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8 Best Personal Training Courses Compared (2022)

The 12 Best Personal Training Courses UK Compared

If you’re looking for some of the best personal trainer courses compared, our guide is sure to help you out!

This guide will help you with:

But before we get onto our data, why not begin your research by taking a look at OriGym’s Personal Trainer Diploma?

Enquire today by downloading our course prospectus or simply enter your details below.

8 Best Personal Training Courses Compared (2022)

Comparing the best personal trainer courses can be difficult if you’re not sure what exactly you’re looking for. Although on the surface a cheaper course may look better because it has a lower price, when you break down the relevant factors, this doesn’t always mean value for money.

Here are some common additional personal training course fees you might want to ask about prior to enrolling on a qualification:

Exams

Best courses for personal trainers

Some providers will charge additional fees to take assessments! Many people would assume since your exams are an essential part of the qualification, they’d be included in the cost of a course. 

However, some companies take this as an opportunity to market themselves as a low-cost provider, only to ask for additional fees once you’ve already committed to their course. 

Resits

PT courses compared

If you’ve already looked into some of the best UK personal trainer courses, you might have noticed many fitness training providers have different stances on resit costs.

Some course providers won’t offer free resits at all, others will have a limit on how many times you can resit for free, and a couple provide unlimited resits.

Having to pay for a practical resit exam, on top of having failed the assessment in the first place, isn’t an ideal situation. Prior to signing up and paying for a course, be sure to ask whether they offer free resits and, if so, how many.

Even if the course providers are confident you’ll pass your exams the first time around, it's always reassuring to have this peace of mind.

Certification Fees

PT courses compared

Some companies will actually charge you for a physical copy of your fitness certificates, not including the cost of postage.

It’s definitely worth ensuring the cost of your certificates is included in the course price. Having a physical copy of your certificate can give you great satisfaction so always ensure you have this option.

Admin Fees

PT courses compared

Finally, you’ll want to check the small print to see if a provider is going to charge you for any admin fees.

When looking at personal training course comparisons, you’ll see some providers will charge you for anything, even adding a cost for a member of their admin team to simply sign you up!

While you should expect to have to make some kind of down payment when you enrol, it's important to establish whether this is an additional charge or simply a deposit to secure your place on their course.

All you need to do is ask whether this initial payment is taken off the overall course cost. If they explain it's a surplus charge, it might be best to rethink whether this really is the best personal trainer certification option.

 

Start Your Career As A Personal Trainer

Become a qualified Personal Trainer with OriGym today!

Which Providers Have The Best Personal Trainer Course Reviews

PT courses compared

One of the easiest ways to quickly check if a course provider can be trusted is to check out their online reviews and personal trainer testimonials.

Although not every individual review is always reflective of a company or business, they can be a great way to get a feeling of them and read about the experience of others.

You shouldn’t always trust internal reviews as they can easily mislead you as companies can pick and choose which of its reviews to display.  

It can be hard to identify internal reviews as they are often designed to look like they are Google Reviews.

Noticing a lack of reviews on neutral sites or only finding personal trainer course reviews on the companies own website shows that the company has actively disabled its reviews.

All reviews presented below are subject to change.

Google Reviews 

Best level 3 personal trainer course

Google Reviews is a great service to use when looking at personal training course comparisons. By simply typing in the name of a fitness company into Google, their reviews will often be located on the right of the search engine.

Best uk personal trainer courses

As you can see above, not every provider has personal trainer course reviews on Google. However, just because they may not have reviews on Google, it doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted.

Trustpilot Reviews

Best level 3 personal trainer course

One of the most popular places to find personal training course reviews is Trustpilot. This service divides its reviews into percentages which range from bad to excellent, making it easier for users to see the ratio of good to bad reviews.

Best level 3 personal trainer course

Trustpilot is a completely neutral site and only shows reviews from real accounts by verified customers. Therefore, looking at these reviews can give you a real feel for the quality and service you will likely receive.

Best uk personal trainer courses

Any company that doesn’t allow reviews on a popular platform should be avoided. A lack of reviews is a real sign that the company either doesn’t exist or they’ve received a lot of negative reviews they don’t want you to find.

 

Start Your Career As A Personal Trainer

Become a qualified Personal Trainer with OriGym today!

What To Look For In Your Own Personal Training Course Comparison

 Personal trainer courses compared

When finding the best certified personal trainer courses, it can be difficult to know what exactly you should look for. Below, we’ll break down more of the points in our personal training course comparison table to help you understand exactly what separates one course from another.

#1 - Course Accreditation 

When it comes to course accreditation, there's 3 main areas you should be looking for, which we'll outline now.

Ofqual Regulation

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates examinations, qualifications, and assessments in England.

