Personal Trainer Courses: All UK Qualifications with Cost & Location

A list of Personal Training courses and providers in London & the UK

To become a Personal Trainer, you need an appropriate Personal Trainer qualification. But with so many organisations offering different Personal Trainer certifications, how can you decide which one is best for you? For anyone who wants to train to be a Personal Trainer, we’ve put together this complete guide on things to consider to help you choose the best Personal Training qualification for you.

What Personal Trainer qualifications do I need?

The qualification requirement to become a Personal Trainer in the UK is that you complete a CIMSPA endorsed Level 3 Personal Trainer Course.

In order to study a Level 3 PT qualification, you’ll need to already have a CIMSPA endorsed Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification. Many providers offer Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer as one big course.

You might already have a Level 2 Gym Instructor certification in which case you may be able to go straight on to study Level 3 Personal Training

Once you’ve qualified as a Personal Trainer and have started your personal training career, you may wish to take further fitness qualifications (for example Level 4 fitness qualifications) and fitness CPD (Continued Professional Development) courses.

Which Personal Trainer courses are good quality?

CIMSPA (the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) is the body chartered by the government to regulate the industry. When choosing a Personal Trainer course provider, you should look for a company who are endorsed as a CIMSPA Training Provider Partner, meaning that they have been inspected for quality by CIMSPA themselves.

To check if a provider is CIMSPA endorsed you will need to go to the CIMSPA website directory and search under “partners” for any Personal Trainer course provider that you are looking at. Remember the kitemark that you are looking for is a “CIMSPA Training Provider Partner”. (Note, you will see some providers choose to display the CIMSPA logo despite not being endorsed, so choose carefully!)

Some popular CIMSPA endorsed Personal Trainer course providers who have CIMSPA Training Provider status include the below:

  • Study Active
  • Future Fit
  • YMCA Fit

Once you have found a course provider who is endorsed by CIMSPA, it is important to establish the awarding body that the provider works with (the awarding body is like the exam board, in that they award the actual qualification). One of the largest and perhaps most recognisable awarding body in the active leisure sector is Active IQ. Remember the awarding body issues the certificate so if you want an Active IQ qualification you need to study with a provider who uses Active IQ as their awarding body!

Some popular awarding bodies recognised by CIMSPA include:

  • Active IQ
  • Transcend
  • YMCA Awards

Funded Personal Training courses

Government funding may be available from a college if you are under 19. If someone is over 19+ then a college may be able to offer a 19+ loan (Advanced Learner Loan) however this is an interest bearing loan – not a grant!  If a college or any similar institution is offering any form of Government funding or Government loan, then it is very likely these will be for attendance-based courses. Colleges would be very unlikely to offer any kind of online Personal Trainer course, as college courses are almost always attendance based. For this reason, any Government funded Personal Trainer course you find is very likely to be delivered via attendance based learning in a college or similar institution. Such a funded course may need to also have elements such as English and Maths skills embedded in addition to the Personal Training content.

Private training providers may not be able to offer Government funding, but often the prices are usually competitive and many offer 0% interest free instalments. This is the way many people choose to go as many people (especially busy adults) enjoy the flexibility and online nature of private courses. It can also in many cases to be more preferable to have a 0% instalment plan with a private provider a opposed to an interest bearing loan from a college!

Providers of Personal Training qualifications

Personal Trainer qualifications are delivered via different approaches:

  • Private Course Providers (usually online or blended)
  • Colleges (usually face to face)
  • Apprenticeships
  • Standards embedded into a University Degree programme

Private Personal Training course providers offering taught Personal Trainer certifications usually have a blended offer, meaning that the course uses online/distance learning coupled with some face to face practical. Sometimes such an approach allows for video assessment as an option, though anyone looking to get the best out of a course should look for the option of face-to-face practical assessments. Such a blended approach is ideal for anyone looking to qualify around their work and lifestyle commitments.

Personal Training courses at colleges are more likely to be in-person only, with little or no online component, perhaps making them best for young people who can dedicate themselves wholly to study.

Often popular for school leavers, apprenticeships are very work-based orientated and involve securing an actual work placement with very much a “learning on the job” approach. An apprenticeship is a big commitment for a young person anyone looking at this would need to consider the fact that apprentices are paid an apprentice wage!

