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Revision - Friday 17 July 2020
I would like to clarify my July newsletter welcome sent earlier this week in which I spoke of the lockdown lifting in our sector on 25 July. As has been rightly pointed out to us, this only applies to England’s gyms and pools. Uncertainty remains in Scotland, Wales, Eire and other international markets but we hope that soon all operators and centres at home and overseas can also re-open to resume face-to-face contact and training.
It has certainly been a very changeable and challenging few months for our sector but let us not forget the courage, initiative, inspiration and support that our industry has shown in recent months. While a challenging period, the lockdown sparked fresh approaches, new collaborations and woke us from our comfort zone. We have seen many examples of great thinking and outright generosity of ideas and co-working and I hope that we take those elements of courage and creativity with us to keep evolving and improving.

This newsletter celebrates several such initiatives from ukactive taking its Active Uprising conference online to Excelsior Development Technologies offering a free 10-week ‘Return To Work’ programme. The #DoingOurBit fitness platform for NHS staff is going from strength to strength while Rachel Holmes from shares how her response to lockdown has grown her business. For our part, we took the opportunity to create an on-line learning option for our new Level 3 Diploma in Working with Clients with Long-term Conditions Diploma so that people can get started straight away and have pulled together a word & number cloud to summarise all that has been achieved since March.

So while the last few months have been difficult for many in the industry, some silver linings have resulted. We look forward to continuing our support of your work where we can to help everyone come back stronger in the coming weeks.

We are very proud to be sponsoring the ‘Empowering the Workforce’ strand of this year’s online Active Uprising event.  The sessions will run from Tuesday 21 July to Friday 24 July as follows and you can sign up to attend here.

Tuesday 21 July – 11am
A year on, where is the workforce now

Wednesday 22 July – 12 noon
Leadership after lockdown

Thursday 23 July – 3pm
Don’t tell – have a coaching conversation

Friday 24 July – 11am
The Reality of COVID-19 and preparing the workforce

As our industry navigates its way out of lockdown and looks to get back up and running, albeit, with new restrictions and a re-set social landscape, the Active Uprising conference will bring a wealth of expertise, guidance and motivation. Splitting the key notes and themed sessions across nine weeks makes them accessible to all. 
“We are very pleased to support ukactive with the Empowering the Workforce theme for this year’s Active Uprising event as the conference goes online. Like many of our industry colleagues, Active IQ has had to respond to lock-down and the impact of COVID-19 by working creatively, flexibly and digitally to navigate our way through the challenging times we have all faced. Now, more than ever before, we need to explore workforce issues, needs and future requirements so it was important to us to be involved in this specific strand of the event. Please do join us to be part of these essential conversations.” Jenny Patrickson Managing Director Active IQ

The themes we usually enjoy in person will return including Sweat, Challenging the Mindset, Empowering the Workforce and Generation Active. Added to these are new sessions on Digital Transformation, Workplace Wellbeing and Social Prescribing. It will perhaps feel odd to be engaging in Active Uprising remotely but having these rich resources accessible online is a great opportunity. Please do check the full timetable and get involved.
There is no doubting we’ve all been on a rollercoaster ride during lockdown with all centres, trainers, learners, colleagues and the wider industry having to react and respond quickly to the change in circumstances. The team at Active IQ has done its utmost to keep things on track, moving forwards and progressing as best we can. We’re proud of how much we and our wider network have achieved despite the challenges of the last three months.

We hope you enjoy our word (and number!) cloud that summarises how far the Active IQ community has come and trust you can see your own achievements and progress represented here.

Please click on the image below to view in fullscreen.

We are delighted to announce that our Level 3 Diploma in Working with Clients with Long-term Conditions launches on Tuesday 28 JulyDeveloped in partnership with Nuffield Health, alongside our very own Chief Medical Advisor Dr Dane Vishnubala, this qualification includes the latest thinking and current best practice when managing a variety of long-term conditions increasingly being encountered by exercise referral specialists including:
  • Diabetes and metabolic conditions
  • Cardiorespiratory conditions
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Mental health conditions
  • Hypo/hyperthyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Neurological conditions such as Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Dementia
  • Connective tissue disease
Very much the product of lockdown, this course can also be studied online with all modules fully adapted to suit remote learners. A comprehensive set of online resources includes webinars, digital materials and one-to-one tutor guidance.
To find out more about this new qualification email
We are pleased to confirm Active IQ is now approved to offer End-point Assessment (EPA) for three new apprenticeship standards. These will include one or more of the following elements to ensure apprentices have fulfilled the requirements of their apprenticeship:
  • Live assessments
  • Work-based observation
  • Case study challenge
  • Presentation and panel interview including Q&A
  • Professional discussion informed by a presentation showcasing exemplary practice

Community Sport and Health Officer
– Community Sport and Health Officers (CSHO) initiate behaviour change in local residents, encouraging engagement in sport and physical activity.

Learning Mentor – Mentoring occurs throughout the education and training sector and staff development, with Learning Mentors supporting learners at all levels – such as apprentices, trainees or new recruits – to develop within new work roles.

