3rd "Raising the Bar" report published

CIMSPA is pleased to cover this release from our partners Future Fit Training on the publication of their latest “Raising the Bar” survey results.

Raising the Bar 2016 reveals leisure industry call for more robust training and unification of standards


The new Raising the Bar 2016 report - compiled by Future Fit Training in partnership with ukactive and CIMSPA - shows beyond doubt a clear call from employers for the industry’s personal training qualification standards to improve in a meaningful way to meet the shift in expectation and demand from today’s changing customer base. No longer is the industry simply working with healthy people looking to get fit: today’s trainers are increasingly asked to work with special populations and children and tasked to helped deliver on NHS, government and Sport England policies. The customer demand has changed dramatically over recent years but the training of professionals has not, resulting in a workforce that is ill-equipped to help people bring about sustainable improvements to their health and wellbeing.

The Raising the Bar 2016 report was unveiled at the ukactive Summit in London on November 9, 2016 by Rob Johnson, managing director of Future Fit Training. The survey set out to identify the ability, readiness and confidence of employers and their employees to deliver the high standard of training and counsel needed, especially among special populations and children whose health needs remain under the spotlight.

The key top line findings reveal unequivocal responses and show an industry that recognises the need for change but also a definite desire to see revised training and assessment standards:

  • 100% of employers have to provide some additional training to ensure fitness staff are work ready
  • 88% of employers believe personal training staff are not currently adequately equipped to engage with special populations, including children, older adults, pre & post-natal, diabetic or overweight clients
  • 80% believe the skills to work with special populations should be included as standard in the personal trainer qualification
  • 84% of employers believe the personal training qualifications should take no less than six months to complete (48%, said they should take a minimum of 12 months)
  • 100% of employers say that practical assessment using real clients is key and accept neither remote assessments nor those done with simulated clients or peers
  • 78% of employers are uncertain of the robustness of the current children’s fitness qualifications

“This vital research explores how leading sector employers are navigating this landscape on the front line and looks at what specific steps can be taken at the national level to equip fitness staff with the technical knowledge and customer engagement skills needed to make getting active fun, easy and a permanent lifestyle change,” says Steven Ward, ukactive Executive Director. “As government, Sport England and CIMSPA work together to develop a new workforce strategy for the sector, the views of employers must remain central. Those who pay the bill must set the terms and pace of the debate,” he says.

Despite the challenges being faced, Raising the Bar 2016 also revealed optimism among operators

It was felt that influential bodies and professional organisations have the knowledge and tools to equip personal trainers and fitness professionals with the necessary skills and confidence to bring about sustainable change to the health of the nation. The report revealed an overwhelming commitment to CIMSPA by employers who recognise it is the only organisation capable of delivering the unified, long-term strategy required with 91% of employers working with CIMSPA, or planning to do so in the next 12 months.

Raising the Bar 2016 is published at a time of change in the industry including the formal backing of CIMSPA from both government and Sport England to develop a new workforce strategy for physical activity. With several more changes expected in 2017, alongside the introduction of the new Apprenticeship Levy on May 1, 2017, the industry is undergoing extensive strategic reorientation of the sector’s ambitions for a professional and competent workforce.

“I’m delighted that Future Fit Training and ukactive have invited CIMSPA to introduce the latest Raising the Bar report,” says Tara Dillon, CIMSPA CEO. “This evidence base helps CIMSPA focus on ensuring the skills requirements identified filter through to the training, CPD and qualifications ecosystem we are building. Although the report rightly highlights our sector’s skills gaps, I’m confident that the increasing momentum of our work will help address these challenges,” she says.

To see the full report go to: www.futurefit.co.uk/future-fit-training/raising-the-bar-2016/For more information or additional expert comment, contact: Katherine@actionpr.co.uk/07787 533143

About Raising the Bar 2016

This is the third annual skills and training insight survey delivered by Future Fit Training and supported by ukactive. The process tracks the sentiment of senior leaders, human resources managers and training and people development managers in the physical activity sector regarding the capabilities and competencies of their front-line fitness staff and areas of strategic importance to the skills and workforce development agenda. The report collected data from a range of the largest leisure operators, representing a total of over 45,000 fitness employees and is supplemented by a number or expert consultations with senior organisation leaders.

The Pro Zone - where fitness meets technology - Exciting news for the fitness industry - The Pro Zone is an online CIMSPA-recognised CPD training solution delivered by our training partners Future Fit Training. The Pro Zone is an inspiring and affordable solution for continuous training for every serious fitness professional. A small fee per month allows you access to a private group where you can gain up to 12 CPD points per year through insightful CIMSPA-recognised webinars delivered by industry leading fitness professionals. Visit: http://www.futurefit.co.uk/personal-training/cimspa-cpd-solutions/ for more information

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