Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport, Fitness and Personal Training

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport, Fitness and Personal Training is a 2-year qualification for post-16 learners, equivalent in size to three A levels.

The qualification is intended for post-16 learners who wish to progress to employment in the Sport and Fitness sector as a personal trainer but whose aspirations may also be to progress to University courses.

What does this qualification cover?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with employers and professional bodies. This ensures that the content is appropriate and consistent with current industry practice, which enables learners to enter employment directly in sports coaching and development roles. Higher-education institutions have been consulted to ensure that the qualification allows appropriate progression for those aspiring to higher-level study.


Learners taking this qualification will study eight mandatory units:

–           Careers in the Sports and Active Leisure Industry

–           Health, Wellbeing and Sport

–           Fitness Skills Development

–           Personal Trainer Skills Development

–           Research Project in Sport

–           Self-employment in Sport and Physical Activity

–           Nutrition for Physical Performance

–           Business and Technology in Personal Training.

The wide range of units allow learners to develop technical skills of working with groups and individual clients in a health and fitness environment. They will extend their skills and knowledge to work with individual clients to develop training sessions and programmes and give nutritional advice and guidance to clients to further support them in achieving their health goals such as losing excess body fat, or sporting goals such as being able to compete in a marathon. The Business and Technology in Personal Training unit helps learners to develop business acumen and to learn how to use technology effectively. This will support them in setting up and managing their own personal training business, which is a popular employment route for many professionals working as personal trainers.

What could this qualification lead to?

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport, Fitness and Personal Training has a primary focus on progression to employment as a personal trainer and supports learners in setting up their own personal training and exercise instruction business. This will allow learners to work independently as a personal trainer, working freelance in a local area, as well as being able to employ other personal trainers if they grow their business.

Learners will also have the skills and knowledge needed to provide training sessions and training programmes for clients to match their specific needs. Learners will gain additional knowledge and expertise that allows them to provide other sport- or fitness-related services to the clients they personally train. These services could include, for example, sports massage and fitness testing. This helps to provide a more tailored service to the individual’s needs and therefore increase the demand for services in the local community in which they operate.

The qualification attracts UCAS tariff points and is recognised by higher-education providers as meeting entry requirements for many related courses. Learners can progress from this qualification to higher-education degree programmes, such as a BA (Hons) in Health and Fitness and a BSc (Hons) in Diet, Fitness and Wellbeing. Learners should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes with the provider.

How do these qualifications provide employability skills?

Throughout the course there are a number of opportunities to give learners practice in developing employability skills. We generally refer to skills in the following three main categories:

• Cognitive and problem-solving skills: using critical thinking, approaching non-routine problems applying creative solutions.
• Interpersonal skills: communicating, working collaboratively, negotiating and influencing, self-presentation.
• Intrapersonal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and development.

How does this qualification provide transferable knowledge and skills for higher education?

This qualification provides transferable knowledge and skills that prepare learners for progression to university. The transferable skills that universities value include the ability to learn independently, to research actively and methodically, to give presentations and to be an active group member. BTEC learners can also benefit from opportunities for in-depth holistic study, where they are able to make connections between different areas of learning. BTEC Nationals provide a vocational context in which learners can develop the skills required for particular degree courses, including teamwork, project work, and presentation and analytical skills.

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