This isn’t so much a fact finding blog post but more a challenge to coaches and trainers. It’s also for people who pay for coaching or training. It’s more a post about the importance of continuing to learn and realising the level you currently are.
So you have become a trainer and got your certificate and have now started training people. Most certificates will have a valid for date on them, meaning you either have to do the next level or redo a test to show you are still competent in your field. A lot of organisations or governing bodies will also make you do continued personal development (cpd) throughout the year to prove you are continuing to educate yourself.
An observation I have made is that not many coaches or personal trainers (pt’s) actually do this or have to do this. I have been a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals REPS) and although they say you have to make a certain number of cpd points, they never actually followed up on it with me and actually they just auto renewed my membership each year. They are meant to be the leaders in making sure the profession is professional, yet they never checked or enforced me to do more continued education.
Another well-known fitness provider, that I worked for in the past, also supplies a certificate to train people after just 1 weekend. You then don’t have to do anything for 5 years and then either redo the certification you have previously done that hasn’t changed in 10 years or more or take the next level so as you’ll remain qualified for another 5 years.
Now don’t get me wrong there are plenty of trainers out there that have completed these types of qualifications and they are great trainers and then there are many coaches out there with degrees that are not great trainers; but the bottom line is do you do any continued education?
For the clients of trainers that are reading this, and you are charged money to be trained, then please check that they have in-date certificates otherwise they aren’t insured to coach you. Check that your coach is doing continued education, ask them what they are doing to improve their knowledge, ask them what CPD they are doing and don’t feel embarrassed to ask because after all you are paying them and you should expect to get good value and knowledge for your money.
If your coach isn’t up to date or continuously updating their knowledge then please stop paying them money. After all you expect to get the most up to date knowledge for your money and your coach should be providing this through continually improving their knowledge base.
Coaches, please know your level and please never stop learning. If you’re a PT then you’re not a Strength and Conditioning coach. If you are a strength and conditioning coach after 2 weekends or an active IQ course then know you have only scratched the surface. If you’re a strength and conditioning coach after 4 years in university, then realise you still need to learn how to coach hands-on and again still have a lot of learning to do.
Everyone has a progression and regression, everyone has a weakness and a gap in knowledge and every coach owes it to their paying clients to continually improve and learn.
Ways you can continue your education as a coach:
Level 2 – Level 3 fitness instructor or personal trainer.
Level 4 GP referral or strength and conditioning.
Strength and conditioning active IQ course or one of the other courses that are recognised by a governing body.
Higher national certificate, Higher national diploma or foundation degree.
Ways to gain CPD points:
Short course- kettlebells, weightlifting, group classes, etc.
Certain qualifications that award CPD points can consist of nutrition, pre/post pregnancy, kids/youth training, and many other options. If you are REPS recognised, then their website lists all the providers they acknowledge and the courses they offer.
Finally, one of the best ways to improve and learn as a coach is to spend time with other coaches. Everyone has a different skillset and you can learn a lot just from watching or talking to your peers.