CFES Fitness Instructor + Personal Trainer Certification

CFES National Fitness Instructor + Personal Trainer Certification Programs

 certification has been developed as an alternative choice for fitness instructors and personal trainers wanting to join others in the development of comprehensive, academically credible and practical fitness leadership certification standards; have a national network of fitness professionals like yourself connecting with your industry peers; and to advance your career credentials.

CFES fitness leadership program modules are designed to take students through the steps in national Aquatic Fitness, Group Fitness and Weight Training Instructor and Personal Trainer certification.

CFES National Certification Standard

CFES programs, resources, and certification completion are designed to be presented the same way all across Canada. Course conductors teaching the national certification programs utilize the required CFES Educator Kits for consistent program delivery. Students receive matching resources (student manuals and program work booklets; scheduled hands-on practicum, national certification exams and skills assessment) -- to provide a seamless education experience.

Educators issue an Instructor Skills Assessment (ISA) when the student demonstrates effective leadership skills to be employable. This is the CFES standard. Course Educators or Skills Assessment Evaluators charge a fee for ISA.

Students needing more instructional practice may attend another practicum or sign up with a leadership mentor to practice teach until they are ready for the ISA. Practicum fees will be charged by your Educator or Skills Assessment Evaluator.

Instructor + Personal Trainer cross-transfer equivalencies and application procedures:

CFES examines cross-transfer fitness instructor certifications on a case by case basis based on competency and credentials. To complete cross-transfer certification for candidates with current fitness instructor or personal trainer credentials, you can find the cross-transfer forms package for your designation(s) [i.e. Group Fitness Instructor, Aquafit Instructor, Weight Training Instructor] by clicking the hotlink to our web site's Applications and Transfer Forms web page to download. Please fill in your designation application forms(s) and return either via scanned attachments to an email, fax, or send via snail mail, along with other document proofs as per the application(s). The cross-transfer certification  fee is $70.00 + $3.50 GST = $73.50.  If you are unsure of your equivalency contact the CFES office to discuss.

To cross-transfer certify in more than one designation, please fill in the following forms info:
• Section 1 and Section 4 only on ONE Certification and Cross Transfer Application Form  package ( i.e. Item C. CFES Group Fitness Instructor (GFI) Certification + Cross-transfer Application forms package PDF file);
• Fill out Section 1 and read, agree to, and sign Section 3. The Professional Code of Honour for EACH leadership designation you are certifying in.

CFES National Affiliations and Recognition

As well as providing national certification CFES is an IDEA Fitness Connect Certification Verification Partner. CFES resources are also recognized by a variety of specialized fitness leadership agencies, including: the Canadian Aquatics Leaders Alliance (CALA); the Canadian Personal Trainers Network (CPTN), Canfitpro (GFI + PT = PT/FIS equivalency) and National Fitness Leadership Alliance (NFLA), which includes the BCRPA Fitness Branch; Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association; Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association Fitness Division; Manitoba Fitness Council; Ontario Fitness Council; Fitness New Brunswick; Island Fitness Council and the Nova Scotia Fitness Association. For further info how to complete with any of the above agencies contact them directly.

The CFES Fitness Knowledge Course is approved by the Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan for credits for Continuing Education/Professional Development. Our programs are also integrated within college continued education and health and fitness diploma programs in Canada; and as an addendum to university health and exercise sciences programs for job-ready graduation credentialing.

CFES resources are also recognized by the BC Ministry of Education and Alberta Education and utilized in individual Ontario Board Authorized high school physical education credit courses grades 9 to 12 students. The CFES Fitness Knowledge Course is listed in both the BC Min. of  Ed's Integrated Resource Package and highlighted in their Grade Collection for meeting the most learning outcomes for PE 10/12 students and on Education Alberta's Learning Centre. 

The CFES Fitness Knowledge Course (homestudy or classroom based) is the prerequisite anatomy/physiology first module for fitness instructor and personal trainer certification. The 27+ hour course covers: an active living chapter; the skeletal system; muscular system; muscle structure and function; the principles of human movement; training principles and program planning; muscular strength and endurance; flexibility; cardiorespiratoryfitness; nutrition and body weight management; and a chapter on exercise safety. Please note candidates pursuing the BCRPA registration program must contact them to arrange their national theory exam and registration id.

The homestudy version of the Fitness Knowledge Course is a combination of traditional home study and online elearning -- allowing you to work at your own pace and includes: the hardcopy resource manual and student program work booklet; online supplemental courseware elearning tools; both toll free phone and email tutor service; and marking of the end-of-course open book exam. Unless you wish to also register with a provincial body you do not need to write their fitness theory exam.

Full-fledged CFES instructor courses are 24+ hours of classroom theory and on-the-floor/in-the-water practical training with end of course open book completion exams; followed by an 8-20 hour practicum; a one-hour closed book proctored certification exam; and a 90 minute instructor skills assessment. Passing grade is 80%. Instructors are expected to maintain CPR + First Aid tickets and obtain liability insurance (if necessary).

Candidates wanting Personal Trainer certification must first successfully complete the Weight Training Instructor certification and then progress to the Personal Trainer course. The PT course is 40+ hours of classroom and practical teaching, and also includes a course completion open book exam; followed by a 20-hour practicum, closed book proctored certification exam and skills assessment. Passing grade is 80%. PTs are expected to maintain CPR + First Aid tickets and obtain liability insurance.

In order to become certified as a CFES Group Fitness, Aquafit or Weight Training Instructor or Personal Trainer with CFES, Canfitpro or NFLA affiliates you will complete the certification/registration process with the agency of your choice.

CFES requires both a national closed book exam and Instructor/Personal Trainer Skills Assessment to finalize certification, arranged with the CFES course conductor or skills assessment evaluator.


CFES Aquafit Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor, Weight Training Instructor, Personal Trainer Courses, Resources, Certification. Classroom + Online Leadership Training & Certification.


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