Provider Profile: aquaphysical

Aquaphysical is one of our newest endorsed providers and we asked them to let us know how things are going and how endorsement has helped them.aquaphysicalWhat is aquaphysical?

Aquaphysical is the company that sells the innovative aquabase® and the hugely popular floatfit® classes.

How did aquaphysical start?

After several months developing the idea, Leila Francis Coleman joined forces with Tom Whelan (fitness professional and rugby player) and aquaphysical was formed. This was when research started in earnest on the aquabase®. After discussions with experienced fitness professionals to develop the product and class, including yoga and Pilates instructors, personal trainers and physiotherapists, the aquabase® design was produced in prototype form. Product trials followed in early 2015.



How did you make the transition from fitness professional to training provider?

Tom used the knowledge, insight and contacts that he had as a personal trainer and rugby player. Leila used her own experience as an end user as well as her sailing background. Together they were able to create the effective and enjoyable class floatfit®. There are now over 60 floatfit® Instructors working in Europe and there are an increasing number of Master Trainers being trained to meet the growing demand.

How did you find the endorsement process?

The SkillsActive and REPS team were extremely helpful and I would strongly advise anyone who has an idea to pursue it! Having our training endorsed with REPS has increased our opportunities within the fitness industry.


What are your future plans?

There is now enormous interest worldwide about the floatfit® class and there are various developments in the pipeline. We hope that it will be internationally renowned!

What does success look like to you for aquaphysical?

To have floatfit® classes taking place in swimming pools on every continent. With Master Trainers working in each country helping the team and brand continue to grow.


What, in your opinion, does aquaphysical bring to customers and the fitness industry?

Aquaphysical brings a completely unique and fresh way to look at swimming pool usage. Swimming pools within leisure facilities will appeal to a wider demographic of people.

Customers will appreciate the effectiveness and great benefits of the classes as well as the fact that they are enormous fun.

The aquabase® is the first and only floating exercise mat that provides gym studio workouts on the water. Providing a perfect platform for many forms of exercise. Completely unique and a fresh evolution of the way swimming pool/gym classes can now be held.


For more information visit or contact Tom Whelan at or Leila Francis-Coleman at


Learner feedback – what to do?

Gathering feedback from learners can prove very useful. Here we looks at the ways, means and reasons for implementing this invaluable tool.


The term ‘feedback’ is used to describe the helpful information or criticism from an individual, communicated to another who can use that information to adjust and improve current and future actions and behaviors.

Effective feedback, both positive and negative, is very helpful. Feedback is valuable information that will be used to make important decisions. Top performing companies are top performing companies because they consistently search for ways to make their best even better. For top performing companies ‘continuous improvement’ is not just a showy catchphrase. It’s a true focus based on feedback from across the entire organisation – customers, clients, employees, and stakeholders. Top performing companies are not only good at accepting feedback, they deliberately ask for feedback. They also know that feedback is helpful when it highlights weaknesses as well as strengths.

Feedback is about effective listening. Whether done verbally or via a feedback survey, the person providing the feedback needs to know that their feedback provides some value. Do you explain why respondents’ feedback is important and how their feedback will be used? Do you respond to written feedback given on the evaluation/feedback form?

By asking for feedback, it can actually motivate employees to perform better, for tutors and assessors knowing that the student has the opportunity to give feedback may motivate them to give the best possible service.

Unfortunately sometimes feedback can be mistaken for criticism. In fact, what may be viewed as negative criticism could actually be seen as constructive criticism and this kind of feedback helps to formulate better decisions to improve and increase performance?

Things to consider when creating an evaluation/feedback tool

How should it be presented? Consider the benefits of an online or paper based format. Sending an email with a link to an online format may be more convenient for people, they can do it when they have time, they may feel less under pressure and be more honest with their feedback and it may be easier for you to compile reports; however if you ask for people to complete a paper version at the end of the course are you more likely to get a higher completion rate? Is it quality versus quantity?

A committee of the American Association of University Professors researched the effectiveness of evaluations for university teachers. They found that institutions that had adopted online evaluations reported much lower student return rates than those who stuck with paper evaluations: 20-40% versus 80% or higher.

“With such a rate of return, all pretensions to ‘validity’ are rendered dubious,” the paper says. “The comments coming in are from the students on either of the extremes: those very happy with their experience and/or their grade, and those very unhappy.” (Inside Higher Ed Colleen Flaherty June 10, 2015).

Other companies have looked at rewarding for responding, entry to a free prize draw for completing the evaluation etc, but again would this only incentivise a certain type of student, therefore again affecting the validity of the evaluations completed?

 What content should be included on the form?

Using the right key to get the most effective feedback is essential. Most evaluations use the following kind of key:

Please rate the following on a scale of 1 – 5, 1 being poor 5 being excellent.  If you do use this explain what 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 means.

