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Pregnant client sitting in an exercise studio
Pregnant client sitting in an exercise studio
Pregnant client sitting in an exercise studio

Exercise for Every Body

Discover fresh approaches for adapting and delivering fully-inclusive exercise programmes

Enquire today

Special Populations Courses and Qualifications

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.

Internationally-recognised qualifications

Highly sought after by UK health and fitness employers

Courses fully REPs and CIMSPA approved

Special Populations Career Packages

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.

Essentials

Discover how to help clients manage chronic illnesses and conditions

£750.00
  • Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma
  • Level 3 Nutrition to Support Physical Activity
  • Level 3 Applied Anatomy and Physiology
  • Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults
  • Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor
  • Includes nutrition and anatomy and physiology
  • 8-10 weeks to qualify
  • Become an exercise referral instructor

From £83 per month with our 0% interest-free payment plans

Specialist

Train more clients, tackle more conditions and make more of a difference

£955.00
  • Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma
  • Level 3 Nutrition to Support Physical Activity
  • Level 3 Applied Anatomy and Physiology
  • Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor
  • Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults
  • 14-day money back guarantee
  • 12-14 weeks to qualify
  • Support a range of special populations

From £117 per month with our 0% interest-free payment plans

Master

Lead the way and be at the forefront of making a difference in the community

£1280.00
  • Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma
  • Level 3 Nutrition to Support Physical Activity
  • Level 3 Applied Anatomy and Physiology
  • Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor
  • Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults
  • Includes nutrition and anatomy and physiology
  • Qualify in just 14-16 weeks
  • The ultimate exercise referral package

From £171 per month with our 0% interest-free payment plans

Didn't find the career package you were looking for? Our Careers team are ready and waiting to help you find your perfect special populations course and #becomemore, so call us on 0800 612 4067.

Didn't find the career package you were looking for? Our Careers team are ready and waiting to help you find your perfect special populations course and #becomemore, so click the button below to email us.

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View all special populations courses

Essentials

£750.00

Enquire now

Intro

Our Essentials special populations career package has been designed to enable you to help clients manage a range of chronic illnesses and conditions like asthma, obesity, arthritis and diabetes. The package contains Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma and with this, you’ll also study Level 3 Nutrition to Support Physical Activity and Level 3 Applied Anatomy and Physiology.

Once fully qualified you’ll be able to work alongside organisations, such as the NHS, who will refer clients to you. You’ll use your knowledge and expertise to prescribe effective and appropriate forms of exercise. The package is incredibly versatile and provides a great opportunity for personal trainers and group exercise professionals to better serve existing clients and branch out to help new people.

To ensure you get the most out of your experience, we utilise the blended learning model. This means you’ll complete online learning using bespoke print and digital manuals, and LES, our Learner Engagement System, which offers exclusive video lectures from leading medical professionals, practice quizzes and more. Alongside your home study, you’ll also have the opportunity to attend practical workshops and assessments at a nationwide venue.

Content

If you’re looking to become a leading exercise referral specialist and truly change lives, you’ll need the right blend of skills and specialised knowledge. It’s by far an exhaustive list, but here’s a taste of what you’ll encounter with the Essentials package:

  • Anatomy and Physiology

  • Pathophysiology of a Range of Medical Conditions

  • Medications, Effects and Contraindications

  • Nutritional Strategies for Health, Exercise and Physical Activity

  • Consultation Skills and Motivation Strategies

  • Teaching Exercise to Referred Clients

Exclusives

=CV Connect is HFE's exclusive recruitment solution

CV Connect

Using CV Connect is as simple as uploading your CV, selecting employers in your area and pressing send.

=An HFE tutor providing career guidance to a student

12 Months of Career Guidance

The course is over but support continues, we're here to offer 12 months ongoing fitness instructor career advice as and when you need it.

=HFE is a recognised CIMSPA training provider

Discounted CIMSPA Membership

Graduates are entitled to discounted CIMSPA membership which gives you easy access to a range of benefits including free CPD, exclusive learning resources, industry recognition and status, and much more.

Payment

  • Pay in full

    Total payable £712.50 5% discount £37.50
  • 6 month payment plan

    1 x £85 and 5 x £83 Minimum deposit £250 Total payable £750

View dates and book

Level 3 Applied Anatomy and Physiology

Online Exam

For those with a computer and internet access.

Test Centre Exam

For those nearby to one of our venues.

Once you've completed your booking you'll be sent an email to arrange your online exam

Save and continue Change

Level 3 Nutrition to Support Physical Activity

Online Exam

For those with a computer and internet access.

Test Centre Exam

For those nearby to one of our venues.

Once you've completed your booking you'll be sent an email to arrange your online exam

Save and continue Change

Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma

Checkout

Specialist

£955.00

Enquire now

Intro

The Specialist career package is ideal for those looking to train more clients, tackle more conditions and illnesses and make more of a difference in the community. With the Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma, you’ll be fully qualified to work alongside medical professionals and organisations, like the NHS, who will refer clients to you. The Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor and the Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults courses then step things up.

