8 Key Professional Organisations For Personal Trainers

professional organisations for PTs to know

Going into the fitness industry as a newbie can be daunting, but finding your feet is easy with the right research behind you, which is why we have laid out the key professional organisations for a personal trainer to know.

Before we go ahead and see what the first organisation is, if you’re looking to advance your career, why not enquire about our Level 4 Nutrition coursesFind this and more in our downloadable course prospectus.


8 Crucial Professional Organisations For A Personal Trainer

key professional organisations for a personal trainer

There are multiple organisations for a personal trainer to be aware of, but you should know more than just their names. You need to know what each of these organisations do and how they impact you as a personal trainer.

#1 - Ofqual

organisations for PTs to know

One of the first professional organisations for a personal trainer to become aware of is Ofqual.

Ofqual is an abbreviation for The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. They are a government body that regulates examinations, qualifications and assessments for vocational courses in England.

They set the ‘levels’ for vocational courses. It’s Ofqual who regulates the fitness industry, setting the criteria for the course content and assessments on a level 3 personal training course.

Whilst your PT qualification itself is delivered by a training provider like OriGym, it’s actually Ofqual that dictates the following factors:

  • What the course content consists of 
  • Course curriculum schedule
  • How the course is taught 
  • How the course is assessed

Ofqual ensures that your training provider is teaching and assessing these approved topics appropriately. 

The purpose of this is to make qualifications uniform across the country and between different course providers. 

This means that when looking for a PT course, aspiring students can be confident that a level 3 personal training course will provide them with the foundational knowledge needed to work as a PT regardless of the course provider they choose.

It also means that when employers hire personal trainers, they know exactly what skills and knowledge the individual has without having to look into who exactly they studied with.

For example, regardless of which provider you opt for, if your course is a level 3 qualification that is regulated by Ofqual, it will cover the following topics:

  • Anatomy, physiology and kinesiology for exercise and health
  • Principles of health and wellbeing for exercise, fitness and health
  • Applying nutritional principles to personal training
  • Programming personal training sessions
  • Delivering exercise programmes for personal training sessions

Of course, there are still differences between providers in terms of quality, for example the resources provided, tutor support offered, and career services. You can learn more about these here in our personal trainer course comparison.

That being said, when comparing courses, the first thing you should check is that the qualification is regulated by an Ofqual-approved awarding body like Focus Awards or NCFE. 

For example, here at OriGym, if you qualify as a level 3 personal trainer you can expect to be awarded by Focus Awards.

You can see below that they’re on the register for the corresponding qualification.

organisations for PTs to know

This is a good place to refer to should you want to check any authenticity of providers. 

Whenever you see Ofqual have recognised and assessed your desired course, know that your learning is being regulated properly and will be uniform across the country.


What organisations should a personal trainer know

CIMSPA, an abbreviation of The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, is a body dedicated to setting the standards for the fitness sector. 

Essentially, CIMSPA is the personal training governing body for the UK. It ensures that fitness professionals qualify with a high standard of skills in order to safely deliver their desired job role.

This is one of the key professional organisations for a personal trainer to know about, since seeing the CIMSPA logo on a training providers website is a stamp of approval, assuring you that you can trust the provider to offer a high standard of training to take into the real world.

CIMSPA works with stakeholders in the fitness industry, like gyms, as well as training providers and individual fitness professionals, all for the purpose of establishing high standards of practice. 

As the chief personal trainer governing body in the UK, they lay out the foundation of standards so that awarding organisations, educational institutions and training providers can learn how to implement these standards into their courses. 

These standards filter down into your education as a personal trainer, which creates a positive impact overall on the industry and fully ensures the qualification prepares you for the profession, which of course benefits the likes of gyms and leisure centres. 

You can see below what CIMSPA’s vision is from the CEO to better encapsulate how this positively impacts your career and training as a PT.

What organisations should a personal trainer know

Since you’re becoming or already a part of the fitness industry, you’re clearly passionate about fitness and thus, CIMSPA is a stamp of approval that you should be looking for when taking fitness education courses.


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#3 - REPs (Historic)

organisations to know as a PT

REPs is a name that you’ve probably heard of but won’t see around anymore. However, its components still exist within the aforementioned CIMSPA. 

REPS (Register of Exercise Professionals) was the former fitness governing body for the UK that disbanded in 2020, and moved all of their membership base into CIMSPA’S exercise and fitness directory. 

There is a helpful page on CIMSPA’s website that explains the process of moving memberships, so if you recognise REPS as a governing body for personal trainers, but wonder where it disappeared to, this is your answer!

It actually makes life much easier for you as a professional and assessing the right provider for you since you’re just looking out for the CIMSPA stamp of approval. 

If you qualified prior to these changes, your details will have automatically transferred over during the merger, as you can see below.

organisations to know as a PT

With everything being managed by one party, the answer to 'is there a governing body for personal trainers' is now clear and simple - it's CIMSPA.

#4 - Awarding Bodies

personal trainer organisations list of awarding bodies

Awarding bodies like Focus Awards, NCFE, and Active IQ, are all companies that you need to be aware of as it's the awarding body who you will receive your personal training certificate from once you qualify.

The awarding bodies work with training providers to provide qualifications, as well as with Ofqual and CIMSPA, who regulate these awarding bodies, ensuring that their courses meet the criteria and follow the 'curriculum'.

Seeing the logo of an awarding body on a training providers website helps you separate out training providers and qualifications that are reliable from the ones that don’t actually hold any value in the real world of work, namely free personal trainer courses.

For example here at OriGym, if you train with us you will be awarded from Focus Awards.You may remember us briefly mentioning them earlier when we spoke about them being on the Ofqual register. This is because they are an Ofqual-approved awarding body.