1 (not at all effective), 2, 3, 4 (moderately effective), 5,  (extremely effective), try not to just put 1 – 5 as most people will tend to pick 3, and what is this really telling you, a scale of 1 -3 may be better, it was either 1 not effective 2 effective or 3 outstanding for example.

Try to keep it to one side of paper, or allow them to write feedback on the back; consider asking feedback for the pre-course administration, the course resources, facilities, staff, their action plan from this course, how do they plan to use this training? What other training do they need?

Should they give their name? Well, not putting their name may mean they feel able to give more honest feedback as you don’t know who said what, however how are you able to respond to their feedback? You may wish to follow up on a point they have raised or to let them know that you have taken onboard their feedback and made changes.

The right time

When is the right time to ask people to complete the evaluation, is it at the end of the day? Or after their assessments? How will it affect their feedback if they fail? Could this potentially compromise their objectivity?  A lot of people are keen to get off as soon as the course is finished, maybe they have trains to catch or children to pick up, so maybe last coffee break would be a better time, or when you’re giving 121 feedback to other learners.

A research at an Italian University even found the weather affected students’ feedback: when the weather was better the feedback was better, if it was raining the feedback deteriorated! Obviously you cannot control the weather and only ask for feedback on nice sunny days (this is the UK!), but maybe if you do receive negative feedback consider other factors that may have affected the students’ feedback such as them failing the course, rain or time of day the feedback was given.

So to summarise, is it essential to have a mechanism in place to allow people to give you feedback? Do we only need to ask for feedback if we are delivering a course but not for workshops?  I hope that your answer to these questions is yes! Feedback is invaluable for all types of training, so take the time to collate your feedback don’t just file it away. Look for recurring feedback and create a plan to change and improve the service you are offering, maybe advertise on your website how you have taken on board the feedback and the changes you are planning to make or have made.


Standards & Qualifications


SkillsActive/Habia, part of the SkillsActive group, are the guardians of Standards and Frameworks across the Active Leisure and Well-being sector (made up of six sectors: sport, fitness, outdoors, playwork, hair and beauty).

Due to European Union regulations, changing government priorities across nations and funding requirements, we have to reconfirm this role through a tendering process to become a Delivery Partner for Standards and Qualifications alongside all other Sector Skills Councils (SSC).

To support this process, we are asking training providers and employers in our sectors to complete a letter of support. If you would like to do this, please complete our Letter of Support template and return it to us by Friday 13 May 2016.

Do you want to offer your clients more?

Endorsed provider Human Kinetics invites you to look at little closer to find out what they can do for you.

For 41 years Human Kinetics has been involved in every area of physical activity, health and fitness. Today we have over 70 REPS endorsed online fitness courses.

Working in partnership with our global brand can offer you countless benefits such as; additional revenue streams, an enhanced reputation and the ability to provide a more well-rounded service to your clients.

Our niche courses will compliment your current services, whilst helping you enhance your CPD offering into areas that were not previously viable. We can increase your reach to fitness professionals worldwide, helping your business to grow and take the next step toward your goals.

We have courses covering everything from prenatal and postpartum exercise, to dumbbell and marathon training.

Our courses help your clients expand their knowledge and gain an original and competitive edge, in a very competitive market. Enabling them to cater to the needs of their customers in more ways than ever.

The Human Kinetics range of online courses is expanding rapidly, and with new courses appearing every month it is a great time to get involved.

Call Nick for further information and see how you can be the best training provider you can be:

0113 255 5665 (203)

Block Fit, the workout with a heart!

chicco groupBlock Fit, the creation of Chicco Slimani, is described as “The workout with a heart”. Since its launch last year at the “IFS” – The international Fitness Showcase in Blackpool – it has seen a meteoric rise with over 320 instructors trained in under 5 months and a national release across 67 Duncan Bannatyne gyms across the UK, from 2 May 2016.

Jacqui Hobbs, Professional Development Quality Manager, seated left of Chicco in the picture, talked to him about the why, when, where and what now.

How did Block Fit start?

Block Fit was inspired by my hero Bruce Lee’s concept where he took different fighting styles and created his own style of workout.  So I spent time researching what people might need and want from a class, and chose four styles that have been here since time immemorial, combined them together and Block Fit was born.

What is Block Fit?

Block Fit is a revolutionary fitness brand, and the first of its kind. It fuses 4 workouts in 1 class:  from Dance, Combat, High & Low and Yoga inspired moves and meditation, to an easy to follow block of choreography performed to upbeat motivational original music sung by yours truly.

How did you make the transition from singing to fitness? 

