Lots of post and editorials on Fitness Australia of late in the media some positive some negative – so as a club owner and a member of Fitness Australia for the first time this year here’s what I think.
We know its not compulsory to be member of FA whether you’re a club owner or trainer lets make that clear and the fitness industry is a non- regulated industry,we all know that. I’m in my 12th year as a club owner 12 months ago I paid a membership as a business for the first time and I just received my renewal notice. As a club owner I have alway stipulated I prefer the staff to be FA registered here’s why.
By being registered with FA I know that they can only receive this recognition by gaining continuing education points,this means over a set period of time they need to educate themselves in the area they practice in. EG: personal trainers need to update their skills so that they deliver to their clients the best possible training skills not only for results but safety and ongoing research that can be passed onto clients. Just like any career, up skilling equals success and longevity, results passed onto our clients from up skilling becomes retention not only for the personal trainer/group fitness instructor but also for the club owner. Everybody stays in a job. Group fitness instructors also need to gain points and they can do this by attending workshops as well. So where do the points come from? They come from various educational providers who write courses both physical and theory. How do the course providers get the points? They write the educational sessions and present the documentation which meets a criteria that FA set. FA then present it to their educational team who then decide if the session has meet their standard and if so they then reward that session with points. The points are allocated based on the type of workshop and the time it takes to do the workshop. The trainer pays for the workshop,gains the points,then presents all their certificates to FA who then renew their registration with FA. A copy is then given to the club owner who then has proof the trainer has educated themselves and not relied on magazines or you tube clips for ideas/concepts for clients.This means a club owner and consumer can feel confident in the staff member. Do course providers have to present their courses to FA? No. Catch is the reasons I gave you as to why I prefer FA registered staff, it helps me keep an eye on my staff. Can course providers teach courses without FA approval? Yes, its up to the consumer if they want to attend. Some of the Australia’s best educational sessions are conducted by those without FA approval.Think about it is every convention speaker/trainer registered with FA?
There is no other current organisation to my knowledge that offers the same to our industry as FA – in lay terms they have no real competitors.
In the twelve months that I have been a club member of FA that is a registered business I have not received one phone call from any person.I’m a new member where was the follow up? I have received newsletters thou!
My issues with FA
1.We have to many non qualified trainers in the industry setting up shop, as the only organisation here in Australia representing the fitness industry you should be doing something about it. These people take income from us the club owner and our staff, Therefore disallowing some clubs the affordability of a FA membership.
2.Stop wasting money in areas that have absolutely no gain for independent club owners. Get off the political agenda the only clubs to benefit from this is the chains.
3.Yes you went into battle with Apra – but I still have a $7k bill yearly and when I went to Apra to question some of the pricing the reply was it’s FA fault they negated. I am not the first club to have this issue. Maybe your board needs real club owners who work their business everyday and have a better understanding of the business of fitness to assist in decisions.
I doubt I will renew my business membership with FA, as a consumer of a product its been poor service. No personalised touch at all, perhaps FA need to attend a few retention workshops. I am your client and your accountable to me just as I’m a club owner and accountable to my consumer.
It’s a small cost whats the big deal – No it’s an expensive cost when I don’t get a return! Would you put money in a term deposit for 12 months and get nothing.
I’ve owned my club for 12 years and for the last 8 years as an instructor and trainer I haven’t been registered with FA. I continue to educate myself 24/7 at workshops both accredited and not accredited with FA. I travel to Filex every year and attend many other conventions. I don’t need to be a member to attend them. I’m a business owner and I make myself accountable to educate. I have great pricing on insurance and I can work and have worked for other providers without FA registration. My business is a success.
I look forward to watching the new board members drive Fitness Australia with change.