So, why should you look out for courses awarded by Focus? Focus Awards award high quality educational routes like OriGym’s different types of personal training courses. It goes to show the level of competency that the provider needs to possess before they approve the endorsement. 

For example, OriGym has a great reputation for not just qualifying thousands of students, but also placing over 90% of graduates into job roles right after qualifying (which is actually at the highest rate in the industry!). 

It just goes to show that this awarding body is serious about only putting their name on providers that are trustworthy and those that actually bring results. 

To see what exactly they have to say about their organisation, take a look at this below where we have highlighted what is most important to you as the learner.

professional organisations for a personal trainer

So, it is a good idea to look out for any providers that have Focus Awards on their qualifications as this way, you will know you’re in a legitimate position and will have more of a chance to actually make a career after qualifying.


For some more useful resources on the fitness industry and what to know, read our articles below:

Similarly to Focus Awards, another one of the key professional organisations for a personal trainer to be aware of is Active IQ. 

Active IQ is another educational institute or 'awarding body' that is regulated by Ofqual and used with providers in the UK. 

There are great similarities between Active IQ and Focus Awards, however they don’t have the same figures available in the same way that Focus Awards do, nonetheless, keep in mind that they are endorsed by Ofqual. 

You can see below a copy of their mission and values to get a feel for their organisation.

professional organisations for a personal trainers to know

Active IQ is a name you might see awarding some fitness course providers in the UK, however they do remind you on their website to pay attention to course providers and ask yourself a set of questions.

You can see what these include below:

professional organisations for a personal trainers to be aware of

This is something that could impact your direction into the fitness industry, thus, do your research and take some advice from this article perhaps to find the correct awarding body for you and your future PT career options.


#5 UK Active

professional organisations for a personal trainers to get to know

Next is another one of the professional organisations for a personal trainer to be well aware of when entering the industry and that is UK Active.

UK Active is a non for profit organisation that intends on creating a more active country, meanwhile sharing this goal with companies that wish to become a member with them thus, contributing to the same goal.

So how can this benefit you or impact your future as a PT? UKActive is different from any of the other organisations that we have mentioned, they have a vast range of features but often, you can expect to see big companies on their site as members.

This is something that you should look into if you’re thinking about making a stance in the fitness industry. For example, if you want to have a successful gym, large or small you might be interested in gaining exposure from an organisation such as UK Active.

This is because they have different memberships that can help you to grow, you can find the longer descriptions for each of the three membership types here.

However, to give you an idea of one of them below, you can see how the Operator membership can impact your career in a positive way.

professional organisations for a personal trainers to get to know

As you can see, the list is full of valuable factors for your business.

Essentially, it is a good way to legitimise your business and take it to the next level so that you can do more with your qualifications and make a sustainable and successful brand!

#6 Training Providers

organisations for fitness professionals to know

There are many training providers across the country and the world, however choosing the right one can take time. 

In order to narrow down what it is you want from the company you should first figure out what route you want to take. For example, if you’re thinking about opting for a college courses or a private provider, this is a decision you need to make early on.

When you’ve made this decision, you’re able to look for the right fit for you. 

Private providers offer a much more direct route into the industry, meaning you don’t have to spend years on a course to have a recognised qualification that is endorsed by the aforementioned Ofqual.

Plus, the recognition and connections of a private provider can be much more beneficial for the student when it comes to actually getting started in gyms.

If you’re hoping to come out of the end of a course with an interview lined up, it is rare that you will have that guarantee coming out of college. 

However, if you choose to go privately some of the top providers can help this happen, like OriGym.

Not only that but the reputation of particular training providers is important, you should use websites like TrustPilot to go through your options and find the correct training provider. This is a good place to read honest reviews and see how popular it truly is. 

#7 Companies House

what businesses to know as a PT

Often, what draws people to the fitness industry is the control you have over your career. If you become a freelance personal trainer, like many people do, you need to be aware of how to set up your company in the UK.

Companies House is a part of the UK government and is the place in which you will register your business. You can see below where you can find this, it is pretty straight forward.

what businesses to know as a PT

The UK government websites for setting up a business are typically super easy to navigate as they take you through each step of the process. 

For example, you can first choose if you want to be a limited company which will then take you to a step-by-step of setting up a limited private company, like you can see below.

what businesses to know as a PT

As you can see the process is straightforward and if you have any queries you can always call them up too. It is a great place to navigate and find out what kind of business is right for your circumstance and to set you up on the right tax code which we will talk about next.



what businesses to know as a PT

Finally, you have HMRC, which is not only one of the key professional organisations for a personal trainer to know, but anybody who is looking to go self-employed.

HMRC is where you will find all the information on how to pay your taxes correctly and is also the place where you would actually pay them. You can see below how it is very similar to the Companies House page.

what businesses to know as a PT

As you can see it is easy to sign up or register, and similarly you will be taken through every step needed to find out how to pay your taxes.

As a self-employed individual, you would need to do a self assessment at every tax year which runs April - April in the UK. This is a really easy process since they take you through it step by step, plus, you will even be asked a short questionnaire to find out if you need to do a self assessment in the first place.

It can be easy to get daunted by this sort of thing but by navigating the website and clicking only what is applicable to you, it is super simple to keep all of the important stuff like your taxes up to date and to take full control of your business. 

Before You Go…

Doing your research on the key professional organisations for a personal trainer to know is vitally important to guarantee a smooth transition into the fitness industry so by starting off with this article, we’re confident you’ll know what to look out for.

Don’t forget that if you’re looking to advance your career, why not enquire about our Level 4 Nutrition course? Find this and many other advancement courses too in our downloadable course prospectus 


Become A Nutritionist OriGym!

Take the first step by becoming a Level 4 Nutritionist with OriGym and get qualified in as little as 4 weeks.

Written by Kimberley Mitchell


Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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