Assessor Coach – Assessor Coaches (ACs) support vocational and professional development across the formal Education and Training Sector as well as in any employer setting, at any level. ACs coach and assess vocational learners, usually on a one-to-one basis, in a range of environments.

These three new standards bring our total End-point Assessment offering up to 14 for apprenticeship providers and employers. See here for more information
Fitness industry consultants, Chris Rock, Keith Smith and Allan Collins from Excelsior have developed a series of education modules to support the industry move towards reopening and Active IQ are pleased to endorse the product with its kitemark of quality.

Return-to-work is a four-part learning programme, available online at no cost, and is aimed at helping the fitness industry to lead, communicate and engage more effectively at this time.

Chris says “In response to our customer feedback on their needs, we have created a bespoke learning pathway to support the industry, with knowledge designed to support the re-opening process. In particular, these topics will focus key considerations around empathy, engagement, conflict management and programming.”

Fitness consumers have new needs and the industry must now adapt and respond accordingly. By completing these four short modules, staff will be able to strengthen relationships by demonstrating empathy and creating personalised member experiences. 
The first two sections have been designed to support all front-line staff, and the next two specifically provide support to gym teams.   
  1. Re-Instilling Empathy - 8 Lessons, 8 Reviews - 160 minutes 
  2. Re-Solving Fear & Conflict - 8 Lessons, 8 Reviews - 160 minutes 
  3. Re-Engaging - 7 Lessons, 7 Reviews - 140 minutes 
  4. Re-Programming - 8 Lessons, 8 Reviews - 160 minutes 
Recognised by Active IQ, Return to work modules are available to fitness professionals, on-line and FREE OF CHARGE over the next 10 weeks as the industry begins to open up again.

Keith adds “This is about making both customers and staff feel comfortable when returning to work, assisting them with engaging appropriately, at the right time. We would recommend that operators follow up on their staff’s digital learnings, with in-house development sessions. This will help embed the knowledge, while providing a great opportunity to deliver engaging, confidence building face to face training”

James Clack (Head of Digital Learning) says “The package and content produced by the team at Excelsior is superb and a generous gift to the sector. They have clearly gone beyond the standard ‘return to work’ themes and have really thought about not just the content but also the manner of its delivery. I have no doubt that this will be a valuable asset to anyone working in the sector who is preparing to get back out there and show what our sector can do. And the icing on the cake is that we have partnered to offer this for free to anyone who wants it. Thank you Chris, Keith and Allan”  

You can access the programme by clicking here.
Rachel Holmes, founder of ChoreographyToGo, responded quickly to turn lockdown challenges into opportunities and grow her business during this changeable time.

“We already did a fair amount of business online and delivered a blended approach so it was relatively easy for us to switch to completely online delivery. We learned how to maximise Zoom features such as the breakout rooms and different functions so that our learners had a fantastic experience.

“We had to be fast – it was all about speed. We had courses booked on and needed to contact all those learners to make sure they were all happy with Zoom learning. We needed to speak to each individually to overcome any barriers and set boundaries around how this would all work.

“Our learners were absolutely incredible. We had to put on eight extra courses and our workload shot up: we ran more courses in the last three months than we had over the last two years. We checked in with Active IQ to ensure all that we were doing was fully compliant and basically ran as quickly as we could!”

Rachel learned a lot along the way including:
  • Key to success is listening to all your learners, speaking to them to guide and encourage them through the new process
  • Make sure they are informed every step of the way and, where appropriate, make them part of your decision-making process 
  • The online process is better value for learners as it saves on travel and any accommodation needed to facilitate the face-to-face sessions
  • We found many learners are much more relaxed and comfortable learning online and dialling in from home: they enjoy a very positive learning experience
  • You need to be prepared with lots of videos and allow for extra onboarding time with some people so they understand how the process will come together
  • You will need to go above and beyond with customer service and make sure all your platforms are up to date, current and easy to navigate
  • Social media is the main way to drive new learners to your business. We did no paid advertising – all our business came from referral and social media
After a smooth and successful launch last month for the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, the #DoingOurBit bespoke fitness platform for NHS staff is now available nationally. This means all NHS staff in the UK can now access over 40 free workouts from yoga to HIIT, bodyweight sessions to family fun and more. Early feedback has been excellent with participants really enjoying the variety and high standard of workouts, the fact it is genuinely free with no-strings-attached and delivered in such a personal manner. In addition, we are helping #DoingOurBit build a community on Facebook and Instagram so if you’d like to join in head over to Facebook link here and Instagram link here. We are very proud of our involvement in producing #DoingOurBit in collaboration with Study Active and fibodo and look forward to seeing it grow and grow in the coming weeks.
Thank you for choosing Active IQ as your awarding organization. We hope your experience with us is meeting your expectations, and we look forward to continuing our partnership into 2021.

This is a gentle reminder that your annual centre recognition fee will be due in September. If your internal procedures require a purchase order number to be quoted on your invoice, please can you email it to by 14 August 2020 at the very latest.

If you have any questions regarding the annual centre recognition fee, please contact your allocated business development contact. For a full list of contact details, please click here.

Have you changed your address or contact details?

If so, please let us know so we can keep you up-to-date with our latest news. Please email your new details to


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