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Personal Training College Courses VS Private Providers

Personal Training College Courses vs Private Providers_Banner_

Knowing the differences between personal training college courses vs private providers will allow you to decide which avenue is best for you. To help you this process, this article will cover: 

Did you know that OriGym is a private provider where you can qualify in as little as 4 weeks with a Level 3 Personal Trainer Diploma? Alternatively, download our FREE prospectus to learn more about our other qualifications.

What Are Personal Training College Courses?

What Are Personal Training College Courses

As the name suggests, personal training college courses are run by educational bodies, typically catering to students aged 16+. 

The purpose behind these courses is to advance the student’s knowledge of health and fitness, preparing them for a future career as a PT. This is achieved through varied teaching techniques which integrate both theory and practice.

Following the completion of these college courses, students will successfully earn a Level 3 personal training qualification - the minimum requirement to become a personal trainer.

For reference, every Level 3 personal training qualification in the UK will be regulated by Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation), who ensure that both college courses and private providers adhere to a pre-approved curriculum. 

Ofqual College courses for personal training

This guarantees that every personal trainer is trained to the appropriate industry standard, covering modules such as:

  • 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

Note - Just because all Ofqual approved courses in the UK adhere to these guidelines does not mean that they are all identical! 

In truth, it’s difficult to give a general estimation of what you can expect to learn on college courses for personal training. This is due to the fact that every institution will follow a bespoke syllabus, specifically created for their students. 

learning College course for personal trainer

To understand this, take a look at how personal training college courses at Liverpool’s Hugh Baird differs from one at The Manchester College.

In the first screenshot below, you can that Liverpool’s Hugh Baird College offers an expansive syllabus, covering several different modules:

Training courses for personal trainers

Compare this to the more condensed syllabus offered by The Manchester College, which specifically focuses on 4 mandatory modules:

personal training college courses vs private providers example

These differences highlight why you should always conduct research into different college courses for personal training. Doing so will allow you to make an informed decision, regarding where you wish to study based on your preferred teaching style.

With all that being said, regardless of how different these courses are from one another, students who pass will always earn a Level 3 personal training qualification from their respective college

 

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Enrol on OriGym's Personal Training Diploma to kickstart your career! 

What Are Private Providers For Personal Trainers?

What Are Private Courses for Personal Trainers

Private providers such as OriGym offer vocational training to young people and adults looking to earn their Level 3 Personal Training Qualification.

When enrolled on these courses, aspiring personal trainers will learn vital skills and knowledge required to succeed in the job role. These will be acquired through both theory classes, as well as practical workshops led by existing industry professionals.

Much like college courses, private providers will also adhere to the same Ofqual regulations and set curriculum. This again ensures that every aspiring PT is trained to the same level, regardless of where they study.

When discussing personal training college courses vs private providers, one of the key differences between the two is how the programmes are delivered.

personal training college courses vs private providers delivery

Private providers are first and foremost selling a service, and will therefore want to attract as many customers as possible. To achieve this, they will typically deliver their qualifications in a variety of ways, in order to appeal to a wider range of individuals. 

For example, at OriGym we let our students choose how they study from the following options: 

  • Full-Time Course - This runs from Monday to Friday, 9am-5:30pm and is conducted from one of OriGym's private training centres. The full-time course combines both practical training sessions with classroom led theory teaching
  • Part-Time Course - Combines in-person practical workshops with learning from OriGym’s online learning platform.
  • Online Course - With no deadlines you can work on the qualification at your own pace using our online training platform! 

This differs from personal training courses at college, which will typically offer one study option that all students must adhere to - e.g. if the course is part-time you will have to study part time.

differs from personal training courses at college

In addition to this, private providers will also offer more options to develop your career once you’re a qualified personal trainer. For example, at OriGym we offer multiple specialist Level 4 qualifications including:

These specialist courses aren’t typically offered at colleges, meaning if you wish to advance your career as a PT, you’d need to go to a private provider regardless.

Private providers will also offer a stronger post-course support system, thanks to their specific fitness-based industry connections. For example, OriGym offers a guaranteed job interview with one of our partnered gyms, as well as guidance from our expert tutor team that can be accessed at any point in your career. 

Colleges may offer this service too, but will have to cater to a wider range of student’s interest. As a result, their contacts may be limited to some degree and could result in fewer employment opportunities. 

Entry Requirements for Personal Training College Courses vs Private Providers

Entry Requirements for Personal Training College Courses vs Private Providers

When comparing personal training college courses vs private providers one detail that needs to be looked at is a course’s entry requirements. These regulations will determine whether you are eligible for enrolment, so it’s important that you understand what is expected of you.

What Are The Entry Requirements for Personal Training Courses At Colleges?

