Updated guidance on outdoor training and coaching in Scotland

CIMSPA has been in dialogue with sportscotland to clarify what the new guidance means for outdoor training and coaching. From Friday 19 June in Scotland, the key guidance is:

  • Personal training and coaching for people who are not shielding is allowed, provided it takes place in an outdoor space, is with members of your household and/or members of up to two other households with a maximum of eight people (including the trainer) and physical distancing and hygiene guidelines are observed.
  • Personal training and coaching with people who are shielding is now permitted, provided it takes place outdoors, involves a maximum of eight people from two households (including the trainer’s household) and physical distancing and hygiene guidelines are observed.
  • Coaches, personal trainers and instructors should not deliver training to more than two households at any one time or provide training to more than two households per day.
  • Coaches can, for paid work purposes, travel beyond 5 miles from their home.
  • Volunteer coaches and participants can only drive within their local area for the purposes of undertaking outdoor exercise and physical activity. As a guide, rather than a fixed limit, broadly 5 miles from your home would be within your local area.
  • Training and coaching sessions can take place in an open space where physical distancing can be maintained e.g. a park or private garden.
  • When participating in training or coaching, where possible, avoid touching surfaces and sharing equipment and touching your mouth and face.
  • Risk assessments must be carried out and documented at all sites. Consider safety first, particularly minimising the risk of infection/transmission. Appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures must be put in place to ensure participants, staff and volunteers are always protected.
  • Appropriate insurance policies should be in place for all coached activities and checked for validity with the relevant insurance provider before undertaking work with clients.
  • At all times, coaches, personal trainers, instructors, and participants should adhere to the Scottish Government’s physical distancing guidelines of staying at least 2m away from others.
  • From Monday 29th June, outdoors sports centres can reopen, but indoor facilities must remain closed at this time.

For sport specific guidance, please refer to sportscotland's website which has information from a number of SGBs.

Tara Dillon (CIMSPA CEO) said:

“This updated guidance is a welcome move which will enable more people in Scotland to get back to sport and physical activity, and will further enable the sector’s workforce to get back to providing a valuable service to the community. We would urge everyone to always adhere strictly to the Scottish Government’s physical distancing and hygiene guidelines, keep the safety of themselves and their customers as their number one priority and check with their insurance provider to ensure they have the appropriate cover in place.”

CIMSPA has also issued detailed guidance on outdoor training in England and Northern Ireland.

CIMSPA has several digital resources available to support the sector during the coronavirus crisis, including:

  • ReOpen - an online hub offering guidance and resources to support the sector in reopening facilities, when permitted.
  • Stronger Together Hub - a range of resources and advice to support businesses and individuals.
  • Stronger Together Facebook Group - an open community for all those working in the sector.

For further details on the Scottish Government’s latest guidance


Will insurance cover PTs who are training clients, following the guidelines, whilst the ‘lockdown’/social distancing is still in play?

If you are normally covered for personal training that you are qualified to do, then you should still be covered, but please check with your insurance provider if you have any doubts.

Can people train in a private indoor space if there is room to fully adhere to social distancing?

No, it has to take place outdoors.

Who do we contact for queries about permissions to use outdoor spaces?

In most cases, you don’t need permission to use public outdoor spaces in this way, but if you are unsure you should contact the local authority responsible for the space.

I have seen that some full contact sports have resumed training but haven’t seen anything about my sport, can I train clients?

For full guidance on specific sports clubs and equipment usage please contact your National Governing Body and they will be able to answer your questions on club reopening guidance.


The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

CIMSPA's work enhances the career opportunities and professional development of the workforce operating in sport, fitness, exercise, leisure, gym, coaching, health and wellbeing. We achieve this through sector-wide engagement, membership, networking, events, directories and professional standards.

For further media information contact Eddie May: eddie@overdog-marketing.co.uk

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