Level 3 Exercise Referral Course

Level 3 Exercise Referral Course

Exercise referral is exercise specially tailored to help those with chronic physical conditions or illnesses to improve their health and wellbeing.

The Level 3 Exercise Referral course from OriGym has been carefully built around helping you to help others improve their quality of life. What can follow is a well-paid, enjoyable and incredibly rewarding career. Find out more about the Level 3 Exercise Referral qualification by making an enquiry or downloading our latest prospectus.

Make an enquiry about this course


The Level 3 Exercise Referral course from OriGym will introduce brand new skills and knowledge, while helping you fine-tune your understanding of the most important areas in helping people recover from illnesses and improve their wellbeing.

Understanding Appropriate Exercises

Everyone is different and, as an exercise referral professional, you will work with a wide range of different clients, each with very specific needs and difficulties. You will learn how to tailor plans and exercise strategies to a wide range of medical conditions.

Understanding Medical Conditions

A solid understanding of the various medical conditions you may encounter is central to a career as an exercise referral professional. This course will improve your understanding of a broad variety of conditions that you may encounter.

Understanding Nutrition

Nutrition is important for any fitness client, but for exercise referral clients, it is paramount. This course will show you how to apply the principles of fitness nutrition to a range of medical conditions. 

Understanding Communication

A successful exercise referral professional must be highly proficient in communication and able to offer support, guidance and motivation to clients who may be struggling with severe difficulties. This course will help you hone your communications skills to offer the best support and help possible. 

Understanding the Healthcare System

As an exercise referral professional, you will need to understand how the current UK healthcare system works. 

How You Will Learn

The Level 3 Exercise Referral course is taught exclusively online, not including practical assessments. This means you can learn at a pace and schedule that suits you and your personal timetable. 

As an OriGym student, you can take advantage of a massive library of e-learning resources, including videos, online lectures, interactive e-learning and e-books, as well as dedicated 7 days a week support from our experienced tutors, all of whom will specialise in your area of study.


The assessment process for the Level 3 Exercise Referral course with OriGym is as follows: 

  • Multiple choice open book online exam on anatomy and physiology - 90% pass mark required
  • Multiple choice open book online paper on the application of nutrition - 90% pass mark required
  • Practical assessment on delivering a programme for a patient of exercise referral 

The theory papers for the exercise referral course include some that are featured in our Level 3 Personal Trainer courses, therefore students who have already gained these qualifications would be exempt from any theory papers they have already completed. The coursework and final practical assessment would still be required.


The OriGym Exercise Referral course is a Level 3 course, therefore, you must have achieved a Level 2 qualification before enrolling. It is recommended that you have a Level 3 qualification too; however, this is not mandatory.

If you do not have a Level 3 qualification, you will be required to add additional modules: Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology and Level 3 Nutrition for Physical Activity.

You must also be at least 16 years of age to enrol.


This Level 3 Exercise Referral course is fully recognised and accredited by the following bodies:

  • REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals)
  • CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity)

At OriGym we do not believe in charging our students extra to re-sit an assessment, whether theory or practical. Our aim is to get you qualified. Re-sits are therefore free. That being said, if you're an online gym instructing or personal training student and fail your practical assessment, you must attend a practical based workshop (Workshop 3) held out of one of our 12 National assessment centres to help prepare you for the practical re-assessment.

All practical and externally sat theory exams must be rebooked and can not be re-taken on the same day.

Certificates are posted within 6 weeks of course completion, providing you have paid off your course balance.

If you are on a payment plan for the course, you will be sent an electronic copy confirmation to help you gain employment until your course balance has been paid. We may release some qualifications of larger packages prior to completion.

To enrol in any course in the OriGym prospectus, you must be at least 16 years of age.

You can take up to 2 years to complete each individual Level 2, 3 or 4 course. For a Personal Training Diploma (which combines a Level 2 and Level 3 course), you would have 4 years. Should this time expire, you would need to pay for re-registration; however, this has never happened to a student thus far.

CPD Fitness Courses do not have an expiry date.

Qualifications obtained through OriGym are qualifications for life. 

Occasionally changes set by Ofqual may require qualifications to be updated. In this instance you can simply come back and pay for the extra modules required, without having to retake the whole course. This only tends to happen once every 15 years.

If you enrol in a full-time course and wish to switch start dates, you may do so free of charge, providing you give 48-hours before the course commences. You may only switch if the new course has space to accommodate you. This only applies to Level 2 and Level 3 full-time courses, as these are the courses with specific start dates.

There are no compulsory additional fees to pay for your course with OriGym. If you book a workshop or assessment and do not cancel within the cancellation period, you will be charged a £25 fee as this prevents access for other students. Should you book a CPD course, these can not be cancelled and you will lose the CPD from your account.

There are no other admin fees for assessments, certification fees, registration or any other fees hidden within our terms of service.

The majority of degrees will be missing some core modules or practical component that do not map across to National Occupational Standards. Some modules may be skipped under ‘recognition of prior achievement’ (RPA) and ‘recognition of prior learning’ (RPL). 

This must be evidenced against governing body requirements and can take time. The process of RPL can often take far more time than simply completing the modules required, which is why students often elect to simply take the modules as part of the course they are taking.

You can start training clients as soon as your qualifications have been obtained and your insurance documents have come through. The necessary insurance vaires depending on what kind of training you are specialising in.

OriGym reports to two governing bodies: NCFE and Focus Awards.

We are a fully accredited provider and out courses are recognised by REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals) and we are a CIMSPA endorsed provider and partner. All our qualifications are internationally recognised and fully regulated by Ofqual (government).

