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Sports Coach UK acquires REPs

The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), has been taken over by Sports Coach UK “in its entirety”. The deal was announced today (24 January 2017).

REPs was founded by SkillsActive, the sector skills council for the active leisure industry, in 2002 as part of an industry-wide initiative to professionalise the fitness industry to enable government collaboration and funding. Ministers had made it clear they could not work with an industry which didn't adhere to professional standards.

REPs grew to become the biggest skills register in the world, but ran into difficulties in 2015, culminating in a crisis in early April 2016 when it was forced to deny it might close.

Later that month Sport England piled on more pressure, as it was revealed it would support CIMSPA to launch an alternative register, following a new government plan laid out in the Sporting Future strategy.

Days later on 20 April 2016, Sports Coach UK – which had been collaborating with REPs since 2015 – stepped in and announced it would work alongside SkillsActive to run REPs.

This collaboration has clearly been a success, leading to today’s announcement of a complete takeover.

Mark Gannon, CEO of Sports Coach UK, who joined the organisation in May 2016 from British Gymnastics, said: “Coaching is no longer solely about acquiring and honing technical skills for sport, it’s about improving people’s experience of sport and physical activity by providing specialised support and guidance which is aligned to their individual needs and aspirations.

“Our investment into one of the most recognised registers in the fitness industry means we’re able to improve our services for members of REPs."

Gannon said Sports Coach UK will work with industry experts and learning providers to better support exercise professionals in delivering great experiences as they contribute towards an active nation.

“We believe people inspire people and look forward to working with exercise professionals to support their professional development and learning to deliver a great experience for their customers – whatever the motivation.

“We know good coaching makes a difference and more importantly, encourages people to stay active,” he concluded.

Editor's note

In a previous version of this story, we said that Sport England had funded REPs. This was not the case.

Sport England funded SkillsActive, the entity which owned REPs, but it did not allocate dedicated funds to REPs.

Our story has been updated to reflect this.

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The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), has been taken over by Sports Coach UK “in its entirety”.
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