Developing new European Standards for fitness centres

  • EuropeActive, CEN Group, Standards, Fitness Centres

Today starts the work to develop some new European standards for fitness centres with the meeting at the Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN) in Delft. Known as CEN/TC 136 Working Group 2, EuropeActive is going to be deeply involved in the process by developing some Part 2 standards to follow the main standards that were published by CEN in July this year.

Part 1 standards covers the management and operations of fitness centres, whereas new Part 2 standards will set out the requirements relative to the wide range of operating models for fitness centres with a framework of good practices for operators. These operating models will be used in determining the staffing and supervision, which is appropriate and proportionate to the type of facilities, the activities being operated, and the risks that are presented.

The proposal for the Part 2 standards is to consider the relevant definitions and to explicitly describe the knowledge, skills and competencies of the operational staff or systems in place. it will also cover the certifications and professional competencies required for the main occupations of fitness trainers working in fitness centres. In order to do so, a small technical committee will look at the scope of the new Part 2 standards in preparation for the first full working group meeting scheduled in Brussels on 22-23 October at the CEN headquarters building.

Cliff Collins, the convenor of the Working Group and EuropeActive Programmes Director said that  there is widespread interest in the new CEN standards and the new Part 2 standards will clarify what is expected in terms of supervision in fitness centres – whether there is staff present or not, and to finally agree on the qualifications required by fitness professionals who are delivering instruction to our millions of users. There is already a great body of experience and understanding of good practice in these areas so I hope that we will see a good set of standards ready for consultation within a year from now”.

Mr. Collins also referred to EuropeActive’s role in the process: EuropeActive is working on a scheme for the Part 1 standards to develop some programmes to explain to operators what the standards mean, and how they need to be used in a positive way to improve business performance and customer service delivery. We will be working with our 21 national associations to help get the messages out to all fitness operators and the scheme will be launched during the FIBO week in April 2020.”