Level 3 exercise referral course
Make a difference to the lives of clients living with chronic illnesses and conditions with the industry-leading expert-delivered GP referral course
Discover a course designed to help fitness professionals work with clients and manage chronic illnesses and conditions. This is an essential qualification for progressing to Level 4 and beyond.
Online or attended
Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology and Level 3 Nutrition
This exercise referral course is designed to help fitness professionals implement effective changes and management strategies for clients with chronic illnesses and conditions. This GP referral course is an essential qualification for progressing to Level 4.
Our level 3 exercise referral course provides a suitable career pathway for any health and fitness professional (gym instructors, personal trainers, studio instructors) to upskill, developing specialist knowledge, skills and confidence to support people living with a range of long-term (chronic) medical conditions.
This diploma in exercise referral qualification is the industry standard for anyone wanting to work in exercise referral, although there is nothing standard about our programme! Our qualification is the only GP referral course in the country in which the knowledge elements are delivered by a highly qualified and respected General Practitioner with years of experience in this field.
Exercise referral, which may also be referred to as GP referral, allows you as a health and fitness professional to work for and alongside other healthcare providers (e.g. NHS, local authorities, charities) to support people in need to help with their exercise, physical activity and healthy eating goals.
Our exercise referral courses are delivered in two ways; attended and online. The attended course uses a blended learning format which combines supported home study with weekend practical attendance, whereas the online course can be completed remotely without any need to attend.
As a minimum, you’ll need to have previously completed Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology and Level 3 Nutrition. If you’re a qualified personal trainer or you’ve studied these units as a part of another course, within the past 5 years, then you’re all set. If you're missing either prerequisite element, our friendly careers team is on hand to assist you with your options.
This Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral is accredited by YMCA Awards and is also recognised by CIMSPA.
Not only is this exercise referral course an effective way to enhance a CV, but if you have your sights set on becoming a level 4 exercise specialist then this level 3 qualification is a prerequisite. We also offer career packages which combine various exercise specialist courses at a slightly lower price.
To really engage you as a learner and bring this exercise referral course to life, we’ve enlisted one of the country’s foremost GPs to present an innovative series of video lectures. Upon enrolment, you'll have access to our online student system which contains all of your learning materials, so you can start studying today. Alongside this, we'll provide you with a course study guide to structure your learning into a manageable format. You'll also have access to our superior training manuals in print and digital versions so you can be sure you have everything you need in your course and exercise referral career.
This qualification is mapped to CIMSPAs professional standards and is worth 5 CIMSPA CPD Points.
This course can be attended at one of our venues, or you can do the online exercise referral course. For more information about these delivery methods, use the buttons below.
We supply a range of exercise referral courses and qualifications to a variety of commercial clients, some of which are featured below. Our team are therefore well placed to ensure that your journey in exercise referral gets off on the right foot.
The course is comprised of various components that will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your GP referral knowledge in a range of practical and theoretical ways.
The online GP exercise referral course is a self-paced level 3 qualification that is delivered through a combination of home study, online learning and live support from a team of friendly learning support tutors.
The content is presented using a combination of training manuals and online lessons to ensure that you develop a deep and rich understanding of 13 different medical conditions and how exercise can help to better manage them. The online lessons are presented by a medical doctor with over 10 years’ experience of working in GP and exercise referral schemes. This is the only exercise referral qualification delivered by a GP in the fitness industry.
With our online exercise referral course, you’ll work through the home study and online learning remotely in your own time, and record your practical assessment in an appropriate environment (gym, studio, outdoors) and submit this to us for assessment. Everything that you need to complete this qualification is included and provided as standard, including the support.
The online version of this qualification is exactly the same as our face-to-face programme. However, instead of attending one of our regional training venues, you’ll simply work through the online learning content remotely at your own pace.
We find the online course allows students to take a more bite-sized approach to their learning and to spread their study and assessment over a longer period. With the online programme, you get 6 months to complete your course so you can progress as fast or slow as you like.
When you need a little expert guidance or tuition, our team of experienced Learning Support Tutors will be on hand to help.
Again, the assessment methods are identical to those listed above. However, instead of completing a practical assessment at one of our training centres, you’ll record yourself teaching your client remotely, and submit this to us for assessment via our Learner Engagement System (LES). You don’t need any specialist equipment, as most students use their phone to record their practical assessment.
The workbooks and coursework is also completed in online in LES. This includes a range of web-based multiple choice, drag drop and match activities to assess your knowledge and understanding of key exercise referral subjects. You’ll also have a few worksheets and a real-life case study to complete.
Whether you choose to complete this exercise referral online or at one of our venues, you’ll receive exactly the same industry recognised and Ofqual regulated qualification.
On completion of this course, you’ll be awarded with the YMCA Awards Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral.
This qualification is also recognised by CIMSPA and can therefore be used towards your annual CPD points.
If you would like to complete your exercise referral course in person, then our attended programme will be perfect for you.
This course is delivered through blended learning, combining a short period of home study with 2 days of practical training and assessment.
The practical training is delivered at weekends from one of our regional training venues, which include London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Cardiff and York.
We’ve supplied a little more detail below about our attended programme. If however you do have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Careers Team who will be more than happy to assist.
You'll be required to complete the home study learning activities remotely (reading, watching videos, online quizzes) under the guidance of our Learning Support Team.
We generally recommend that you allow yourself around 6-8 weeks to complete this, which is based on an average of 1 hour of learning per day.
You'll need to attend 2 days of practical training and assessment and these courses are usually held at weekends to maximise access for our students that are already working.
During the course, you will participate in a range of classroom and practical activities that are designed to consolidate what you have learned at home and show you how to apply this knowledge to real-life scenarios in the exercise referral workplace.
During the home study period you will complete a range of online knowledge workbooks to demonstrate you are developing a good understanding of the medical conditions, medications, and how exercise can positively and negatively affect these.
The final day of your attended course will require you to teach an exercise session to a simulated client (another student on the course) who has been referred to you with one or more long-term medical conditions. You’ll need to demonstrate to your assessor that you can teach safe and effective exercises to this client.