VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

Qualification Information

Sector: Sports, Active Health and Fitness Category: Personal Training
VTCT Product Code: SP3C18 GLH: 208 Age Restriction: 16
Qualification Number: 603/3669/9 Units: 4 Registration End Date: 31st Jul 2022
Level: 3

Additional Information

Documentation for this qualification last amended 1 September 2020

Statement of purpose

Who is this qualification for?

The VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training is a VRQ aimed at learners aged 16+ who are either in a full-time level 3 education programme, a part time programme at a college or with a private training provider, and wish to pursue a career as an employed or self-employed personal trainer. The qualification is based on the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) professional standards for personal training.

What are professional standards?

A professional standard is a framework which defines the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to perform certain tasks relating to a job role. These standards will gradually be embedded into qualifications by Awarding Organisations to replace the current qualifications that are underpinned by national occupational standards (NOS). Within the sport sector these standards are employer led and facilitated by CIMSPA. The CIMSPA professional standards outlines the knowledge and skills required to underpin the occupations and job roles within the sport and physical activity sector.

What does this qualification cover?

The qualification includes all the required elements to work effectively personal trainer learners must achieve all mandatory units which include:

  • Applied anatomy for exercise, fitness, health and wellbeing
  • Designing and delivering personal training programmes
  • Nutrition for exercise, fitness, health and wellbeing
  • Business awareness and acuity for personal trainers

  • Throughout this qualification, learners will develop their knowledge and understanding of relevant anatomy and physiology in an applied context. They will also develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to consult with clients, gather relevant lifestyle information and conduct appropriate fitness assessments; this information will be applied to programme and deliver personal training sessions, provide appropriate healthy eating guidance and support clients with changing lifestyle behaviours to promote health and wellbeing. They will also develop business awareness in an applied context. In parallel, learners will develop their communication and customer service skills, their awareness of environmental sustainability and their commercial skills, all of which are valued highly by employers. Problem solving, team working skills and research skills will also be developed.

    What could this qualification lead to?

    This qualification is fully endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). Learners who achieve this qualification are eligible to become a fitness instructor and become a member of the chartered institute for the management of sport and physical activity (CIMSPA). As a personal trainer, learners could progress directly into employment in a variety of contexts, which include:

  • Commercial gyms
  • Public leisure centres
  • Specialist personal training studios
  • Independent/self-employed/mobile/home-based training settings
  • Television, media and fitness
  • Private health and fitness clubs
  • Armed forces
  • HM prison service
  • Cruise liners

  • Whilst the primary purpose of this qualification is to prepare learners for employment, learners may choose to develop their knowledge and skills further by completing an exercise referral qualification and then progressing to a specialist qualification including developing further at level 4 in one or more of the following areas:

  • Low back pain
  • Obesity and diabetes
  • Mental health
  • Cardiac disease
  • Fall prevention
  • Stroke
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Cancer rehabilitation
  • Long term neurological conditions

  • Qualification Structure

    Mandatory - from this group you'll need to cover a minimum of 4 components and earn a minimum of credits.

    Unit Code Unit Ref Unit Title Level Credits GLH
    USP186 R/617/2594 Applied anatomy for exercise, fitness, health and wellbeing 3 80
    USP187 Y/617/2595 Designing and delivering personal training programmes 3 54
    USP188 D/617/2596 Nutrition for exercise, fitness, health and wellbeing 3 42
    USP189 H/617/2597 Business awareness and acuity for personal trainers 3 32

    *For full details of the Rules of Combination for this qualification please see the Qualification Specification/Record of Assessment book.


    *To find specifications for individual units, click on the "Structure" tab of your chosen qualification, select the unit code in the left hand column and on the new page click on the "Download unit book" tab under the unit title.

    Centres approved to run this qualification

    VTCT accredits centres to offer our qualifications, but cannot advise which centres are running particular courses at any time. Please contact the centre directly to find out if they currently offering your chosen qualification.

    NB: The location displayed for each centre is based upon the centre's main address. The location displayed is not necessarily the only location that the centre can deliver VTCT qualifications from. For further information on a centre's delivery capabilities please select the centre's website address.

    Centre Name Telephone Website Location
    Holistic Beauty Academy 07876 680133 Visit website Berkshire - Reading
    Warrington & Vale Royal College 01925 494494 Visit website Cheshire - Warrington
    Bodmin College 01208 79220 Visit website Cornwall
    Health Hub Fitness Academy 07852943530 Visit website Derbyshire - Derby
    Wigan and Leigh College 01942 761600 Visit website Greater Manchester - Wigan
    KSM Therapies 07931 231320 Visit website London - Bromley
    LionHeart In The Community (LITC) 020 3397 0303 Visit website London - Lambeth
    Wirral Metropolitan College - The Oval Campus 0151 551 7001 Visit website Merseyside - Wirral
    Ruby Elite Training 01782 499227 Visit website Staffordshire - Stoke-on-Trent
    TherapyFit Training Academy 0330 122 7517 Visit website West Midlands
    Churchtown Institute +353 1 458 6603 Visit website Ireland
    Sports Fitness Academy +353 876288724 Visit website Ireland
    Uni Learning 028 9590 2890 Visit website Belfast