Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral

GP referral

What is it?

The Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral is offered as an ACTIVE IQ qualification which is an internationally recognised qualification This Diploma provides the key skills and knowledge required to establish you as an Exercise Referral Practitioner.  It is particularly suitable for experienced fitness instructors and personal trainers seeking to work with special populations in both preventative and rehabilitative exercise therapies. The course will introduce you to a wide range of chronic and lifestyle diseases, their aetiology and pathophysiology (cause and development) and explore exercise approaches for successful intervention into such conditions.  You will learn about the signs, symptoms and basic pathology of specific stable conditions such as: Orthopaedic diseases; arthritis and osteoporosis; Cardiovascular diseases such as Hypertension and Coronary Heart Disease; Metabolic diseases such as Diabetes; Pulmonary diseases such as Asthma; Raised cholesterol and Obesity, and many other common conditions. You will also learn about the implications and effects of specific medications relating to those conditions and most importantly how to plan, deliver, manage and evaluate a safe, effective and progressive adapted physical activity programme, personalised to individual client's needs and lifestyle.


Course Structure

This qualification comprises six mandatory units


1. Anatomy and physiology for exercise and health

2. Professional Practice for Exercise Referral Instructors

3. Understanding Medical Conditions for Exercise Referral

4. Applying the principles of nutrition and physical activity

5. Planning Exercise Referral Programmes with Patients

6. Instructing Exercise with Referred Patients

If you are a Level 3 Personal Trainer you will already have achieved Units 1 and 4 – and we will need to see your certificates to exempt you from them


How will I study

For flexibility this course is offered as a blended learning programme. This entails

a combination of home study and training days.

Home-study followed by attendance at the gym for theory and practical sessions.

Online learning materials and manuals are provided



Learners must hold either a Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Gym/Exercise to Music or Aqua) or equivalent (including qualifications which give entry to the REPs Physical activity Advisor category) or

one of the following

• Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

• Level 3 Diploma in Instructing Pilates Matwork

• Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Yoga



This course is for those instructors wishing to work with referred medium risk special populations that would benefit from an exercise programme to improve their current condition. 

It’s becoming increasingly common for GPs to refer their patients to exercise specialists in order to treat a variety of conditions. From obesity to depression, from post surgery recovery to stress management and more - an excellent exercise plan can help to alleviate a number of health, fitness and general well-being conditions. 

As an Exercise Referral Specialist, it will be your job to advise these clients on how to enhance their well being through a planned programme of exercise and nutrition

NOTE: This qualification does not qualify learners to prescribe an exercise programme for a patient entering Phase

IV Cardiac Rehabilitation. Learners need to obtain a recognised Cardiac Rehab Phase IV qualification to work with this particular group of patients.


Study time

Approx 3 months



Caestudies, worksheets and practical observations. Multiple choice exams if you do not hold a Level 3 qualfication


Call us now on 01782 499227 to enrol

When can I start on the course?You can start right away!

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