Basically, if a course or qualification isn’t regulated by Ofqual, completing it is a total waste of time!

Once you’ve established that a course is regulated, you’ll also want to ensure it’s accredited by a reputable company within the fitness industry.

CIMSPA Approval

When researching the best UK personal training courses, one of the most important things to consider is whether a course is regulated and accredited by a reputable company.

CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) is well-recognised and respected as the UK’s professional body for health and fitness.

Although course accreditation isn’t a mandatory requirement (unlike Ofqual regulation), CIMSPA endorsement is still something that will certainly add value to your qualification and places you at a real advantage when applying for a job.

Having a qualification endorsed by them places you at a real advantage when it comes to looking for a job. This ‘stamp of approval’ means students can be assured they’re taking a reliable course that meets the standards of the fitness industry.

Awarding Body

You will also need to look for a qualification that is regulated by an Ofqual-approved awarding body.

The awarding body is the organisation that actually certifies you as a Level 3 Personal Trainer and provides you with your qualification. Some reputable awarding bodies include: 

  • Focus Awards
  • YMCA Awards
  • Active IQ

Look out for these logos when carrying out your personal training course comparison:

Having a regulated qualification is a requirement of all employers in the fitness industry, and it's something personal trainer insurance providers will want proof of as well.

#2 - Location

Personal trainer course reviews

The next thing to consider in your search for the best courses to become a personal trainer, is the location of the PT course company.

Reading personal training course reviews and knowing how much they cost is pointless if the course provider doesn’t haven’t a centre near to you, especially if you want to study full time.

To carry out a thorough comparison, you need to:

  • Find out where the course is located
  • Think about how you are going to travel there
  • Consider how much travel will cost

Even if you’re here comparing the best online personal training courses, travel fees are inevitable because all practical assessments have to be completed at one of their test centres.

Whatever study option you choose, location is definitely something that you need to consider prior to signing up for a course!

#3 - Study Method

Origym personal training course reviews

Another one of the most important areas you need to consider when examining the best personal training courses is to decide which study method best suits your learning style. 

The majority of course providers will offer the following three study methods:

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Online

When comparing different study methods, you should ask yourself these questions: 

  • Do I like to be left to my own devices? 
  • Do I favour practical learning?
  • How quick do I want to complete my studies?

Although full-time courses (sometimes called “fast-track'' or “intensive” courses) involve a lot of face-to-face learning in a classroom setting, online courses are entirely self-led and require a lot more motivation to get through the course content.

While some people enjoy practical learning and being able to converse with a tutor, plenty of aspiring personal trainers enjoy the freedom and flexibility of studying online.

If you’re struggling to decide which mode of study is right for you, part-time PT courses are definitely worth considering.

These courses offer a blended learning approach, combining the benefits of both full-time and online learning.

If you want to know which option is best, the answer is that it really does depend on factors such as:

  • Preferred way of learning
  • How fast you want to get qualified
  • How much time you have to dedicate to the course

Training providers have multiple names for the various types of study, which can really confuse applicants who are in the process of comparing personal trainer qualifications. 

To help you make a more informed decision about which study option is best for you, we’re going to talk about each mode of study in a little more detail and explain these study names.

Home Study Personal Training Course (Online) 

You may see a Home Study Personal Training Course referred to as:

  • Self-study
  • Online learning
  • Distance learning
  • E-learning 

Regardless of what name a course provider uses to define its home study course, if you enjoy learning from home and working independently, this is the right course for you!

Online or ‘distance learning’ courses will provide you with the freedom to get aspects of the course completed in your own time so you can learn at a more manageable pace. This may be more suited to those who are looking into becoming an online personal trainer.

This method of study never normally has a set start date, meaning you can get cracking with your learning from the day you enrol. 

These courses rarely have any deadlines or set dates for exams. However, a large level of self-motivation is important if you want to get through the content at a reasonable pace.

While this is a very independent way to study, you will still have access to tutor support if you choose a high-quality course provider.

For example, all OriGym students are able to contact an experienced tutor via an online live chat box, via email, or over the phone.

Any reputable company will also offer the option to upgrade to study a course with some practical learning as well. 

If you like the sound of online study but think you would struggle without any element of practical learning, a blended course might be a better option for you!

 

Blended Learning Personal Training Courses

This type of study combines online and practical learning and can be known as: 

  • Part-time learning
  • Flexible learning
  • Immersion training 
  • Mentored learning

A typical part-time course consists of access to online resources as well as the option to attend practical workshops run by experienced tutors. 

There are many forms of blended learning. For example, some providers require you to attend a certain number of practical days with mandatory attendance, and will set deadlines for the completion of online coursework. 

Other providers offer a much more flexible way of studying. OriGym students have the option to attend as many weekend workshops as they feel necessary and also have access to unlimited tutor support. 

