How To Become A Level 3 GP Exercise Referral Personal Trainer

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how to become level 3 gp referral trainer

I never feel like I know enough, so ongoing education is something extremely important to me to ensure I’m offering the best service possible as a Personal Trainer. That’s why I have a piece of news to share with you that is very exciting to me, and will hopefully help you in your journey to becoming a fitness professional too! Watch the video to learn more…

Yep, as of today I am an OriGym ambassador, who provide Level 2 & 3 Personal Trainer courses, CPD courses, speciality courses, and even a teaching and assessment course. They’re based here in the north west though they have assessment centres all over the country. As part of being an ambassador I get to do their courses and the first one I’ve chosen is the Level 3 Exercise Referral course, which will qualify me to work with those have chronic physical conditions or illnesses, and improve their health and wellbeing. This is something I’ve always wanted to do and is a big step towards my bigger fitness career goals.

By the way – the fantastic lady in these photos is my mum, who has some chronic health conditions herself and has recently started training with me! These beautiful pictures were taken by Will Green at her very first training session.

how to become level 3 gp referral trainer

What is the Level 3 Exercise Referral Course?

It’s a course for those who have achieved their level 2 Gym Instructor qualification or above and is made for those who are interested in working with clients with chronic health conditions with controllable risk factors. It also means you’re qualified for doctors to refer their patients to you, so as well as specific nutrition and exercise for those with chronic conditions, within the course you learn how the healthcare system works and what the referral process looks like.

GP referral is different to the doctor simply recommending more exercise – it’s referring the patient into a structured, supervised exercise programme to help manage their condition and decrease the speed of deterioration.

Did you know..?

I’ve only just started my course, but there are a couple of facts that really jumped out at me:

  • The World Health Organisation stated in 2003 that 3% of the disease burden in all developed countries was caused by inactivity.
  • The BHFNC said in 2010 that inactivity cost the NHS around £1 billion.
  • Government policy is for all adults aged 19-64 to do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise plus 2 days of strength training per week.
  • There are some conditions exercise is completely contraindicated for, so we can’t assume exercise will have a positive effect on everybody.

how to become level 3 gp referral trainer

How is it assessed?

This course is online – I’m just one unit into it so far, but I’ve found both the content and navigation really clear and easy to follow. I’ve been taking notes as at the end of each section there’s a short quiz, then there’s your portfolio and practical assessment to do, plus 2 online exam papers – for both of these you need a score of 90% in order to pass. I’ve been asked to send in my portfolio one unit at a time for a smoother experience and this is on an editable PDF.

You do the course at your own pace – I’m trying to do an hour a day to get it done but also make sure everything sinks in. Sadly some days are just too busy, although I reckon if I’m doing three hours a week that’s pretty good going!

When I first logged in to the platform I was a little confused as I had some modules missing, but if you’ve already completed your Level 3 Personal Training course you don’t need to do the anatomy section of the course. You can never know enough though so it can’t hurt to swot up on the subject.

What sort of job can you get from the course?

If you check your usual job websites there’s a range of local councils looking for exercise referral trainers, both full-time and part-time, so if you’re a Personal Trainer looking for a bit of stability then this is a great route for you. I may never take GP referrals but I’ll be confident that I’m offering all my clients the best service possible, no matter their age or their current health conditions.


Are you thinking of taking your Personal Training qualifications or looking for a good variety of CPD options? I’m going to keep you updated on my education with OriGym so you can make an informed decision, but in the meantime don’t hesitate to drop me a line for advice, whether you’re nervous about starting out or you’d like some direction in getting to your goals. I’m so excited to be learning again and to be taking steps towards my big fitness career goals.

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