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FITREC is Different

Written by Dennis Hosking, Managing Director, HealthyPeople and FITREC

Fitness professionals differ in skills, experience, interests and career direction.

FITREC is the first and only industry association to celebrate and highlight these differences rather than focus on simply ‘registered/not registered’ or assign levels based on years registered ahead of experience and qualifications. Our unique approach stems from our drive to support, inform and help develop industry professionals.

Building a representative service from scratch has afforded us the opportunity to question things often taken for granted and build improved services from the ground up. As a result, FITREC is a very different service to those that have preceded it.

Following are key points that set us apart…

No CEC/PDP requirements.

We respect the right of professionals to pursue the learning of greatest interest to them and to undertake that learning as and when convenient.

We combine this freedom with the transparency of FITREC profiles to maintain individual accountability. That is, any learning done, or not done, is obvious to all.

We understand that the cost of undertaking courses for the sake of points reduces funds needed for more significant learning opportunities and further qualifications. There is also the fact that a great many learning opportunities, both in Australia and overseas have no interest in paying a third party for assessment and approval. Why ignore these learning opportunities?

There will always be professionals that choose not to pursue further learning. Our belief is that the industry benefits where these professionals remain visible and accountable, rather than becoming an ‘unrecognised (or unregistered) professional.’

Recognition of qualifications and experience, not time registered.

A qualified fitness professional can be FITREC recognised and have their FITREC profile and rating reflect their background from day one. By contrast, becoming a ‘Level 3’ with Fitness Australia, for example, is only available to a degree qualified professional (regardless of experience) after they’ve paid for 6 years of registration fees. It gets worse for Cert IV qualified professionals, they need to pay for 10 years of registration PLUS CEC fees to rate Level 3 [1].

FITREC ratings that reflect individual accomplishments.

This is the first true and balanced benchmark for industry professionals that has ever been developed. The FITREC rating takes into account education, experience and references, giving each a score out of 100, providing a total out of 300. Scores for education and references depreciate over time. A maximum score for experience can only be achieved after 12 years in the industry.

Ability to include references on profiles.

In our connected world, there are very few purchases made without some attention given to reviews. Similarly, recruiting managers and clients will take into account professional references from credible sources. Recognising our need for social proof, FITREC profiles give professionals the ability to include references from clients and industry peers.

Display all work experience.

Everyone respects industry experience. Some of the greatest professional development happens in the workplace. Understandably, recruiting employers look favourably upon candidates with considerable work experience, especially if that experience is with an employer that is renowned for high-level in-house training.

Display all learning.

Most courses are acknowledged as LEVEL A or B by FITREC for the purpose of increasing your FITREC rating. Irrespective, professionals can include details of any professional development undertaken and attach a certificate. In this way, we ensure professionals are better able to represent themselves. It would be impossible for any representative body to be aware of every available learning opportunity.

Store all your certificates in one place.

It can be easy to lose track of completed certificates. To ensure you have all you need, when you need it, you can include a soft copy of every certificate on your FITREC profile. This includes certificates for qualifications, first aid/CPR and Certificate of Currency for insurance. And if you work for more than one employer, simply update your FITREC profile with the new documents and they’re immediately available to all.

Ability to showcase related achievements.

Fitness professionals often engage in activities outside of work that help shape their career focus. For example, they might take part in bodybuilding competitions, distance running events, obstacle racing, cycling events, etc. Or they might have received awards for work. None of which could be listed as ‘Education’ or ‘Experience’ but still provide a significant insight into the professional. FITREC profiles have a specific section for including these achievements along with the ability to add certificates or photos.

Direct debit option.

Registration fees can be a big hit for professionals, especially when starting out. To make things easier, we provide the option to pay for industry recognition in monthly instalments of $10. This also removes the concern about whether registration is still current – unless cancelled, it’s current.

Industry-leading service and prompt response to ALL requests.

FITREC is run by the same group that manage HealthyPeople recruitment, which boasts a community of more than 79,000 professionals and more than a thousand employers. For 11+ years, we’ve built a reputation for providing high levels of customer care and responding to all queries in a timely and efficient fashion. We’ve ensured this same level of service is provided to all FITREC professionals.

Link to your FITREC profile from HealthyPeople.

Most professionals find themselves in the job market at some stage in their career. The ability to link directly from an employment service to your industry profile makes so much sense, for both employers and professionals.

Not only does being recognised demonstrate greater professionalism, FITREC profiles ensure your best foot is forward, more than a CV ever could. For employers, it’s everything they need in one place (that displays well on any device).

Recognition for Fitness Students.

FITREC Student recognition provides a platform to begin building your professional presence. Student recognition is 60% cheaper than our standard rate, and all student profiles are clearly identified.

Discounts and freebies.

In place of fees, kickbacks or affiliate marketing, we have asked many providers to contribute something for our members in return for promotion of services. As a result, in less than two years we’ve given out countless free books, free and discounted learning opportunities plus SIX FREE PASSES to FILEX (while I have paid for entry). We also provide free promotion to employers for any FITREC professional looking for work.

Access to an independent network of services, not affiliates.

FITREC takes no part in affiliate programs. You can be sure that any recommendations are based on our own experience and understanding and in no way influenced by sponsors or ‘associate members.’

Transparency is at the heart of self-regulation.

FITREC requires no assumptions about whether a professional is registered and whether they have undertaken ongoing learning. If they have an active profile, they’re recognised. And on that profile is all the information an employer or client needs to know about that professional’s experience, certifications, references and related achievements.

By using technology to best advantage, FITREC has been able to provide industry professionals with more support and accountability than has previously been available. Our structure gives us the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to individual needs and as a young player in an established market, we’re taking no chances on building the best possible reputation.

[1] http://fitness.org.au/articles/registration-levels/84 – Worth noting that group exercise instructors that do not require a Cert IV will never be Level 3 without obtaining the Cert IV.