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How to become a Personal Trainer in Australia (2024)

July 10, 2024
6 minute read

If you’re wondering how to become a Personal Trainer in Australia - you’re in the right place! 

In Australia, there are two major fitness certifications. 

These certifications are nationally accredited and therefore must be delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). This ensures that the training meets the high standards set by the national regulatory bodies, providing students with a recognised and quality education in fitness

The Certificate III in Fitness gives an individual the qualifications to become a Group Fitness Instructor and / or a Gym Instructor and the Certificate IV in Fitness gives an individual the qualifications to become a Personal Trainer. 

Let’s take a deeper look into each qualification

Step 1: Certificate III in Fitness 

The Certificate III in Fitness reflects the role of group and gym fitness instructors. These fitness instructors may plan and deliver group exercise sessions and develop gym-based programs for individuals where the level of personalised instruction and ongoing client monitoring is limited.

The Certificate III in Fitness contains 15 units, 11 core units and 4 elective units. 

The 11 core units are

  • BSBOPS304 Deliver and monitor a service to customers
  • BSBPEF301 Organise personal work priorities
  • HLTAID011 Provide First Aid
  • HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety
  • SISFFIT032 Complete pre-exercise screening and service orientation
  • SISFFIT033 Complete client fitness assessments
  • SISFFIT035 Plan group exercise sessions
  • SISFFIT036 Instruct group exercise sessions
  • SISFFIT040 Develop and instruct gym-based exercise programs for individual clients
  • SISFFIT047 Use anatomy and physiology knowledge to support safe and effective exercise
  • SISFFIT052 Provide healthy eating information

The 4 elective units, will vary depending on the RTO you choose to study with.

Students have up to 12 months to complete the Certificate III in Fitness and there are no there are no entry requirements or pre-requisites.

On completion of a Certificate III in Fitness, students can register with AUSactive as a Gym Instructor and / or Group Exercise Instructor. 

Most people who are looking to become a Personal Trainer will complete a Certificate III in Fitness as it contains all the necessary prerequisite units to complete a Certificate IV in Fitness

Step 2: Certificate IV in Fitness

The Certificate IV in Fitness reflects the role of personal trainers who develop, instruct and evaluate personalised exercise programs for generally healthy and low risk clients, to achieve specific fitness goals.

The Certificate IV in Fitness consists of 17 units, 10 core units and 7 elective units. 

The core units are

CHCCOM006 - Establish and manage client relationships
SISFFIT041 - Develop personalised exercise programs
SISFFIT042 - Instruct personalised exercise sessions
SISFFIT043 - Develop and instruct personalised exercise programs for body composition goals
SISFFIT044 - Develop and instruct personalised exercise programs for older clients
SISFFIT045 - Develop and instruct personalised exercise programs for adolescent clients
SISFFIT049 - Use exercise science principles in fitness instruction
SISFFIT050 - Support exercise behaviour change
SISFFIT051 - Establish and maintain professional practice for fitness instruction
SISFFIT053 - Support healthy eating for individual fitness clients

To complete a Certificate IV in Fitness, a student must have already completed the following units 

HLTAID011 - Provide First Aid (or a unit that supersedes this unit)
HLTWHS001 - Participate in workplace health and safety
SISFFIT032 - Complete pre-exercise screening and service orientation
SISFFIT033 - Complete client fitness assessments
SISFFIT035 - Plan group exercise sessions
SISFFIT036 - Instruct group exercise sessions
SISFFIT040 - Develop and instruct gym-based exercise programs for individual clients
SISFFIT047 - Use anatomy and physiology knowledge to support safe and effective exercise
SISFFIT052 - Provide healthy eating information

These units are all covered in the Certificate III in Fitness, hence why most people complete the Certificate III in Fitness AND the Certificate IV in Fitness.

Students have up to 12 months to complete the Certificate IV in Fitness and on completion can register with AUSactive as a Personal Trainer.

Step 3: Insurance 

Once you have completed your Certificate III and Certificate IV in Fitness, it is essential to obtain professional liability insurance if you plan to work for yourself. If you are employed by a gym or fitness centre, you can usually skip this step, as you will likely be covered by your employer's insurance.

