Online qualification parameters

The professional bodies that PD:Approval works with create their own framework that determines which qualifications will give membership or a category of membership within their organisation.

There are a number of ways that these qualifications can be delivered but PD:Approval upholds the stance adopted by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) that they will not recognise any fitness qualifications on their framework that are delivered entirely online where the Awarding Organisation stipulates a practical assessment.

We have seen an increase in the amount of 100% online delivery of qualifications from training providers for disciplines that give entry to the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) and/or offer an additional category.

PD:Approval and REPs have acknowledged for a number of years now that qualifications which are delivered with the use of online tools (blended) are extremely beneficial to the learner in covering theoretical knowledge requirements, and set the learner up to be ready for their invigilated assessment/portfolio of evidence.

However, we believe that, despite the advances in technology, qualifications delivered solely online cannot guarantee sufficient technological software (online face to face forums, real time streaming etc) to offer the practical sessions prevalent in our sector qualifications.

Therefore if you are offering 100% online qualifications where your Awarding Organisation stipulates a practical assessment, and where the qualifications are on the REPs or Sports Therapy Association (STA) frameworks, they cannot be included in any endorsement and your learners will not be able to use them to join either the REPs or STA as a member or to gain another level.

PD:Approval is in the process of reiterating this stance to the sectors’ Awarding Organisations so that they can filter the message through to their training centres.

REPs is planning a CPD review with this as an agenda item and PD:Approval plans to send out an industry survey which will feed into this review to consider setting parameters, and also whether this is at all acceptable for such a practical vocation.

In the meantime, PD:Approval has set its own parameters which state the minimum requirement for recognition of qualifications and acceptable for an endorsement submission:


  • At least one full day workshop to deliver the practical element of the qualification and an observed assessment


  • 20 hours work experience with a REPs professional in a gym setting with a portfolio of evidence signed off by the gym manager, verified at each stage by the training provider

We will be individually contacting all our endorsed providers offering qualifications within their endorsement to ensure that they are aware of this position, and to clarify that there are no 100% online qualifications included in that endorsement. We will also be liaising with the Awarding Organisations to ensure this message is passed to their accredited centres.

If you have any questions about this issue, please do contact us at




2 thoughts on “Online qualification parameters

  1. Interesting stance to take. Training providers who offer qualifications go through rigorous verification by the AOs for whom they are centres. I don’t know of any AO that allows purely online delivery. All quals have a minimum QT. It is the AOs job to verify centres and not Reps or PD. It is not that long since Reps introduced with Skills Active an assessment only route for holders of unrecognised quals who were given credit for prior learning and went straight to assessment. This is a turn about with no industry consultation. Reputable training providers with years and years of industry experience are in a far greater position to decide on the best method of delivery for a learner together with their AO. We should not support Reps in making a distinction between how a learner received delivery of their AO cert. leave this to the AOs. It is their role. I would be very interested in other training providers views.


    1. Thank you very much for your comments, which we have duly noted. However, we can only reiterate our present stance that PD:Approval and REPs do not accept 100% online qualifications.

      REPs and PD:Approval


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