Much like the overall delivery of the course, entry requirements will typically vary depending on which college personal training course you wish to enrol in.

For example, prior to enrolment on their Level 3 personal training course Coventry College requires applicants meet the following requirements: 

College course for personal trainer conventry

Whereas Wirral Metropolitan College's entry requirements differ as they simply ask their students to hold a minimum of 2 GCSEs:

Best personal training course provider Wirral

When looking for a suitable qualification you should also be aware that some institutions may place age restrictions on their training courses for personal trainers. 

For example, Blackpool & The Fylde College requires applicants to be aged 19 or over:

courses for personal training Blackpool

This specific entry requirements aren’t a common occurrence, as most colleges will accept applicants aged 16 and over. Should your desired course have an age restriction in place, this information will be prominently displayed on the appropriate page of their website.

What Are The Entry Requirements for Private Training Courses for Personal Trainers 

What Are The Entry Requirements for Private Training Courses for Personal Trainers

At OriGym we accept applicants aged 16+ onto all our courses, however, entry requirements will differ depending on what courses for personal training you wish to enrol in.

For example, if you wished to specifically enrol on the Level 3 Personal Training Course you would first need to complete a Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification.

Personal training courses college OriGym

Alternatively, you can enrol on the personal trainer diploma straight away, as this combines both the Level 2 Fitness Instructor and Level 3 PT qualifications. In turn, this will allow you to teach fitness classes, as well as creating bespoke training programmes for individual clients.

As mentioned within the previous section, private providers will also offer specialist Level 4 Courses Personal Trainer Courses for you to complete. The entry requirements for which can be found below:

  • Level 4 Lower Back Pain Management - Level 3 Personal Qualification as a minimum requirement 
  • Level 4 Obesity & Weight Management - Level 3 Personal Qualification as a minimum requirement 
  • Level 4 Diabetes Control & Weight Management - Level 3 Personal Qualification as a minimum requirement 
  • Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutritionist - No entry requirements Students Can Immediately Enrol

This isn’t to say that all private courses for personal training will follow the same outline as OriGym. When applying for any course, you should check the requirements to see if you are a suitable applicant.

To help you make the decision between personal training college courses vs private providers, check out these other OriGym articles:

Duration of College Courses for Personal Training vs Private Providers 

Best personal training course provider duration

When discussing the differences between personal training college courses vs private providers, the length of the course may also be a deciding factor on who you choose to study with. 

For example, some students may wish to get qualified as soon as possible, while others may prefer to extend their studying to fit around their existing lifestyle. 

What Is The Average Duration of College Personal Training Courses?

College Personal training courses duration

As you may expect from reading the previous sections, there is no ‘average’ duration of college personal training courses. Instead, you will notice that the time required to complete these qualifications can vary from one location to another.

For example, students at Worcestershire College will be able complete their Level 3 personal training qualification in as little as 22-weeks, studying 2 days a week on a part time basis:

Best personal training course provider college 22

In contrast, those who attend Cronton College will complete their course across an entire year:

personal training college courses vs private providers Cronton

There are a variety of factors that can influence the duration of college personal training courses. For example, students who study a qualification on a full-time basis will likely complete it before those on a part-time variation.

In addition to this, another factor that can influence duration of personal training courses at colleges is the size of the curriculum.

For instance, Cronton College combines both the Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 PT qualification. Students will therefore need more time to complete this compared to a course that is just teaching the Level 3 certificate.

Ultimately, the college will be in charge of deciding the duration of each course. As a student, you will have to comply with this dictated schedule and pace in order to pass your qualification. 

 

Enquire to Become a Personal Trainer

Enrol on OriGym's Personal Training Diploma to kickstart your career! 

What is The Average Duration of Private Training Courses for Personal Trainers?

What is The Average Duration of Private Training Courses for Personal Trainers

If you decide to opt for a private provider such as OriGym you will gain more control over the duration of your chosen PT course. 

This means that you can work to a schedule and pace that is comfortable for you, rather than conforming to a predetermined outline. 

Ultimately, the decision on how you wish to study will influence the duration of these private courses for personal training. For example, the average time to complete the Level 3 PT qualification is as followed:

College courses for personal training OriGym

  • Online - 12 Weeks (No deadlines, meaning you can work to your own pace)

These average times will differ should you decide to complete the combined Personal Trainer Diploma. Due to the fact you’ll be studying two qualifications the duration of this course will double:

  • Full-Time - 4 Weeks 
  • Part-Time - 12 Weeks 
  • Online - 24 Weeks (Again there are no deadlines associated with this study option)

Should you wish to have control over the duration of your personal training course, you should opt for a private provider over a college personal training course.

