I thought it was perhaps the right time to make a public statement regards the long standing disputes that have made local and now national news regards Fitlink. As many of our clients will know, two of our staff were caught up in the crossfire when the Fitlink ownership dispute kicked off at the end of 2016. To be fair it was an incredibly stressful time for both our staff, and Ryding2Health as the employer trying to support them to become fully qualified personal trainers.
As you will know, Ryding2Health is a REPS registered facility and also a member of Exercise New Zealand. This is something we chose to do, which binds us to the REPS code of practice and the Exercise New Zealand code of ethics. We elected to do this because we believe that a high standard of service is what our customers deserve and this shows them that we are committed to exactly that.
This also means that we can only employ REPS registered staff within our facility. We are regularly audited to ensure that we are abiding by these codes of practice.
When the Fitlink dispute originally surfaced in 2016, REPS removed the Fitlink REPS accreditation as a certified training provider. Understandably, this could have had potentially devastating affect on us as an employer, because two of our staff in effect stood to lose their jobs due to this accreditation being removed, through no fault of their own, or of Ryding2Health.
It is fair to say, it was testing times. But, our staff are still here, one has continued her course to completion through Fitlink and is now REPS registered. This was made possible because although REPS removed the accreditation, they still have a skills assessment route and offered this free of charge to any Fitlink students caught up in the Fitlink company ownership dispute. Our other staff member is still studying through Fitlink and close to completing their course.
When you set up a contract with a company for collecting payments (in our case, this would be group fitness membership) the company is obliged to provide the client with a copy of that contract at the time it is signed. The payment collection is a contract with the company directly. Ryding2Health manage their own payment collections, however there are several collection companies that we could use, and subcontract our payment collections out if we chose to do so. This would not affect the original contract, which is between the client and the company (in our case, Ryding2Health).
Ryding2Health use contact agreements that have been legally verified by either exercise New Zealand, or REPS.
Fitlink moving forward
Both our staff members affected by the original Fitlink ownership dispute continue to work for Ryding2Health. One has since successfully completed the course and is now Registered with REPS. The other continues to study with Fitlink and is nearing completion. When this staff member has completed their course, they will then complete the REPS assessment process (free of charge) and will then become fully REPS registered. Apart from a period of uncertainty at the end of 2016, Fitlink have continued to assess coursework and communicate with both students.