The Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

The aim of this Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training aims to develop learners with existing knowledge and skills in gym instruction who would like to pursue a career in personal training.

Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training Entry Requirements

  • A suitable Level 2 qualification in Gym Instructing.

Qualification Overview

The Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (QCF) will equip learners to prepare for employment in a specific occupational area. The qualification allows learners to train to a professionally competent level, enabling them to prescribe, plan and deliver safe and effective exercise programmes within a gym or health club environment.

The qualification will provide entry onto the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) at Level 2 and can be achieved in the context of Gym, Exercise to music, Water-based Exercise and Physical Activity for Children.

To achieve the qualification learners must complete 4 mandatory units from the mandatory group (14 credits) and one optional pairing in the context of either Gym, Exercise to Music, Water-based Exercise or Exercise and Physical Activity for Children. The total credit value of the qualification is 23 credits.

Qualification Structure

This Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training qualification comprises of seven mandatory units (36 credits).


Coursework, Multiple Choice Examination, Portfolio of Evidence, Practical Demonstration/Assignment.

Career Progression

  • This qualification provides progression to Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Personal Training for learners who wish to develop and demonstrate occupational competence in personal training.
  • Learners may also progress onto qualifications in related sectors, like Sports Massage, where they will be provided with the knowledge and skills to practice sports massage alongside personal training in the health club environment or own business.

Mandatory Course Units:

  • Learners who have achieved a QCF Level 2 Fitness Instructing qualification or an NQF Active IQ Level 2 Fitness
    Instructing qualification (500/1803/6) or equivalent (Skills Active have agreed exemption for these specific NQF
    qualifications) will have already achieved the following three units at Level 2.

Mandatory Units

  • Know how to support clients who take part in exercise and physical activity (Level 2) (credits 2)
  • Health, safety, and welfare in a fitness environment (Level 2) (credits 2)
  • Principles of exercise, fitness, and health (Level 2) (credits 4)

Learners who hold a Level 2 qualification in Gym instructing which is not an agreed equivalent/ exemption to the 3 units detailed above may require further guidance and support to ensure the correct learning pathway is selected to achieve the required units. For those who need to complete the above units an additional digital Learner Achievement Portfolio (L.A.P.) is available from Active IQ.

  • Anatomy and physiology for exercise and health (Level 3) (credits 6)
  • Applying the principles of nutrition to a physical activity programme (Level 3) (credits 6)
  • Programming personal training with clients (Level 3) (credits 7)
  • Delivering personal training sessions (Level 3) (credits 9)

Successful achievement of all seven mandatory units must be achieved for the full qualification.

Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training