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

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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.

Exercise referral students taking a blood pressure reading Exercise referral students taking a blood pressure reading

Special Populations Career Packages

Take your training further by combining our most popular courses and benefit from exclusive content and more

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A group of older adults taking part in an exercise class A group of older adults taking part in an exercise class

Special Populations Courses and CPD

Take a step by step approach to growing your client with our range of courses and CPD

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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.

  • Exercise Referral Full Diploma

    £750.00

    Become the go-to instructor and get involved with the medical community by helping clients manage chronic illnesses and conditions.

    Exercise referral student taking a blood pressure reading

    Courses

    • Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma
      • Level 3 Nutrition for Physical Activity
      • Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology

    Key Content

    • Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise and Health
    • 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

    Extras

    • CV Connect
    • Discounted REPs membership
    • 12 months ongoing career support
    • 8-10 weeks to qualify
    Close

    Payment Options

    • 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
  • Special Populations Diploma

    £955.00

    Train more clients, tackle more conditions and make more of a difference with this advanced referral career package.

    Exercise referral instructor working with an older man in the gym

    Courses

    • Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma
    • Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults
    • Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor

    Key Content

    • 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

    Extras

    • CV Connect
    • Discounted REPs membership
    • 12 months ongoing career support
    • 12-14 weeks to qualify
    Close

    Payment Options

    • 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
  • Master Special Populations Diploma

    £1280.00

    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.

    Doctor using a stethoscope

    Courses

    • Level 3 Exercise Referral Diploma
      • Level 3 Nutrition for Physical Activity
      • Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology
    • Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Exercise Instructor
    • Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults

    Key Content

    • 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

    Extras

    • CV Connect
    • Discounted REPs membership
    • 12 months ongoing career support
    • 14-16 weeks to qualify
    Close

    Payment Options

    • 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
Enquire today

Special Populations Exclusives

Take advantage of expert advice and guidance, discounts from the best brands and real employment opportunities.

  • CV is HFE's flagship recruitment solution for graduates CV is HFE's flagship recruitment solution for graduates

    Get Connected

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

  • HFE are a REPs accredited trainer provider and deliver REPs accredited courses HFE are a REPs accredited trainer provider and deliver REPs accredited courses

    The Register of Exercise Professionals

    Students are entitled to discounted membership to The Register of Exercise Professionals and easy access to exclusive offers and discounts, insurance, and much more.

  • HFE graduates receive 12 months on-going career support

    12 Months of Expert Guidance

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

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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  • 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)

  • "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)

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

    Kardy Laguda

    (International Fitness Presenter)

  • Rating: 5 out of 5

    Always there to support you promptly either by email or over the phone, the support was fantastic throughout.

    Melissa

  • Rating: 5 out of 5

    I have just passed the Level 3 Diploma in Mat Pilates with HFE. I have been very impressed with the structure of the course, the quality of the e-learning and the knowledge and helpfulness of the course tutors.

    135Austin

  • Rating: 5 out of 5

    I have now completed six courses with HFE and they have been an excellent course provider. The tutors are very knowledgeable and the learner support team are also supportive and helpful.

    Eleanor Blackwell

  • Rating: 5 out of 5

    My assigned tutor Martyn was absolutely fantastic. He contacted me by phone periodically to see how I was doing which was great. He responded swiftly to all my queries. I couldn't have asked for any more.

    Hoffman172

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