eLF Bulletin Volume 2

January 2014
eLF Bulletin

Welcome to the second edition of the bulletin of the

eLearning Fitness (eLF) Project

The objective of this bulletin is to give you information about the eLF project including the existing partnership and the potential impact on the Health Fitness sector. The bulletin will focus on the activities carried out during the lifespan of the project.

For further information about the project please refer to the contact details at the end of this message.

The Project In Brief
Towards a useful and efficient skills monitoring tool for the fitness industry

In 2010, the EACEA, EU DG Education and Culture, financed the eLearningFitness Project (eLF), which is based on the EQF-Fitness standards, developed by EHFA.

The eLF project has two main goals:

1. To create a European e-learning training system in fitness (physical activity for health) to cover the minimum standards for both the theory (knowledge) and the instructor's practical skills and competencies based on the EQF Levels 3 and 4

2. To create a network of National Registers of Exercise Professionals, which will connect with other international registers such as EREPs (European Register of Exercise Professionals) and be affiliated to the ICREPs (International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals)


The eLF system will contribute to creating a strong critical mass which is necessary to facilitate the growth and expansion of the fitness sector in Europe and worldwide. Indeed through the eLF e-learning training platform, the fitness and sports organisations / operators / instructors, will be able to adopt and use a modern, easy and economic system to educate, test, verify and evaluate the professional knowledge, skills and competences of the fitness for health trainers.

On behalf the project's consortium, let us take this opportunity to give a special thank you to all the contributors, from funders to partners, students to teachers, associates to supporters and ambassadors. They MADE IT HAPPEN by giving their fantastic support and enthusiasm. They have been the soul of this project and the voice of the fit for life movement.

The Project In Figures
Numbers are often better than words
Was the project a success ?
We belive the answer is a categorical YES ! And the numbers speak for themselves...

Final Conference

The eLF final Conference and Partner Meeting will be held in Rome, at Sapienza - Università di Roma on the following dates:

Open Conference

Partner Business Meeting

Open to everybody, the Open Conference will take place on March 20th and 21st and will showcase the best of the eLF project with a series of presentations based on the Work Packages (the main outcomes & the perspectives). The conference will be a vibrant highlight of the training / learning activities.
A closed business meeting of Principal Partners will take place on
Saturday March 22nd .
More information about the programme and how to register will be available soon. Please refer to the contact details at the end of this message in order to get more information.
Focus on Deliverables
The moodle course

All four eLF distance learning courses, available in 13 languages, have one common Module, named Core Knowledge which covers all the basic scientific information necessary to provide the students with the knowledge, competence and skills to operate as a Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) instructor.

Through the various eLF courses it is possible to obtain a professional certification in the following areas:

Group Exercise Instructor (Aerobics and Muscle Conditioning), EQF Level 3

AquaFitness instructor, EQF Level 3

Fitness instructor (weight room and cardio machines), EQF Level 3

Personal trainer, EQF Level 4,

(available to participants who have successfully completed the fitness instructor course)

Focus on Deliverables
The Register of Professionals

Surveys in many countries indicate that there is an inadequacy between the offer and the demand for professional skills in Fitness for Health activities, facilitating the recruitment of incompetent staff with serious risk for the health and safety of the practitioners and clients.

The eLF processes will further consolidate the activities of the Health Fitness sector, stimulating the creation of new activities and promoting entrepreneurial development, for the benefit of the organisations, the operators, the technical staff and, most importantly, the safety and satisfaction of the customers.

The main function of the registers will be to guarantee transparency regarding the instructor's professional qualifications and to facilitate the search in the labour market of skilled professionals from the operators.

All students who successfully pass final examination for each course (theoretical and practical) will be entitled to registration on their National Register for exercise professionals.

The use of the eLF system will guarantee the efficacy of the training programmes and the transparency of a system that will give the health fitness community credibility and legitimacy through:

the consistency and sustainability of an e-learning platform based on the EQF (European Qualification Framework)

the functionality and transparency of the following processes and procedures: assessment, validation and certification of the knowledge, competence and skills of the graduates

The system that the eLF Partners, including the Associates, wish to create through this project, will give the European and International sport and fitness organisations, operators, employers and instructors, a useful and efficient skills monitoring tool.

The Next Steps
What happens when the project is done ?

The eLF network is confident that there is a need to expand and improve the knowledge and education of fitness and sports instructors considering that fitness is an essential part of all sports activities and strongly related to the public health.