If you are studying a Sports, Exercise or Fitness Degree then the CIMSPA level 2 Gym and Level 3 PT standards may be embedded into certain modules meaning that you could achieve such status as part of a degree programme. Be very careful to check this first though as not all degrees will have the CIMSPA standards embedded.

Personal Trainer course content

A recognised Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer course will be based on the CIMSPA professional standards. This means that all providers offering such a qualification are essentially offering the same qualification content. For example, the CIMSPA standards dictate that for L3 PT there must be content relation to topics such as Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition, Programme Design, Client Consultations and Business Skills. For this reason, all providers delivering a CIMSPA PT qualification will cover the same syllabus. Some providers may choose to add in their own extra pieces of learning material however this will usually be more so “in house learning” and not part of the actual qualification.

Some Personal Trainer Course providers may offer packages or bundles that include not just the Gym & PT qualification but also other qualifications such as Level 4 Advanced Personal Training or Level 4 Nutrition. Whilst these are not requirements to become a Personal Trainer, they may be useful additions to a Personal Trainer CV to keep someone ahead of the competition.

Once qualified as a Personal Trainer you may wish to specialise in different disciplines. This is where it is important to consider what additional qualifications you may wish to take. For example, if you wanted to work with clients with certain medical conditions (e.g., diabetes) then you would need a qualification such as Supporting Clients with Long-term Conditions. Likewise, if you wanted to train pregnant ladies then you would likely look to qualify in Pre & Post Natal Exercise. (Note: when engaging any special population client please always make sure you have their GP consent as well as adequate insurance).

Personal Trainer career

Most private Personal Trainer course providers offer some kind of assistance or “Guaranteed Interview” to help you find a position as a Personal Trainer and start your career in the fitness sector. This can be very useful but it’s important not to make decisions based just on what gyms the provider say they work with as most national gym chains will be only too happy to interview a newly qualified PT, no matter where they studied (as long as the provider was reputable and CIMSPA endorsed of course!). You will also see big gym chains offer their own PT courses. Whilst this can be a good option if you are particularly wanting to work for that particular gym, but it can be a little contradicting if you are looking to work elsewhere!

List of Personal Trainer courses

The below list details some UK fitness education providers who offer Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing as well as the Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training. There may be some name variations of these throughout but they are referring to the same thing. We have researched prices from the websites of these Personal Trainer Course providers however we cannot guarantee accuracy and you should always check yourself as prices may vary. Some PT course providers list a combined Level 2 Gym & Level 3 PT qualification, which essentially includes both L2 Gym Instructor and L3 Personal Trainer certifications. Where possible we have included the price for this. If a fitness course provider does not offer such a Gym & PT package then we have added the price of their L2 Gym and L3 PT qualifications together. Please note the first part of this list is for private training providers offering Gym & PT qualifications. The second part is then focused on colleges offering Gym & PT qualifications. Neither list is by any means exhaustive, these are just some examples for comparison purposes. Also there is no set order to either list, this is not a league table of any kind. We have already made reference to three providers in the above article so we will start with these then go from there. Happy reading!

Disclaimer: We compiled this data by hand, and even though we were careful and it took a long time, there might be mistakes. The course providers can also change their offerings at any time. So while we do endeavour to keep this up to date, and it should save you many hours or days, it should be a head-start in your research rather than the end. Check important details with the course providers directly. This is by no means an exhaustive list and is in no set order. 

The below is a list of private training providers who offer Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer Certifications.

Personal Trainer Course 

PT Course Location

PT Course Format

Gym & PT Price

Fitness Courses

Study Active

Various

Online/Blended

£1374

L2 Certificate Gym Instructing & L3 Personal Training Diploma, L4 PT, L4 Nutrition, L3 PPN, L3 Exercise Referral

Future Fit

Various

Face to face

£2995

L2 Gym Instructor Certificate & L3 Personal Trainer Diploma, L3 Pilates, L4 Nutrition, L4 Lower Back Pain

YMCA Fit

London

Face to face

£1999

L2 Certificate Fitness Instructor, L3 Diploma 

Personal Trainer, L4 Obesity & Diabetres, L3 Exercise  Referral

EIF

Shropshire

Face to face

£2990

L2 Gym Instructing Certificate, L3 Personal Training Diploma, L4 PT, Posture & Corrective Exercise

