What is Reps Ireland
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The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) Ireland, is an independent public register which recognizes and testifies the qualifications and expertise of professionals in Ireland.
REPs Ireland provides a national standard for entry to the Register of Exercise Professionals in Ireland, to ensure the safety and security of the public.
The framework of qualifications meets the international standards of exercise professionals recognized by international partners.
This system of registration for exercise professionals provides clarification and recognition of qualifications; it adds to the trust and confidence of exercise professionals within Ireland and establishes an ethical and healthy competition amongst professionals.
The register is owned by ILAM which is the Irish employers & industry body. ILAM is operated on a ‘not for profit’ basis meaning it only uses funds received to run its operations, and does not pay any dividends or returns to any person or organization.
REPs Ireland operates independently on behalf of the stakeholders of the register (Exercise Professionals, Public, and Training Providers & Employers). The Registrar reports to the board of ILAM, and operates under the guidance of a governance committee, which is composed of allied professionals & representatives from the registers stakeholders.
REPs Ireland is independent of any education/training providers and also exercise facilities. All training providers and facilities have equal input into REPs through various feedback processes.
To ensure REPs remains totally independent, REPs will never undertake training of any kind, nor will it ever operate any exercise facilities.
REPs Ireland does recommend certain education providers courses, but only once they have been reviewed by REPs Ireland to ensure they meet the standards. REPs does not recommend any course over any others (either a course meets REPs Ireland standards, or it does not).
Membership of REPs Ireland provides assurance and confidence to citizens of all ages, health clubs, and educational institutions that all registered exercise professionals are appropriately qualified and have the right knowledge, and skills to carry out their duties.
In order to become registered members, fitness professionals will have to furnish authenticated certification of their fitness qualifications and get rated according to the REPs Level system. The rating will be done after evidence of qualification is established.
Successful applicants will be issued a REPs Ireland Certificate and an identification card.
Benefits for Members of the Public
If you want to get exercise advice, or are participating in an exercise class, ensuring you are using the services of a REPs Ireland Registered Exercise Professional has many benefits.
Most importantly, REPs Ireland is an independent verification that the exercise professional is suitable to give advice to, or to instruct in a gym environment or a group exercise/aerobics class depending on his/her qualification.
● Like most professional registration bodies, individuals registered with REPs Ireland agree to follow the industry Code of Ethics.
● The standards that are agreed by REPs Ireland are based upon the Global Template Standards which are the best of the standards for instruction from UK, Australia and New Zealand.
● REPs Ireland also operates a complaints system for any person that wishes to complain about a registered trainer or instructor.
● Registered Exercise Professionals have the option to take out public liability and professional indemnity insurance with registration (offering peace of mind and protection for the trainer, their clients, and any facility they may use)
● Only persons, who meet the REPs Ireland registers criteria, including continued professional development requirements, are able to continue to annually re-register, giving you confidence when dealing with a REPs Ireland registered exercise professional.
● REPs Ireland will be launching mid 2013 an online search engine for instructors as well as a profile/picture for each trainer, and an easy email link for members of the public wishing to enquire about using an Registered Exercise Professional’s services
Benefits of registration for Exercise Professionals
Registration is the industry standard employers & the public expect, and provides many additional benefits.
● REPs Ireland registration is the industry standard, and all quality exercise facilities promote the requirement, that any person working at their facility to be registered with REPs Ireland at the appropriate level.
● In effect REPs Ireland registration is your annual "license to work" in the exercise industry in Ireland & Internationally.
● Registration with REPs Ireland will provide instant recognition both in Ireland and in over 30 countries around the world including the UK, Australia, New Zealand & South Africa through ICREPs. (Read more about ICREPs)
● Information on key industry happenings and events through regular communications.
● Access to ongoing education courses run by various training providers.
REPs registration, levels and groups
REPs Ireland offers registration to three different groups, as outlined below. Within some groups there are various levels or types of registration.
(1) Exercise Professional Registration
The standards that are agreed by REPs Ireland are based upon the European Qualification Framework (EQF) which is a common European reference framework.
REPs Ireland occupations and the status of registration awarded to members are based on standards for:
EQF Level 3 Gym Instructor
Group Exercise Instructor
Aqua Exercise Instructor
EQF Level 4 Personal Trainer
EQF Level 5 In Development
Cardiac Rehabilitation* BACPR Level 4
Additional Categories on the REPs Ireland register not mapped to EQF Framework
● Adapted Physical Activity (APA)*
● Exercise Professional Tutor/Assessor*
* These categories will be available in late 2013. Registered Exercise Professionals will be able to apply to be transferred to these categories online where current qualifications meet entry requirements.
Scope of Practice
Individuals registered with REPs operate under a scope of practice, meaning they will only undertake tasks and roles that they are registered to undertake.
This is similar to how a nurse and a doctor operate within a hospital: they each have separate roles, and understand what these are and where their scope starts and stops.
(2) REPs Registered Exercise Facility
Exercise facilities can also register with REPs Ireland.
A registered exercise facility agrees to two main criteria:
1 All exercise professionals based at the facility will be registered with REPs Ireland
2 They are a member of ILAM and will follow the ILAM industry code of ethics.
REPs Ireland strongly advises members of the public to only exercise at registered exercise facilities. To search for a facility near you, please use the REPs Ireland facility search engine.
(3) REPs Registered Education Provider
Education providers that offer courses on exercise/fitness may also register with REPs Ireland to become an approved training provider. There are two main types of courses as outlined below:
1. Initial Training:
Courses that REPs Ireland has reviewed to ensure they meet the full requirements to educate exercise professionals to work in the industry and thereby register with REPs Ireland.
This means completing one of these courses will take a person from completely unqualified, to fully able to work in the industry (note: there are different roles in the industry and therefore different levels of registration with REPs Ireland).
Different courses will enable the student to register at different levels, as outlined above.
2. Ongoing Education (CPD):
Courses that are designed to up-skill existing exercise professionals.
These courses are more suitable for those already working in the exercise industry, or related industries (such as health professionals), but may be of interest to those who do not wish to work in the industry but would like to know more about a particular topic.
How to Register
If you hold an accredited qualification from an approved REPs Ireland Training Provider you will be eligible for direct entry to the register, at the appropriate level as a full member of REPs Ireland.
If you completed a qualification with an approved REPs Ireland Training provider more than 2 years before the Training Provider was approved, or from a training provider that is not an approved REPs Ireland training provider, you may apply for Provisional registration which is valid for 12 months, and you must fulfil the conditions required for full registration within this timescale.
If Provisional, in order to achieve full registration there are 2 options:
● Undertake a conversion course with an approved REPs Ireland training provider, as listed on the website.
● Your training provider needs to achieve REPs Ireland verification for the qualification(s) that you currently hold. This will enable you to upgrade to full registration if your qualification has been gained within the 3 years prior to the training provider being verified.
For a list of approved training providers and qualifications click here
There is a requirement to remain on the register you must satisfy Continued Professional Development (CPD) requirement.
Re-registration occurs annually.
To protect the public, all registered exercise professionals are bound by a code of ethical practice, that covers professional standards and conduct.
REPs Ireland also has a complaints process to deal with any breaches of the code.
All Registered Exercise Professionals are issued with a membership card, as well as being able to be verified anytime by contacting REPs Ireland.