What is CIMSPA? - For personal trainers (2023)

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, or better known as CIMSPA, is the newest and largest governing body in the fitness industry. Or is it?

In this article we will see whatCIMSPAreally does, because let's face it, who really knows how they compare to other government bodies, what they do, and whether or not a personal trainer needs to sign up for membership.

Let's do it.

What is CIMSPA?

CIMSPA is a UK-based professional development organization that enables fitness professionals to thrive in the sport and fitness industry.

The main ethos behind CIMPSA is to develop professional sporting talent to help not only professionals and organizations but also the wider UK public. The organization aims to help encourage higher levels of public activity through its work to ensure high standards of practice.


Wow, so many abbreviations. Let's start with what we know...

REP stands for Register of Exercise Professionals and is the UK's most popular regulatory body for personal trainers. It's a registry for thousands of fitness and sports professionals across the UK.

(Video) CIMSPA: The Journey

Established in 2002, the REP registry lists more than 20,000 people and includes educators as well as athletic trainers and coaches. Everyone on record must meet industry training standards.

REP states that professionals who join REP have a clear advantage in the job market. By joining the registry, they demonstrate that they have met industry training standards and are qualified to serve customers, but this happens all too often. Something most trainers call BS (another acronym for you) because literally no client has ever asked if their personal trainer is registered as a REP.

REP also helps people in the fitness industry find new job opportunities. Registration gives fitness and sports professionals the opportunity to demonstrate their qualifications and find work in a variety of settings.

Registration also protects members with accident insurance and offers free tax services to help self-employed instructors complete tax returns.

Now at CIMSPA...

CIMSPA offers many of the same services as REPS, but has some advantages over the older industrial organization. Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMPSA, says fitness professionals should prefer REPs because the biggest employers in the industry support the organization's vision.

This is Tara...

What is CIMSPA? - For personal trainers (3)

(Video) CIMSPA Membership

Club heads and other key figures in the fitness industry want to promote the same agenda as CIMPSA, which is to help the UK public become more active. Additionally, many industry leaders consider CIMSPA to be a more trusted source for quality professionals. REP standards vary widely.

Dillon says trust is another issue for REPS. Clients want to know that the people who train them are fully supported by an accredited body that verifies their qualifications. CIMSPA provides security and gives industry professionals a seal of approval.

Finally, CIMSPA is the only collegiate professional organization in the fitness industry. Professionals listed on REPs are supported by an official agency but cannot obtain chartered status.

What is Chartered status you say?

I don't know. I've read about excellence in standards and embodying your industry values, but there really hasn't been any discussion of how this can be achieved other than through membership. hmmmm

Here.Maybe you'll find out...

CIMSPA vs. The institute for personal trainers

I have been asked several times if the Institute of Personal Trainers is a government agency because of ourCode of Ethical Conduct.

They were not.

The Code of Conduct is provided as a general guide on how the trainer and client should conduct themselves in order to ensure that expectations are met and met.

The Personal Trainer Institute caters to personal trainers who want to set up their own business and we offer:

  • Business courses for personal trainers
  • tools and resources
  • A community of personal trainers
  • offers and discounts

Plus, it's completely free forbecome a memberand start learning.

What does CIMSPA actually do?

CIMSPA has two long-term strategic priorities. The first is to provide successful opportunities for young professionals in the fitness and sports industries. The second (and closely related) objective is to provide practical support to help people develop and manage their careers.

CIMSPA therefore has primary responsibility for setting industry qualification and training standards. It is up to the CIMSPA core team to determine whether or not a given program meets the organization's requirements.

CIMSPA is also responsible for setting the standards for professionals seeking certification in the fitness industry. As the regulatory body, it determines what personal trainers and other fitness professionals must do to obtain chartered status.

The organization also holds an annual conference. The purpose of the meeting is to bring members together and share good practice news. It is also an opportunity to discuss and obtain better results.

Do we need these things in the fitness industry? I think so, but I'm not sure this is the best way to go about it.

While your subscription may be worth it...

(Video) Introducing CIMSPA's work

What are the advantages of being a member of CIMSPA?

Ready for? Because it's a little complicated.

Almost any professional related to fitness, sport or physical activity can apply for CIMSPA membership. This one contains:

  • yoga teacher
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • swimming instructor
  • pilates instructor
  • wellness practitioner
  • Personal trainer
  • group coach
  • recreational staff

CIMSPA divides those who can benefit from membership into three groups.