HFE

Various

Blended

£1655

L2 Certificate Gym Instructor & L3 Personal Training Diploma, L3 Nutrition, L3 PPN, L3 Exercise Referral

Fitness Circle

London

Blended

£1800

L2 Certificate Fitness Instructing, L3 Diploma Personal Trainer, L2 Exercise to Music, L2 Group Training

Storm Fitness

Hove

Online/Blended

£1597

L2 Certificate Gym Instruction, L3 Diploma Personal Training, L2 Circuits, L2 Cycling, L2 Kettlebells

Eclipse Training

North East

Online/Blended

£1645

Level 2 Certificate Fitness Instructor, Level 3 Personal Training Diploma,L3 Sports Massage, L3 Pilates

Fit Training

Newcastle

Face to face

£1750

L2 Certificate Instructing Gym, L3 Personal Training Diploma, L3 Sports Massage, L3 Nutrition

Freedom PT

Kent

Face to face

£2250

L2 Certificate Fitness Instruction (Gym), L3 Diploma PT, L3 Sports Masage, L4 Low Back Pain Exercise

YB Fit

Surrey

Blended

£1750

Level 2 Certificate Instructing Gym-based Exercise, L3 Personal Trainer Diploma, L3 Pilates, L3 Massage, L3 Yoga

Fit. Ed. Academy

Scotland

Face to face

£1827

L2 Fitness (Gym Instructing), L3 Diploma Personal Trainer, L3 Pilates, L3 Yoga, L3 Pre & Post Natal Exercise

Personal Trainer Course Providers

If your preference is a more online learning or blended experience then a private training provider may be worth looking at. Following on from the above list of  private Personal Trainer Course providers we will now elaborate further on these: The above list has detailed some private training providers who offer Gym Instructing and Personal Training qualifications. Please note this is a guide only and not an exhaustive list!

Study Active     

Operating nationwide and offering fitness qualifications via blended & online learning including:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instruction
  • Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training
  • Level 4 Advanced Personal Training
  • Level 4 Award in Nutrition

Other fitness courses: Level 3 in Pre & Post Natal Exercise, Level 3 in Supporting Clients with Long-term Conditions, Level 4 Award in Nutrition and Level 2 Award in Mental Health Awareness. Additional fitness CPD including: Kettlebells, Suspension training, Powerclubs, Obesity Myths, Fuelling Physical Activity

Prices for Gym & PT range from £1374

Future Fit Training          

Based in various UK cities. Offering gym based practical workshop fitness courses including:

  • Level 2 Certificate Gym Instructor Course
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer Diploma
  • Level 3 Diploma Pilates
  • Level 4 Award Nutrition

PT Course content includes anatomy, physiology, programme design, nutrition. Other courses include Indoor Cycling, Suspension Training. Low Back Pain, Core Training, Functional Training, Kettlebells, Circuit Training, Resistance Training, Fat Loss. Additional CPD includes Behaviour Change Motivational Communication

Prices for PT course packages start at £2995

YMCA Fit              

Operating in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, offering practical focused health and fitness courses.

Offering courses in:

  • Level 3 Personal Training
  • Level 2 Gym Instructor
  • Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral
  • Level 4 Obesity and Diabetes

Other fitness-related courses provided include – Level 4 Lower Back Pain, High Intensity Interval Training, Indoor Cycling, Kettlebells Pro, Padwork for PTs, Programming and Supervising Exercise with Disabled Clients, Suspension Fitness, Core Stability, Supple Strength, Ante and Postnatal Exercise, Exercise for Older Adults, Exercise Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning

Cost of PT training from: £1999

European Institute of Fitness (EIF)

Based in Shropshire and offering face to face practical and online fitness qualifications including:

  • Active IQ Diploma in Personal Training,
  • ACSM endorsed Fitness & Nutrition Coach
  • ILM endorsed Business Certificate
  • Level 4 certificate in Advanced Personal Training

Course content of PT course includes, one to one PT, Posture & Corrective Exercise, Specific Populations, Pad Work, Circuits, Core Stability, Mental Health, Nutrition& Weight Management. Mobile PT, Outdoor P{T, Online PT, Lifestyle Coaching, Program Design, Fitness Business, Back Care, Behaviour Change, Small Group PT.

