Study Active were delighted to recently conclude a lottery funded project which was delivered to Active Suffolk staff via the CIMSPA Retrain project.
This project was launched with the aim of giving the sector a much-needed boost following the most recent lockdowns, with the aim of upskilling existing staff to broaden their scope of practice which would in turn empower the sector to return to a new normal.
The project started during the lockdown where we were asked to work with the Sentinel Leisure Trust (SLT Group), leading a group of high potential employees through their Gym & PT qualifications. As most staff were at home (due to the lockdown) it was important to use technology to ensure that learning could be delivered whilst staff were at home. This was achieved via a combination of e-learning, live webinars and other digital technology such as digital flipbooks and videos.
Then once gyms reopened after the lockdown, we were able to visit the excellent facilities at the SLT Group where we met the SLT Group Staff face-to-face over a few occasions to deliver important practical skills, as well as carrying out practical assessments.
STL Group Community Education Manager Matt Stebbings (now Football Development Manager at Suffolk FA) who participated in the project had the following to say on the training
“I found the training progressive and challenging. Study Active were able to adapt during a time where blended learning methods were needed to ensure that even during lockdown, the learning journey continued! There are so many local and national initiatives to get people exercising, but the right tools for the job are needed first – this training provided us with some of the tools needed so that we can go on to make an impact to the local community by getting them active!”
Following the conclusion of our work with the SLT Group, we were then allocated another Active Suffolk Centre to work with in the form of Abbeycroft Leisure. Here a range of aspiring exercise professionals were allocated to us. This group already had their Level 2 Gym Instructing qualification, so our role was to deliver the Level 3 Personal Training qualification to them.
By this time, we were outside of lockdown, however there was still a big need to use our digital resources as the staff were required to fit the training around their work so our blended approach was very appropriate. All staff were in weekly contact with a tutor as they were guided through the qualification. This culminated by one of our tutor/assessors being invited to visit the outstanding facilities at Abbeycroft leisure where all important practical guidance and assessment could occur.
Daniel Ward, an Abbeycroft Leisure Centre Manager, who’s staff benefited from the training, had the following to say:
“So that we can drive forwards our strategy of getting people active post-lockdown we needed to upskill our staff to achieve the necessary qualification to deliver such exercise. This training has not only provided the relevant qualification but it has also given our staff a fresh skills set to put into practice.”
Overall it has been a privilege for Study Active to work with CIMSPA and other stakeholders to deliver this project. It has been extremely rewarding to see centre staff from Active Suffolk gain new skills and sharpen existing ones. It is now all about impact so we look forward to the staff putting their qualifications to good use in driving forwards local and national physical activity agendas.