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Improvements to fitness training needed, report reveals

MORE needs to be done to improve training in the fitness industry, according to the newly published Raising the Bar report.
The report, produced by Future Fit Training and supported by ukactive, showed that most people think there is still a long way to go in terms of training provision, assessment of fitness professionals and upskilling.
The report showed that 73 per cent of employers believe personal training qualifications and assessments should take no less than six months to be completed, with 100 per cent of operators surveyed believing the CIMSPA professional standards for fitness will have a positive impact on raising the quality of personal trainers entering the industry.
A total of 92 per cent of employers surveyed revealed they provide additional training to ensure fitness staff are work ready and 87 per cent believe candidates enter the sector with unrealistic expectations.
Major skill gaps identified within the industry were newly qualified professionals lacking commercial knowledge, social skills and behaviour change skills, issues which respondents felt could be solved with more robust, employer-focused approaches to that initial training and development.
Future Fit Training managing director Rob Johnson said: “Raising the Bar 2018 is our most thorough report to date, consulting with more fitness operators and industry experts on more topics than ever before.
“We have seen great progress in attitudes and willingness to implement change since our last report but recruiting and retaining high-quality fitness staff continues to be a challenge for employers.
“CIMSPA, ukactive, awarding organisations, training providers and employers must now come together to address these skills gaps to further professionalise the industry workforce.”
For the first time, this year’s Raising the Bar was launched at an industry dinner hosted by Future Fit.
Forty leading operators and industry experts joined Future Fit, ukactive and CIMSPA to have first sight of the report and discuss its key outcomes.
This year’s report also looked at the ability of fitness professionals to engage disabled people in physical activity.
Currently, disabled people are almost twice as likely to be inactive as non-disabled people.
The report revealed that confidence in the industry’s ability to engage with disabled people must be improved.
Shockingly, 86 per cent of the report’s respondents didn’t believe most exercse professionals were adequately trained to work with disabled people. And 61 per cent of operators didn’t know what percentage of their membership was disabled.
There is also progress to be made where children are concerned.
The report showed that 86 per cent didn’t believe fitness professionals were adequately qualified to work with children either, and 59 per cent believed working with children should be included as standard with part of the personal trainer qualification.
Fifty per cent of respondents said engaging with more children over the next five years was a priority for their organisation, but 60 per cent weren’t clear to what extent they could do this.
CEO of ukactive Steve Ward said: “We share Future Fit’s vision of a world-class, highly professionalised physical activity workforce, and supporting its development is a key priority for ukactive and its members.
“Although this report lays bare some significant challenges for the sector and there is still more to be done, Raising the Bar 2018 has charted the substantial progress made by CIMSPA, employers and other organisations across the sector toward realising our ambitions.
“It is now imperative that we translate this progress and support to the frontline.”

Go backPosted on 12th June 2018