If you’re based in the UK and considering becoming a certified personal trainer, it’s important to find a training provider who issues qualifications under either YMCA and NCFE. Oxbridge Home Learning provide a NCFE course that can be studied online and completed in approximately a year – if you’re dedicated and prepared to put in the hours.
In my recent article, I looked at how to become a personal trainer in the UK and what online courses were available. I revealed that YMCA and NCFE are the main awarding bodies under which personal trainer qualifications are awarded. But which are the best personal trainer qualifications in the UK?
We established that a qualification under NCFE through the provider below was available for the fraction of the price of the YMCA personal trainer qualification.
Cheaper isn’t always better, so today we’re going to take a look inside the course structure to find out the similarities and differences of YMCA and NCFE courses. Hopefully, this will help you decide which is the best personal trainer qualification in the UK.
Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing: YMCA v NCFE
In collating this information, I looked at two providers of personal training qualifications, one being Oxbridge Home Learning who I intend to enroll with when life affords me the opportunity to retrain. Here’s what I found:
|Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise||Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise|
|Health, Safety and Welfare in a Fitness Environment||Health, Safety and Welfare in a Fitness Environment|
|Principles of Exercise, Fitness and Health||Principles of Exercise, Fitness and Health|
|Know How to Support Clients Who Take Part in Exercise and Physical Activity||Know How to Support Clients Who Take Part in Exercise and Physical Activity|
|Planning Gym-Based Exercise||Preparing for Gym Based Exercise|
|Instructing Gym-Based Exercise||Instructing Gym-Based Exercise|
So both qualifications appear to be identical at the Level 2 Fitness Instructing stage in terms of units covered and course content. Let’s take a look at the next level.
Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training: YMCA v NCFE
As you can see in the table below, there is a clear difference in course content at Level 3 when considering YMCA against the NCFE course from Oxbridge Home Learning:
|Anatomy and Physiology||Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise|
|How to Maintain Health, Safety and Welfare in a Variety of Fitness Environments, Including the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable AdultsHealth, Safety and Welfare in a Fitness Environment|
|How to Programme Safe and Effective Exercise for a Range of Clients, the Health Benefits of Physical Activity and the Importance of Healthy Eating|
|How to Communicate With Clients Effectively, and Motivate Clients to Adhere to an Exercise Programme|
|How to Apply the Principles of Nutrition to Support Client Goals as Part of an Exercise and Physical Activity Programme||Applying the Principles of Nutrition to a Physical Activity Programme|
|How to Design, Manage, and Adapt a Personal Training Programme With Apparently Healthy Adults of All Ages||Programming Personal Training with Clients|
|How to Deliver Exercise and Physical Activity as Part of a Programme for Apparently Healthy Adults of All Ages||Delivering Personal Training Sessions|
On the face of it there are gaps in the syllabus for the NCFE qualification, however I believe that this may be simply a removal of duplication between the Level 2 and Level 3 courses which enables Oxbridge to deliver the course in a combined online course which can be completed in around a year.
So Which Is the Best Personal Trainer Qualification in the UK?
If your priorities are:
- Value for money;
- Becoming a qualified personal trainer in the shortest possible time;
- Studying online;
…then the Oxbridge NCFE qualifications may be more suitable than the YMCA.
Is there a trade-off between depth of knowledge and the speed of delivery of the course? Not necessarily.
Remember that the NCFE Level 2 Gym Instructing and Level 3 Personal Training qualifications are fitness industry approved. If you obtain your personal trainer certification through them, you will be able to join the UK’s largest register of fitness professionals and gain international recognition.
Which Qualification Will You Choose?
If you’re considering becoming a certified personal trainer, drop me a comment and let me know the route you’re considering going down? If there is a personal trainer course or course provider that you’ve identified, I’d love to hear from you so that I can check them out and see how they compare to Oxbridge.