Karl Grainger from London Metropolitan University gives us an insight into the fitness programmes offered at the university and why they decided to go for endorsement.
London Metropolitan University is a hugely diverse university, with a vibrant mix of students of all ages and all backgrounds. An inclusive university, employability is at the core of the curriculum. In our school we offer a range of Sports Science and Sports Therapy undergraduate degrees, and also a Sports Therapy MSc. I am currently a personal academic tutor and lead the Training Principles and Biomechanics modules.
The university’s physiology lab
With ever increasing numbers of students attending university, and employability at the centre of our PISO (Project for Improved Student Outcomes), offering more applied work based learning qualifications will help our students into employment. As a previous Personal Trainer I know the benefit of having a REPs recognised qualification on entering the workplace. As our common first year already covered about 80% of the Skills Active Level 2 and Level 3 syllabus it seemed an obvious choice to go for Endorsement.
The benefits of endorsement to London Met are many but these were the 5 key factors that pushed us towards endorsement,
For the student:
- It gives graduates the additional qualifications they will need to either become gym instructors or personal trainers, which many move into.
- For the Sports Therapy graduates, it gives them a potential additional income stream when they start work. All students can in effect take part time work as Gym Instructors and/or Personal Trainers from the end of their first year, given them a stronger financial position to take them through years 2 and 3 of their chosen degree – as well as improving their CV.
- Even though we have to charge a small amount for the courses, the students get the option of taking 2 valuable qualifications at a fraction of the cost of external providers.
For the University:
- By charging a nominal sum for the Level 2 and Level 3 courses, the whole project is self-funding.
- By including the REPs options in our prospectus, it gives the School and University an edge over other universities in the area that do not offer the qualifications.
We were endorsed just over 12 months ago, and have so far run the Level 2 course twice – to allow as many students as possible to take part. Nearly 40 students have taken part so far. For the forthcoming year, we have made modifications to our first year which means the Level 2 and Level 3 are now approximately 90% embedded into the students’ normal programme of study, so we’re looking at perhaps another 50 students taking the Level 2 and 20-30 taking the Level 3.
In 2016-17 we will be revalidating our degree programmes, so will be looking further at Level 2/3 embedding, and also looking at the Level 3 Exercise Referral and perhaps 2 or 3 of the Level 4 qualifications. Our degree programme already contains a large proportion of the content, so is a real no-brainer when it comes to offering industry standard qualifications that our graduates can take out into the workplace.
If you are interested in endorsement for your HE programmes, contact the Professional Development team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you will know, last year the Professional Development team decided to remove nutritional programmes from our endorsement process. This was because we felt that such a specialised topic should be dealt with by a dedicated organisation, and we have therefore been working with the Association for Nutrition (AfN) to bring this about.
After a successful pilot, the first AfN endorsed programmes are coming through. So if you have been endorsed by AfN, what now?
Well, simply put the programmes through the Quality Training Portal in the usual way if you have a Multiple Endorsement, or, if you are operating under Single Endorsements, submit it through the Single Course submission form, where you will be able to bypass the normal evidence requirements.
In both cases, you must send through your official endorsement confirmation from AfN to email@example.com. Nothing can be endorsed without it!
If you have any questions, please contact the Professional Development team on 0203 434 4384 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.polesafefederation.com.
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.
SkillsActive’s Rob Wilkie and Ian Taylor were at the launch event in Marseille in October of UFIT, a two year European Union funded project which has developed a training resource for instructors and managers of fitness facilities which allows them to make their fitness provision more inclusive and accessible. Whilst this would primarily benefit individuals with disabilities, it would also benefit the older demographic or those with dementia. The project was led by the Institute of Technology, in Tralee, Republic of Ireland, and SkillsActive was a key partner in the design and development of this important resource.
Further information can be found at http://www.justdoufit.com.
Inclusive Fitness Initiative has been collaborating with one of our endorsed providers looking at new, assessed CPD training aimed at fitness professionals working with the disabled. This is as a result of the removal of funding from this area, making it difficult for organisations to maintain the correctly qualified staff ratio. To support the sector, SkillsActive has removed the pre-requisite of a full disabled qualification as of 1 October 2015.
This will remain in place until funding is again available and the National Occupational Standards are reviewed.
REPs is running a number of roadshows across the country which are open to REPs and non-REPs members.
The REPs roadshows are a chance for fitness professions to take part in three workshops run by Endorsed Providers for just £25 for the whole day. The next ones are in June and run throughout the year until November – full information and booking details here.
Please let your students know that they can take part in these days, and if you would like to find out more about taking part as a provider in next year’s roadshows, contact REPs on 020 7840 1919.
There has been an increasing amount of material published relating to fitness and nutrition, which has led to an influx of CPD submission enquiries for Level 3 Personal Trainers which we have been unable to endorse.
In accordance with the REPs Occupational Descriptor, Level 3 Personal Trainers should not provide prescriptive nutritional advice or develop bespoke individualised nutrition plans for clients and so we have made a decision to look to other governing bodies to assist in the endorsement of these programmes.
For those providers who would like to have their nutritional training endorsed, watch this space for more news in early September.
For our Endorsed Providers who have a current nutrition based endorsement which comes up for renewal before the new system is in place, your renewal will be deferred until the new endorsement process is available.
For more information regarding the limitations around nutritional training for fitness professionals, visit the REPs website.
The Professional Development team aims to get to as many events as possible throughout the year in order to talk to training providers across all our sectors and meet up with our existing Endorsed Providers. If you are at the following events and would to meet up to discuss any aspect of endorsement, let us know.
Look out for our CPD point logos to gain points for attending!