A position statement from the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity and its relationship with Pilates instructors and training providers, August 2020

This position statement clarifies CIMSPA’s position and its relationship with Pilates instructors and training providers.


The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector, an employer led body supported and funded by Sport England and Sport Scotland.

Key asks of CIMSPA from the sectors employers are to,

  • Provide a membership opportunity that clearly outlines a member’s scope of practice.
  • Standardise, endorse and quality assure education and training for anyone working in the Sport and Physical Activity sector.

CIMSPA Membership for Pilates Instructors

CIMSPA provide a membership opportunity for Pilates instructors, providing the sectors employers with confidence that the member has the knowledge, skills, and behaviours to deliver mat Pilates fitness classes.

CIMSPA’s Pilates Instructor Associate membership does not extend to comprehensive Pilates teachers.

CIMSPA employer partners looking to employ a Mat based Pilates Instructor should only employ instructors who have Pilates Instructor Associate membership.

Details of the Pilates Instructor Associate membership can be seen here.

CIMSPA Endorsement for Pilates Training

CIMSPA provide an opportunity for training providers delivering qualifications and continuous professional development courses (CPD) to gain our endorsement.

The purpose of the endorsement is to ensure the Training Provider works to the standards expected by our members and employer partners and to ensure the content of the training is fit for purpose. Where a qualification is endorsed and provides access to a CIMSPA membership category it must meet the minimum required standard.

The standard for qualifications that provide access to membership is outlined in the Professional Standard written by the sector for the sector facilitated by CIMSPA. In the case of Pilates, we have not yet developed a Professional Standard and the National Occupational Standards written by Skills Active are used as the reference point for endorsement.

CIMSPA do not provide endorsement for comprehensive Pilates teacher courses as there are no industry agreed standards to use as a reference point for endorsement.

However, some comprehensive Pilates teacher courses may cover the skills required to be a Mat based Pilates instructor. They can receive endorsement from CIMSPA by showing how the course covers the National Occupational Standards for Pilates and working with a CIMSPA awarding organisation partner to award the qualification, Reference SKAEF21 Design, Manage and Adapt a Mat Pilates programme.
Document SKAEF21 Design manage and adapt a mat pilates programme
Endorsed Pilates courses that cover the National Occupational Standards and have a partnership with a regulated awarding organisation can provide course graduates with the opportunity to join CIMSPA as Pilates Instructor Associate.

Courses that do not cover the whole of the National Occupational Standard can gain CIMSPA endorsement as Continuous Professional Development. This does not provide graduates of the course the ability to access CIMSPA Pilates Instructor Associate membership.

These courses are for fitness professionals who have an interest in the subject and wish to learn more about the subject. Training Providers should not advertise that their CPD courses allow graduates to become Pilates instructors or teachers.

Training providers who would like to receive endorsement from CIMSPA can apply to be Training Provider Partners of CIMSPA, here.

What CIMSPA are Doing to Support the Pilates Community

CIMSPA formed a Professional Development Committee for Pilates in 2019 to, review and refresh the National Occupational Standards for Pilates, with a view to replacing them with a Professional Standard for Mat Pilates Instructors. This work is ongoing and when complete CIMSPA will provide Pilates instructors access to full membership, rather than associate membership.

CIMSPA provided the comprehensive Pilates teacher community with the opportunity to discuss partnership opportunities with CIMSPA and the opportunity to develop a Chartered Membership. No consensus has found with the comprehensive Pilates community, the opportunity is available to discuss this further.

CIMSPA will continue to provide a membership opportunity for Mat Pilates instructors and endorse training and CPD to provide entry to membership and CPD to enable them to develop.

Document Position Statement - Working with Pilates instructors and training providers March 2021
The feedback that has been submitted is currently being reviewed and any update on the standard will be published and shared with the sector.

If you would like further information on how to become a CIMSPA Training Provider Partner, please see here.

If you have any questions please contact:
Natasha Eason (Education and Apprenticeships Officer) – natasha.eason@cimspa.co.uk

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