This course teaches you the foundation knowledge and instructor skills to successfully complete CFES Group Fitness Instructor certification — enabling you to program and lead basic group fitness classes.

CFES Group Fitness Instructor Course Content

In this course you will learn:

To program plan for all class sections and fitness levels for group exercise classes.
How to create a safe and caring atmosphere.
Stabilization ball, step, free weights exercise ideas and techniques.
Cueing and working with music.
Use of space and group formations and choreography skills.
How to teach low/high impact group exercise aerobics classes and use equipment.
Communication skills and professional ethics.
Students will be given ample teaching opportunities within the course and practicums.

Prerequisite: CFES Fitness Knowledge Course or equivalency

Course Resources

CFES Group Fitness Instructor Course Resources
For the complete national certification program:
CFES Group Fitness Instructor Course Student Resource Manual
CFES Group Fitness Instructor Course Student Program Booklet/Study Guide
Course completion and Group Fitness Instructor Skills Assessment forms
CFES Record of Course Completion
To download sample pages from the manual click here

Find a course near you
For course locations, dates and times click the hyperlink to get to our Group Fitness Instructor Course Calendar. To register for classroom courses contact the course provider near you.

CFES Group Fitness Instructor Certification Requirements

Successfully complete following CFES program steps or present an equivalent.*
1    CFES Fitness Knowledge Classroom or Home Study Course (30+ hours);*
2    Group Fitness Instructor Classroom Course (24+ hours);*
3.   Group Fitness Instructor Practicum or Mentorship Program (12-20+ hours);*
4.   Group Fitness Instructor Skills Assessment (in practicum or one to one)*;
5.   Group Fitness Instructor Certification Exam (80% +, 75-minute, closed book, proctored)*;
6.   Maintain current CPR-A minimum and Emergency or Standard First Aid certificates;
7.   Maintain annual liability insurance;
8.   Submit to CFES: Certification or cross-transfer application form, collateral documents, certification fee;
9.   Receive CFES Group Fitness Instructor certification.

* CFES Group Fitness Instructor certification fees:

Pass CFES Group Fitness Instructor course, practicum program, certification closed book exam and instructor skills assessment requirements and submit Certification Application Form and collateral documents
$120.00 (exam and first year certification fee) + $6.00 (GST) = $126.00
* additional skills assessment fees paid to Educator/Skills Assessment Evaluator
+ Prices subject to changes.

Note: Practicum Program Alternative Choices for Instructor: Students unable to attend a practicum program are required to work with a CFES recognized Leadership Mentor (LM) in their community at a facility offering this service. When there is no CFES LM in your community, discuss and agree with your educator how you will meet requirements for this practicum experience component of certification.

When your skills and confidence are apparent it is time to book your Group Fitness Instructor Skills Assessment with a CFES Educator or Skills Assessment Evaluator [SAE].

CFES Group Fitness Instructor Course How It Works video

CFES Group Fitness Instructor Recertification Requirements

Candidates are to successfully complete the following steps or present an equivalent*:
1.    Attend eight (8) hours CFES recognized workshops, seminars or conferences* (in-class or online);
2.     Submit twelve (12) verified Group Fitness instructional hours per certification*;
3.     Maintain CPR; First Aid and annual liability insurance;
4.     Submit to CFES: Recertification Application form and collateral documents; and recertification fee
5.    Receive CFES Instructor Recertification (electronically).

Annual CFES Group Fitness Instructor recertification fee
One year renewal: $70.00 + $3.50 (GST) = $73.50
Two year renewal: $140.00 + $7.00 (GST) = $147.00
+ Prices subject to changes.

Canadian Fitness Education Services logo
Provincial and National Recognitions

CFES Fitness Leadership Program modules are designed to take students through the steps in the CFES national Aquafit, Group Fitness and Weight Training Instructor and Personal Trainer certification.

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 a 12-20 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).

As well as providing 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), repsCanada and 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 Associations 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.