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Why develop a new qualification?
As industry leaders it’s a matter of pride for us to make sure our qualifications are not just fit for purpose but also follow the very latest standards and guidelines. We want to be able to offer you the most up to date material and the decision to bring out a brand new Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training qualification is not one we’ve taken lightly. 
New professional standards 
There’s a very good reason why we’ve refreshed this key player in our suite of qualifications. CIMSPA, the Chartered Institute for the UK’s Sport and Physical Activity sector, have recently released new professional standards for the role of Personal Trainer, and to gain their endorsement it is crucial that any qualification developed maps entirely to this content. The current ‘common unit’ qualification simply does not achieve this. 
Time for a change
Additionally, the current qualification is now over five years old. Research and feedback from employers, the industry and stakeholders clearly indicates that the standards (NOS) on which the existing personal training qualifications were written are now outdated. It’s clear to us, and hopefully to you too, that reform is necessary – and many in the industry have already been requesting this for a while. 
For us in particular, this represents a great opportunity to do what we do best and continue to improve on the fantastic resources we already offer, making one of our top qualifications even more beneficial to your learners and their future careers. 
Advantages to centres
Ease of assessment
As a bonus, the removal of the ‘common unit assessment strategy’, has allowed YMCA Awards to develop an assessment specification which is not only more manageable, but provides clearer evidence of a learner’s competencies that are reflective of the industry they are entering, 
Differentiating between essential and non-essential knowledge
Many assessments are simply a test of the learner’s memory. By distinguishing between the two, there is opportunity for more innovative methods of assessment. 
Synoptic assessment – an educational term for what we know as holistic assessment
The new synoptic assessment approach gives the learner the opportunity to showcase all their acquired skills through a realistic task with a real client as set out in the new standards This is much more representative of what would be required of them in a real situation. Furthermore it brings it in line with the new apprenticeship EPA (End Point Assessment) approach that is being adopted across many end-point assessments and therefore makes it more comparable to other routes into the industry.
This also has the added advantage to centres of reducing the amount of planning and management needed for multiple practical assessments.
On-course learning
During the course, and before final assessment, the learner will often have many opportunities to show their skills. The new qualification recognises this and provides the opportunity to record these in a meaningful way, thereby training them to be reflective and adopt a lifelong learning approach at this, the starting point of their career.   
Additional content – business skills
All unit content has been updated and revised to match the new standards. However, we’re always looking for ways we can go one step further with what we offer to ensure smooth transition into industry or further training, we’ve added some valuable additional content on the business acumen employers now consider essential. 
The value of good business skills for any personal trainer cannot be underestimated, however, we do appreciate the potential additional resource requirement that this may place on our customers. To make things manageable, we’ve spent considerable time and effort (including seeking external expertise) in finding ways to minimise the impact of this, whilst still providing the learner with all the skills which the industry now expects. 
If you want to learn more about this qualification, (including when it should become available and any concerns about effects it may have on your current programme), then please contact, (the Product Manager for this qualification) directly, and he will be very pleased to help in any way he can. 
However, to reassure you, we will continue to work with CIMSPA to ensure that both the change over timeframes are sensible, and the recognition of current qualifications is honoured.