PFA Fitness Courses, Training & Funding Explained

PFA Fitness Courses, Training & Funding Explained

As a current or former footballer, taking the next step in your career is that much easier through PFA fitness courses.

For those looking to develop their career prospects with these courses, this article will cover:

But before we explore these sections, why not take a look at our PFA approved personal trainer courses? These courses, especially our Personal Trainer Diploma, are ideal to develop your career prospects, allowing you to branch into other areas of the fitness industry.

Download our course prospectus to find out more or enter your details below.

PFA Fitness Courses, Training & Funding Explained

pfa fitness courses

The Professional Football Association or PFA has a scheme for every current and former professional football player to retrain into new career paths, especially within the fitness industry.

On their website, the director of education for the PFA, Pat Lally, states: 

‘We believe every current and former professional football player should be able to access good-quality education for both personal development and enhanced career prospects’.

But how do you access this funding? Let’s find out!

How To Get PFA Funding: Are You Eligible?

pfa personal trainer courses

For those wondering how to get PFA funding to become a personal trainer, this isn’t able to be accessed by just anyone. You will need to establish your eligibility and ensure you’re registered as a member. 

If you’ve already completed this, you can skip to the next section to find out what you can receive funding for. 

The process of finding out whether you’re eligible for PFA funding can be broken down into two steps:

Step 1: If you’re a current or former football player, you should already have PFA membership. According to the PFA, if you’re at a Premier League, FA WSL, or English Football League club on a full contract, your club delegate and club secretary will coordinate your annual PFA membership.

To become eligible, you will pay a one-off £20 joining fee. A membership fee of £150 for professional players, and £20 for scholars, will then be paid for every season you remain as a professional football player. Even after your professional career is over, you’ll have lifetime access as a member after joining the PFA.

pfa fitness course funding options

Step 2: Next, you will need to speak with the PFA to ascertain your PFA number (if you don’t already know it). This is an individual number issued to each current and former professional football player, and is required for the PFA funding application forms.

If you’re unsure about your number, you can speak to the team about any membership queries here.

As long as you’ve been registered and given a PFA number, you will be eligible for funding for approved PFA fitness courses.


Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym

Develop an exciting career by expanding your skills and knowledge with our Personal Trainer Diploma!

What PFA Training Can I Receive Funding For?

how to get pfa funding

Whether you’re looking for a backup plan to your football career, have sustained a career ending injury, or have just retired from the game, the PFA funds all types of career paths.

The types of funding the PFA offers include:

  • PFA Education Grants - These are paid on completion of your course, once certificates and receipts are provided.
  • University Bursaries - To access this, you must submit a claim during each academic year of your course, supply proof of your enrolment, and confirm receipt of any student loans or scholarships.
  • Unemployment Financial Assistance - You must be registered as unemployed to be entitled to assistance towards your education from the PFA.

Sport-related courses that are eligible for PFA funding, and that ultimately lead to the highest paying fitness jobs, include:

pfa courses study

While the PFA provides additional funding for courses designed especially for athletes, other less sport-related courses that the PFA can help fund are:

  • Teaching
  • Locksmithing
  • Accountancy 
  • Financial Advisor

However, any courses you’re looking to receive PFA funding for must be a regulated qualification, approved for academic or vocational delivery. 

Qualifications, examinations, and assessments in England should be regulated by Ofqual to ensure they meet high quality standards. 

For example, OriGym’s PFA personal trainer courses are regulated by Ofqual and fully endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sports and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). 

Being endorsed by CIMSPA, the professional development body for health and fitness, means the course meets industry standards.

By having these endorsements and accreditations, we more than meet the guidelines set out by the Professional Football Association.

Where To Find A PFA Training Provider

pfa training course location

When reviewing the right PFA course and training, here is our checklist of questions to ask yourself to help with your decision:

  • Are they an approved supplier of the PFA?
  • Where is the course located?
  • Does the study method suit my learning style? Some providers may only offer full time classes (which isn’t ideal if you’re still working) or solely online study, which may not be suitable if you prefer in person learning.
  • Will it fit around my other life commitments? You should check if the provider allows for part time or online study, meaning you can be more flexible with your time.
  • How long is the course? Would you prefer the course to be completed in a matter of weeks or stretched out over a few months?
  • What qualifications and accreditations will I gain?
  • What level of support will I receive both during and after the course? Some providers may give you 24/7 support through phone or email, while others may only offer in person contact.
  • What are their online reviews like? Use trusted sources like TrustPilot and Google Reviews to find the right PFA course provider for you.

Thinking about these questions in detail, and checking out our comparison of the best personal training courses, will make it easier for you to settle on your ideal PFA training provider.

As an official supplier to the Professional Football Association, we provide a range of PFA training courses that can be studied around your football career and lead to a rewarding personal trainer salary.

We also offer support and guidance 7 days a week, alongside learning venues in 12 different cities across the UK.


Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym

Develop an exciting career by expanding your skills and knowledge with our Personal Trainer Diploma!