Though partners are still working on the implementation of the future strategy, they considered the following encouraging signal as a green light for the sustainability of the project.

The IOC, which does not have a specific role in the fitness activities, has commented positively on the eLF Project and welcomes the development of standards and education for the promotion of physical activity for health in the sport sector, considering that physical activity is at the core of all sports disciplines. Together with the WHO, the IOC Medical and Scientific Department is developing a strategy for the promotion of physical activity and is considering a possible association with the eLF Project.

Partner Testimonial

"CYQ is a leading specialist awarding organisation (exams board) and accreditation body for health, fitness and wellbeing qualifications in the UK and internationally. It is an organisation that is committed to raising standards within the health and fitness sector by working in partnership with a range of regulatory bodies, federations, employers and training providers to achieve the highest industry standards for health and fitness professionals.

CYQ offers a diverse suite of over 70 qualifications, ranging in levels from introductory (UK Level 1/EQF Level 2) to advanced (UK Level 4/EQF Level 5) and has been responsible for over a quarter of a million people launching or progressing their careers in the health and fitness sector. CYQ's qualifications give successful graduates' access to the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) in the UK, a quality mark of knowledge, skills, competence and professionalism.

As a core partner within the eLearning Fitness (eLF) project, CYQ has contributed its extensive experience and expertise as a well-respected and established independent accreditation and quality assurance organisation.

CYQ was the project coordinator for a previous Lifelong Learning European funded project entitled "European Accreditation - Fitness" (EA Fitness), which was a two year project that enabled health and fitness sector training providers and national associations across Europe to be accredited against the European Health and Fitness Association (EHFA) Standards for occupations that included fitness instructing, group fitness instructing, aqua fitness instructing and personal training.

The eLF project is now building on the work of this earlier European project by developing eLearning content aligned to the EHFA standards for fitness instructing, group fitness instructing, aqua fitness and personal training. Part of CYQ's role within the eLF project is, alongside other project partners, to ensure the alignment of eLF eLearning content to the EHFA standards and to lend its expertise in relation to the delivery of eLF content and assessment, to achieve standardisation and comparability across different European providers within the project.

The goal of the eLF project is to raise the professional level of fitness instruction and personal training throughout Europe to safeguard consumers. The use of eLearning methodology should help to overcome economic and geographical barriers in order to facilitate greater participation of individuals, thereby improving the professionalism of the sector and enhancing the employability prospects of instructors and personal trainers."

Jenny Patrickson, Head of CYQ

Stakeholder Testimonial
The importance of International Cooperation for standardisation and accreditation

"The European health and fitness sector is a vibrant market with remarkable numbers in revenues, employees, customers and providers. As the market permanently grows stakeholders have to ensure that the offered services are of high quality. The basis of every service provided in the industry is the personal contact between instructors and trainers on the one side and the customers pursuing individual goals on the other side.

Trainers and instructors need certain competencies to deliver a customer-oriented service. Therefore, the Standards Council of the European Health & Fitness Association, which based on the knowledge, experiences and commitment of technical experts from all over Europe, decided to develop occupational standards with regard to the European Qualification Framework (EQF). Currently, the standards portfolio encompasses standards for the levels 2, 3, 4 and 5. Training providers can apply their courses for accreditation against these highly accepted standards and register their graduates onto the European Register of Exercise Professional (EREPS).

All courses provided by the eLF project have been developed by using the EHFA standards, which underscores that the European health and fitness sector can only be strong and influencing if all stakeholders are willing to cooperate. Cooperation in terms of using common standards, the ambition to develop new standards and permanently reflect the already existing ones, having accordance about the necessity to have a comprehensible and transparent system of registration, willingness to participate as technical experts within standards projects etc.

The eLF project and its courses as well as graduates have an exceptional status within the European network, as the consortium consists of several training providers, some of them already holding an EHFA accreditation. Hence, all graduates of the mentioned eLF courses are formally entitled to be registered onto the European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS) after registration in the pilot National Directory of Fitness Instructors as this is one requirement of the eLF project. The European health and fitness sector is awaiting new challenges in the near future. In order to be able to deliver suitable strategies to turn those possible threats into chances the sector needs to bundle its forces by expanding cooperation in the fields of standardization and accreditation."

Thomas Rieger, Chairman of the Standards Council at EHFA