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Fitness Registration Bodies in Australia

February 8, 2023
4 minute read

Talking about Fitness Registration Bodies Australia be a little tricky because technically, you don’t HAVE to register with a body (unless you live in the ACT, where there it is a requirement). 

In saying that though, most Fitness Professionals choose to register with a fitness registration body as there are several advantages.

Some of these advantages include

  • Recognition: By registering with a recognized fitness registration body, you can demonstrate to your clients and employers that you have met the required standards and are qualified to work in the fitness industry. This can help you to stand out in a competitive job market and build credibility and trust with your clients.
  • Support: All fitness registration bodies offer some form of support to their members. Whether it be phone, email, social media – if you’re a member of a body and have a question about the industry, they will be able to help you
  • Professional development: Many fitness registration bodies offer ongoing professional development opportunities, such as workshops, seminars, and conferences, to help you stay up-to-date with the latest research and best practices in the industry. This can help you to improve your skills and knowledge, and stay at the top of your game.
  • Networking opportunities: By registering with a fitness registration body, you can connect with other fitness professionals and access a range of networking opportunities. This can help you to build relationships and collaborate with others in the industry, which can be beneficial for your career development.

In Australia, there are several different organizations that offer fitness registration for fitness professionals. Some of the main organizations include:

  • AUSactive: AUSactive (formerly known as Fitness Australia) is the peak Health and Exercise Industry Association with the largest register of exercise professionals & facilities across Australia. AUSactive currently has over 11,000 registered Fitness Professionals.
  • Physical Activity Australia (PAA): PAA (formerly known as VicFit and then Kinect Australia) has been around since 1982 and was the first ever fitness registration body in Australia. When Fitness Registration was first introduced to Australia, each state had their own registration body. PAA (or VicFit) was the official body of Victoria. All the other states registration bodies merged to become Fitness Australia (now AUSactive) except for PAA which continued on it’s own. For this reason most of PAA’s members are based in Victoria. Physical Activity Australia currently has over 4,000 registered Fitness Professionals.
  • FITREC: FITREC was launched by Dennis Hosking and his team in 2015 (the same team that created, built and run HealthyPeople). FITREC was created as an alternate registration body to AUSactive and Physical Activity Australia.
  • Health and Fitness Association Australia (HAFAA): HFAA was formed in 2018 and focuses exclusively on individual registrations, not businesses, ensuring advocacy, policy representation, and union support. Members benefits include industry perks and access to masterclasses.

Other Related Registration Bodies

  • ESSA: Founded in 1991 Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA), formerly known as the Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science (AAESS), is a professional organisation which is committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners. Members include Exercise Scientists, Sports Scientists and Exercise Physiologists. ESSA currently has over 10,000 members.
  • ASCA: ASCA is the accrediting body for strength and conditioning coaches in Australia as recognised by the Australian Sports Commission and its high performance division, the Australian Institute of Sport. As a not-for-profit association and the peak industry body, the ASCA aims to ensure and enhance quality-assured strength and conditioning coaches.
  • Recomp: Recomp is the peak body for the body recomposition industry. Fitness registration & insurance does not usually allow personal trainers to coach bodybuilding, powerlifting or serious weight training. Recomp personal trainer registration and insurance does.
  • Sports Medicine Australia (SMA): SMA is a peak national multidisciplinary member organisation that provides leadership in the areas of sports exercise and medicine, sports injury, physical activity, sports exercise and science, and the healthy performance and participation of Australians in physical activity and sport. SMA is widely acknowledged internationally as a leading multidisciplinary sports medicine body. SMA currently has over 2,000 members.

Summary

If you’re a Fitness Professional (Personal Trainer, Gym Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor etc) with either a Certificate III in Fitness or Certificate IV in Fitness, you’ll want to register with either AUSactive, Physical Activity Australia, FITREC or HFAA. 

If you’re an Exercise Professional (Exercise Scientist, Sport Scientist, Exercise Physiologist etc) you’ll want to register with ESSA. 

If you’re a Strength and Conditioning Coach, you’ll want to register with ASCA.

If you’re a Bodybuilding or Powerlifting coach, you’ll want to register with Recomp.

If you’re a Sports Trainer, you’ll want to register with SMA.

You may also want to register with multiple organisations e.g. if you’re a Personal Trainer and Exercise Physiologist you may choose to register with AUSactive AND ESSA. Or if you’re a S&C Coach AND an Exercise Physiologist you may choose to register with ASCA AND ESSA.


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About The Author: April Allyson Barcebal
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