I just combined my two passions together, music & fitness …. because I sing on all of the Block Fit music which means it’s original and PPL free. I’ve been into fitness ever since I can remember from martial arts in my teens to natural bodybuilding in my twenties. I’ve lived my whole life helping  people to get active and  fit so I just saw it as a natural progression to take it from a hobby into a livelihood.

I also wanted Block Fit to stand on its own feet as a genuine product of quality and not just a fad by a public persona trying to jump on the fitness band wagon. So I qualified as an ETM (Exercise to Music) instructor, and did my assessor and tutor training so I can be certified to train instructors to the highest standards. This is where I met Jacqui Hobbs and the amazingly supportive team at SkillsActive who trained me, and have helped me get Block Fit endorsed and stand proud in the busy exciting CPD marketplace.

How did you find the endorsement process?

I didn’t realise just how much went into getting something endorsed, and I credit Tom, Hanna and Jacqui for helping me through it. I couldn’t have done it on my own but it has really made my idea a success.

How many calories does Block Fit burn?

According to your body type, age, and intensity, people burn between 650 to 1000 calories.

What are your future plans?

I have just returned from FIBO in Germany, where we met distributors from around the world who loved the Block Fit concept and want us to go out and showcase it across the globe from Europe, Africa and Asia to America. Judging by the reaction we are getting in the UK, my vision for it is to become a worldwide programme.

What does success look like?

Success to me is a healthy body and a healthy mind. To live life inspiring people by being the spark that fuels their fire to go higher and become a better version of themselves. Block Fit makes it possible for me to do that.

What is the Block Fit message?

Our message is very simple.

If it’s not universal we don’t teach it

And if it ain’t love we don’t preach it

Dream it-Believe it- Work for it- Achieve it 


To find out more about Block Fit, visit their website.

An update on the endorsement of nutrition based programmes


On 17th March, Public Health England launched the new Eatwell Guide and revised 5 A Day information.   The Guide replaces the previous Eatwell Plate and was required due to changes in the official recommendations for free sugars and fibre intakes. The new Eatwell Guide provides information on the proportions of the food groups that help individuals meet official advice and nutrient requirements.

To support fitness professionals, personal trainers, sports coaches and fitness class teachers provide the correct nutrition information to clients, Public Health England, along with Association for Nutrition (AfN) launched new standards for the  nutrition training and skill for fitness professionals in October 2015.  These new standards are called ‘AfN Competence Framework in Nutrition for Fitness and Leisure’ and are published here.

Following a call for interest, 12 nutrition courses aimed at fitness professionals working at levels 1-4 are participating in an AfN pilot to assess nutrition training and skill development to these new standards.  The pilot is supported by Public Health England and will be rolled out in summer 2016.  Its aim is to test a new quality assurance process in conjunction with Skills Active’s endorsement of nutrition courses.

Courses which meet the new standards will achieve AfN Course Certification at the appropriate level and will qualify for eligibility for REPS CPD points (a separate application to REPS post-certification will be required).

Once the first stage of the pilot concludes in May, the second phase of nutrition courses aimed at the fitness industry will apply for AfN Certification, before the scheme is opened to general applications.  Nutrition course teams interested in preparing an application for AfN Course Certification are strongly encouraged to get in touch with our friendly quality assurance team as soon as possible to understand the application process and the evidence required to demonstrate your course meets the new standards.

One significant shift in the new process is a solid emphasis on UK evidence-based nutrition science, and clear referencing in course material to up-to-date and scientifically sound nutrition resources and information. AfN Course Certification is also an assurance to course participants that the basics are secure – that the course is delivered by appropriately trained and supported staff; that there is adequate quality assurance of any assessments you might undertake; a complaints procedure if things go wrong;  and a commitment to evidence-based nutrition science and protection of the public from unsafe practice.

Whilst course participants successfully completing an AfN Certified course are not eligible to refer to themselves as a ‘Registered Nutritionist’ or ‘Dietician’ (a title protected by law), they will understand their  scope of practice in relation to the nutrition advice they give clients and the public, and adhere to a Code of Practice.  In addition, Government, employers and fellow professionals will  be confident fitness professionals’ nutrition practice meets PHE standards.

For more information on the work of AfN, and to learn more about AfN Course Certification, please visit or email

Keeping pole fitness safe

The Professional Development team was delighted to be asked recently to help spread the word about the work going on to safeguard those in the pole industry:


The pole dance/fitness industry is ever growing and is now as popular as any other fitness regime, with classes being held in most gyms and studios across the world. Pole fitness has positioned itself as one of the best fitness activities amongst men and women. But with the industry becoming so popular it was apparent that some form of regulation was needed.

The PoleSafe Federation was created out of the need and desire to keep the industry safe. Pole fitness is a fun way to keep fit however it takes skill and training to become an instructor.  The pole industry is now being driven by the desire to get that next trick and not by safety. With this shift in student and instructors’ wishing to move quickly through tricks, skip some ‘boring’ ones and move to the hardest as quick as possible, the industry is being damaged and safety disregarded.

