EuropeActive has systematically supported the development of European standards for fitness clubs through the central body called CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) for a number of years. Part 1 of what are called EN 17229 were completed in 2019 and cover the management, operations and safety requirements and Part 2 will be published in the middle of 2021. These cover supervision requirements of clubs (including remote surveillance systems), and the qualifications for fitness trainers.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group of industry experts who draft the standards has completed a Technical Specification for operating a fitness club in the event of an infectious outbreak. This Specification will help clubs coming out of lockdown and for future times when other restrictions may be applied. The work involved a number of other experts from virology, ventilation engineers and epidemiology to ensure they the best guidance from across Europe.
These European standards will help to build confidence and show that across the sector we can apply principles of good practice and safety. This will help improve confidence with our millions of fitness users, and to build trust with healthcare professions. The standards also help to define and separate the fitness sector from being put into larger society groups such as bars, restaurants, cinemas and other ‘leisure’ activities.
Later in 2021 work will start on developing a further range of standards which cover the effect of digitalisation on the sector, clubs offering outdoor exercise and activities and developing plan sustainability within fitness businesses to reduce carbon emissions and meet climate change challenges.