How Much Of My PFA Personal Training Course Will I Get Funded?

pfa education grant

All those who are eligible for funding will receive it, however the amount will vary between individuals. Your employment status will determine how much funding you receive for your PFA fitness courses.

If you’re registered as unemployed, the PFA will offer extra forms of financial support. Those who are employed are entitled to £2000 of funding each year, capped at a lifetime amount of £7500.

All PFA course grants should be submitted within six months of completing the course. Funding will not cover these costs if they’re applied for too late. However, you will still have access to the full amount of financial support for a new accredited course. 

The PFA financial year runs from July 1st to June 30th, meaning university claims must be made during the academic year before the cutoff point at the end of June.

To help you understand the criteria and guidelines for all PFA funding, let’s break these down!

Grant Funding For PFA Fitness Courses If You’re Playing Football Professionally Or Employed

  • All current players are eligible for funding to cover half of their PFA personal trainer course fees.
  • Members can claim a maximum of £2000 within a PFA financial year (1st July - 30th June)
  • Education funding is capped at a lifetime amount of £7500 for each member.
  • Any claims for PFA funding must be made within 6 months of the course end date.
  • The PFA fitness courses must initially be paid for yourself. Only once you’ve completed the course and received a certificate of achievement will you be eligible for the agreed amount.
  • This will be arranged by bank transfer once confirmation has been given by the training provider.

pfa training

PFA Funding For Ex-Players Who Are Unemployed Or Retired

  • An enhanced rate of funding may be available for members who are registered unemployed and in receipt of benefits.
  • Evidence of this unemployment must be provided, along with details of the PFA fitness course you would like to undertake.
  • This enhanced rate of PFA funding may be up to 100%, provided you can give evidence. This could be a letter from your Job Centre to confirm you’re unemployed.
  • This amount will differ between individuals as your request will be put to the Trustees to establish the level of grant.
  • The amount will be paid by the PFA directly to the training provider on your behalf.

University Bursaries For PFA Members

  • University funding is available upon enrolment.
  • Members attending University can apply for a bursary of £1250 per year
  • There is a maximum ‘lifetime’ grant of £300 towards book costs and these claims may be made upon purchase.
  • If you have purchased books online, postage fees will NOT be refunded.
  • The PFA does not cover private tuition fees.

The PFA states that their funding criteria and levels of funding are subject to regular reviews. Grant payments may vary over time, meaning the information on their grant funding application forms should not be viewed as a definitive guide.

How To Apply For PFA Course Funding

apply for pfa funding

Once you’ve decided on the most suitable PFA fitness course, you can start the grant application process.

In order to obtain the grant for your PFA fitness course, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Start by filling in your PFA education grant application form. This can be found here.
  2. If you’re employed, they’ll require you to send a receipt of payment for your PFA personal trainer course as proof. These receipts need to be official receipts from your training organisation. Handwritten receipts or invoices will be rejected. If you’re unemployed, you will also need proof of this, such as confirmation of you signing on from your Jobcentre.
  3. If you have established a payment plan with a provider for your PFA fitness course, you will need to show receipt for all course payments in order for them to process your funding for you.
  4. Send a copy of your certificate confirming completion of the PFA personal training course.

Key Points To Be Aware Of With Your PFA Training

pfa fitness courses funding

  • Understanding The PFA’s Funding Limit: Each member can access up to £2000 every year for an accredited course. PFA funding grants are capped at a lifetime amount of £7500. For example, at £1,299, OriGym’s Personal Trainer Diploma will be fully covered by this funding.
  • Sending Documents To Receive Funding For PFA Fitness Courses: When sending off academic documents as evidence for your PFA fitness courses, only send copies of documents, not originals. For PFA education grants, official receipts or bank statements must be sent to confirm you have paid the training in full. You must also send a photocopy of your certificate or licence as evidence of course completion. For university bursaries, you must send a copy of your official letter of enrolment for the appropriate academic year, and a copy of your Student Loan confirmation letter or receipts.
  • No Longer Playing In The Football League: If you’re a former Premier League, FA WSL, or English Football League player but are now retired or playing semi-professional, you’re still entitled to get your PFA courses funded.
  • Retrospective Claims For PFA Funding: Even if you’re a member and have all the relevant documentation, the PFA are unable to fund your course retrospectively if you were unaware of the available education grants and bursaries. Funding claims must be made within 6 months of completing the course.
  • PFA Funding Guidelines On Added Expenses: If you incur additional costs on your PFA personal trainer courses, you cannot claim this money back. Costs such as accommodation, travel, uniform, kit, postage, and charges applied by the provider through their terms of service won’t be covered. However, university students may receive a ‘lifetime’ grant of £300 to cover book costs.

Before You Go!

Now you know the process for gaining funding for PFA fitness courses, it’s time to further develop your career in the fitness industry. 

Get started with our personal training courses, especially our Personal Trainer Diploma. This is ideal for helping you branch out into other areas of the fitness industry and further your career prospects.

Find out more about this exciting opportunity by downloading our course prospectus!

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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