Canadian Fitness Education Services Ltd (CFES) was founded by Margaret Hewitt in 1980 and was originally called the Total Training Centre, Ltd (TTC).  TTC was created to offer Aquafit instructor courses, fitness leadership courses, workshops and conferences.  For more than 40 years CFES has been advancing the standard of the fitness leadership training.

In 1983 TTC held its first fitness conference, Fitness for the Future.  This was one of the first conferences of its type in Vancouver.  The one day event attracted more than 200 delegates. In 1988, the fifth annual Fitness for the Future conference drew more than 1,000 delegates.  TTC held these conferences for seven consecutive years.

In 1985 TTC was a pioneer in developing and using fitness program modules. Weight Training and Group Exercise Instructor course modules were added to the prerequisite Fitness Knowledge Course. Within two years TTC had twelve trainers traveling around BC delivering fitness instructor course modules. 

Douglas College approached TTC in 1986 to deliver fitness leadership training programs within the college’s continuing education department, now the college’s Sports Institute. 

In 1989 TTC received its first request from a resident of Vanderhoof, in the BC interior, to take the Fitness Knowledge Course by correspondence. Until then the course had been offered over two consecutive weekends in classroom settings in larger cities. It became evident that a new solution was needed to make fitness courses more accessible in the remote areas across Canada. TTC responded by creating a home study program which was reviewed and approved by the BCRPA.  The CFES Fitness Knowledge Home Study Program quickly became one of the most popular and comprehensive fitness courses available.

In May 1990 company operations were moved to Nelson, BC. In 1993 the company created a new Educator distributor model of delivery for classroom-based programs. Rather than CFES setting up courses and registering students, the course conductors were to be independent Educator distributors and utilize CFES’s student resource manuals, program work booklets/study guides and Educator Kit materials. To better reflect the new direction the corporate name was changed from TTC to Canadian Fitness Education Services Ltd. (CFES).

CFES was relocated to Summerland, BC in 1998. The company’s website,, was built in 2000.  A new mission statement: “To enhance the fitness knowledge and activity effectiveness of individuals through quality leadership, lifetime programs, products and services” was developed to guide the company’s new focus.

In 2001 the BC Ministry of Education reviewed and approved the CFES fitness leadership resources for high school physical education curiculum.  The Fitness Knowledge Course was recommended in the Ministry’s Integrated Resource Package for grades 11 and 12 high school physical education and its Grade Select Collections of resources.  CFES was proud to be chosen as the resource that matches the greatest number of prescribed learning outcomes for PE 11/12. The course was also approved for locally developed or Board Approved classroom based curriculum for Group Fitness and Weight Training Instructor and Personal Trainer courses.

In 2002, CFES added the Introduction to Weight Training for Young Adults resources for high school grades 9 and 10 PE.  The following year Loyalist College in Belleville became the first community college in Ontario to offer CFES courses through their Continuing Education program, and as part of their School of Health Sciences Diploma in Fitness and Promotion. Graduates also earned their CFES certification.

In 2005 the Fitness Knowledge Home Study Program added online learning courseware components. To date, thousands of students have utilized this new media to assist in completing the fitness theory component of leadership training.

The CFES Fitness Knowledge Course and Group Exercise Instructor Course and Weight Training Instructor resources were recognized by Alberta Education in 2010 and 2011 as support resources for Career and Tech Studies for Health, Recreation and Human Services: Community Care Services Grades 10 – 12; Health Care Services, Grades 10 – 12; Human and Social Services, Grades 10 – 12; Recreation Leadership, Grades 10 – 12

In 2011 CFES developed its own national fitness instructor and personal trainer certification agency as an alternative choice for fitness instructors and personal trainers wanting to join others in the development of more comprehensive, academically credible and practical fitness leadership certification standards; have a national network of fitness professionals to connect with industry peers; and to advance career credentials.

The CFES Personal Trainer resource package was published in early 2011. New CFES Aquafit Instructor resources were released in early 2012. CFES continues to revise and reissue new editions of its various resources. CFES learning outcomes have been designed to ensure that fitness instructors and personal trainers are confident, knowledgeable and employable when they complete their CFES course, practicum, certification exam and practical skills assessment.

In 2012 BC and Ontario colleges and BC universities offering fitness leadership diploma and/or kinesiology began providing students the opportunity to obtain CFES certifications embedded within their own curriculum.

Today, CFES offers high schools, colleges, universities, recreation centres and private fitness clubs an opportunity to offer CFES national certification in-house with a turnkey solution to fitness leadership training that permits qualified staff to become CFES Skills Assessment Evaluators, Presenters and Educators, and teach all CFES certification modules to meet their organization’s needs.

All CFES course modules have student manuals that are learner-friendly and filled with detailed, practical knowledge. Each of the courses has a corresponding student program work booklet with quizzes, assignments, learning activities, labs and end of course exams.   Course conductor (teacher) Educator Kits make setting up all course modules easy, with simple-to-use guidelines and materials and include: detailed course agenda and chapter learning objectives, teaching tools and labs; resources to color in and laminate, assignments, quizzes and end-of-course exams with master answer keys; and course completion forms.  The modules also have supplemental EdKit PowerPoint cd-roms for the course conductor to use in the classroom.

CFES instructor courses are 28+ hours of theory and practical training with end of course open book completion exams; followed by 8-20 hour practicums; a one-hour closed book proctored certification exam; and 90 minute instructor skills assessments. 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.

The CFES goal, now more than ever, is to motivate and inspire people of all walks of life to become more healthy and physically fit.