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Qualification - Elite Fitness Leaders Certificate

Course CodeVRE005
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

Excel in the Fitness Industry - Be an Industry Expert

  • Develop your ability to prepare and deliver basic fitness programs.
  • Gain a solid understanding of the body's energy and movements.
  • The course goes further than others - providing you with greater detail and knowledge for you to apply in your work.


The requirements in order to be awarded the Elite Fitness Leaders Certificate are:

  • Students are to complete the Core Studies, followed by 2 Elective Modules, and then the Psychology and Counselling module.
  • Students are to fulfil the other requirements as outlined below.

The aim of the Core Studies is to elevate the standard of core knowledge and competency for people working in the field of fitness through the provision of a pre-service education program.

The aim of specialist modules is to contextualise and expand the leaning process and competencies into one of the recognised specialist areas.


The following subject areas are partly covered in the first module, and completed in the second:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Recreation Management
  • Physiology and Anatomy


There are 12 lessons in this module as follows:

  1. Introduction to Health & Fitness
  2. Exercise Physiology
  3. Exercise Principles & Cardio Respiratory Programming
  4. Introduction to Biomechanics: The Skeleton & Muscles
  5. Biomechanics & Risk
  6. Fitness Program Design
  7. Delivering a Fitness Program
  8. Physiology: Digestion, Excretion, Physiological Systems
  9. Regulating Body Physiology
  10. Ergogenic Aids to Performance
  11. Safety, Injury & General Well-being
  12. Fitness Programs for Special Groups


There are 7 lessons in this module as follows:

  1. Nerves & Motor Skills
  2. Skeletal Muscle
  3. Muscle Organisation & Movement
  4. Muscle Flexibility & Posture
  5. Managing Diet
  6. Managing an Exercise Program
  7. Writing an Exercise Program


The student will normally choose to study from a module from the following:

Advanced Aerobics 
Resistance & Gym Supervision

Other options may occasionally be accepted, students will need to contact the School to confirm acceptance of an alternative module to those listed here.


The student will choose one module from:

Sports Nutrition
Sports Psychology
Medical Terminology

Other options may occasionally be accepted, students will need to contact the School to confirm acceptance of an alternative module to those listed here.


The module Psychology and Counselling will be sent to you unless you arrange otherwise. Alternative psychology modules offered by the school may be accepted (e.g. Sports Psychology), but a special arrangement must be made in advance of the course being sent.



The student must complete a First Aid Certificate with either the Red Cross, or an equivalent course with a reputable body that holds good standing both nationally and internationally (e.g. the Red Cross, or St. John’s Ambulance).


Students are to undertake practical work in a health and fitness workplace (e.g. a gymnasium or health club) under the supervision of a qualified consultant or instructor.  This must be documented in detail for 40 hours of work, by your supervisor, in a log book supplied by the school.

An instructor is considered qualified if:

  • They hold a degree or diploma in Fitness or human movement; or
  • They were registered as a Fitness Leader under the old Fitness Leader registration scheme conducted by AFAC; or
  • They studied a “reputable and relevant” course, of 200 hours or more duration; and have the equivalent of 2 years or more (part time or full time) industry experience, within a reputable gymnasium or health club.

Students are to complete work experience in a reputable and relevant situation for a period of 150 hours.  This may be paid or unpaid work, in self employment, or in the employ of someone else.

Students must validate the nature and scope of this work by supplying two references (e.g. from employers, supervisors, colleagues or clients).

The references need to be letters which provide the following information:

  • Name and contact details of the referees.
  • Your relationship with the referee, and their interest in the fitness industry.
  • The hours that you have worked, and the dates between which that work was undertaken.
  • What you actually did.
  • Their opinion of the quality of the work you undertook.

Before you enrol on this course, we recommend that you check with potential employers as to their qualification/registration requirements.

Fitness Leadership

Working as a Fitness Leader

Fitness Leaders are people who instruct and/or otherwise facilitate other people to undertake activities intended to improve or maintain individuals level of physical (and sometimes mental) well-being.

The job of being a Fitness Leader has changed greatly over the past few decades, and looks certain to continue changing.

In the mid 20th century, fitness leaders were fewer in number, and often just amateur fitness enthusiasts conducting exercise classes in a community centre or hall. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, public interest in fitness increased, as did the capacity of people in more affluent countries to pay people to help them improve their level of fitness.

Growth in interest, demand and economic potential has led the industry to develop in different ways in different countries. What was once dominated by amateurs and volunteers, has blossomed into an industry that employs people in a wide range of roles (eg. "Gym Managers", "Life Coaches", Personal Trainers, "Health Consultants", "Fitness Leaders",  "Recreation Officers" etc.). Concerns over legal liability have made it important for these "professionals" and their employers to be protected against legal action from disgruntled clients.

Appropriate legal protection may be achieved through various means:

  1. By acquiring skills and knowledge which show an unchallengeable capacity to do the job.
  2. Insurance - a professional indemnity policy to protect against any impact from a law suit.
  3. Statements relating to Liability - displayed notices or membership contracts which clients are clearly advised of limited liability prior to using any offered services.
  4. Registrations and Memberships- joining an appropriate professional association and/or registering as a fitness leader under an accreditation scheme can provide an indication that the leader is maintaining professional standing.

CAUTION: Registration as a Fitness Leader alone may not provide adequate legal protection. Registration simply means you have satisfied what a government or industry body has determined as being required for their registration; but if the courts determine you were still not competent to have done something you may still lose a legal challenge.

Why Study this Course?

  • The ACS Elite Fitness Leaders Certificate will provide you with a thorough foundation knowledge of the form and function of the human body in terms of energy and movement, giving you a solid platform for preparing fitness programmes.
  • The course then expands on this core knowledge allowing you to specialise in particular fitness areas.

You can enrol on the course at any time - you study by distance learning. You choose where and when you want to learn.

If you have any questions, get in touch with us by phoning (UK) 01384 442752 or (International) + 44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Submit any questions to our specialist Leisure and Fitness Tutors - they will be happy to help you.

Meet some of our academics

Jade SciasciaBiologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Professional Education, Cert IV TESOL, Cert Food Hygiene.
Lyn QuirkM.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.
Melissa Leistra B.Ed., Masters Nutrition 16 yrs experience - in hosapitality, teaching, cooking Lives a self-sustainable lifestyle on a farm and raising all types of animals. experienced vegetarian/vegan cook and loves to create wholesome food using her slow combustion wood stove.

Check out our eBooks

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Aqua FitnessLearn to do low impact exercise in water. It is great for rehabilitation after injury, weight loss, and general fitness. This e-book is full of well illustrated exercises to try and has been written for both exercise professionals and amateurs. It is the revised edition of a book by John Mason, originally published by Kangaroo Press (Simon & Schuster). Lots of illustrations. 121 pages
Aerobic FitnessAerobic fitness contributes more to your quality of life than perhaps any other aspect of fitness! This updated version of Aerobic Fitness is full of information about the body and its functions. It also contains detailed illustrations of which exercises to use for individual muscle groups. 93 pages. 64 illustrations.
LeadershipWhat makes a good leader? Is it an innate personality trait or a skill that can be acquired? This book is an excellent guide to the theories and practice of leadership. It is full of interesting facts about social dynamics and examples of leadership styles. For those who are curious or in need of some leadership skills, this book will provide both entertainment and advice.