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Lee Buck, Head of Product Development, Active IQ

We are delighted to see that gyms across England and Northern Ireland have finally been permitted to reopen their doors. This is huge step forward in what has been a long road after months of closure. Uncertainty remains in Scotland and Wales, but we hope that operators and centres there can soon also reopen to resume in-person training.

It has certainly been a very changeable and challenging few months for our sector, but let us not forget the courage, initiative, inspiration and support that our industry has shown in recent months. While a challenging period, lockdown sparked fresh approaches, new collaborations and woke us from our comfort zone.

At Active IQ, we’ve been extremely busy behind the scenes working with Ofqual, IfATE, CIMSPA and the Federations of Awarding Bodies, to agree adaptations for our qualifications and apprenticeship end-point assessments, to ensure that learners and apprentices can still follow their chosen career path and complete their qualifications and apprenticeships – even in these uncertain times.

Personal training doesn’t only have to happen in a gym environment. With the right skills and knowledge, instructors should be able to operate anywhere. This is particularly important as we know people are now finding different ways to exercise and our industry needs to embrace this change and help facilitate it.

Significant changes have been made when it comes to eligibility for assessments. For Level 2 Gym Instructors, we have various options available and can now offer different adaptations. For instance, if someone was on a full-time programme prior to lockdown and has their formative assessment evidence, they will be able to adapt their sessions. This can be completed outside the gym, using whatever equipment they have available to them, including non-conventional gym equipment.

Another option we have been working towards is that learners who were registered on a full programme but who are now focusing on online delivery, will also be eligible to make an adaptation. Learners will have to undertake a professional discussion, which will involve an interactive conversation through video evidence.

Learners will need to observe a video, which we have created, specifically demonstrating the use of different fitness equipment. Learners will need explain how each piece of equipment is set up, how it can be used, any progression and regression exercises for that piece of equipment and coaching points for a client.

They will be guided through 11 different pieces of CV and fixed resistance machines and free weights. Learners will need to then identify the good and bad technique being used across each piece of equipment. We created these videos during lockdown thanks to the support of PureGym, to whom we would like to extend a big thank you for letting us use their facilities.

Adaptations have also been made to those studying their Level 3 Personal Trainer course, similar to those for Level 2. Learners may use members of their household as clients to participate in summative practical assessment, and they should also utilise the equipment and the environment available to them whilst ensuring the safety of both themselves and their clients. Learners will also need to video themselves following Active IQ Digital Recording Guidelines, delivering one of their planned sessions with their client.

Ultimately, it will be about allowing learners and our approved centres to choose the best option that suits them. While the last few months have been difficult for the industry, there have been some silver linings. The key for us will be to ensure that we continue to support our industry professionals to not only get through this uncertain situation but to thrive and flourish as they develop their career and help others on the path to a fitter future.

Find out more about Active IQ’s adaptations to gym-based qualifications here.

Look out for the latest stories and blogs in our Together series on the ukactive News page and Journal. For the latest sector guidance, visit the ukactive COVID-19 hub. 

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