Best Personal Training Courses in the UK

In this article, we compare the best personal training courses in the UK looking at key criteria such as accreditations, the quality of learning resources, career services and payment options. Following this, you will be able to make an informed decision on who you wish to qualify with.

You can also check out our YouTube video below, discussing this very topic:

If you’re already set on a specific training provider and would like to know what comes next, then check out our detailed guide on ‘how to become a Personal Trainer’.

Alternatively, you can enquire about OriGym’s Personal Training Diploma today and learn first-hand why we’re the highest-rated provider in the UK!

The Best Personal Training Courses in The UK Compared:

 Let’s look at each of these factors in detail and discuss how they shape the overall quality of a personal training course in a cap and gown

When questioning ‘what is the best personal training course?’ newcomers often make the mistake of not conducting research into the wider market. Typically, first-time students will opt for a qualification because it has the highest reviews, whilst others will go for the cheapest option. 

Whilst these are important factors to consider, you also need to question:

  • Is the course regulated and accredited by authoritative/governing bodies? 
  • How long will the course take to complete? 
  • Will I receive career support following completion? 
  • Are there any additional fees I should be aware of?
  • How will I be required to pay for my course?

To help aspiring students choose the right qualification for their needs, we have conducted research into 8 of the UK’s top vocational training providers. 

The table below compares personal training courses, specifically focusing on many of the aforementioned factors that can shape a student’s overall experience, both during and after their qualification:

Comparing the best certification course for becoming a personal trainer

Let’s look at each of these factors in detail and discuss how they shape the overall quality of a personal training course.

What Factors Make ‘The Best Personal Training Courses’ Legitimate? 

certified best personal trainer course graphic

There are two qualifications that you need to obtain in order to become a personal trainer in the UK. 

The first is a Level 2 Fitness Instructor certification, which acts as a mandatory prerequisite before you can move on to complete a Level 3 Personal Training course. 

Many providers, including OriGym, will often package these two qualifications together in the form of a Personal Training Diploma. If all these different names and terms sound confusing, check out our breakdown of the different personal training levels here!

When researching the best personal training courses in the UK there are a number of factors that will determine whether or not the qualification meets the industry standards. Let’s take a closer look at each of these influences:

1 - Awarding/Governing Bodies 

best uk personal trainer course awarding bodies

There are 4 major awarding bodies (otherwise known as governing bodies) that specialise in personal training in the UK:

  • Focus Awards
  • YMCA Awards
  • Active IQ
  • NCFE

These awarding bodies have certified over 90% of the UK’s personal training market. With the other 10% receiving their awards from smaller, independent organisations.  

When you complete your personal training qualification, the awarding body will appear on the certificate - Not your training provider. 

The best personal training courses will always be awarded by legitimate governing bodies. Whilst employers won’t prioritise one organisation over the other, they will always check the legitimacy of your certificate before hiring you!

2 - Ofqual-Regulation 

PT certificate PT courses compared graphic

Ofqual (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) is the sister organisation of Ofstead and is responsible for regulating all vocational training qualifications in the UK.

Whilst the qualification itself is delivered by a training provider, it’s Ofqual that dictates:

  • The course’s content 
  • How the course is taught 
  • How students are assessed 
  • How the curriculum is scheduled

The purpose of Ofqual is to ensure uniformity across the personal training industry. This means that regardless of which provider a student chooses, they will still receive the same education to meet a national standard - e.g. a Level 3 qualification will always be labelled with ‘Level 3’.

All awarding bodies must report to Ofqual, who then catalogues those that are regulated in their official registerFor example, Focus Awards’ Level 3 Personal Training Certificate can be found on this register, which is the course we offer at OriGym.

Best Level 3 Personal Trainer Course Awarding Body List

Think of this register as a vital tool for seeing whether your chosen qualification is regarded as one of the best personal training courses in the UK.

3 - CIMSPA Endorsement

CIMSPA pt courses compared uk graphic

The best personal training courses in the UK will all be endorsed by CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity). This independent institute is backed by Sports England, to help set the standard for those entering the fitness industry.

On CIMSPA’s website they clearly state their mission is to:

...shape a respected, regulated and recognised sector that everyone wants to be a part of, and that others are confident interacting with

CIMSPA is committed to supporting, developing and enabling fitness professionals. This is achieved by ensuring that training providers meet and uphold standards that guarantee their student's success. 

When determining which personal training course is best for you, be on the lookout for CIMSPA’s logo on a training provider’s website. Alternatively, use their partner directory to see whether a provider is endorsed:

The Best Personal Training courses CIMSPA Partners

The example given above clearly shows OriGym to be a recognised CIMSPA partner, ensuring that our Personal Trainer course is fully endorsed. 

To learn more about this independent institute and why its endorsement is so important, check out our article discussing ‘What is CIMSPA’.