This flexibility is what makes OriGym one of the best personal training course providers in the UK. 

The Price of Private Providers vs Personal Training Courses at College

The Price of Private Providers vs Personal Training Courses at College

Money plays a large role in all of our lives, therefore when choosing between college courses vs private providers the overall price of a qualification could sway your final decision.

How Much Does a College Courses for Personal Training Cost?

For immediate clarity, certain students won’t have to pay any fees to attend personal training college courses. Typically, these exceptions will apply to those aged between 16-18, but other students can fall under this category too. 

For example, The City of Liverpool College allows students aged 19-23 to study for free, if they don’t have any prior A-Levels:

The Average Price of College Courses for Personal Training LCC

Not every college will offer this deal to students above the age of 18 - Be sure to read the ‘fees’ section of your chosen course, this will provide you with information on what you will pay for classes, if anything.

Due to the vast differences in how colleges operate, it’s hard to calculate an ‘average cost’ for personal training college courses. 

For example, at Southwest College all students, regardless of their age will have to pay a fee of £238.00 to just cover the exam/awarding body fee:

Personal training courses college SW

In contrast to this, all students at New City College in London will be expected to pay the total cost of the course - £1417.00:

College course for personal trainer Londom

Should you opt to study a personal training course at college, your chosen institution may be able to help pay these fees with financial support. 

Note - This financial aid won’t be available at every college. Those that do offer the support will have their own specific set of eligibility requirements.

For example, the aforementioned New City College offers both bursaries and ‘advanced learner loans’ to students that require support. However, in order to be eligible for this, students will need to fall into one of the following categories:

Training courses for personal trainers London example

In order to find the best personal training course provider for your needs, be sure to research multiple college’s financial support systems. This will help to narrow down what provider is right for you.

How Much Do Private Courses for Personal Trainers Cost?

Payment for private provider training course

When questioning ‘how much does it cost to become a personal trainer with private providers?’ be aware you will have to pay a set fee in whole, regardless of your age. 

The cost of these courses will vary depending on what provider you choose, for example at OriGym we charge £1099 for our Level 3 Personal Training Qualification. This comes with no hidden fees, and unlimited FREE resists! 

That’s not to say every personal training course at OriGym will cost the same price. Naturally, if you choose a combined course such as the Diploma in Personal Training you can expect to pay a higher price, as this contains more than qualification - e.g. in this instance you’re paying for BOTH Level 2 & 3.

When purchasing multiple courses it will work out cheaper to buy a package, rather than paying for each course separately. 

Take a look at the following screenshot, which shows how a package would cost £2,199.00 all together, rather than £3,396.00 for each course separately:

Master Package courses for personal training

At OriGym we know that courses for personal training are a large investment. For this reason, we offer 0% interest flexible payment plans for every one of our qualifications.   

This allows you to pay for your chosen qualification at a rate that’s financially comfortable for you, without worrying about hidden fees that build up over time.

 

Enquire to Become a Personal Trainer

Enrol on OriGym's Personal Training Diploma to kickstart your career! 

Progression Options Following Personal Training College Courses vs Private Providers

Progression Options for Personal Training College Courses vs Private Providers

When deciding between personal training college courses vs private providers you should also keep future career prospects at the forefront of your mind.

While there are many potential personal training career options available to you, some routes will only become possible upon the completion of further training with private providers.

As previously stated, at OriGym we offer several different specialist training qualifications such as:

Personal Training College Courses vs Private Providers career progress

These specialist qualifications can help you to incorporate additional services into your business. For example, an Advanced Sports Nutrition certificate will allow you to create meal plans that facilitate your client’s goals.

As a result, you may find that your PT business appeals to a wider demographic of clients, who are specifically interested in the new service you offer. 

These specialist courses aren’t typically taught in colleges, with the Level 3 PT qualification typically being the highest certification one can obtain when enrolled in these institutions. 

This means that if you want to progress your career as a personal trainer, you will have to enrol on these specialist courses with a private provider.

Before You Go! 

You will now be able to make an informed decision regarding personal training college courses vs private providers alternatives. Remember, to choose a qualification that suits your needs.

OriGym’s Personal Trainer Diploma is an ideal option for individuals who aren't qualified as a PT and are looking to kick-start their career in fitness. You can also download OriGym’s FREE prospectus here! 

Written by James Bickerstaff

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

James holds a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Film Studies and has recently gained a MA degree in Film, both of which he attained from Liverpool John Moores University. After taking up the couch to 5K challenge on a whim, James found a new passion for running, which he combines with his love for healthy cooking and writing. All of this led him to becoming a copywriter for OriGym.  

When he is not writing content for the site, James can be found researching new recipes, writing music reviews, reading and watching latest film releases.   

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