OriGym is proud to qualify 4,000 fitness professionals each year. We also successfully place over 80% of students in job roles right after qualifying; that is the highest rate in the industry. We are also ISO9001 certified and are one of only a handful of providers to hold this worldwide certificate of excellence. 

We are official partners with the Ministry of Defence, we run courses for QMU University, and also run the Academy for Sports Direct & Sweat Union Gyms and are proud partners of over 200 fitness brands worldwide. We were recently nominated by the Active Training Awards, the biggest awards ceremony in the UK, for ‘most innovative training provider of the year’ and ‘training provider of the year’.

If you are still not convinced, check out our reviews on a neutral platform like Google, Facebook and Trustpilot, where we have hundreds of reviews from very satisfied customers.

All course enrolments are performed over the phone. This is so we can ensure you enrol onto the right course package for you and don’t miss out on any promotional offers running at the time.

OriGym believes courses and education should be obtainable for anyone who wants to start a career within the fitness sector. We own a vast majority of our own training venues through our sister company, thus massively reducing overheads which other companies cover with higher fees. We also do not apply unnecessary admin fees, certification charges or exam fees that many of our competitors apply.

No, it is not mandatory to qualify in first aid to become a personal trainer. However, OriGym is a partner of Educare, the largest provider of first aid qualifications in the UK. This means all OriGym graduates receive a discount if they choose to get qualified in first aid.

The Register of Exercise Professionals – launched in 2002 and under the ownership of UK Coaching since 2016 – is the largest independent public register for the Health and Fitness Industry in the UK, recognising the qualifications and expertise of health-enhancing exercise instructors across the four home nations.

REPs was developed to protect the public from trainers who do not hold appropriate qualifications and to provide assurance and confidence to the public and employers that all professionals on the register are appropriately qualified with the knowledge, competence and skills to perform their role effectively.

REPs provides a system of regulation for over 20,000 passionate health and fitness instructors and over 200 enthusiastic and innovative training providers, to ensure that they meet the industry’s agreed standards.

REPs has a robust continuing professional development (CPD) structure in place to ensure members are kept up to date with current research and thinking, which is backed up by and linked to insurances. PD:Approval has been contracted as an independent quality assurance organisation to drive up standards, offering the REPs kitemark of quality to the awarding organisations, universities, colleges and training providers that achieve them.

Launched in 2011, CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector. 

CIMSPA has been awarded chartered status by the Privy Council, which came into effect at the start of January 2012. 

CIMSPA provides leadership, support and empowerment for professionals working in sport and physical activity and a single unified voice for the sector. 

OriGym is a proud to be a CIMSPA partner and can be found on their partner list under ‘recognised training’.

Absolutely! We have centres that accommodate for the physically impaired, which are fully equipped with lifts, ramps and disabled toilets. We have had dozens of physically impaired individuals complete our course and go on to be very successful personal trainers within the industry thanks to their unique insights enabling them to support a wider range of personal training clients.

Replacement certificates can be purchased if they are lost or stolen. There is a £35 charge to replace lost certificates (postage is free). We retain your details for this purpose for 5 years after completion of your course. After this point, we will be unable to provide certification replacements due to data protection laws.

If you enrol in an online course or a blended part-time course you will sit your theory exams online through our state of the art technology. You can sit these assessments as soon as you feel ready to do so.

If you have enrolled in a full-time course, you will sit assessments within a classroom-based setting under exam conditions.

For the following courses, you will sit two theory exams online, and will also be required to complete coursework, a case study and practical assessment.

  • Level 2 Fitness Instructor Course
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer Course
  • Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Personal Training
  • Level 2 Exercise to Music Course
  • Level 3 Exercise Referral Course
  • Level 2 Fitness Instructing, Level 3 PT, Diploma, ETM, Exercise Referral
  • Online & Blended full time courses

For CPD courses, you will complete an observed practical assessment where you will display competency and understanding of the course content.

For Teaching & Assessing courses, you will be required to complete a video assessment for the teaching aspect, and a practical assessment for the assessing aspect.

For the Level 4 Obesity & Diabetes Control course, you will be required to complete a portfolio as your assessment.

For the Level 4 Lower Back Pain course, you will be required to complete a portfolio as well as undertake a practical assessment.

In addition to guaranteeing interviews post course, OriGym offers free business consultations post course, CV analysis to get it looking just right, CV distribution in your local area, and interview preparation to give you the best chance of getting the role you want.

Additionally, we have lots of free business resources, videos and guides on our e-learning platform that all students can access after their course. 

OriGym is proud to have the largest student alumni system, meaning you get discounts on some of the world’s largest fitness brands, services and products for life; this means you never have to pay full retail price. With over 250 brands available to our graduates, you know you can’t go wrong.

OriGym offers a range of learning styles to suit the way you learn best. This means you can always find room for your studies. You can learn online, combine online with face-to-face workshops or take our full-time classroom and gym based courses.

For a Level 3 Personal Training qualification, you must have the Level 2 Fitness Instructor qualification beforehand.

Level 3 Exercise Referral courses require a Level 2 qualification to be completed first; this can be either a Level 2 Fitness Instruction or Exercise to Music qualification.

The Level 3 Exercise Referral course exams are open book and to be completed online. The pass rate required is 90% and there are 2 papers to be completed. 

If you already hold the level 3 personal trainer certificate these exams will not need to be taken as they will be given "Recognition of Prior Learning"

Portfolio assessments simply require a pass, while practical assessments require a pass or referral for reassessment.

All theory exams are multiple choice, with four options per question. The number of questions vary from exam to exam, so please ask our tutor team on etutor@origym.co.uk if you have any questions.

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