In 12-14 weeks, alongside being qualified in exercise referral, you’ll also be able to effectively plan and adapt exercise for pre and postnatal clients and older adults. Both special populations groups are rising at a rapid pace so the demand for your services is only going to increase.

To guide you on your learning journey, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Learner Support Tutor. Their support, guidance and motivation are unlimited and they can be contacted via phone or email. We also provide bespoke print and digital manuals and access to LES, our Learner Engagement System. With this innovative platform, you’ll have access to exclusive video lectures, practice quizzes and more.

Content

The Specialist package contains all the exercise referral content you need, plus you’ll gain the skills and knowledge needed to effectively work with older adults and pre and postnatal clients. Here’s an outline of what you’ll be learning:

  • Pathophysiology of a Range of Medical Conditions

  • Medications, Effects and Contraindications

  • Medicolegal Considerations in Exercise Referral

  • Consultation Skills and Motivation Strategies

  • Adapting and Teaching Exercise to Older Adults

  • Adapting and Teaching Exercise to Pre and Postnatal Clients

Exclusives

=CV Connect is HFE's exclusive recruitment solution

CV Connect

Using CV Connect is as simple as uploading your CV, selecting employers in your area and pressing send.

=An HFE tutor providing career guidance to a student

12 Months of Career Guidance

The course is over but support continues, we're here to offer 12 months ongoing career advice as and when you need it.

=HFE is a recognised CIMSPA training provider

Discounted CIMSPA Membership

Graduates are entitled to discounted CIMSPA membership which gives you easy access to a range of benefits including free CPD, exclusive learning resources, industry recognition and status, and much more.

Payment

  • Pay in full

    Total payable £907.25 5% discount £47.75
  • 6 month payment plan

    1 x £120 and 5 x £117 Minimum deposit £250 Total payable £955

View dates and book

Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma

Save and continue

Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor

Online Exam

For those with a computer and internet access.

Test Centre Exam

For those nearby to one of our venues.

Once you've completed your booking you'll be sent an email to arrange your online exam

Save and continue Change

Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults

Online Exam

For those with a computer and internet access.

Test Centre Exam

For those nearby to one of our venues.

Once you've completed your booking you'll be sent an email to arrange your online exam

Checkout Change

Master

£1280.00

Enquire now

Intro

Our Master special populations package is designed to enhance your career putting you at the forefront of making a difference in your community. To start things off, you’ll become a fully qualified exercise referral specialist with the Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma. This also includes Level 3 Nutrition to Support Physical Activity and Level 3 Applied Anatomy and Physiology. All this means there are no entry requirements and you can fully qualify is just 14-16 weeks.

We’ve also included two special populations courses, Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor and Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults. With these, you’ll be able to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for fitness professionals who have enough knowledge and confidence to work with these special populations.

To support you on your journey to become the ultimate exercise referral specialist, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Learner Support Tutor. Their support is unlimited and no question is too big, small or challenging. As we specialise in blended learning, your online study is also complemented by practical attendance at a nationwide venue.

Content

The Master career package gets you everything included with Essentials and Specialist, here’s an example of what you’ll encounter:

  • Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise and Health

  • Pathophysiology of Various Diseases and Medical Conditions

  • Nutrition for Exercise, Health and Physical Activity

  • Motivational Strategies and Consultation Skills

  • Planning, Teaching and Adapting Exercise for Older Adults

  • Planning, Teaching and Adapting Exercise for Pre and Postnatal Clients

Exclusives

=CV Connect is HFE's exclusive recruitment solution

CV Connect

Using CV Connect is as simple as uploading your CV, selecting employers in your area and pressing send.

=An HFE tutor providing career guidance to a student

12 Months of Career Guidance

The course is over but support continues, we're here to offer 12 months ongoing career advice as and when you need it.

=HFE is a recognised CIMSPA training provider

Discounted CIMSPA Membership

Graduates are entitled to discounted CIMSPA membership which gives you easy access to a range of benefits including free CPD, exclusive learning resources, industry recognition and status, and much more.

Payment

  • Pay in full

    Total payable £1216 5% discount £64
  • 6 month payment plan

    1 x £175 and 5 x £171 Minimum deposit £250 Total payable £1280

View dates and book

Level 3 Applied Anatomy and Physiology

Online Exam

For those with a computer and internet access.

Test Centre Exam

For those nearby to one of our venues.

Once you've completed your booking you'll be sent an email to arrange your online exam

Save and continue Change

Level 3 Nutrition to Support Physical Activity

Online Exam

For those with a computer and internet access.

Test Centre Exam

For those nearby to one of our venues.

Once you've completed your booking you'll be sent an email to arrange your online exam

Save and continue Change

Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma

Save and continue

Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor

Online Exam

For those with a computer and internet access.

Test Centre Exam

For those nearby to one of our venues.

