It’s a popular question among fitness instructors – do I need to be first aid qualified? Can I work in the fitness industry or get insurance without a first aid qualification? Since there’s some confusion over this, we’ve created a guide to first aid for fitness instructors.
Why do I need a first aid qualification?
Although a first aid qualification isn’t usually a mandatory requirement for getting a job in a gym or sports centre (and is not needed to take out our fitness instructor insurance), being first aid qualified will significantly improve your employment prospects.
By law, gyms and fitness clubs are required to have at least one first aid qualified professional on-site at all times. Therefore, if you’ve applied for a job and can include a first aid qualification on your CV, you have an automatic advantage over other fitness instructors without this qualification.
And as all fitness instructors have a duty of care to their clients, holding a first aid qualification shows that you’re serious about ensuring their wellbeing.
When would a first aid qualification come in handy?
Even with the most meticulous training methods, your clients could suffer unexpected illnesses and injuries when putting pressure on their body.
Therefore, holding a first aid qualification that equips you with the knowledge to deal with these illnesses and injuries can only enhance your career and provides that added peace of mind for your clients. This qualification could be the difference between gaining a new client or losing them to another instructor.
However, being first aid qualified isn’t just important for those who are employed by a gym. If you’re a freelance fitness instructor, prospective clients might ask you for your credentials to put their mind at ease.
They will feel safe and secure while training with you if they know that you’re a fully accredited first aider, especially if they have a medical condition. Plus they might be more likely to recommend you to others, who could in turn spread the good word – and so on.
What first aid courses are available?
Here are some of the courses which can help you excel in this area.
- Emergency First Aid at Work – This is the UK’s most popular first aid course and with good reason. It teaches you how to respond to all manner of accidents, from a minor injury to an emergency. If you obtain this qualification, it’s valid for three years from the day of your certification.
- First Aid at Work – Among other things, this course looks at the role of the first aider, managing an emergency and effective first aid practice. From a fitness instructor perspective, it focuses on bone, muscle and joint injuries, spinal injuries and chest pains – all of which you’re likely to come across at some stage if you intend to be a fitness instructor long-term.
- Defibrillator Training Course – If you want to gain a comprehensive knowledge of first aid and prepare yourself for a serious situation, this is the course for you. The main areas covered are conscious and unconscious heart attacks, when to use a defibrillator and how to operate a defibrillator in different environments.
Who provides the qualification?
There are a whole host of training centres, but here is a selection of reputable providers…
- St Johns Ambulance offers an extensive range of first aid courses, and you can find out where your local training centre is on their website. Their courses cost £135 per person.
- Discovery Learning, a leading fitness education provider, based in Cheadle, Cheshire, offers a Level 2 Emergency First Aid at Work qualification (L2EFAAW). This is a one-day NVQ L2 QCF qualification which is recognised by the HSE. It covers the expectations of a first aider, how to perform CPR on adults and children and how to deal with different medical conditions. It costs £150 per person.
- YMCA Fit’s Emergency First Aid at Work qualification looks at how to conduct a scene survey, first aid for a choking casualty and first aid for an unresponsive casualty, among other things. This course can be studied in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Leicester, London, Manchester and Nottingham. It costs £129 per person.
Once you’ve become first aid qualified, make sure that you communicate this to anyone who is interested in employing you or training with you!
Including it on your website or social media profile is the perfect endorsement of your credentials and could help secure new clients.
As touched on previously, including it on your CV is a no-brainer if you want to secure your dream job and stand out from the competition.
You’ve invested a lot of time and effort to become a certified fitness instructor so why not get first aid qualified for that extra point of difference?
For more information like this to help you take your career to the next level, download our FREE personal trainer guide.