem more valuable from a practical experience and knowledge aspect, which means you can build a successful career in the health and fitness industry.

Student support

Most training providers will have an on-hand student support service to provide advice and guidance throughout your journey when studying with them. Having this support can be reassuring for students when looking at starting a personal training course, knowing that they have the support there if they need it.

New & fresh opportunities to learn

Government-funded courses are limited to specific qualifications and course content which can sometimes limit the opportunity to learn. Non-funded personal training courses provide the minimum qualifications to become a personal trainer alongside specialist opportunities such as a Level 5 Personal Trainer Course with RSPH Nutrition, Sports massage or Strength and conditioning

If you choose to study a non-funded personal training course, you will find that the opportunity to learn more is much greater which in turn increases your earning potential and makes you more attractive within the fitness industry.