Prices of PT qualifications start at £2990

HFE       

Operating in the following areas: Newcastle, Doncaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Nottingham, Walsall, Bristol, Brighton, London, Glasgow, Cardiff. Delivering practical workshop focused health and fitness courses.

Providing fitness qualifications such as:

  • Level 2 Gym Instructor Certificate
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training
  • Level 3 Nutrition for Physical Activity
  • Level 3 Exercise Referral

Other PT-related courses include: Advanced Trainer Module, Level 3 Pre and Postnatal Instructor, Level 3 Business Skills Award, Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults, Level 3 Exercise for Disabled Clients and Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage.

Prices for Gym & PT course from £1655

The Fitness Circle           

Based in London and Liverpool, offering PT courses with practical workshops and e-learning,

Qualifications offered include:

  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Level 2 Gym Instructor
  • Level 2 Exercise to music
  • Indoor Cycling

Course content of PT includes, physiology, program design, nutrition, fitness business skills, health & safety, professionalism. Other courses include; L2 Group Training, Children’s fitness, L3 Pre & Post Natal Exercise, L3 Nutrition.

Prices for Gym Instructor and PT  range from £1800

Storm Fitness Academy

Based in Hove

Health & Fitness qualifications offered include:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instruction and Personal Training
  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instruction,
  • Level 3 Exercise Referral

Other health & fitness courses are – Level 3 Nutrition for Physical Activity, Level 3 Business Skills for Fitness Professionals, Level 2 Understanding Nutrition, Performance and Healthy Eating, Level 2 Circuit Sessions, Level 2 Kettlebells, Level 2 Studio Cycling

Prices to become a PT range from £1597

Eclipse Training

Based in the North East

Offers fitness qualifications including:

  • Level 2 Gym Instructing
  • Level 3 Personal Training
  • Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training
  • Level 3 Sports Massage

Other courses for Personal Trainers include L4 Posture & Corrective Exercise, L3 Pilates, L2 Instructing Studio Cycling, L2 Circuit Training, Adolescent exercise, L2 Group Training, Kettlebell Training, L3 Older Adult Exercise, Suspension Training, Pre & Post Natal, Conditioning, Outdoor Fitness, L3 GP Referral, L3 Nutrition.

Prices from £1645

Fit Training

Newcastle based fitness training provider offering exercise and fitness qualifications which include:

  • Level 2 Fitness Instructor
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Level 3 Sports Massage
  • Level 3 Exercise Referral

Other courses include: L3 Nutrition, L2 Mental Health, L4 Obesity & Diabetes, L2 Studio Cycling, L2 Circuit Training, L2 Kettlebells. L2 Exercise for Children, L4 Strength & Conditioning, L2 Group based Training

Prices of Personal Trainer certifications from £1750

Freedom PT Training

Kent based. Offers the following fitness qualifications:

  • Level 3 Personal Training
  • Level 2 Gym Instructor
  • Level 3 Sports Massage
  • Level 4 Sports Massage

Modules of PT course include, A&P, Nutrition, program design, instructing gym, fitness business, health & safety in a gym. Other courses include: L2 Kettlebells, L2 Studio Cycling, L3 Pre & Post Natal exercise, Level 3 Exercise Referral, Level 4 low Back pain

Prices for Personal Training qualifications range from £2250

YBFit    

A fitness training provider based in Leatherhead, Surrey. Offers exercise and fitness qualifications including:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing – (Gym) Based Exercise
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training
  • Level 3 Pilates
  • Level 3 Sports Massage

Modules include Anatomy, program design, nutrition and business skills. Other courses include: L3 Pilates, L2 Aqua exercise, L2 Mental Health Awareness, L2 Group Training, L3 Yoga, L3 Exercise Referral, L3 Pre & Post Natal Exercise, L3 Older Adult Exercise

Prices to become a Personal Trainer from £1750

The Fitness Education Academy

Scotland based personal training course provider offering the following courses in exercise and health:

  • Level 2 Fitness Instructor
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Level 3 Pilates
  • Level 3 Sports Massage

Other courses for Personal Trainers include: L2 Group Training, L3 Pre & Post Natal, L3 Yoga, Kettlebells, Studio Cycling, Bootcamps, Suspended Body Weight Training, L2 Mental Health Awareness, L3 Nutrition, Strength & Conditioning, Long Term Condition Exercise

Prices to qualify as a Personal Trainer from £1827

 

