Personal Training Levels Explained


Navigating the different levels of personal training qualifications can be difficult, especially if you’re new to the field. This article will clearly explain each level of personal training qualifications, covering the importance of each level and explaining the qualification needed to start on a career as a personal trainer.

The Importance of Personal Training Qualification Levels

Understanding the importance of personal training levels is crucial. In England, personal trainer qualifications are regulated by Ofqual, a government body that sets the standards for vocational courses, including those in personal training. 

An Ofqual-regulated course comes with a level designation, such as “Level 2”, “Level 3” or “Level 4”, which stands as a mark to signify degree of qualification, quality and consistency across the industry. This not only ensures you receive the best training but also improves your employability, as employers recognize the high standard of an Ofqual-regulated qualification.

What is Level 2?

To even begin on your journey to become a personal trainer, you’ll need a minimum of a Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification, which is the entry point for working in the fitness industry as a gym instructor. However, to operate as a personal trainer in the UK, you’ll also need to complete a Level 3 Personal Trainer Course. Some opt for a Personal Training Diploma, which combines both Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications, as a fast track to entering the profession. The PFCA L2 & L3 PT Course is a diploma which provides both levels of qualification. 

A Level 2 qualification equips you to work as a gym or fitness instructor, laying the groundwork for a career in personal training. It covers the basics of exercise, health and safety, and human anatomy. Upon completion, you’re prepared to either begin working in the fitness industry or advance to a Level 3 course to become a full personal trainer.

What is the Level 3 Personal Training Qualification?

Our Level 3 PT Course dives deeper, providing advanced knowledge on anatomy, nutrition, exercise programming, and the business aspects of personal training. This level qualifies you to design and deliver personalised exercise programs for clients.

What is Level 4?

Level 4 allows personal trainers to specialise in specific areas, such as nutrition, back pain management, obesity, strength and conditioning coaching, and diabetes control. It’s not a distinct personal trainer course but rather a specialisation within the field. If you’re already a personal trainer and you are looking to specialise further, then be sure to check out our Functional Fitness Coaching Course.


There’s no Level 1 Personal Training Course which qualifies you to the degree of taking on a career role in the fitness industry, and similarly, a Level 5 Personal Trainer qualification doesn’t exist in the UK.

Choosing the right level of personal training qualification depends on your career goals and where you’re starting from. Whether you’re entering the fitness industry as a career change to personal training or looking to advance your career on the journey you’re already on, understanding these levels can help you get to where you want to get to. Whilst you’re here, be sure to check out our full range of personal training courses.