Pilates Teacher Training and Qualifications

Training providers Health and Fitness Education (HFE) reveal that seven out of ten of the UK’s fitness enthusiasts prefer Pilates to yoga. In a recent survey, respondents said they thought Pilates was more dynamic, helped participants to lose weight and tone up, offered a real workout, and made cardio exercise fun.

So, there is clearly a demand for Pilates teacher training – but what will you need if you want to offer it?

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Whenever you engage in customer-facing teaching or instruction – including any role as a Pilates instructor – there is the risk of something going wrong and injuries being sustained. That is where Pilates instructor insurance from us here at Protectivity can give you the peace of mind that you can run your business whilst being properly protected.

What is the difference between a Pilates Instructor and a Pilates Teacher?

An instructor shows their clients how to perform exercises effectively and safely, demonstrating the necessary techniques and providing appropriate feedback.

A Pilates teacher will educate their students such as how a movement should feel, the muscles which should be activating at which stages of the exercise, and getting back to a neutral position safely.

For the purposes of this blog, we use the terms Pilates teacher and Pilates instructor interchangeably.

Training and choosing a regulated course

The UK’s health and fitness sector is especially buoyant and progressive – an area in which recognised qualifications will count for a great deal if you want to set up in business as a Pilates instructor.

Typically, you will need between seven and 24 months to train as a Pilates instructor – from the start of your training programme until a final exam at the end. The time it takes will vary, of course, depending on your personal circumstances, any training you might already have received, and the level of qualification for which you are striving.

When starting your training to become a Pilates instructor, it is important that you choose a nationally accredited and regulated course. All qualification awarding organisations are listed on the official websites of the regulators. The Register of Regulated Qualifications which can be found on the Government’s Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) official website is the most extensive.

Professional bodies

Nationally recognised qualifications in the wider health and fitness sector includes regulation by:

The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). REPs claims a national and international membership of more than 24,000 and regulates the sector by ensuring that all its member trainers and instructors meet and abide by the National Occupational Standards agreed for the health and fitness sector.

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) is another main regulatory body that recognises qualifications you might hold as a Pilates instructor.

What qualifications do I need to be a Pilates instructor?

The principal qualification for a Pilates instructor is the Level 3 Diploma in teaching Pilates. Some training organisations describe the qualification as the Level 3 Mat Pilates Instructor Course.

The Level 3 Diploma is very much an entry-level qualification – and you do not need any prior experience or training to enrol. Nevertheless, if you have other formal fitness teaching qualifications – such as a Gym Instructing qualification – you may be able to advance through the course more quickly. Some training courses may also recognise Accreditation of Prior Achievement (APA) certificates as part of your enrolment.

Level 3 allows you to train Pilates at beginner and intermediate levels. You can then get further qualifications by taking a Level 3 Instructor course with small equipment (this allows you to work with a wider range of clients).

Further qualification can be attained with Level 4 which expands your scope of clients even more and enables you to work with pre- and post-natal clients and those with common orthopaedic problems.

Becoming a Pilates instructor can be a rewarding profession where you may be able to make a real difference to your clients’ fitness and mobility levels – we hope this blog has helped you start on your journey to a new career.

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