November 17, 2013 Damon Hayhow

Fitness Australia: Setting the Record Straight



My previous post about “Why Personal Trainers do not need Fitness Australia” caused quite a stir. What I said did seem hugely critical of FA when, in fairness, I do not believe the problems in the fitness industry are FA’s fault!

The Disgraceful State of Vocational Training

Like many people, I am frequently upset by the gross misrepresentations and appalling incompetence in the Fitness Industry. Unfortunately, these problems are systemic. The vocational training regulations in Australia have reached a point of irrationality whereby failing a student based on gross incompetence is considered ‘discrimination’. The wonderfully “inclusive” concept that ‘everybody should be given every chance to pass’ has been wrapped in regulation that effectively makes it too painful for RTO’s to fail anyone who bothers to turn up! No wonder then that so many industries are overrun with people who are highly qualified and utterly incompetent!

Fitness Australia (FA) is not at fault for this. FA does not own or control the Fitness Training Package so RTO’s are free to build whatever course they want around the package contents; no matter how bad it is. Thats just how the vocational training system works in Australia.

So FA deserves high praise for the work they do with what they have to work with! They do a whole lot of painfully awful – but legally necessary – policy and standards setting…. stuff! Honestly, the thought of having to do what they do – to work with the lawyers and bureaucrats they have to work with – turns my stomach and gives me a headache!

Accurate Representations

FA’s website makes it clear that ‘fitness’ is about helping decrepit people achieve mediocrity; NOT about making ‘fit’ people leaner, more muscular or more athletic. And FA makes it very clear that PT’s are not qualified or legally allowed to prescribe diets.

Its the RTO’s and others selling fitness courses, services and products who are misrepresenting Fitness as being about creating good bodies. And it makes sense to misrepresent your product when your product is rubbish. Nobody wants to buy physical mediocrity. They want body recomposition; but thats not what fitness is!

It is also the RTO’s and gym managers who mistakenly believe Trainers NEED FA registration for insurance and to work in the industry. They are the ones misleading Trainers. Contrary to what RTO’s tell Trainers, FA itself does NOT state that registration is compulsory for employability; merely that registration enhances employability.

All About Insurance

The point of my blog about PT’s not needing FA was that Trainers can get insurance from numerous insurers, without FA registration and even without Certificate 4 in Fitness!

Just Google “personal trainer insurance” and you’ll get a swag of viable options including SportsCover – the former insurance partner of FA. You can download an application, call up the Insurers direct, or call a broker (NB: Brokers often get better deals than you will get direct). Its not hard to find Personal Training insurance (though some brokers do mistakenly believe FA registration is necessary)!

Insurance without FA is more expensive than it is through FA. But it still costs MUCH more to do CEC courses and pay for registration than you save on the insurance. And if you are an experienced PT who specialises in body recomposition then FA registration and your fitness qualifications are utterly inappropriate for the service you provide! You need Recomp!

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Damon Hayhow

Damon Hayhow has been in the body recomposition (Recomp) and bodybuilding industry for 30 years as a coach, competitor, gym owner, teacher, sponsor, show promoter, judge and MC. He has won National competitions in both powerlifting and bodybuilding, set world records, and coached others to the same success in strength sport and physique competition.

Body recomposition diet and training concepts based on logic and reason; not scientism