The PoleSafe team felt that the entire industry needs to all work hard to keep pole safe and the risk of injuries to students and instructors to the minimum.

As an industry we do not have any regulatory body to oversee and advise Pole instructors. So with the support of SkillsActive and the Exercise Movement and Dance Partnership, The PoleSafe Federation has created a website which allows the industry to come together. No matter what type of pole you practise, PoleSafe is a resource group run by some of the most knowledgeable instructors and trainers in the industry.  As an instructor/event/studio or product you can apply to become a PoleSafe member and receive a huge amount of helpful resources on how to safely and effectively run your business within the industry.

On the 29th January the PoleSafe Federation held its first FREE open seminar where it had lectures on Accounting, Marketing, Social Media to name a few.  Over 80 individual studios and instructors from across the UK and Europe attended the full day, learning and discussing the future of the pole industry. Many conversations were had regarding the safety of the industry and the importance of education, correct insurance and being fitness trained.

This was the first step for the pole industry to really group together and progress our own future. The event was a huge success and we plan to have more in the future.

If you would like to become a PoleSafe Federation member please see our website

S&C Education leads the way

S&C education

Brendan Chaplin, CEO and Founder of Strength & Conditioning Education, has recently received approval from SkillsActive for his Level 4 Award in Strength and Conditioning:

“S&C Education has been developing coaches capable of working within elite sports since 2010 through our Mentorship programme, conferences, coaching workshops and more.

Most recently we have become the very first Endorsed Provider of the Level 4 Strength & Conditioning (S&C) Award through SkillsActive. This is a part of the industry that will continue to expand rapidly over the coming years, and we are extremely proud and excited that the wealth of experience and expertise of our team will be leading the way to develop the S&C leaders of the future.

Since obtaining our endorsement, we have received hundreds of enquiries, including many through the SkillsActive Quality Training Portal, which is an excellent indication that the industry is craving this qualification.

The endorsement process was extremely thorough which will ensure that the highest quality is maintained, meaning that successful graduates will be perfectly placed to become confident and competent S&C Coaches – capable of excelling in any environment.
The support we received from SkillsActive throughout the application process, and since the approval, has been commendable. We are absolutely delighted to be working with them to provide such a well devised qualification that will certainly raise the quality of the fitness industry within the UK and beyond.”

If you would like to  apply for endorsement for this award, visit the SkillsActive website to view the evidence checklist or call the Professional Development team on 020 343 3484 to find out more.

For more about S&C, visit their website.

Full Speed Ahead for Indoor Rowing CPD


Rowing machines are a regular feature on the gym floor, but now more and more members are looking to group rowing classes. ‘Crew classes’ are emerging as a new trend in group fitness training.

Indoor rowing has been around for over twenty five years. American Olympic rowers Pete and Dick Driessigacker wanted to replicate the on-water movements when the rivers and lakes of Vermont, USA were frozen during the winter months, and created the first Concept 2 rowing machine.

For personal trainers, indoor rowing is an efficient choice for client training. Although it primarily provides a cardiovascular workout, it also strengthens arms, leg, back, shoulder and abdominal muscles all at once.  Clients and class participants from age 9 to 99 can gain huge benefits as rowing places minimum stress on joints and has been used very successfully on weight management projects and community health initiatives. Charles Morley, 81, who took up indoor rowing when running became painful on his joints, clocked up an impressive time of 09:38.2 over 2000 metres in the 2014 English Indoor Rowing Championships!

Personal Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors want to know how to challenge clients using rowing machines with exciting, innovative fitness training programmes.

Indoor Sports Services have just achieved SkillsActive endorsement to offer 10 REPs CPD points for their new Indoor Rowing Instructor Training Course. “The training teaches Instructors and PTs how to raise their own performance and in turn show their clients how to get the best results in technique and effectiveness”, said Angus McKinnon of Indoor Sports Services, who created the innovative course, “and gives PTs and instructors many ways to make best use of performance data to monitor and track achievement through its pre and post training support package”.

For more information contact Angus on or visit the Indoor Sports Services website.

Referrals through the QTP

Your Quality Training Portal page is not only a marketing and promotional tool for you to shout about your organisation and endorsed training or accredited qualifications – it is also a way of potentially getting direct referrals by using the Scheduling option.

Simply add the training venue in the Venue section on the menu, then go to Scheduling to bring your venue and programme together in order to create a referral table on your QTP page. Anyone interested in your training will be able to click on the Enquire link in the referral table to request further information by supplying their contact details.

If you need any help setting this up on your QTP contact us at 020 7840 1911 or