Background and Concepts

The health-fitness sector is a young, vibrant industry involving over 40 million participants in Europe. Until recently a coherent pan-European qualification structure to develop the standard of industry professionals needed by today’s public was lacking. Following the EQF - the European Qualifications Framework - the health and fitness instructor competence framework was stated by EHFA and largely adopted within Europe, due to a previous project ( EA-Fitness), on which eLF is based. This standard specifies the minimum knowledge, skills and competencies required by the instructor to safely carry out a range of job roles. The framework will allow European training providers to match their courses to agreed industry standards, through the use of a standard e-learning course that allows the fitness instructors to acquire and update their skills and competencies according to the EQF Fitness. The e-learning methodology overcomes economic and territorial barriers, favouring the exploitation of the eLF project throughout Europe. This will allow and facilitate the participation in online education programmes for those fitness instructors who currently do not meet the minimum standards expected at the European level, improving the quality of the sector and employability of weak groups of unskilled instructors, thereby adhering to the EU request for implementation of EQF. In particular, the EQF-Fitness devised by EHFA will serve as a guide in the development of the National Qualifications Frameworks (NQFs) in accordance with the national legislation and practices. Each member nation of the project will then create a Register for the transparency and recognition of competences and qualifications, to guarantee standards of safety and quality which match European priorities and conform to the EQF-Fitness. During the life of the project at least 300 persons will undergo the eLF training program (an average of 20 per each partner country). The eLF outcomes will be used by the Fitness VET organizations to qualify current instructors and to give the basic (minimum standards) knowledge, skills and competencies to new instructors. The long term target groups will be: the fitness sector (i.e. fitness clubs, managers, instructors, personal trainers and private and public VET providers) in European Member States, LLP national agencies, public and private institutions working on EQF. eLF will allow training providers across Europe to match their courses to the agreed European Fitness industry standard and facilitate the recognition of instructors trained and qualified according to EQF, by the employers. The website and e-learning structures will continue beyond the life of the project with the aim of enlarging the number of European countries using the eLF European standard e-learning system related to EQF and the Exercise register for the all Member States. The methodology used by the eLF partnership may be transferred to other realities in the same sector, as well as in other sectors, providing recommendations useful to exploit LLP results in the best way.