We have managed to secure funding for an online Level 2 Gym instructors’ course through the STUC Union learning fund. It is clear the course is popular amongst our membership and highly likely that interest will exceed the capacity, which is for 12 learners.

The SPS have given us their full support in facilitating the course and assure us that they will support candidates who successfully apply for the course in their attendance (operationally contingent):  which we thank them for.

The information for the course is as follows:

Course code: GYM 0206X

Course dates: 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th of March 2021

Course times: 9am until 3pm each day

Theory Online Assessment: 20th of March (1hr and 45 mins)

Practical Assessments: To be arranged by course tutor and learners (1-1 with tutor -1hr and 30 mins) as well as a video submission.


Day 1 Online Delivery


Introduction/Day to Day structure
Assessment requirement/ LAP and folder discussion
Health and safety of facilities
Collecting information/fitness testing – demo’s/Behavioural changes/Stage of change/SMART goals and goal setting
Consultation practice

Day 2 Online Delivery


Importance of healthy lifestyle, healthy eating, and hydration
Understanding how to plan and instruct gym-based exercise
Cardiovascular methods, demo’s/videos, intensities, RPE, Heart Rate and pulse raising
Pre stretch static/dynamic – videos
Resistance methods – Resistance Machines, free weights

Day 3 Online Delivery


Body weight exercises
Functional exercises
Cool down and flexibility
Consultation Observation Assessment – client complete programme
Instructing safe and effective gym-based exercise/Teaching sequence
Monitoring the safety and intensity of the exercise
Adapting exercise to accommodate different client needs

Day 4 Online Delivery


Discussion of group training assessment
How to plan home based programming 1-1 sessions and group fitness classes
Home based training considerations
Practicalities Insurance, Parq and use of technology for supporting clients and safeguarding yourself
Programme card for group assessment


Online Assessments:



The theory assessment is completed Online, the assessment is multiple-choice, there are 50 questions and the allocated time to complete it is 1 hour and 45 mins. The pass mark is 35/50.
A date is set for each course.

Worksheets and Assignments

Throughout the online delivery course candidates will be set coursework/assignments, worksheets etc and will be marked by their course tutor.

Professional discussion

The professional discussion will take place via zoom, this discussion will be recorded by the assessor. The interactive professional discussion will incorporate the use of equipment/technique videos provided by Active IQ which will include both correct and poor technique. The videos will include 30 second silent video clips of a person using gym equipment. After viewing the video, the candidate will be expected to explain the set-up requirements of each piece of equipment/ exercise and the coaching technique they would use when instructing a client using the equipment/exercise.

Summative observed session

  • Candidates will video themselves following Active IQ Digital Recording Guidelines (please see links below), delivering their planned session with their client.
  • Practical assessment must be delivered in line with NHS Public Health and government guidelines, either 1-2-1 outdoors, or indoors with a member of the same household.
  • Candidates may use members of their household as clients to participate in summative practical assessment.
  • Candidates will adapt the programme delivery to the environment their current environment.
  • Candidates can choose from the equipment and exercises available to them.
  • Please see attached documents for more information about the assessments.

As this course is entirely online the geographical issues we envisaged no longer exist, therefore this course will be opened up to the entire membership to apply.

It is our intention to seek to have the 12 candidates from across as many sites as possible, and as we have more branches than spaces, we may be required to have a selection process/ random ballot process in place for selection.

You will see from the dates of the course they are over 2 weekends so the flexibility to get time off becomes less onerous, however the SPS have agreed to work with us to help facilitate the time off, so please speak with your FLM in the first instance, to arrange this prior to committing to participate on the course.

At this stage we only require you to complete the application form attached with this email and get the completed forms to your Union Learning Representative (ULR) if you have one. (The following branches listed do have one,)

Carstairs, Cornton Vale, Dumfries and Polmont

Or alternatively, your POA local branch Chair or Secretary by the 25th February.  (Who in turn need to return that information to by 26th February).  There are instructions attached from the learning provider for your information. 

You will be notified week of 1st March if you have been selected for the course.

Yours sincerely

On behalf of POA Scotland



Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.