Full-Time Personal Training Courses

Best certification course for becoming a personal trainer

Full-time PT courses require you to attend a training centre for a set number of weeks and are also known as:

  • Fast track
  • Classroom study
  • Intensive learning courses

Despite the flexibility that comes with online and blended learning courses, choosing to study a classroom-based course is still a very popular way of learning among aspiring personal trainers. 

On this type of course, you will learn from experienced fitness tutors on the gym floor as well as within a classroom. 

Best certification course for becoming a personal trainer

The average full-time personal trainer course is delivered over a period of 4 weeks between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Students will typically spend the first 2 weeks completing the Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing, and the final 2 weeks completing the Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification.

Classroom courses are almost always more expensive than their online or blended learning equivalents, mainly because of the increased overhead costs training providers have to cover. 

These costs can often include:

  • Venue hire
  • Tutor costs
  • Travel arrangements

This is just one of the reasons why a personal trainer course comparison is only possible when you consider the mode of study offered by providers.

Comparing one company’s full-time course with another’s online course is unfair. There are tons of influences on prices and indicators of value that make this kind of comparison near enough impossible.

#4 - Contact Time

Best certification course for becoming a personal trainer

Outside of your study method, another thing to consider when looking for the best personal training courses in the UK is the amount of contact time you’re able to have with staff and experienced tutors.

There are various formats or methods of contact offered by different course providers.

For example, some providers don’t offer any face-to-face teaching, meaning if you sign up for an online course and struggle with the independent study, there’s no way to upgrade your course for extra contact time.

A good training provider will offer a range of ways to contact their tutors, such as by:

  • Email
  • Phone call
  • Live chat

However, others only allow students to communicate with staff via email. This means they can often take days to reply!

These variances in contact time can really determine the value of a course, meaning it's certainly something to consider when picking the best personal training provider for you.

As well as this, you should also check out personal trainer course reviews to see about the availability of tutors via these contact methods.

Everybody wants to find a great provider they can easily communicate with. However, if those tutors are only available on weekdays between 9 and 5, it probably isn’t the best personal trainer course for anybody looking to study on evenings and weekends.

#5 - Career Support

One of the most common questions we get asked is what kind of career support is offered once students finish the course.

The reason this question is asked time and time again is because it’s very important to a student’s initial success within the industry. 

A company’s support can act as a catalyst for a sustainable and successful career in the world of health and fitness. 

Career support massively varies between course providers. Some have absolutely no career support options, while others offer an extensive range of services such as:

  • CV Analysis
  • Guaranteed interviews
  • Career guidance
  • Dedicated post-course support

The most important question to consider is where you want to be when you’re qualified. Only then can you relate it to the career support you want and will benefit from. 

For example, if you know you want to become a freelance personal trainer straight from the get-go, you need to consider whether a course will offer any advice or support with business, sales, and marketing your personal trainer business.

Before picking a course, search the internet for a range of personal training course reviews and ask course providers directly about the level of support they offer. 

Something to bear in mind is that good career services will cost providers a lot of money. Cheap course providers will probably cut this added extra to save themselves some cash!

 

#6 - Tutors & Staff Knowledge

If you’re planning on paying for a classroom-based course or wanting to train with a 1-on-1 mentor, some things you’ll want find out are: 

  • Who is teaching the course
  • What credibility do they possess
  • What qualifications or experience do they have

If post-course support is something that attracted you when looking through personal training course reviews, don’t be afraid to ask some questions! 

Find out about who runs the service, and what qualifications or experience they have that make them an expert in providing career advice and guidance.

 - - - -

Want to know more about the process of getting qualified as a PT? Check out the following articles:

 

Start Your Career As A Personal Trainer

Become a qualified Personal Trainer with OriGym today!

#7 - Resources

As we mentioned when discussing study methods, we all learn and retain information in different ways. 

Resources you find most beneficial may not necessarily help another student. That’s fine, as long as you choose a course that provides the right resources and teaching methods to suit your preferences.

It’s important you know the resources you'll be working with to complete your qualification effectively - never assume the type of resource you’ll be given. 

This is especially true when comparing online personal trainer courses, as the phrase ‘e-learning’ is very broad. 

The last thing you want is to sign up for an e-learning course, only to learn their ‘resources’ consist of a link to a Dropbox file of PDFs.

To give you an idea of what you should expect from a good course provider, these are some of the resources available to OriGym’s online students:

  • E-Books & Electronic Manuals
  • Access to an Award Nominated Interactive Learning Platform
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Online Lectures
  • Videos Tutorials for Guidance and Demonstration

The quality of the resources for the best certified personal trainer course says a lot about the professionalism and commitment they provide to their students, meaning it’s a big indicator of value!

