How To Spot An Unqualified PT

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Professional PT John Coleman explains what to look out for when choosing a new PT.

Before engaging the services of a Personal Trainer there are some very basic minimum standards that you should look for. Just because they may be able to produce a file full of certificates and evidence of insurance and first aid does not mean they are valid or genuine.

A professional body like the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) will only accept trainers/ coaches who hold valid and acceptable qualifications. They will also check if valid insurance for the work they carry out is held. A quick look on the website and typing in the PT’s name should tell you if they are a member.  The other benefit of using REPS is members are required to accumulate a set number of CPD points over two years to ensure they keep up to date with changes in the fitness industry.

But what if your trainer has chosen not to join such an organisation like REPS? There is no legal requirement for a trainer to join such an organisation and therefore are entitled to carry out their work. However, if you are going to trust a PT with the job of constructing a safe, effective and interesting fitness regime for you it is best to enquire about their level of qualification, insurance details and perhaps first aid qualifications.

Steps to Take

Ensure your chosen PT is qualified and professional if you take these steps:

  • Are they a member of REPS (Register of Exercise Professionals)?
  • Do they hold valid insurance?
  • What fitness qualifications do they hold?
  • Do they hold a basic first-aid qualification?
  • Are they qualified to give nutritional advice or formulate specific meal plans?
  • Are they DBS checked?
  • Can they provide references forms existing or previous clients?
  • Did they request a PARQ (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) from you before training with them?
  • Did they offer fitness testing to determine baseline fitness at the start?
  • Was a consultation offered to outline your goals / objectives?

These are a few pointers to enable the public to assess the Personal Trainer of their choosing and try and avoid ending up in the wrong hands.


Credit to John Coleman REP certified Personal Trainer and


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