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How to Become a Group Fitness Instructor in Australia

June 12, 2024
4 minute read

Are you passionate about fitness and dreaming of leading group exercise classes? Becoming a Group Fitness Instructor might be the perfect career path for you. These roles are crucial in the fitness industry, helping individuals achieve their health and fitness goals in a dynamic group setting. Both positions come with responsibilities that require specific skills and certifications, particularly in a fitness-loving nation like Australia.

In this article, we will explore what it means to be a Group Fitness Instructor. You'll learn about the qualifications needed, the roles each position plays, and the steps to gain the proper certifications. As specialists in personal trainer education, we understand the intricacies involved in these career tracks and are here to guide you through the process. 

Understanding the Role of a Group Fitness Instructor

According to AusActive, the role of a Group Fitness Instructor is:

  • Delivers exercise sessions designed for participation by a group of clients with a mix of ages/fitness levels (i.e. not tailored to individuals) 
  • Exercise sessions delivered may be freestyle, pre choreographed or circuit style 
  • Instructs and demonstrates complete exercise sessions to groups with limited individual interaction 
  • Typically practises independently and commonly reports to a manager 
  • Commonly conducts sessions that are part of an overall regular timetable of sessions provided by the employer organisation 
  • Typically instructs sessions in predictable settings such as group exercise studios within fitness facilities

As a Group Fitness Instructor , we enjoy the unique opportunity to lead, inspire, and motivate individuals through various forms of exercise, all within a group setting. The primary responsibility is to create an engaging and inclusive environment where participants of different fitness levels can achieve their health goals together. 

The impact we have has a Group Fitness Instructor extends beyond the physical workouts; it also includes fostering a sense of community and belonging among the participants.

Steps to Become a Certified Group Fitness Instructor in Australia

There are two major fitness certifications in Australia. There's Certificate 3 in Fitness and Certificate 4 in Fitness

The Certificate 3 in Fitness covers you to become a Gym Instructor or a Group Fitness Instructor, Certificate 4 in Fitness covers you to become a Personal Trainer.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably wanting to become a Group Fitness Instructor which means you only need to do Certificate 3 in Fitness, if you are wanting to become a Personal Trainer, then you will need to do the  Certificate 4 as well.

Starting your journey to become a certified Group Fitness Instructor in Australia involves several key steps. First, it's essential to obtain a relevant qualification from a recognised training provider. Typically, this means completing a Certificate III in Fitness, which provides the foundational knowledge and skills required to conduct group fitness classes safely and effectively.

Once you've secured the certification, the next step is to register with a fitness industry body, such as AUSactive. Registration not only validates your qualifications with an official body but also connects you with industry updates, professional development opportunities, and essential insurance coverage. The current requirements to register as a Gym Instructor with AusActive are that you need to have completed one of the following qualifications:

Certificate III in Fitness (SIS30321)

  • Must include BOTH of the following elective units:
    • SISFFIT035 Plan group exercise sessions
    • SISFFIT036 Instruct group exercise sessions 

Certificate III in Fitness (SIS30315)

  • Must include BOTH of the following elective units:
    • SISFFIT007 – Instruct group exercise sessions
    • SISFFIT011 – Instruct approved community fitness programs

Staying updated through continuing education is also crucial. This involves attending workshops, seminars and doing online CEC courses to keep your skills sharp and your knowledge current in the ever-evolving fitness world.

Lastly, gaining real-world experience by working under seasoned instructors can provide invaluable insights and enhance your teaching techniques. This practical experience is critical as it allows you to apply your theoretical knowledge in real-life scenarios, helping you to refine your approach and build confidence in your abilities.

What is required to teach specialised workouts 

Once you have qualified as a Group Fitness Instructor , you are now able to take groups through Bootcamp workouts, HIIT workouts, Circuit Training etc, but if you are wanting to take more specialised classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Boxing, Kettlebells, Les Mills etc, then you will need to a specific course in that particular genre.

These courses are designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of group dynamics, instructional techniques, and specific types of group workouts, whether they be high-energy aerobics or serene yoga sessions.

Following your certification, registering with a recognised professional body in Australia, such as AUSactive, is essential. This registration not only underscores your credibility as an exercise leader but also ensures that you stay up-to-date with the latest industry standards and practices through mandatory continued education.

Practical experience plays a critical role in this career. Starting as an assistant or shadowing an experienced Group Exercise Leader can provide the exposure needed to handle different group sizes and types effectively. This hands-on approach will help hone your skills in managing and motivating groups, designing inclusive programs, and making real-time adjustments to suit various fitness levels within a group.


Becoming a Group Fitness Instructor in Australia is an exciting career path that offers the opportunity to impact many lives positively. It's about more than just leading workouts; it's about inspiring others, promoting health and wellness, and building communities. We at Fitness Education Online - Australia are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals by providing the necessary training and resources to excel in this field.

If you're ready to start your journey to become a Group Fitness Instructor, take the first step towards a fulfilling career in fitness by enrolling in a Certificate 3 in Fitness. Remember, every great instructor starts with a single step of passion and dedication. Join us at Fitness Education Online - Australia, and let's make fitness your future! 

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Fitness Education Online are one of the leading providers in the world when it comes to the professional development of Personal Trainers. We have over 30 registered AUSactive CEC courses.  Click here to check them out!


About The Author: April Allyson Barcebal
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