Active IQ Qualifications: A Comprehensive Guide

Active IQ Qualifications: Your Ultimate Guide to Fitness Industry Certification

In the rapidly evolving world of fitness and health, it’s essential to obtain the right qualifications to stand out and excel in your career. Active IQ is a leading awarding body that offers a wide range of certifications to help you achieve your goals. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into Active IQ qualifications, their recognition, and how they can benefit your career in the fitness industry.


Who is Active IQ?

Active IQ is a UK-based, Ofqual-recognized awarding organization that specializes in certifications for the fitness, health, and wellness sectors. Established in 2004, Active IQ has grown to become one of the most respected and trusted awarding bodies in the industry. Their focus lies in providing high-quality, industry-relevant qualifications and resources that help individuals develop successful careers in fitness, leisure, and well-being.

With a strong commitment to excellence, Active IQ continuously develops its qualifications in line with industry standards and employer needs. They work closely with various stakeholders, including employers, training providers, and professional associations like CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) and REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals). This collaboration ensures that their qualifications remain up-to-date, relevant, and valued by professionals and employers alike.

Active IQ also invests in innovation and technology to support learners and training providers. They offer a range of digital learning resources, such as eLearning platforms and eAssessments, to enhance the learning experience and streamline the assessment process.

In summary, Active IQ is a well-established, reputable awarding body that plays a crucial role in shaping the fitness, health, and wellness industries by providing top-notch qualifications and resources for aspiring professionals. Their strong ties with industry stakeholders and commitment to maintaining high standards make them an excellent choice for anyone looking to pursue a career in the fitness sector.

What is an Active IQ qualification?

An Active IQ qualification is a certification awarded to individuals who successfully complete a training program designed by Active IQ. These qualifications are tailored to various roles within the fitness industry, such as gym instructors, personal trainers, and group fitness instructors. Active IQ qualifications ensure that professionals have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to provide safe and effective fitness services to their clients.

Is Active IQ Recognised by CIMSPA?

Yes, Active IQ is recognised by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector. This recognition is crucial because it ensures that Active IQ qualifications meet industry standards and are valued by employers.

CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sports and physical activity sector. Established in 2011, CIMSPA aims to enhance the professionalism and quality of the fitness, sports, and leisure industry by providing a unified voice, setting industry standards, and offering professional development opportunities.

CIMSPA’s primary objectives include:

  1. Setting standards: CIMSPA works closely with employers and industry experts to develop professional standards that define the knowledge, skills, and behaviours required for various roles within the sport and physical activity sector. These standards serve as a benchmark for qualifications and training programs, ensuring that professionals have the necessary expertise to perform their jobs effectively.
  2. Endorsing qualifications and training: CIMSPA reviews and endorses qualifications, training programs, and CPD (Continuing Professional Development) courses that align with their professional standards. This endorsement provides quality assurance to employers and professionals, ensuring that the training meets industry expectations and requirements.
  3. Professional membership and recognition: CIMSPA offers membership to professionals working in the sport and physical activity sector, including personal trainers, fitness instructors, and sports coaches. Members gain access to a range of benefits, such as networking opportunities, career development resources, and industry recognition through the use of post-nominal letters.
  4. Supporting employers and training providers: CIMSPA collaborates with employers and training providers to ensure that the workforce is equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in the industry. They also provide resources, guidance, and support to help organizations develop their employees and meet industry standards.

By offering a unified approach to professional development and industry standards, CIMSPA plays a vital role in raising the quality and credibility of the sport and physical activity sector. Professionals and employers within the industry are encouraged to engage with CIMSPA to ensure their qualifications, training, and practices align with current best practices and industry expectations.

For more information on the importance of CIMSPA recognition, check why your personal trainer course must be CIMSPA recognised.

Is Active IQ legit?

Yes, Active IQ is a legitimate and reputable awarding organization within the fitness, health, and wellness sectors in the UK. They are recognized by Ofqual (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation), which is the government body responsible for regulating qualifications, exams, and assessments in England.