#8 - Trusted Providers

Personal trainer courses reviews

All too often students come to us after having lost out on money by choosing a course provider that has either gone out of business or simply not provided the service the student signed up for.

This situation can be avoided by simply doing some research into the trustworthiness of a course provider.

Seeing as you’re here looking for a rundown of the best personal trainer courses compared, you’re already on the right track.

Here are 2 ways to do your own trust check!

Research Personal Training Course Providers

Personal training courses compared

The large majority of the best personal trainer course providers fall under the banner of Limited Companies, meaning their company house information is readily available online.

This is really useful as you can see how long the company has been operating and whether they have had any outstanding court cases or financial problems.

Knowing a company is being run correctly and has been operating successfully for a number of years provides peace of mind that it’s unlikely to go into liquidation or you’ll lose money.

You can find all the necessary information through the UK Government’s limited company database service.

 

Governing Body

PT courses compared

As mentioned earlier, it's imperative you choose a personal trainer course that is regulated by the appropriate awarding bodies and accredited by CIMSPA.

If you’re unsure about the credibility of a company and whether they’re accredited, you can always check them out on the CIMSPA directory

Alternatively, you can go straight to the governing body and find out the company’s test centre number as this information is readily available within the public domain.

 

#9 - Check the Small Print

When looking at the best courses to become a personal trainer, always remember that every provider is trying to sell to you. 

Regardless of whether you speak to a careers advisor or a member of the enrollment team, the individual is trying to sign you up for their company's fitness course.

The last thing you want is to be hit with a hidden charge when you’ve already paid anywhere up to £3000 for a course. 

#10 - Personal Trainer Course Cost

Personal trainer course reviews

By now, you should have a pretty good idea of the criteria the best personal trainer courses should meet. However, you might be wondering how you can choose between course providers when they all satisfy the requirements above.

Personal training course costs greatly vary, with providers charging anywhere between £1000 and £5000. On average, a personal trainer course costs between £1500 and £2000.

Best uk personal trainer courses

As you can see, OriGym sits below this average cost.

Cheap courses or expensive courses don’t always mean value for money. Although a cheaper course may be within your budget, these may have hidden costs you’re only aware of after you’ve signed up. 

As long as you’re happy all of the above criteria is met, the provider is trustworthy and offers all of the additional services you want, you can use prices to help you determine the best personal training course for you.

 

Start Your Career As A Personal Trainer

Become a qualified Personal Trainer with OriGym today!

#11 - Financing & Payment Plans

Personal trainer courses reviews

While some people are lucky enough to be able to pay the full price of their course upfront, not everybody has the option to do that.

If you need a payment plan in order to be able to afford a personal training course right now, this is certainly something to consider when examining the best courses to become a personal trainer.

Some training providers charge interest on repayment and this can be as high as 39% APR! For reference, this would mean that a course that should cost £2000 would now cost upwards of £2780.

Others will also ask to run a credit check, or will require a guarantor before allowing you to enrol on the course.

Paying a large percentage of interest is enough to turn what would be a great quality PT course into an overpriced option that can easily be beaten on price by a different provider!

Our advice would be to look for training providers offering interest-free, flexible payment plans!

#12 - Fitness CPDs & Additional Courses

 Personal trainer courses compared

One final thing to look out for when conducting your personal training course comparison research is what other learning modules and additional qualifications a provider will offer you alongside your Personal Training Diploma.

Many people see ‘certificate in personal training’ and assume it means every provider is offering the same qualification. The reality is every provider has to offer a minimum of ten modules in order to adhere to governing body regulations.

These core modules include: 

  • Understanding of Nutrition
  • Principles of Exercise
  • Anatomy & Physiology

Some course providers go one step further, offering added value through free Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Fitness Courses.

CPD courses such as a Group Training or Circuit Training CPD are fundamental for personal trainers to build their knowledge and progress in their career.

By studying these different kinds of training, a fitness professional is able to create variety in their sessions and may even find a niche - a really effective personal training marketing strategy!

Before You Go!

After checking out our data on the best personal training courses, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you!

But if you’re still struggling to decide, OriGym’s Personal Trainer Diploma will help put you on the path towards your dream career.

Alternatively, see what else we have on offer by downloading our course prospectus here, or enter your details below.

Written by Luke Hughes

CEO and Co-Founder

Join Luke on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Luke is the CEO and Co-Founder of OriGym. Holding a first-class degree in Sport and Exercise and an MSc in Sport and Nutrition, he is also qualified as a Level 4 Personal Trainer with various specialist credentials covering the entire spectrum of health, fitness and business. Luke has contributed to a variety of major industry publications, including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro, Cosmopolitan, The Mirror, The Sun, The Standard and more.

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