Should You Choose an Advanced Personal Training Diploma?

Should You Choose an Advanced Personal Training Diploma?

The great thing about working as a Personal Trainer is that there are clients out there seeking your service, who’ll love your training style and will value your expertise and fitness insight. This means you don’t have to try and be something for everyone and can nurture and grow a client base geared to the types of clients you work with the best. So when it comes to selecting your Personal Trainer qualification does it follow that the Diploma is always a preferable choice to the Certificate?

Well in short, maybe or maybe not. Whilst this may not seem particularly helpful stick with us! Both Certificate and Diploma course choices lead to your level 3 accreditation. What’s more they both reward your efforts with 20 Continuing Professional Development Credits (CPD’s) and enable you to join the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) at level 3. You’ll be able to work in a gym setting or start-up your very own personal training business. What’s more armed with your qualification you can obtain industry approved insurance to practice in a safe, credible way.

So rather than one route to being a Personal Trainer having preference to the other, both enable you to achieve your ultimate goal. The right qualification route for you is not therefore down to one course being preferable to the other, instead a few other factors come into play which are important for you to consider.

1 – Your Future Clients

As a general rule of thumb the more specialised the clients are you wish to train the more your learning will benefit from our Diploma in Personal Training course. So for example, seniors, the obese, sports specific, semi-professional athletes and post-operative recovery. The reason we suggest this is because you will delve deeper into specialist groups subject related matter, look at specific case studies and fitness assessment techniques to ensure you can hit the ground running.

2 – Your Budget

There are different pathways to gaining your level 3 Personal Trainer qualification and these all enable you to start your exciting career and work with clients one to one. When it comes to choosing your course budget is highly relevant to the decision making process with the Certificate in Personal Training offering a more economical option. It will equip you with all the fundamental skills and knowledge to secure a personal training position allowing you to get your new career underway for a budget that suits. Remember you can always upskill at a later date or even progress to a Level 4 PT accreditation further down the line.

3 – Your Timescales

Try not to be in a rush to qualify as the time you spend building your knowledge and practical skills is time very well spent. The great thing about your learning is that you set the pace. If you’ve time to devote to your study you can complete the Certificate level from as little as 6 weeks and the Diploma level from 12 weeks. If you prefer to go at a slower pace or might need to dip in and out of your course from time to time, don’t worry you can take anything up to two years.

4 – Workplace Access

For the Personal Training Diploma course it is highly advisable to have access to a gym or similar workplace setting. This is a National Vocational Qualification and as you progress through your course you will gather workplace evidence to support your learning. If you don’t have access to a suitable workplace then the Certificate offers the perfect choice.

If you’d like some assistance with finding the right course for you we’d be delighted to help. Our friendly team will answer your questions and offer helpful advice to support you with your decision making.

If you’re thinking about a career in fitness you can request a copy of our prospectus and career guide here.

The Academy of Fitness Professionals provide the gold standard in accredited personal training courses with state of the art training fully endorsed by REPs, Skills Active and the NCFE. Their specialist knowledge features in the UK health and fitness media including the Mirror, BBC2 and Women’s Running. This is the ultimate learning destination for those serious about their fitness industry education and long term career as a Personal Trainer.


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