Qualification - Fitness Leaders Certificate

Course CodeVRE004
Fee CodeS4
Duration (approx)250 hours

Turn you passion for exercise into a life changing experience for others! Become a Fitness Leader.

  • Gain a more comprehensive grounding of core theory and knowledge that you can offer to your clients.

Duration: 250 hours


There are four steps to obtaining the Fitness Leader Certificate. These are:


Complete the 13 lessons which form the Fitness Leaders Certificate core studies:


UNIT ONE – Anatomy and Physiology and Exercise

Lesson 1. Introduction to Health and Fitness
Lesson 2. Exercise Physiology
Lesson 3. Exercise Principles and Cardio-respiratory Programming
Lesson 4. Physiology: Digestion, Excretion, Physiological Systems

UNIT TWO - Biomechanics

Lesson 5. Introduction to Biomechanics: The skeleton and muscles
Lesson 6. Biomechanics and Risk
Lesson 7. Aquafitness, exercise, routines, and equipment


UNIT THREE – Program Design and Performance

Lesson 8. Fitness Program Design
Lesson 9. Delivering A Fitness Program
Lesson 10. Ergogenic Aids to Performance

UNIT FOUR – Safety, Injury, and Body Physiology

Lesson 11. Regulating Body Physiology
Lesson 12. Safety, Injury and General Wellbeing
Lesson 13. Fitness Programs for Special Groups


Undertake a 40 hour practical 'hands on' component at an approved fitness centre under the guidance of an approved/qualified Instructor Assessor within 6 months of completing the core theory course outlined above.


Obtain First Aid/Resuscitation Certificate (e.g. St Johns or Red Cross) - this must be current.


You must sit and pass two examinations. Minimum pass mark is 60%.

Please note that some fitness centres may make a charge for the practical component.

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 (e.g. 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 unchallenged 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.

Please note that our fitness leader courses are not government accredited, and may be not accepted by some employers.

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.



Physical fitness is the capability of the heart, blood vessels, lungs and muscles to function at optimal efficiency - Fitness is broader than just this though! A person's mental attitude towards life is another aspect of fitness. Mental stress (pressures from situations at work, home etc.) can affect a person's fitness just as much as malnutrition or a physical injury. Stress is very often related to physical fitness.

A stressed person can have difficulty with muscles etc. tensing or pulling where they should not pull, placing pressure on nerves, bones etc., and leading to other problems. Allergies to foods, dust, even the common bacteria which can occur in everyone's throat can pose problems to a person’s fitness, or complicate already existing problems.

The single most important fact to understand about human fitness is the complexity of the human body, and the fact that this complexity makes fitness a multi-facetted thing.  (You will never be fit by just eating right, or just exercising).


While most people are at least vaguely aware of the benefits of exercise, the overwhelming majority lack the specific knowledge required to design an exercise program that suits their needs and goals, and is tailored to any specific medical conditions they may have.  This is where the fitness leader comes in.  The fitness leader is a professional, who should not only possess sufficient knowledge, motivational skills and professionalism but who can also apply them.  The fitness leader’s role is to facilitate exercise, to guide and instruct people, to make them more knowledgeable and to make exercise enjoyable and beneficial.  

Fitness leaders are generally required to work within specific legislation and guidelines and in most countries will have to meet certain licensing criteria, obtain insurance, have qualifications and often professional membership is a good idea.  Professional bodies often outline specific ethical and professional behaviour and conduct criteria for their members, which must be adhered to.  This can give clients a sense of confidence in the skills and professionalism of a fitness leader.

Why Study this Course?

The ACS Fitness Leaders Certificate will provide you with the core knowledge of the form and function of the human body in terms of energy and movement, giving you the foundation for developing fitness programmes. This knowledge is then applied in a practical environment where you will be required to undertake work experience in a health and fitness setting under the guidance of an approved Instructor Assessor.

Why Study Fitness with ACS?

CONTENT: The ACS courses are longer, more in-depth, and cover more than what is prescribed for Fitness Leaders in both the UK and Australia. (In particular we offer more Human Biological Science).

EXCEPTIONAL TUTORS: In other fitness courses you may find you are being tutored by a tutor who holds only basic qualifications, and may have very little industry experience. ACS tutors by contrast hold university qualifications, and have extensive industry experience.

SET YOUR SELF APART FROM THE COMPETITION! It is well known that the key to success in any career is to be different in some way to your competition. We offer just that to our graduates by designing a course that delivers to you a set of skills and knowledge that surpasses those of your average fitness leader;. This course is for those who strive to be better than ordinary and want to come out of their qualification with more specialised knowledge than other graduates. As with any career, a qualification will get you the interview, but it is your knowledge, attitude, capacity to do the job, and your uniqueness that will get you the job. Choose ACS and set yourself apart.

"I have been involved in sport all my life and now have an in-depth look behind the scenes so to speak."
- Comments from Judy on studying the Fitness Leader Certificate

Enrol on the Fitness Leaders Certificate today! Or, if you have any questions and want to know more, get in touch with our specialist Health and Fitness tutors, or phone us on (UK) 01384 442752 or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752.

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Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!
Please note that if you choose the 'e-learning' (course on USB) method, be aware that due to current covid-19 restrictions there are some countries we can not send USB sticks to.

We recommend you choose the online learning method as all online courses provide access to download course notes to access offline or print. If you do require your course to be supplied on USB stick then please contact us first to check availability for your country.

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