Insurance is crucial for protecting yourself from potential claims made by clients for injuries or damages that might occur during training sessions. It is also a mandatory requirement for working as a fitness professional. Without insurance, no gym will hire you, no council will permit you to train in public parks, and no school or workplace will allow you to train their staff or students.

There are three main types of insurance you should consider:

  • Public Liability Insurance: This covers you against claims made by clients or third parties for injuries or damages that occur as a result of your business activities. For example, if a client trips over your equipment and gets injured, public liability insurance will cover the legal costs and any compensation.
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance: This protects you against claims of professional negligence or mistakes in the advice or services you provide. For example, if a client follows your training plan and suffers an injury, they might claim that your advice was negligent. Professional indemnity insurance will cover the legal costs and any compensation awarded.
  • Product Liability Insurance: If you sell any products, such as nutritional supplements or fitness equipment, product liability insurance covers you against claims of injury or damage caused by these products. For example, if a client has an allergic reaction to a supplement you recommended, product liability insurance will cover the legal costs and any compensation.

Research and choose a policy that best suits your needs and the services you provide. Having the right insurance not only protects you legally but also enhances your credibility and professionalism in the fitness industry. Personal Trainer insurance options may include Guild, Marsh, BizCover, Gallagher and AON.

Step 4: Register with a Fitness Registration Body

Registering with a fitness registration body is an optional step unless it is specifically required by a workplace, gym, or council. While it may not be mandatory, there are several benefits to becoming a member of a fitness registration body:

  • Professional Recognition: Being registered with a reputable body enhances your professional credibility and shows that you meet industry standards.
  • Continued Education CEC Courses: Registration bodies often provide access to ongoing education and professional development opportunities, helping you stay current with industry trends and best practices.
  • Networking Opportunities: Membership gives you access to a network of other fitness professionals, which can be valuable for support, advice, and career opportunities.
  • Insurance Benefits: Some registration bodies offer discounted insurance rates to their members, making it easier and more affordable to obtain the necessary coverage.
  • Employment Opportunities: Many employers prefer or require their trainers to be registered with a recognized body, as it assures them of your qualifications and commitment to professionalism.
  • Client Trust: Clients may feel more confident in your services knowing you are affiliated with a respected industry organisation.

Consider registering with a fitness registration body to take advantage of these benefits and enhance your career in the fitness industry. Options may include AUSactive, Physical Activity Australia and FITREC.

Step 5: Get a Job or Start Marketing Yourself

With your qualifications, insurance, and optional registration in place, it's time to launch your career. Whether you choose to seek employment or start your own business, here are some key steps to get started:

Apply for Jobs:

Gyms and Fitness Centers: Look for openings at local gyms, fitness centres, and health clubs. These establishments often need qualified fitness instructors and personal trainers.

Start Your Own Business:

Create a Business Plan: Outline your services, target market, pricing, and marketing strategies. A solid business plan can help guide your efforts and secure financing if needed.

Set Up Your Online Presence: Create a professional website and set up social media profiles to showcase your services, share client testimonials, and provide valuable fitness content. This helps establish your credibility and reach a broader audience.

Network and Build Relationships: Connect with other fitness professionals, potential clients, and local businesses. Attend fitness events, join online forums, and participate in community activities to build your network.

Offer Free or Discounted Sessions: To attract your first clients, consider offering free or discounted sessions. This helps you build a client base and gather testimonials and referrals.

Market Yourself:

Develop a Marketing Strategy: Use a combination of online and offline marketing tactics. This can include social media marketing, email newsletters, flyers, and partnerships with local businesses.

Highlight Your Unique Selling Points: Emphasise what sets you apart from other fitness professionals, such as specialised training, unique programs, or a focus on a particular demographic.

Gather Testimonials and Reviews: Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews and testimonials. Positive feedback from happy clients can significantly boost your credibility and attract new customers.

Summary

Step 1: Complete your Certificate III in Fitness

Step 2: Complete your Certificate IV in Fitness

Step 3: Get Insurance

Step 4: Register with a Fitness Body

Step 5: Get a Job or Market Yourself

That’s how you become a Personal Trainer in Australia!

To get started - check out our Personal Training Courses!

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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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