Once you've completed your booking you'll be sent an email to arrange your online exam

Save and continue Change

Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults

Online Exam

For those with a computer and internet access.

Test Centre Exam

For those nearby to one of our venues.

Once you've completed your booking you'll be sent an email to arrange your online exam

Checkout Change
Enquire today

One Career. Unlimited Possibilities.

Join our special populations graduates working with some of the world's leading gyms and health clubs.

HFE graduates work with David Lloyd clubs across the countryHFE graduates with at Virgin Active gyms across the countryHFE graduates work at Nuffield Health facilities across the country
HFE graduates work at Bannatyne gyms and health clubs across the countryHFE graduates work with leading budget gym chain Xercise4LessHFE graduates work with popular fitness brand PureGym

FAQs

From course content to progression routes, we've answered the most frequently asked questions about our special populations courses.

Do I need any previous qualifications?

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.

Can I combine different special populations courses?

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.

What will I learn on my special populations course?

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.

Will I be able to find work once I've qualified?

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.

Are these recognised qualifications?

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.

What progression routes are available once I qualify?

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.

Our Reputation Precedes Us

HFE.co.uk
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4.9
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  • James Crossley, also known as Hunter from Gladiators, endorses HFE's fitness courses

    "HFE is the ultimate fitness training provider, without a doubt their personal training courses are the best in the industry."

    James Crossley

    (Hunter from Gladiators)

  • Laura Massaro is a World 1 squash player who studied yoga with HFE

    "The course has really helped me to better understand yoga so that I can improve my performance and remain World No. 1"

    Laura Massaro

    (World No. 1 Squash Player - 2016)

  • Team GB Olympic pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw is an HFE personal training student

    "HFE have produced some of the best materials I have seen in education."

    Holly Bradshaw

    (Team GB Olympic Pole Vaulter)

  • Kardy Laguda is an internationally renowned fitness instructor

    "HFE is the most professional and cutting edge fitness provider I have ever seen."

    Kardy Laguda

    (International Fitness Presenter)

  • Rating: 5 out of 5

    My tutor Lindsey, always sounded cheerful and enthusiastic even though I must have been the 33rd person she spoke to that day and yet another one who has not read the instructions provided or had not fully understood what they said. However, Lindsey always remained helpful and patient.

    Mr Charles O

  • Rating: 4 out of 5

    Overall a good experience over the year in my PT course with HFE, I was provided with the necessary resources for all the information needed to complete it productively.

    Alex Rhodes

  • Rating: 5 out of 5

    Great value for money. Excellent instructors with really helpful tips about the art of teaching as opposed to the discipline of practice. Learnt how different the two are. Really helpful staff in the office.

    Simon Shergold

  • Rating: 4 out of 5

    Prompt service from the off. Online home computer package good and easy to navigate. The tutor always there at the end of the phone to assist you when you need him, but does not hassle you!

    Anonymous

Special Populations Courses with HFE

Exercise is one of those activities that has true universal appeal. So much so that millions wouldn’t consider it merely an activity, for them it’s a passion and a way of life. In today’s modern world we have an incredibly diverse population looking to exercise, to keep fit, and live happier and healthy lives. This includes older adults, pre and postnatal women and clients with disabilities, as well as those suffering from chronic conditions and diseases. In the past, these groups have sadly been greatly underrepresented but with recent and great advances in fitness training and education, this can change. Exercise can and should be for everyone and every body.

Our range of special populations courses and qualifications are designed to empower fitness professionals who are looking to not only increase their client base but truly make a difference to those who have in the past been under-served. To achieve this, we have several expertly-delivered courses which fall under the special populations umbrella and they are Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma, Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor, Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults, and Level 3 Exercise for Disabled Clients.

Each course is REPs and CIMSPA approved, accredited by YMCA Awards and internationally-recognised. Every step of the way you’ll receive all the training, support and learning materials you need to become a fully qualified special populations instructor. To start things off you’ll receive bespoke hard copy and digital manuals and 24/7 access to LES, the Learner Engagement System, our online student portal. We also provide unlimited phone and email support from a dedicated tutor.

While each of our special populations courses can be done separately, we’ve created three bespoke career packages. Essentials, Specialist and Master take the Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma and build upon it with other courses. You’ll also benefit from exclusive extras like discount CIMSPA membership, 12 months of career guidance and access to CV Connect, our innovative system which means you’re only a few clicks away from getting your CV in front of 1000s of employers.

If you’re ready to truly make a difference and elevate your fitness career then choose a special populations course. Within a handful of weeks, you could be making a life-changing impact to pre and postnatal women, older adults, those with disabilities and those with chronic conditions and diseases.

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YMCA Awards is HFE's awarding body for fitness courses and qualificationsActive IQ is HFE's awarding body for fitness courses and qualificationsHFE is European Health & Fitness Association approved provider
HFE is IISO 9001 certifiedHFE courses are CIMSPA approvedHFE is a member of ukactive
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