The first group is students and young graduates. CIMSPA aims to provide services to help these people launch their careers and help them find professional work in the industry.

For students of disciplines related to sport and physical activity, CIMPSA offers several benefits, including:

  • Introduction to the code of conduct in the fitness industry
  • Match students with potential employers in the sports and fitness industry
  • Support in obtaining final internships at the end of the course,
  • Access to S&PA Extra, CIMSPA's monthly digital newsletter
  • Access to the S&PA Extra magazine, a quarterly publication that brings articles, information and links for fitness professionals
  • Access to free CPD e-learning materials through the CIMSPA Academy

The second group is frontline professionals: people who are already actively involved in the fitness industry. The benefits for professionals are significant.

  • Registration in the register of CIMSPA members.The CIMSPA Membership Directory is proof to your clients and employers that a professional organization is validating your qualifications.
  • An online profile.CIMSPA is interested in bringing professionals closer to clients and employers. The organization provides members with a shareable profile to demonstrate their membership and showcase their talents.
  • situation in the industry.Membership in CIMSPA brings with it a degree of prestige in the industry. They claim that both customers and employers recognize the organization and believe in the standards it sets.
  • A record of professional development.CIMSPA tracks your current career progress and shows employers and clients what you've done so far and what roles you might be suited for in the future.
  • Access to the CIMSPA Academy.CIMSPA operates an e-learning platform called the CIMSPA Academy. Members can take free continuing professional development (CPD) e-learning courses and upgrade their skills here.
  • Newsletter for CIMSPA members.The CIMSPA Member Newsletter is a curated news publication that provides guidance, resources and updates on industry developments. It is a way of keeping up with trends and charting a course for professional development.
  • Information about job offers.CIMSPA informs about vacancies in its network and informs members. Providing job details makes it easier for people to find relevant jobs.
  • Access to S&PA Extra.Finally, professionals now have access to CIMSPA's monthly digital bulletin, S&PA Extra.

The third group of people who benefit from CIMSPA are those seeking managerial and senior positions in the fitness industry. It's more expensive, but I can't tell you what you're getting for the additional membership fees.

(Video) CIMSPA Conference 2020 highlights

CIMSPA membership requirements for personal trainers?

If you are interested in joining CIMSPA as a personal trainer, there are a variety of requirements you must meet. CIMSPA bases these requirements on its internal professional standards.

To become a personal trainer member, you must have a recognized personal trainer qualification. You must also provide evidence that you have completed professional training if you graduated more than five years ago. CIMSPA wants you to show that you have retained your skills and knowledge. Here is a list of titles recognized by CIMPSAHere.

To become a CIMSPA practitioner, you must have at least a recognized qualification of level 3 or higher. Must have qualified within the last five years.

You can become a CIMSPA Partner with a recognized Level 2 qualification. You must also have earned this qualification within the last five years.

Must personal trainers be members of CIMSPA?

Personal trainers do not require CIMSPA membershipActivity in the fitness area in the sense that it is not a legal obligation. However, for those looking to make the most of their career, membership might be an option for you.

CIMSPA has strong government support and is at the forefront of human resource development in the industry. CIMSPA is also endorsed by many of the fitness industry's top employers, includingPlaces for people's leisure,Fusion lifestylesjNuffield Health, with new notes for the organization each year.

If you are interested in gaining experience with one of these organizations before venturing out on your own and starting your own personal training business, consider joining CIMSPA.

For this reason...

(Video) What is The Best Personal Training Course (UK): Course Comparison

Many organizations now support CIMSPA because of their frustration with the unpredictable quality of fitness professionals on the Exercise Professionals Register. CIMSPA is considered to be more credible as employers are more interested in candidates in the CIMSPA than in the REP.

Membership allows a personal trainer to be placed on the register and achieve higher professional status with potential future employers.

Furthermore, for some non-CIMSPA instructors, there is not much incentive to keep their skills up to date. However, personal trainers can benefit greatly from using the CIMSPA CPD to further their career aspirations. CIMSPA supports everyone from graduates just entering the workforce to those aspiring to advanced management positions.


1. Personal Trainers SHOULD NOT Work For Gyms, Here's WHY!
(James Smith)
2. CIMSPA webinar: Introducing the Delivering Sport and Physical Activity Online policy
3. CIMSPA employer partnerships
4. CIMSPA higher education partnerships
5. How To Become a Personal Trainer (UK)
(Origym Personal Trainer Courses)
6. Become a CIMSPA partner benefit supplier
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