Active Training Awards Shortlist
Future Fit Training was founded in 1993 out of the passion to create better qualified fitness professionals.
Throughout the past 21 years we have been driven by this ideal while continuously reacting to the needs and trends of the industry.
After extensive consultations with stakeholders, we launched our most innovative approach to training to date. We created three separate schools specialising in Personal Training, Pilates and Nutrition.
Our three schools are designed to ensure that our students receive the best possible expertise in their chosen disciplines. The learning environments are closely tailored to our student needs and include all the tools and resources necessary to become the best in their field. The result is highly trained, industry-ready professionals who have experienced a cohesive and immersive training environment.
It’s this concept which impressed the panel for this year’s Active Training Awards and it’s why we have been shortlisted in two categories - ‘Large Training Provider of the Year’ and ‘Innovative Training Programme of the Year’.
Time for change
Having been involved with the health and fitness business for over 21 years, we’ve seen how the industry has expanded and become more competitive with training providers, awarding organisations, trainers, coaches and teachers springing up everywhere. People now have much more choice when it comes to the provision of services and products they’re looking for. There’s a large selection of health clubs, gyms and exercise classes to choose from and for those wishing to pursue a career in the industry, there are many qualifications and training providers. People want expert advice and guidance and by creating our three schools we’re able to foster this culture of specialisation from the start of their training and throughout their journey with us.
An example of how our delivery has evolved to meet the needs of both professionals and consumers in the industry can be demonstrated by our diploma and workshop development. Up until a few years ago, Pilates exercise was only available as a level 2 qualification, seen almost as an additional skill that group exercise teachers or gym instructors might need. However, it became clear that the qualification needed to increase to a level 3 qualification. This was due to the complex nature of each exercise and the level of anatomy and physiology knowledge required to fully understand the adaptation of exercises to teach clients effectively. We therefore created our level 3 diploma in teaching mat Pilates.
We know that Pilates exercise is often used as part of rehabilitation programmes and we quickly recognised that Pilates teachers could increase their client base and employment opportunities (and ultimately their revenue) if they offered a specialist service. We created the Pilates for Common Orthopaedic Conditions course in direct response to the national increase of people affected by severe joint conditions and back pain in particular. This course is included in our Specialist Diploma in Mat Pilates and these diploma students can offer this added expertise to a range of clients on a one to one basis as well as working alongside other health professionals.
Two further courses are included in the specialist diploma to reflect consumer and industry needs. Our Level 3 Pre- and Post-Natal Exercise and Pilates with Small Equipment courses both provide essential knowledge and additional skills that well-trained Pilates teachers should know. Many women want to continue practising Pilates exercise throughout pregnancy and post-natal. The pre-and post natal course provides our students with important information on how to adapt exercises throughout each trimester as well as once the baby is born. The course provides our students with the confidence to continue teaching and supporting women through this stage of their life and can bring further chances to work closely with midwives, providing another specialist Pilates service.
An abundance of small Pilates equipment is available and our specialist diploma students will learn how to use a range of small equipment during the course. Using equipment adds a new and interesting dimension to a Pilates session and can be utilised to make an exercise more challenging or supportive. We want our students to be fully prepared to teach a variety of Pilates sessions once qualified and by including this course within the specialist diploma it allows an extension to their skillset.
We are currently working with UK Active to further identify workforce needs and develop our programmes in response to the outcome.
Achieve. Progress. Inspire
In terms of nurturing our students’ learning, they are able to move between the schools to receive high quality training from each centre of expertise when necessary. An example is the potential for Pilates teachers to expand the type of exercise they want to teach to complement their existing Pilates sessions, so they might look at the School of Personal Training for additional CPD courses or the School of Nutrition to learn more about nutrition.
Having three separate schools also means we can customise the support we offer students outside of their courses, so when a Pilates student requires help with preparing for their assessments or needs advice on how to set up classes, they will speak directly to a Pilates specialist via our Tutor Support team.
Finally, a key feature of our programmes, which we think is vital to effective learning and to help prepare for a career, is that we offer realistic assessments rather than theoretical ones. School of Pilates learners compile comprehensive portfolios of evidence documenting their work with real people and then bring them along to live practical assessments where we observe them teaching a prepared Pilates class.
A key addition to our diplomas this year is our Career Accelerator Package. We recognised that beyond gaining a level 3 diploma, our students need high quality guidance on how to market themselves effectively and how to build their businesses. In keeping with the specialist ethos it made sense to partner with organisations that can offer cutting edge support and resources to achieve that.
Our Career Accelerator Packages are tailored to each school. 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. However, the School of Pilates also offers an equipment package from the Physical Company plus music from FitMixPro.
We hope this has given 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!