Government-funded personal training courses allow you to get qualified for free. They aren’t open to everyone and you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria. But they can be a fantastic option for getting certified and embarking on a PT career.
In this article – we cover everything you need to know about government-funded personal trainer courses, including eligibility criteria, training providers, and frequently asked questions.
- Types of funding
- Am I eligible?
- Government-funded courses
- How it works
Government Funding Schemes
The government offers a number of different funding schemes for training courses. Some are aimed at young people or those looking for apprenticeships. Others are designed to help unemployed people find work.
If you’d like to become a PT but don’t have the money for a training course, these schemes may offer a solution. Here’s a list of the types of government funding that you might be able to pursue…
- Funding education for 16 to 19-year-olds
- Legal Entitlement Funding
- Low Value Provision Scheme for unemployed people
- Military resettlement training
- Advanced Learner Loan (unlike the other options, this funding will need to be paid back eventually)
Each of these schemes is aimed at a different age group or career situation. Let’s look at who can benefit from them in more detail…
Who Is Eligible For Funding?
In order to be eligible for government-funded personal training courses, you’ll need to meet certain criteria. The schemes are usually aimed at young people embarking on a career, people without work, or those leaving the military.
- 16 to 19 funding – you need to be aged between 16 and 19 years old, or 16-25 if you have an education, health, and care plan.
- Apprenticeships – you should be aged 16+, live in England, and not be in full-time education.
- Legal entitlement funding – for anyone who doesn’t already hold a level 2+ qualification (e.g. GCSE grade C).
- Low value provision scheme – for unemployed people or those with a job offer but needing suitable qualifications.
- Military resettlement training – for military personnel leaving the service and looking for a new career.
- Advanced learner loan – aged 19+ and studying a level 3 personal training or fitness course.
Government-Funded Personal Training Courses
There are a number of different training providers that are part of these schemes. Government-funded personal training courses are currently offered by Active IQ, PTQ, and Future Fit…
- Active IQ Level 3 Diploma In Fitness Instructing & Personal Training
- PTQ Level 3 Personal Training Certificate
- Body Focus Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Personal Training (not currently available)
- Future Fit Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training (military)
Only Future Fit offers government-funded personal training courses online. This allows you to study from the comfort of your own home, but you’ll still need to attend practical workshops and assessments in person. There are other training providers that offer fully online PT courses but these aren’t usually eligible for government funding.
If you’re open to getting an Advanced Learner Loan instead of a government grant, then you can also train with Lifetime and YMCAfit.
How It Works
With the majority of these schemes, the government pays the training provider directly. You won’t need to pay out anything so they give the money straight to the college or training company.
Training providers will ask you to complete eligibility checks to ensure you meet the government’s funding criteria. This may involve answering some questions by phone or completing a form. You may be asked to provide proof of your status such as a form of ID that shows your age.
The only scheme that’s different is the Advanced Learner Loan. Unlike the others, you need to repay this once you start earning more than £26,575 per year. You will need to apply for the learning loan yourself but the money is still paid directly to the training provider.
The average PT salary in the UK is £20,000 per year, but you wouldn’t need to start repaying the loan until you earn above the £26,575 threshold.
Government-Funded Courses FAQ
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about funding for PT courses…
Can I get funding for a personal training course?
Yes, fully funded personal training courses are available to people who meet certain eligibility criteria (listed above). Anyone over the age of 19 can also apply for government-funded student loans to pay for their PT qualification.
Do I need to get a loan?
Not necessarily – in most cases, the government gives the funding directly to the training provider. However, learning loans are an option if other avenues aren’t available to you. But think carefully about whether you want to take on debt in order to pursue a new career.
What are the other options if I’m not eligible?
Other options include funded personal trainer courses that are paid for by employers. Large gym chains will sometimes pay for your training if you commit to working for them for a certain time period. You could also look at a student loan or free training options.
What about funding for level 2 gym instructor courses?
Many of these funding schemes can also be used for level 2 gym instructor courses. For example, Premier training has access to the government’s Adult Education Budget (AEB) for funding these. However, you can’t get an Advanced Learning Loan as this option is only for level 3 qualifications or above.