In this article, you’ll learn more about the REPs registration requirements for fitness professionals.
But before we explore this collaboration further, let’s look at what exactly the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) was.
The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) emerged in 2002 due to the lack of regulation in the UK health and fitness industry.
With this register, the public can be sure their coaches and fitness instructors have the right skills, qualifications, and insurance to practice.
However, another governing body, CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity), launched in 2011, caused a lot of confusion amongst fitness professionals regarding which body to register with.
But there is some good news.
You do not need to choose between either of them anymore, as UK Coaching and CIMSPA agreed in February 2020 to combine their directories. This means that both directories are now hosted and managed by CIMSPA.
To become a REPs member, you have to demonstrate that you have all the required skills, technical knowledge, training, and insurance to practice as a fitness professional. The mission of this professional body is to safeguard the public’s interest in using the services of these trainers by ensuring that all fitness professionals meet the agreed occupational standards of the health and fitness industry.
REPs also protect fitness professionals by ensuring they invest in the right qualifications. Even though the REPs membership base has been migrated into that of CIMSPA, it remains the trademark of professionalism for UK fitness experts.
Now that we know the role of REPs let’s discuss a little about CIMSPA before delving into REPs membership and point systems.
CIMSPA, which stands for The Chartered Institute for Management of Sport and Physical Activity, is the current professional body for the UK sport and physical activity sector.
It was founded in 2011 and, with the support of Sport England, became a rival to REPs for providing qualification accreditation and implementing standards of practice.
Their primary focus is training and education in the sport and fitness sector, but they also work across multiple other areas. So, if a fitness training course meets its standard, it gets an official CIMSPA accreditation.
Plus, this means that if you want to become a personal trainer, it is best to opt for CIMSPA-accredited courses.
The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) uses a membership scheme as its mode of operation, and it had over 20,000 members before it became a part of CIMSPA’s membership base in 2020.
REPs members are required to show that they have qualifications on par with the National Occupational Standards (NOS). Upon registration, they get a card and a certificate to prove they are qualified to practice.
Some of the fitness professionals that can be members include:
Becoming a REPs member is voluntary, as fitness professionals are under no legal requirement to become members. However, those that register as REPs members can demonstrate to their employers and clients that they have the following qualities:
You are required to upload your qualification certificate and answer a couple of questions to prove that you have all these qualities. Fitness professionals must also pay an annual membership fee to cover administration and keep them on the Exercise Register.
Apart from REPs membership, REPs also had a point system attributed to different qualifications. If you completed a course with a REPs recognised provider, you would have been awarded REPS points for your qualifications. Additionally, most of these fitness courses had different qualification levels created by the National Occupational Standards, demonstrating the level of skill and knowledge you needed to do the job.
So, to have access to the different course levels and categories, you needed a particular amount of REPs points and requirements.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Courses, on the other hand, can vary from 1 REPs point to 16 REPs points. Each CPD course is allocated points based on the learning hours, complexity and related National Occupational Standards. Although, unaccredited training accrued fewer REPs points than accredited ones.
Some of the CPD courses and their previous REPs points included:
Plus, the REPs point system enforced that trainers continued learning and educating themselves, and they should have obtained at least 10 REPs points from CPD training over a calendar year.
REPs provide accreditation to awarding organisations, like NCFE and YMCA awards, and training providers like us. This accreditation shows consumers and the general public that our courses and training meet the industry standard and are reliable.
In turn, training professionals with these accredited qualifications will have the advantage over their peers because customers will always choose those that have met the required level of training to become REPs members over others. A REPs membership also shows others your commitment to staying in line with the industry standards.
A significant benefit of having a REPs membership is that they can provide insurance and liability cover for you as an add-on to your membership. Since having insurance as a fitness professional is a legal requirement, you can be sure that REPs will provide one for you on par with your professional level.
As a REPs member, you have other benefits such as:
Although REPs is still active in many countries like New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Spain, USA, and others, REPs UK no longer exists.
This is because of the agreement reached between UK Coaching and CIMSPA in 2020, combining the REPs membership directory with the CIMSPA directory to form a single directory for fitness professionals in the UK. Thus, CIMSPA is the current professional body in the UK fitness and physical activity sector.
However, UK coaching continues to manage membership and CPD points completion in CIMSPA.
Plus, fitness professionals are encouraged to join the CIMSPA register as renewing REPs membership is no longer possible.
In 2020, UK Coaching announced the agreement to combine its REPs membership directory with that of CIMSPA. So, even though they are not the same, all REPs members automatically became CIMSPA members in July 2021 and would need to renew with CIMSPA going forward.
This is because REPs in the UK is no longer accepting new members as it has been dissolved.
Level 2 Gym instructor is the standard qualification fitness professionals use to register, but you can register with Level 3, 4 or 5 qualifications.
REPS UK was a member of ICREPs, the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals, which was created to foster partnerships between the different registers. With the partnership, REPs members can practice in other partner countries like UAE, Spain, New Zealand, India, Canada, Australia, and others.
Yes, all CIMSPA-accredited qualifications are recognised globally. This means employers abroad will recognise any fitness training course from us.