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27 Feb 2020

CIMSPA strikes REPs deal to create a single directory for fitness professionals
BY Tom Walker

The announcement was made by Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching (left), Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth (middle) and Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA

The announcement was made by Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching (left), Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth (middle) and Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA
photo: CIMSPA

CIMSPA and UK Coaching have signed a deal to combine the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) with the CIMSPA Exercise and Fitness Directory.

The announcement was made by Sport England CEO, Tim Hollingsworth, at the CIMSPA & QUEST NBS Conference this afternoon (27 February).

The move will create a single directory for all exercise and fitness professionals, resulting in a unified recognition system for people working in the sector and a single endorsement mechanism for training providers.

Speaking at the event, Hollingsworth, said: “Sport England welcomes this important milestone towards building a unified and excellent sport and physical activity workforce.

"A single directory for the professionals working in our sector will enhance our ability to provide skills, training, recognition and career development. This, in turn, will empower the workforce to deliver even more positive experiences for everyone seeking to be active in communities right across the country."

All current REPs members will be given the opportunity to transfer into the CIMSPA membership scheme, with the new directory being hosted and managed by CIMSPA and UK Coaching delivering insurances and giving access to its knowledge and training platform.

REPs has been operated by UK Coaching since 2017.

The new unified directory will be launched in the coming months, with CIMSPA and UK Coaching working closely together to ensure a "smooth and effective transition process" for all REPs and CIMSPA members.

In the interim, the two organisations are advising all members to renew with their respective membership bodies, as normal, to maintain their professional recognition.

"This move is all about two organisations working together to create a unified recognition system for the sector," said Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA.

"It will help CIMSPA and UK Coaching to be in a position to provide the best possible service to the workforce and will also realise important elements of the Government’s 2015 Sporting Future strategy and Sport England’s 2016-2021 Towards an Active Nation strategy."

Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching, added: "Nothing will change immediately and, as it is a requirement of the sector for fitness professionals to maintain their professional status and insurance while being deployed in their job role, all exercise and fitness professionals should continue to register with their respective membership bodies.

"UK Coaching and CIMSPA are working together to ensure a seamless transition to a single system. We will be communicating to our respective members over the coming months and will be doing all we can to make this as smooth a transition as possible."

Ultimately, the move will also consign the REPs name to history.

"Once all members have had a chance to transfer to CIMSPA and therefore the Exercise and Fitness Professional’s Directory, the REPs brand will disappear," Dillon said. "This will take about a year, as members renew over the next 12 months."

In parallel with the creation of a single directory, CIMSPA and UK Coaching will also complete the standardisation of training provider support.

Commercial training providers will be able to access a unified endorsement system, aligned with the sport and physical activity sector’s professional standards framework and backed by CIMSPA.

Commenting on the potential impact to employers, Dillon said: "We see a big benefit for employers in simplifying and bringing clarity to the system.

"CIMSPA membership will become the only professional recognition that employers need to look for. Many employers are already CIMSPA partners and require all of their staff to have a CIMSPA membership, and we will be working closely with others to make them fully aware of the new landscape."

Find out more in our exclusive interview with Tara Dillion and Mark Gannon in the March issue of HCM magazine – out soon.



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