FIA chair slams celebrity trainer’s criticism of REPs
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FIA chair slams celebrity trainer’s criticism of REPs

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Viscount Thurso, chair of the Fitness Industry Association, has written to the Daily Express newspaper following the publication of an article by celebrity trainer Matt Roberts, which criticised the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

In the article Roberts advised the public to seek personal trainers with a sports science degree or a highly recognized level of accreditation, such as the American College of Sports Medicine. He claimed that qualifications from private groups such as YMCA, Premier Training and other similar organisations, represented only ‘basic training’.

While he admits that such certification programmes are not ‘bad or wrong’ he told the newspaper’s readers: “The majority of private programmes take no more than eight to 10 weeks to complete and in that time cover as many as eight different subject areas. If you see these qualifications on their own, move along.”

Roberts also criticised the REPs grading system, claiming that qualifications which take “just a couple of weeks, attain the right to become the highest recognised grade (level 3) ahead of a graduate in sports science who is allowed only provisionally on the list.”

Roberts claimed the National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT) was the only credible organisation of its type in the UK, “doing its utmost to guide on standards in the industry”.

In response, Viscount Thurso has written to the newspaper saying the article’s criticisms were damaging to the industry.

“REPs was set up to protect the interests of the public, who can now check the status of a personal trainer or instructor before taking their advice,” said Thurso. “It also safeguards the industry, by giving credibility, recognition and standing to the qualified professionals working within it.”

He said that both the YMCA and Premier Training provide qualifications that are recognised by the register, while many people undertaking sports science at HND or degree level do not have any training in the practical delivery of fitness instruction.

Thurso also explained the relationship between REPs and the NRPT. “NRPT is hailed in the article as the best way of checking whether an instructor is qualified, almost to the exclusion and even dismissal of REPs.

“This is somewhat ironic as the NRPT totally supports the aims of REPs and uses the Register as a resource for checking for appropriate qualifications.”

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Viscount Thurso, chair of the Fitness Industry Association, has written to the Daily Express newspaper following the publication of an article by celebrity trainer Matt Roberts, which criticised the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

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