Active Suffolk Centre staff benefit from CIMSPA Retrain funded qualifications

Gym setting

Active Suffolk, a CIMSPA Employer partner, approached CIMSPA during the lockdown about upskilling their staff to be able to be competent in both gym instructing and personal training. Following consideration of their training needs, Active Suffolk were paired with one of the UK’s leading personal trainer course providers, Study Active – who are a long-term CIMSPA Training Provider Partner. It was decided that Study Active was a good fit to meet the needs of the Active Suffolk staff.

Catherine Kane, Programme Coordinator, at CIMSPA said: “Since launching in August 2020, ReTrain has supported almost 100 employers with funding for qualifications mapped to CIMSPA professional standards. CIMSPA was delighted to work alongside Study Active to successfully upskill a range of staff members at Active Suffolk to achieve their Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer qualifications. With the support of Sport England and our consortium partners, CIMSPA will continue to support sport and physical activity professionals stay in, or return to the sector via the ReTrain to Rerain project."

The ReTrain project’s aim was to upskill staff working within the sport and physical activity industry to give the sector a much welcome post-lockdown boost. Active Suffolk’s involvement in this project saw a range of employees from two of their centres, Sentinel Leisure Trust (SLT) and Abbeycroft Leisure, achieve their Level 2 Gym Instructing and Level 3 Personal Training qualifications.

The training commenced mid-pandemic, where many staff were based at home. Study Active’s digital online learning resources however bridged this gap and enabled the delegates to continue their learning journey from home, via the use of cutting-edge digital technology including e-learning, webinars and other digital resources, which were used to deliver key topics such as designing long-term exercise programmes, anatomy, physiology and principles nutrition.

Daniel Ward, Centre Manager, Brandon Leisure and Health Hub (Abbeycroft Leisure) said: “So that we can drive forwards our strategy of getting people active post-lockdown we needed to upskill our staff to achieve the necessary qualification to deliver such exercise. This training has not only provided the relevant qualification but it has also given our staff a fresh skills set to put into practice.”

At the end of the lockdown, Active Suffolk centres opened their doors again which then saw the staff members continuing their learning journey by putting their newly acquired knowledge into practice via the excellent fitness facilities within their own centres. This also allowed Study Active to send out some of their tutor and assessor team to meet the staff at their own place of work to deliver supplementary face-to-face tuition and assess practical assessments.

Matt Stebbings Former Community Education Manager for SLT (now Football Development Manager at Suffolk FA), said: “I found the training progressive and challenging. Study Active were able to adapt during a time where blended learning methods were needed to ensure that even during lockdown, the learning journey continued! There are so many local and national initiatives to get people exercising, but the right tools for the job are needed first – this training provided us with some of the tools needed so that we can go on to make an impact to the local community by getting them active!”

Now that the project has concluded, a number of Active Suffolk staff have now achieved their Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer qualifications and can now help contribute to local and national health & fitness participation agendas to positively impact on the wellbeing of the Suffolk public and beyond.

James Luscombe, Education Director, Study Active, said: “We at Study Active were delighted to have taken part in this funded project to deliver nationally recognised Gym & PT qualifications to a team of aspiring industry professionals. It was extremely pleasing to see the delegates acquire the skills and qualifications to go on to make a difference in the sector.”


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