Australian Fitness Academy

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These are some of the common questions we get asked! Please contact the Academy on 1300 973 342 if you would like more information or to enrol.


Is face-to-face study better than online study?

This is a very common question. In developing the courses for online delivery the Academy has ensured the online study requirements and online learning system are easy to use and interactive. As an online student you receive access to our full-time student support officers and for those students in Victoria you can chose to attend up to 2 face-to-face classes at no charge and a range of supportive workshops. The practical placement requirements also ensure the practical application of the theory is covered.

Therefore, the choice to study either face-to-face or online is really one of personal choice as both options are great ways to study.

How am I supported through my course?

The Academy employs full-time student support officers to ensure you receive all the help you need to get you through your studies. Students studying fully online can simply send an email or pick up the phone to gain the support they need.

The support to you does not just exist throughout your studies. The Academy continues to offer support upon course completion with access to 100+ current career and job opportunities, guaranteed interviews*, advice on setting up your own business and regular Alumni Newsletters to keep you in the loop with what’s happening in the fitness industry well after you have completed your studies.

All students also receive 12-months access to the online learning system for each certification course. Even if you complete a 9-week Certificate III in Fitness course you can refer back to online notes and educational videos at any time to refresh your knowledge.

Why should I enrol with AFA instead of another educational provider?

With 20-years of fitness education experience we truly are the leaders in fitness education and our levels of student support are second to none (as outlined above).  Here’s some more great reasons why students chose to study at AFA.

Networking opportunities. With 20-years in the industry the Academy has strong industry links. Take full advantage of the 100+ career and job opportunities that are promoted through Academy links. Visit the AFA Alumni job board, the Sports People job board and receive a free 12-month membership to HealthyPeople, the leading online fitness industry recruitment specialists.

Access to first class lecturers. Some lecturers used by other organisations have only just recently completed their Certificate IV in Fitness qualifications and their depth of knowledge is simply not equal to that of AFA presenters who have University qualifications and many years experience in the industry.

Our graduates recommend us! The Academy has a very high rate of referrals from graduates within the industry and from gym and PT Managers. Why? Because they have studied with us and know we deliver first class education. They know our level of support and quality course content are second to none.

What is the difference between the Certificate III in Fitness and the Certificate IV in Fitness?

The Certificate III in Fitness - Gym Instructor is the baseline course giving students the knowledge and qualification required for employment in the fitness industry.

The Certificate IV in Fitness - Personal Trainer is a higher level qualification designed to broaden the range of knowledge and skills required for one-on-one personalised programs and training.

If you plan to have a long term career in the industry with many career opportunities then the Certificate III & IV in Fitness will be your minimum requirement.

What are the job opportunities and prospects within the fitness industry?

Despite the current difficult economic times, people are still taking out gym memberships and clients are still training with their trainers. Economic downturns are no excuse to not keep training – the industry still needs qualified trainers and gym staff!

Employment opportunities are many and varied including private gymnasiums, personal training studios, outdoor training, local government leisure centres, corporate fitness facilities, community health centers, hotels, resorts and more.  Currently, there is more demand for personal trainers than ever before. If you’ve ever thought of undertaking a fitness course, there has never been a better time to do so.

Over many years, AFA has set up relationships with key businesses and governing bodies to help you enter the fitness industry as easily as possible. We run regular careers information sessions, have strong partnerships with industry and well established employment pathways in place to help make your transition from study to career an easy one.

What is the difference between qualification and registration?

Qualification is the formal training process that ends up in you gaining the competency of skills to work as a Personal Trainer. The Certificate III in Fitness and Certificate IV in Fitness qualification is recognised in all states of Australia and Internationally, though this is dependant on country to country recognition treaty’s.

Registration is the industry based recognition of the qualification. Students are able to register with either Physical Activity Australia or Fitness Australia and registration is the accepted industry requirement for employment. Registration is valid for 2 years and includes ongoing education requirements. Both registration bodies also help you with setting up your required insurance coverage.

Are my qualifications recognised Internationally?

If you are planning on working overseas the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) is an international partnership between registration bodies around the world that register exercise professionals. Fitness Australia is part of this international partnership.

Current members of ICREPs include New Zealand, Australia, UK, South Africa, Ireland, Canada and the UAE, and collectively they have over 60,000 exercise professionals registered.

Australian Fitness Academy courses meet the standards required by ICREPS.

For more information visit

Is there a payment plan available with Australian Fitness Academy?

Australian Fitness Academy offers easy payment options spreading the cost of the course over a number of weeks or months. Please contact us for more specific information.

If I sign up for both Certificate III and IV in Fitness do I get a discount?

Discounts are available for enrolling into both courses. Contact the Academy for more details.

