Personal Training 6

‘This is about giving health and fitness professionals the credibility they deserve’


Tara Dillon talks exclusively to HFE about further professionalising the health and fitness industry, and upcoming changes to fitness qualifications

Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) recently spoke exclusively to leading training provider HFE (Health and Fitness Education) about upcoming changes to fitness qualifications and how this will aid in further professionalising our industry’s workforce.

During the detailed interview, Tara outlined the role of CIMSPA and what they stand for: ‘Our vision is to professionalise the workforce to enhance the career prospects of those working in sport, leisure and fitness; change how other professions view us and to improve what we offer as healthcare issues rise further up the political agenda. CIMSPA was established after repeated calls from the industry. It’s only started to resonate within the sector in the last three years, so it’s essential that we shape our vision around what the sector has asked for.’

Referencing proposed changes to how fitness qualifications are structured and delivered, she said: ‘In terms of health and fitness professionals and REPs, virtually every operator in the country is looking for reform – a new beginning which takes the principles of a personal quality assurance register and builds these into a truly fit for purpose ecosystem of education, training, qualifications and certification. This is about giving health and fitness professionals the credibility they deserve.’

Tara went on to address concerns about training providers who haven’t yet joined the groundswell of support for CIMSPA and continue to cut corners: ‘An Ofsted style audit will root out those breaking the rules. Those providers won’t receive the (CIMSPA) Kitemark so employers won’t buy from them. Once we get that right, some of the less scrupulous training providers who are making a lot of money out of the current system will simply no longer be in business. Those that are ill equipped to, or simply not prepared to do so probably need to consider where their business will come from in the future. Standing still is not an option.’

Other notable discussion points included:

  • Raising awareness of CIMSPA membership and communicating its importance to the general public

  • Integrating with overseas agencies such as Europe Active

  • The wealth of providers, organisations and awarding bodies currently backing CIMSPA’s plans including: YMCA Awards, Active IQ, City and Guilds, Innovate UK and the Association of Colleges

Tara’s full interview can be read on HFE’s blog:

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