Further Education Colleges offering Personal Trainer Courses

Whilst the above listed PT course providers are private training providers, there are also Further Education colleges that offer L2 Gym & L3 PT courses across the UK. Remember whilst private providers usually offer some kind of online / blended option, colleges will nearly always offer a more traditional attendance-based option. Please note we believe the below information to be correct at the time of reaserach however we acknowledge that course offerings change at colleges so you are advised to check with any local FE college to see if they are still offering the course. We have also left out prices as colleges may have access to funding for certain people in certain situations, so it is best to speak to them directly. Due to this we have not made a comparison table. Please note the below list is by no means an exhaustive list and is in no set order.  If you are after an attendance based course, where you may attend for example once a week for several months and enjoy learning in a classroom with a group then your local FE college may be a good option to explore.

Nottingham College      

Nottingham based college offering the following attendance-based health and fitness based courses including:

  • Level 3 Personal Training Diploma
  • Level 2 Gym Instructor courses
  • Level 2 Circuit Training
  • Level 2 Exercise to Music

The College of Haringey

Based in Enfield and North East London and Middlesex

Offering in person attendance based fitness courses including:

  • CYQ level 3 Certificate in Personal Training CYQ
  • Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training
  • CYQ Certificate Level 2 Fitness Instructing – Gym-Based Exercise

Also offer – Level 2 Diploma in Health Fitness and Exercise Instruction, Health and Fitness, Sports and Exercise Science Extended Diploma, Sports and Exercise Science Diplomas.

Aylesbury College          

Based in Aylesbury

Offering attendance based health and fitness qualifications including:

  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Level 2 Fitness Instructing
  • Level 3 Personal Training Extended Diploma

Blackburn College          

Attendance based college in Blackburn

Offers the following Gym and PT qualifications:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

Chichester College

Based in Chichester. Attendance based courses in Health and Fitness

  • Level 2 Certificate in Health and Fitness
  • Level 3 Diploma in Health and Fitness

South and City College, Birmingham

Birmingham based college offering in person fitness courses including:

  • Level 2 Fitness Instructing – Gym Based
  • Level 3 Personal Training
  • Level 3 Fitness Instructing & Personal Training

Derby College

Based in Derby

Offers attendance based fitness courses such as:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instruction – Gym-Based Exercise
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

Matthew Boulton College

Birmingham based college that offers the following Gym and Personal Training qualifications as attendance based courses:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

Halesowen College        

Based in Halesowen. Attendance based fitness courses offered:

  • Level 3 Fitness Instructing & Personal Training

Middlesbrough College

Middlesbrough college that provides in person exercise and fitness courses including:

  • Level 2 Instructing Exercise and Fitness
  • Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Development, Coaching and Fitness)
  • Level 3 Personal Training

Milton Keynes College 

Based in Milton Keynes. Offers attendance based courses in health and fitness

  • Level 3 Personal Training qualification

Moulton College             

Northampton based college. Provides in person fitness based courses including:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Exercise, Health and Fitness Studies
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training

West London College    

Based in Hammersmith, London

Offers the following attendance based Gym and Personal Training courses:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instruction
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

Reaseheath College      

Based in Nantwich and offers attendance based courses in Personal Training

  • Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training

East Durham College

Based in Peterlee. Attendance based courses. Fitness qualifications offered include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

Sussex Coast College Hastings

Based in Hastings. Offer the following fitness qualifications as attendance based courses :

  • YMCA Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing
  • YMCA Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training (Gym based)
  • Advanced Diploma in Personal Training

Oldham College

Based in Oldham. Offers attendance based courses and apprenticeships in exercise and fitness including:

  • Level 2 Gym Instructor
  • Advanced Apprenticeship In Exercise & Fitness Personal Training
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer

 

We hope this list has been useful and has given you an idea of different private training providers and also further education colleges that offer Gym & PT qualifications.  As you will see, Personal Trainer qualifications come in all different shapes and sizes so its certainly not a “one size fits all” approach.  The decision is very much a subjective one as not everyone will be looking for the same solution. It is therefore up to you to decide which is the best Personal Trainer course option for you. Please remember this is only a guide, there are no specific recommendations or endorsements, and the above is by no means an exhaustive list. Whilst we hope this guide is useful, you are advised to do your own research before making a decision on the best Personal Trainer course for you!

 

Share this: