Start your career as a personal trainer or fitness instructor with this hands-on, practical one-year course. It will give you the knowledge and skills to design, demonstrate and lead exercise programmes for individuals or groups.

You will learn to instruct and lead early in the course and practice until you are comfortable with pre-participation medical screening, fitness assessment, design programmes, instructing exercise and much more. You’ll gain knowledge on training principles, methods and programme design with the skill to conduct these in a client sensitive manner.

We recommend that you add additional qualifications like the National Diploma: Fitness so that you can enhance your employment prospects nationally and internationally or run your own private practice. If you add additional specialisations to your course, you can offer your clients’ more options and enhance your employment prospects.


ThisNQF level 5Learning programme is accredited by CATHSSETA.

Aim of the course

The National Certificate qualifies you to work in the fitness industry as personal trainers. All eta fitness qualifications are recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals South Africa (REPSSA) which links its members to the international registers of REPS, enabling you as an eta graduate to work where the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) operates, including Europe, UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA and South Africa.

Course objective

During this learning programme, you will be exposed to the theories of exercise science, the applied knowledge of exercise programming with its range of methods and techniques, and the skills of leading and instructing individuals or groups through a range of exercise training sessions. To gain confidence while you are learning, you will complete a range of practical hours through work-based learning experience. Once you have graduated you can work as personal trainer in an established fitness facility; alternatively, you can run your own practice, taking on a range of private clients.

Course content


Anatomy and Biomechanics: Learn about the anatomical structures of the human body as well as their relationship to each other. Describing the skeletal and muscular structures and explaining their movements.

Sport and Exercise Physiology: This module covers the physiological functions of the associated structures of the human body. You will learn how physiological systems work in relation to exercise and sport and the physiological process that govern the different body systems.

Biomechanics and Training Methods: The concept of biomechanics, and how it relates to human movement, learning about the physical laws of movement in relation to the execution of a given movement, skill or training technique.

Screening, Assessment and Programme Design

Screening: Learn how to conduct a screening process that identifies a client’s readiness to participate in physical activity. You will also learn about the scope of practice of a personal trainer, and who you are able to train.

Assessment and Fitness testing: Learn procedures that are scientifically validated so that you can carry out sub-maximal tests and interpret results, based on scientifically accepted norms.

Nutrition principles: This module covers the principles of nutrition with practical ways to identify a client’s diet and provide educated recommendations, based on current scientific principles of healthy eating.

Designing Exercise Programmes: Learn to designing exercises programmes based on current fitness levels and goals and ensuring sound, technically correct with the principles of progression and modification.

Wellness: This module deals with the concepts of wellness and how to practically apply wellness practices to fitness programmes.

Motivation and communication: Understand theories of motivation, goal setting and how to help clients with this knowledge.

Leading and Instructing individuals or groups

Instructing individual and group exercise sessions: Identify key aspects of teaching exercise and learn class planning and how to instruct safe and effective exercise sessions.

Health and Safety

Safety and risk management: Plan, manage and implement a risk management strategy in the workplace. Learn the immediate actions required in the event of injuries.

Special needs and disabilities: Understand criteria involved in training a client with special needs or a disability; how to include, assist and support clients with disabilities, adapting exercise and the environment.

HIV and AIDS: This module deals with issues surrounding HIV and AIDS, giving insight into the complexities of training individuals with HIV and AIDS.

Business Management

Entrepreneurship and business management: Learn the fundamentals of business management in the context of a running a small private business.

Fitness Facility Management: Focus on risk management plans based on current practice, which will give you an understanding of the rigour involved in operating and managing your own fitness facility.

Workplace Communication: Identify the most appropriate method of communication within the work environment.

Admission requirements

The minimum recommended requirement for admission is the National Senior Certificate (NSC), elementary achievement (30-39 %). Recommended: Minimum of 40% in English.

Career opportunities

  • Personal Trainer
  • Corporate Wellness consultant
  • Group Exercise Instructor
Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated July 23, 2019
This course is Online
Start Date
Feb 10, 2020
1 year
33,500 SAR
Early Bird Price before Dec 2019. Up front Price: R35 500. Payment Plan Price: R38 500
Feb 1, 2020
By locations
By date
Start Date
Feb 10, 2020
End Date
Feb 8, 2021
Application deadline
Feb 1, 2020

Feb 10, 2020

Application deadline
Feb 1, 2020
End Date
Feb 8, 2021

Study online with eta College