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Today's exercise professionals must be equipped with the skills to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population, including older adults, pregnant women, and clients with disabilities.
Take your training further by combining our most popular courses and benefit from exclusive content and moreView Special Populations Packages
Take a step by step approach to growing your client with our range of courses and CPDView Special Populations Courses
Your direct route to special populations success. Expertly-delivered courses, cutting-edge content, interest-free payment plans and hands-on training at a nationwide venue.
Become the go-to instructor and get involved with the medical community by helping clients manage chronic illnesses and conditions.
Train more clients, tackle more conditions and make more of a difference with this advanced referral career package.
Lead the way. A career package designed to make you a credible, world-class instructor at the forefront of making a difference in the community.
Take advantage of expert advice and guidance, discounts from the best brands and real employment opportunities.
Using CV Connect is as simple as uploading your CV, selecting the employers in your area and pressing send.
Students are entitled to discounted membership to The Register of Exercise Professionals and easy access to exclusive offers and discounts, insurance, and much more.
The course is over but support continues, we're here to offer 12 months ongoing career advice if you need it.
Join our special populations graduates working with some of the world's leading gyms and health clubs.
From course content to progression routes, we've answered the most frequently asked questions about our special populations courses.
These qualifications are designed for current fitness professionals, therefore you will need to hold a Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instruction. Additionally, once you have completed your qualification, you can only teach exercise in the context of your qualifications (gym, exercise to music, circuit training etc).
If you are considering the Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral, we also recommend that you hold a Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training – while this isn’t mandatory, it will help you greatly with the programme and will enable you to focus exclusively on the medical conditions element of the course. The exercise referral course cost does not include the anatomy and nutrition modules which must also be completed to achieve this qualification.
Absolutely – this is quite common. With diseases relating to inactivity being at almost epidemic levels, more and more people are now in need of specialist exercise advice. Many of these people may, in fact, present more than one medical condition, so it’s wise to develop a broad and deep understanding in this area.
Our all-inclusive Special Populations Diploma is a programme which offers the greatest value. This combines Level 3 Exercise Referral, Level 3 Pre and Postnatal and Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults into a single competitively priced package.
This ultimately depends on the pathway and courses that you select. Generally speaking:
Exercise Referral is concerned with planning and structuring exercise for clients that have been referred to an exercise professional from their GP, and requires a deep understanding of a wide-range of medical conditions, including: obesity, diabetes, low back pain, arthritis, high cholesterol, stress, anxiety and high blood pressure.
Exercise for Older Adults is concerned with adapting exercise programmes to the specific needs of the elderly and less able clients – this also involves developing a broad understanding of common medical conditions affecting this group of people.
Exercise for Pre and Postnatal Clients explores how exercise can benefit pregnant women and new mothers, and what is and isn’t appropriate.
Exercise for Disabled Clients promotes inclusion and enables an instructor to effectively work with clients with disabilities.
The demand for those who have the knowledge to work with special populations has never been higher. To give some context: between 1985 and 2015, the number of UK citizens aged 65 or over increased by 20% to 10.3 million; there are approximately 600,000 registered births every year; and the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to report that obesity is a worldwide epidemic.
Recent reports have revealed that in 1 in 5 people in the UK has a disability yet only 18% of adults with a disability undertake more than 30 minutes exercise a week.
All of our special populations courses are certificated by YMCA Awards, the industry's most widely sought after awarding body. These programmes are also accredited by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) who issue 20 CPD points per course for those who graduate – furthermore, it is possible to achieve Level 3 status with REPs after completing the Exercise Referral Diploma.
A popular progression route is to combine special populations qualifications with something like yoga and Pilates because many exercises for both of these disciplines can be adapted to a person's individual physical needs.
Level 3 Exercise Referral is a prerequisite for Level 4 exercise specialist qualifications, such as Low Back Pain and the Obesity and Diabetes Certificate – these are also common progression routes.
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I could not say enough positive comments about HFE and the service they provide. From first contact with my tutor over the phone, it put my mind at rest. Any problems I ever had he was always there to help and would explain things I was struggling with.
I had a great experience completing my qualification with HFE, the knowledge of the tutors was great and I found they were more than happy to assist and give advice. They have helped me to create a clear direction with my own personal development and I would recommend this company to anyone looking at a career in the fitness industry.
After dreading this course for months it was time to attend and as I say wasn't looking forward to it! But the tutors were great very relaxed and friendly didn't make things too complicated explaining all elements, end up getting really good feedback at the end of the 1st weekend so felt a little more confident to take my exam!
Overall the apprenticeship with HFE has been great, the last 12 months I have learnt so much and without it I don't think I would be where I am now.