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Health Club Management

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New partnership aims to help 'bridge the gap between fitness and public health'

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and Future Fit Training have signed a strategic partnership, designed to provide education and support for exercise professionals.

The partnership looks to recognise and promote the growing role of those working in physical activity in improving public health.

As part of the partnership, the two will develop a suite of new qualifications for the exercise professional workforce.

Duncan Stephenson, RSPH's director of external affairs and marketing, said: “This partnership is part of our commitment to support the wider public health workforce.

“It recognises the broader role of the exercises professional workforce in supporting individuals to lead healthier lives and will provide a convenient, and unique way for those working in the health and fitness sector to be recognised by RSPH and supported in their careers.”

People completing the courses developed jointly by the partnership will become members of the RSPH, which will gain them access to a variety of networking events, regular newsletters and the peer reviewed journal, Perspectives in Public Health.

Elaine Briggs, head of education for Future Fit Training, added: “This partnership will help to bridge the gap between the fitness, nutrition and public health sectors.

“We passionately believe that fitness professionals have a role in the promotion of healthy eating, the effect of diet on health, and should be equipped with the confidence and skills to cater for a host of demographics and dietary needs – while within the scope of their area of responsibility.”

In 2018 RSPH and industry body ukactive published Going the Distance, a report which highlighted the important role the UK’s 57,000 exercise professionals can play in improving the public’s health.

The same year, Future Fit published its own report – titled Raising the Bar – which identified areas where exercise and fitness professionals excel, and aspects of the roles which require improvement.

The findings – released annually, provide an opportunity to ensure professionals are regarded as a relevant and credible part of the wider workforce, alongside being able to support the current priorities around the Nation’s health.

The findings from both reports highlighted the need to equip the fitness industry with better qualified professionals.

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