New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 4) 

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Who is this qualification for?    

This programme is for people who want to deliver exercise instruction to individuals. 

Setting the trainee up for a career as an employed or self-employed personal trainer, exercise consultant, community exercise instructor, or team training instructor, this qualification opens doors. 

People working in any of the above roles are experts in all things exercise. They know the body well, and hold knowledge about a wide range of exercise techniques. These people incorporate health and wellness into their programmes 

This qualification will be delivered online, and in an exercise workplace. Assessments will be completed online.

Coming out of this qualification, you will have the skills and knowledge to adapt and deliver appropriate exercise programmes to a wide range of individuals. 

What's involved?

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This 60-credit qualification has three modules:

Module 1: Fundamentals of exercise | Theory-based and completed online 
What you'll learn:

All about the industry and your role as an exercise professional

Anatomy, physiology and how body systems work during exercise

How to promote health outcomes through nutrition, how to work with Allied Health professionals, and how to work holistically with clients

How to use your own personal characteristics to meet legislative requirements and build a successful exercise business.

Module 2: Delivering exercise programmes | Mix of theory and practical 
What you'll learn and do:

Theory of exercise science and how programming works

Pre-screening and testing

Applying your knowledge to design and deliver exercise programmes for six clients from a range of demographics.

Module 3: Becoming an exercise professional | Mix of theory and practical 
What you'll learn and do:

Monitoring the progress of your clients from Module 2

Motivation and enhancing commitment

Reviewing a client programme and making an Allied Health referral

Networking and continuing professional development

How to use business tools and marketing practices to create a successful exercise business.

This qualification is designed to be completed in 9 months

Programme structure

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The programme is made up of the following unit standards:

Unit standard 30448 Work professionally and safely as an exercise instructor to promote health and wellbeing within an exercise facility L3 8 credits
Unit standard 30634 Demonstrate knowledge of human anatomy, physiology and health risk factors L4 13 credits
Unit standard 30635 Pre-screen, design, deliver and adapt exercise programmes L4 15 credits
Unit standard 30637 Apply motivational techniques to enhance exercise participant commitment to individual exercise programmes L4 5 credits
Unit standard 30638 Demonstrate knowledge of how nutrition, health and wellness frameworks and allied health can promote health outcomes L4 7 credits
Unit standard 30639 Provide support to exercise participants on nutrition, health and wellness, and allied health to promote health outcomes L4 5 credits
Unit standard 30640 Develop marketing and business tools and procedures to support business practices as an exercise professional L4 8 credits

For more information on the content of the qualification, visit the NZQA website, here.

What are the costs?

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On-job training costs workplaces both time and resources. It can mean covering registration fees, learning and assessment resources, allocating time for training, and having an appropriate assessment pathway available.  

Total costs for trainees will vary depending on how the qualification is delivered, how it is assessed and how much support the workplace can provide.   

To check out our fees list, fees list and financial help options.

For more detailed information about the cost of doing an on-job qualification, get in touch. 

Where to from here?

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Keen to deliver beneficial exercise instruction and make a real difference to peoples’ wellbeing? Think this might be the right qualification for your staff?  

To find out more, contact your regional Skills Active learning support advisor.   

Remember, to do this qualification on the job, a Skills Active trainee needs to be working as a volunteer or paid employee in the exercise industry.  

If you are interested in this qualification, but you're not currently employed in the industry, contact your local gym or exercise facility, or a Skills Active learning support advisor to talk about how you can get involved.  

Want to see where this qualification can take you next?

Check out our range of other exercise qualifications

Discover your own career path on Tōu Aratika  - our careers website. 

Enrol now!


Contact your regional advisor or

P   0508 4 SKILLS (0508 475 4557)