When looking for the best certification course for becoming a personal trainer you cannot compromise on these three factors! 

If a course is not awarded by a governing body, Ofqual regulated or endorsed by CIMSPA, then it likely won’t be considered by employers. Take a look at this job advertisement below, which clearly states candidates must hold a CIMSPA-recognised qualification:

What is the Best Personal Training Qualification to get a job

In short, if your qualification does not meet these standards you’ll likely struggle to find employment.

Now that these necessities have been established, let’s look at other factors to consider when determining the best Level 3 personal trainer course for you.


Kickstart a Successful Career as a PT

Enquire about OriGym's Personal Training Diploma to get started today! 

Does the Training Provider Offer Different Study Methods? 

Best UK Personal Training Qualification study methods

When choosing a provider for your personal training qualification you need to consider two things:

  • How do you want to study? - e.g. in-person, entirely online, or a combination of the two
  • How long do you want the qualification to take? - e.g. do you want to study self-paced or are you looking to meet a deadline?

No two students are the same and what works for one may not work for another. This is why the best personal training courses in the UK will offer multiple different learning methods.

At OriGym we’re aware that every student learns differently and will have commitments they wish to work around. This is why we offer multiple different study methods for all our personal training courses. 

For example, those enrolled on our Personal Training Diploma can choose from the following methods: 

  • Full-Time Learning - Ideal for students looking to learn in a classroom environment engaging with practical sessions and theoretical teaching. On average, this course is completed in 4 weeks.
  • Online Learning - Which is best suited for students who prefer learning independently with virtual resources. Whilst the average completion time is 16 weeks there are no required deadlines associated with this study method. 
  • Blended Learning - This combines practical workshops and online learning via our student zone platform. On average, students studying via complete this course in 8 weeks!  

Poor training providers won’t offer different study methods and will force students to comply with a training schedule that they have outlined. 

This can obviously cause disruptions to a student's life, who may have to put personal or professional obligations on hold to complete their assessments.

Who Will Be Leading Your Personal Training Course?

best certified personal trainer course tutors

The best personal training courses will be taught by fully qualified professionals who hold previous industry experience.

Said tutors will have been in their students' shoes prior to qualifying. They will therefore be able to provide insider teachings and support, to guide their students towards success. 

For example, at OriGym all our tutors hold qualifications relevant to the courses they teach. In addition to having years' worth of experience working in the health and fitness industry.

However, that’s not to say that all training providers will meet these standards. Some may hire unqualified individuals to simply mark their students' work, and provide generic feedback given to them from a handbook.

How Much Contact Do You Get with Course Tutors? 

Tutor Support on the Best Level 3 Personal Trainer Course

Speaking of feedback, you’ll want to compare the amount of contact you can make with your tutors prior to enrolling on a course.

Tutor support can make all the difference when earning your qualification, and can be the difference between passing or failing an assessment. 

Regardless of your chosen study method, the best personal training course provider will make it easy for you to reach out to tutors with any questions regarding your qualifications.

For example, at OriGym our students can talk to tutors 7 days a week, via:

  • Phone
  • Email 
  • Chatbox 

Other training providers don’t offer this same luxury and may restrict clients to a specific mode of contact, or take a certain amount of days to reply to an enquiry.

Are The Personal Training Provider’s Resources of High Quality? 

the best personal training certification graphic

When comparing the best level 3 personal trainer courses you also need to consider the quality of the qualifications’ resources, as this can affect your learning experience. 

For example, some providers may advertise their resources in a positive light but will then send their online students a PDF course pack and nothing else. 

Whereas the best certified personal trainer courses will take a more nurturing approach and will deliver their online courses virtually through an interactive platform. This is what we do at OriGym, and our E-Learning platform is packed with resources to aid in our student’s future success, including:

  • Virtual course modules 
  • Interactive quizzes
  • Videos
  • Online lectures
  • eBooks

This ensures that all students will get the same quality of education, regardless of how they study. But if you’d like to learn more about how exactly these resources benefit your education, check out our article discussing ‘What Does a Personal Training Course Involve?’.

Be sure to conduct your own research into a course provider prior to enrolment, in order to determine the quality of their resources. One way to do this is to check what other students have to say! 


Kickstart a Successful Career as a PT

Enquire about OriGym's Personal Training Diploma to get started today! 

Is the Location of the Personal Training Course Accessible?

The Best Personal Training courses are accessible

You’ll also want to make sure that any practical elements of your course can be completed from an accessible location.

Some training providers don’t take this into consideration and will only have one fixed location. This means some students will be forced to travel to this specific venue in order to complete their course, regardless of how far it is.

As one of the best Level 3 personal trainer course providers, OriGym has multiple locations across the UK. This makes practical assessments and workshops more accessible to students and reduces the distance they’ll have to travel.