Their commitment to providing high-quality, industry-relevant qualifications and supporting resources has earned them a strong reputation among fitness professionals, training providers, and employers. Active IQ qualifications not only equip individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their careers but also ensure that their credentials are valued and trusted within the industry.

Active IQ Course Levels and Equivalents

Active IQ offers various levels of qualifications to cater to different career stages and aspirations. Here, we’ll discuss some popular courses and their equivalents:

Active IQ also offers several Level 2 and Level 3 courses in specialized areas such as Kettlebells, Circuits, Suspension Training, and Pre and post-Natal exercise.

Free Courses and UCAS Points

While Active IQ doesn’t offer free courses, they provide affordable and valuable qualifications for fitness professionals. The Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training is worth up to 16 UCAS points, which can contribute to your university application if you decide to pursue higher education.

How long does it take to become a Level 3 personal trainer?

The time it takes to become a Level 3 personal trainer can vary depending on several factors, including your prior experience, study method, and availability. Generally, the process involves completing a Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing followed by a Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training. Here’s a breakdown of the time commitment for each stage:

Face-to-face courses can be completed in 8-12 weeks. Online courses offer greater flexibility, with most courses giving students up to 2 years to complete. This works well with students with busy work and personal life. That said, students on the online course can complete it quicker if they can commit more time to the course. Again, the quickest time to complete an online course would be 8-12 weeks.

Alternative Awarding Bodies and Qualification Comparison

There are several other awarding bodies offering personal trainer qualifications, such as:

  1. Focus Awards: Focus Awards is a UK-based awarding organization recognized by Ofqual, offering a diverse range of qualifications in various sectors, including fitness, health, and well-being. They provide qualifications that are designed to meet industry standards and support learners in achieving their career goals. Focus Awards works closely with training providers, employers, and learners to ensure their courses are up-to-date, relevant, and recognized within the industry.
  2. YMCA Awards: YMCA Awards is a well-established awarding organization specializing in qualifications for the health, fitness, and well-being sectors. As a part of the Central YMCA, the world’s founding YMCA and one of the UK’s leading health and fitness charities, YMCA Awards is committed to promoting active and healthy lifestyles. They offer a wide range of vocational qualifications, including personal training, fitness instruction, and group exercise instruction. Their qualifications are designed to equip learners with the skills, knowledge, and confidence required to excel in their chosen profession.
  3. Innovate Awarding: Innovate Awarding is an Ofqual-recognized awarding organization that offers a variety of qualifications across multiple sectors, including health, fitness, and well-being. They aim to provide flexible, responsive, and innovative qualifications that meet the needs of learners, employers, and training providers. Innovate Awarding works collaboratively with industry experts to ensure their qualifications are relevant, engaging, and aligned with the latest industry standards.
  4. NCFE: NCFE is a leading UK-based awarding organization with a history that spans over 170 years. They are recognized by Ofqual and offer a wide range of qualifications across various sectors, including fitness, health, and well-being. NCFE’s qualifications are designed to support learners in achieving their career goals and developing the skills required for professional success. They work closely with employers, training providers, and industry experts to ensure their courses are up-to-date, relevant, and meet the needs of the industry.

While each awarding body has its unique approach, what’s most important is that your chosen qualification is recognized by industry associations like CIMSPA. Also important is the quality of the training provider, many promise lots but deliver very little. Educate Fitness pride itself on offering the best support in the industry.

It’s worth comparing course content, support, and resources provided by different awarding bodies to ensure you select the best fit for your needs. Ultimately, your choice of qualification should align with your career goals and personal preferences.


Active IQ qualifications are a valuable investment for anyone looking to build a successful career in the fitness industry. With industry recognition and a diverse range of courses, Active IQ provides the necessary tools to excel as a fitness professional.

Don’t forget, there are other awarding bodies out there that offer qualifications of the same standard. Do your research. If you need any further guidance, complete the form below… we’re always happy to help.



Scroll to Top