Revamping Reps and what does it mean for Fitness Professionals

Revamping REPs And What It Means For Fitness Professionals

The majority of UK personal trainers and fitness instructors are members of the Registry for Exercise Professionals (REPs).

Started in 2002, REPS is meant to ensure that personal trainer and fitness instructors meet the National Occupational Standards. Most sports facilities require their employees are accredited to a REPs level 2 or 3, depending on the job description.

It is interesting though is that majority of the general public have never heard of REPs. When speaking to personal trainers about REPs in the past, the general consensus is that trainers are registered with them because gyms require it and the liability insurance is affordable. REPs also approves certification courses but these vary in price and study time, making it unclear what the REPs standards are.

Yasmine Say, of Say Fitness Personal Training, has been a member of REPs since qualifying as a personal trainer two year ago. She believes REPs is an asset to the industry to an extent.

“It’s an accreditation for our industry, just like other industries have their own ‘accreditation board’. It helps safeguard our industry, particularly when there are many ‘cowboy PTs’ in this world who are not qualified but still running fitness businesses. I also have the accreditation badge on my website in case there are clients who want to run a background check on me.”

Beyond accreditation, Say doesn’t see many benefits of a REPs membership. Many of her colleagues did not renew their memberships this year because they felt they have received nothing that has benefited their business. REPs website claims to offer events, journal, resources and discounts, but perhaps these are not communicate effectively to members.

Revamping Reps and what does it mean for Fitness Professionals

Image credits: REP's Facebook page

Revamping REPs

REPs just announced in March new ownership by Sports Coach UK, who already owned 51% of the regulating body, while Skills Active owned 49%. In the announcement of 100% takeover, the following developments were highlighted:

  • PD:Approval has been awarded a contract to provide endorsement services for the register, meaning recognised courses will be endorsed by an independent organisation with a thorough verification process.
  • A 'Members Voice' group has been created to give passionate members an opportunity to feedback on future developments.​
  • The 'REPs Advisory Committee' is being created to give employers and sector stakeholders the ability to advise REPs on changes and developments to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
  • REPs will continue to register exercise professionals to current standards, as and when the new Professional Standards become embedded we will align to these (the Professional Standards have recently been developed on behalf of the industry by Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity).

When asked how far along the four developments listed above are, REPs said they are progressing well. Their next priority is to make the register work in an efficient and effective way for the members. REPs aims to continue to be the stamp of quality for the industry by only registering exercise professionals that meet the recognised standards (currently National Occupational Standards and in the future the Professional Standards) and ensuring members are completing quality assured CPD (continuing professional development) to confirm they remain up to date.

It sounds like an exciting time to help the UK fitness industry become a stronger sector as health and wellness are now billion pound industries. REPs will only become better if more people provide feedback on what they think fitness instructors and personal trainer need. The Members Voice is the perfect platform for exercise professionals to be involved with the future of REPs. Any interested members who would like to work with REPs on improving the organisation should email [email protected]. Whether you think more insurance packages need to be offered, the job board needs to be improved, marketing courses would be an asset, or local networking events would be beneficial, Sport Coach UK is interested in making REPs better than ever.

What do you think about REPs and how they could improve? Leave us your opinion in the comments below.

This is a guest post from PT Mollie, our OffPeaks Instructor 

About the Author Mollie Millington

Mollie is the Happiness Personal Trainer and fitness writer. An American based in London, she takes a holistic approach to training her clients, looking for a balance of work, life, fitness, food and fun. Her writing can be found in PT Magazine and she has contributed to various websites on health and fitness.

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