How Can Personal Trainer Course Reviews Help Determine Which Course is Best for You?

Reviews determine the Best Personal Trainer Course

By comparing personal trainer course reviews from previous students you can determine whether a training provider is of high standards.

Through conducting this research, you can read first-hand accounts of students who have been in similar situations, and even discover whether the training provider fails to deliver services as advertised. 

When looking for personal training course reviews, want to look at sites that can guarantee reliable/impartial comments, such as 

With both of these sites, you have to be a verified customer to leave a review. This reduces falsified information being spread and allows you to make an informed decision based on facts.

When using these sites to directly compare the best personal training courses in the UK, you could use their star ratings as a simple method of reviewing quality. For example, you’ll see that OriGym has over 2,000 5-star reviews, which makes us the highest-rated training provider in the UK.

Should you have a specific question about the course, you could even use Truspilot’s advanced search tool and look up reviews that use key phrases or terms.

The Best Personal Trainer Course Provider Will Offer Career Support

Tutor shakes hand with student following mock interview

When comparing ‘what is the best company to do a personal training course with?’, you should also consider what services are provided after you qualify. 

The best qualification providers will prioritise their students' education and future success, going the extra mile to provide career services that prepare graduates to work in the industry. 

For example, OriGym offers graduates:

  • CV analysis and distribution
  • Mock interviews 
  • A free marketing & business course
  • Guaranteed job interviews with corporate partners
  • Alumni discounts on industry-leading products

These services have helped over 92% of OriGym students find employment in the industry! 

But not every training provider offers these services to graduates, some won't even contact students following the completion of their course. As a result, these individuals may struggle to find employment, especially if they have no previous experience in the industry. 

How to Get Value for Money from Your Personal Training Course Provider!

What Is The Best Personal Training Course Price?

For some, the best personal training course in the UK will be the cheapest option. However, there is no use in saving money if you’re going to get sub-par training and many of these ‘cheap’ or ‘free’ qualifications will fail to meet the standards discussed throughout this article. 

Instead, you should opt for a cost-effective course that provides you with all the aforementioned services. We’ve conducted our own independent research into the price of the best personal training courses in the UK. 

Here you can see that OriGym is a cost-effective alternative, which meets and exceeds industry standards, never compromising on the quality of our qualifications.

Best UK Personal Training Qualifications Cost Compared

The providers that charge higher fees will do so for a variety of reasons. For example, some may want to create a feeling of luxury surrounding their qualifications and believe an effective way of doing this is to increase the price.

In addition to this, these expensive providers will typically accept a government ‘Advanced Learner Loan’ as a form of funding. For some, this justifies the higher price, but be aware that accepting this loan will come at an additional cost to students.

Whilst these loans may be initially ‘free’ you will be expected to pay it back and interest will occur from the moment you complete the qualification -  the total fee will be based on inflation and currently sits at 3% RPI. 

Check out this article on Government Funded Personal Training qualifications, to learn more about why these courses aren’t as beneficial as they appear.

Top Tip: Check the Provider’s Financing and Payment Plan Options

Best Personal Training Courses Offer Payment Options

Government funding isn’t the only financial assistance available to students. When deciding which personal training course is best for your personal circumstances, you also could opt for a provider that offers payment plans.  

This approach allows you to spread the cost of the course into small manageable chunks, rather than paying upfront and in full as soon as you enrol. At OriGym we believe in making our qualifications as accessible as possible, which is why our students can set a payment plan at 0% interest! 

But be aware, not every training provider will offer this option and even if some do, they may charge interest over the course of time!

Extra Costs to Consider When Choosing the Best Personal Trainer Courses 

Best Personal Training Course UK Finance options 2 

When considering the cost of a personal training course, you need to be aware that some providers will charge you excess/hidden fees for specific services. For this reason, we’d advise you to conduct thorough research prior to choosing a provider.

For example, some training providers may charge extra for the likes of:

  • Exams 
  • Resits 
  • Certification fees - Such as producing the certificate itself
  • Admin fees - Such as processing the qualification 

Some courses that may initially seem cheap could be plagued with these hidden costs, which drastically increase the price. 

But rest assured, OriGym doesn’t charge any additional fees for these aforementioned services. For example, we offer all our students free unlimited resits on all exams and assessments, as no one should be penalised in this manner!

We do this for transparency, as we believe that the price you’re quoted is the price that you should pay!


Kickstart a Successful Career as a PT

Enquire about OriGym's Personal Training Diploma to get started today! 


Before You Go!

Remember, when comparing the best personal training courses in the UK, you should opt for a provider that offers a plethora of services to guarantee your future success. 

OriGym offers this level of support and has helped 92% of graduates find employment. If you want to be a part of this impressive stat, enquire about our Personal Training Diploma today!

Alternatively, download our FREE course prospectus to learn more about our qualifications.

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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