Do I need to do work experience as part of my course?

Yes, we believe it is an extremely valuable component of course delivery as it assists in the development of your practical skills.

What does the work experience program involve?

Practical placement at a facility where you will be supervised by a qualified professional (eg. fitness instructor/personal trainer) whilst you complete structured tasks outlined in the AFA Work Experience Manual.

The tasks within the program are designed to assess your practical application of the skills you learn throughout the course.

How many hours of work experience do I need to complete?

The work experience hours should be completed after you have completed all topics and assessment tasks and/or practical sessions.

Certificate III in Fitness - 30 hours total contact time. This includes 15 hours for the core topics and an additional 15 hours for each of the elective topics included in your enrolment. An estimated 10 hours additional time may be required to complete the written tasks in the manual.

Certificate IV in Fitness - 20 hours total contact time. An estimated 10 hours additional time may be required to complete the written tasks in the manual. There is also an additional 29 hours for the tasks in the Professional Practice Log Book.

Certificate III in Sports Trainer - 30 hours total contact time. This includes 15 hours for the core topics and an additional 15 hours of log book activities for the Sports Trainer component. An estimated 10 hours additional time may be required to complete the written tasks in the manual and log book.

Certificate III in Community Activity Programs - up to 80 hours (if you are studying fully online)

Diploma of Fitness - Fully online students are expected to track the progress of several clients over a 3-month timeframe.

For more information on the AFA work experience program including how to select an appropriate provider, please contact AFA on 1300 973 342.

Do I have to pay a facility or a qualified fitness professional to complete my Work Experience hours with them?

No. Most facilities are very open to accommodating work experience placement students. Supervisors volunteer their involvement in the Work Experience program so you are not expected to pay them for this service. You may be able to complete it at your local facility, alternatively AFA can assist you in finding a suitable placement.

Do I need to take out insurance to complete the work experience program?

Yes. Each student must obtain and hold a current student insurance policy. It is the sole responsibility of the student to ensure an appropriate insurance policy is obtained and maintained throughout the duration of the work experience period. Fitness Australia offer FREE fitness insurance for students throughout their study period which includes $10 million professional indemnity, public liability and products liability cover, and up to $100,000 legal fees cover. More details on the process to gain insurance are given to students during their study.

What other courses do you offer?

Apart from the Certificate III in Fitness and Certificate IV in Fitness, AFA offers First Aid and fully online workshops for ongoing educational development and industry re-registration.

For already qualified Personal Trainers the Academy offers the Diploma of Fitness.

Other health and fitness related courses offered include the Certificate III in Sports Trainer and the Certificate III in Community Activity Programs.

The Academy also offers a range of online workshops for industry professionals.

Please contact the Academy on 1300 973 342 for more specific information in regards to any of our courses.

Do I need any qualifications before starting the course?

There are no course prerequisites for the Certificate III in Fitness, Certificate III in Sports Trainer or Certificate III in Community Activity Programs.

In order to partake in Certificate IV in Fitness you first need to complete either Certificate III in Fitness or a relevant tertiary equivalent.

The Certificate III & IV in Fitness (or relevant tertiary equivalent) is a prerequisite for the Diploma of Fitness.

I have completed previous study in fitness and am wondering if I can apply for RPL?

Applicants who have completed studies in allied areas to health and fitness or have relevant work or life experiences may be eligible for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) / RCC (Recognition of Current Competency).

This involves matching the skills and knowledge acquired from formal learning and experience against the requirements of this course. If the information presented is relevant to the course then some parts of the course and related assessments may not need to be completed.

Cert III RPL Application Kit

Cert IV RPL Application Kit

Please contact us for more specific information or if you wish to apply for RPL for any of our other courses.

Can I get help with funding for my course?

We offer a range of payment options that make our courses affordable. You may also be able to seek funding/support through:

Centrelink - Students may be eligible for financial assistance through Centrelink. For further information on eligibility for Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy contact Centrelink on 13 24 90 and quote the Australian Fitness Academy reference number 3P322.

Parents Returning to Earning - The Parents Returning to Earning grants support parents seeking to return to work after a period of time out of the workforce! If you have been out of the workforce raising your children you may be eligible for funding to help get you qualified to start your career in the fitness industry! For more information visit

Victorian Training Guarantee - available for permanent residents of Victoria. Eligibility Criteria applies. For more information on this click here.

Do I need to be fit to partake in your courses?

There is no fitness requirement to partake in the Certificate III or IV in Fitness. If you intend to work within the fitness industry however there is a general expectation that you will have some level of fitness. Many people also choose to partake in these courses to increase their knowledge yet do not intend to work in the fitness industry.