These guidelines are for Personal Trainers on the Register of Exercise Professionals who wish to carry out personal training online.
The REPs Code of Ethics and Conduct is the underlying framework for the Guidelines for Online PT Business Practice as detailed below, and should be adhered to in conjunction with these guidelines. These principles apply to REPs members' relationships with current and prospective customers, which includes those who market directly not only to customers, but also to businesses and governing bodies.
The provision of online personal training services should only be available for individuals who:
- are asymptomatic* (i.e. determined by the pre-exercise completion and interpretation of an appropriate screening tool such as PARQ-R & AHA/ACSM).
*Asymptomatic is the term used by the ACSM/AHA to denote the absence of any of the specified key symptoms of disease (that are considered to put an individual at risk of an adverse event related to participation during or following exercise).
A REPs Member offering online Personal Training services:
- Is committed to their customer's satisfaction and manages expectations.
- Should ensure that their personal training product is representative of the normal trainer-client relationship.
- Should conduct the process of screening, initial assessment, personalised programming, regular monitoring and review - although it is recognised that the trainer might not be present during the process.
- Should clearly, honestly, and accurately represent their services, products, terms and conditions. Misrepresentation may result in the member being removed from the Register.
- Is able to communicate precise instructions, guidance and knowledge in writing or via the chosen media.
- In recognition of the absence of direct observation, identifies when a client is not suitable for online training. This could be due to:
a. The ability of the client - e.g. has never exercised before and therefore needs more direct supervision of exercise technique.
b. The contraindications presented by the client - e.g. injuries/illness that require exercise adaptation and may need direct observation of the client's exercise technique and/or intensity etc.
- Identifies when to refer to one-to-one direct supervision and training, or to another professional, when physical activities or risks fall outside their professional boundaries or that they do not feel competent to deal with.
- Should not prescribe any form of exercise programme, session or individual exercise that they have not been trained to deliver/teach effectively, or for clients they are not qualified to work with.
- Should not provide prescriptive nutritional plans or advice or develop bespoke individualised nutrition plans for clients.
- Responds to inquiries and complaints in a constructive, timely way.
- Maintains appropriate security policies and practices to safeguard sensitive and confidential information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (see Information Commissioners Office website, www.ico.gov.uk).
Please refer to the Occupational Descriptor for the specific role of a Personal Trainer.