What is REPS? Are your staff properly qualified?


Register of exercise professionalsThis is not something we have been asked that often, but it is something that has come up again recently so I thought I would address it again thoroughly.

Neither the fitness or the massage industries are regulated by any type of compulsory governing body. Examples in other industries are

  • registered master builders
  • gas fitters must be registered by law
  • teachers must be registered to be able to be employed in schools
  • doctors, nurses etc all must be registered.

So let’s recap: no one is checking that any personal trainers or massage therapists are actually legit. Does that not sound slightly worrying? So a personal trainer can set up business whenever they like, don’t actually have to be qualified and no one is checking that. The same goes for massage therapy. Personally I find that more than slightly alarming.

What are we doing to combat this?

Ryding2Health have always been registered with REPS, right back to the days when I was a sole trader before Ryding2Health even became an incorporated company. Since company incorporation we have always CHOSEN to be on the REPS register. This is completely optional – but we have chosen to show a commitment to high quality standards by being accountable to an external body.

What is REPS?

REPS stands for the register of exercise professionals. REPS is fitness industry regulatory body that is optional to join. Members of REPS have to:

  • hold a qualification of a certain standard to be able to be on the register
  • organisations who are REPS registered are only allowed to employ REPS registered staff
  • to remain REPS registered a personal trainer must collect 10 continuous professional development credits every year.

The REPS register is a public register, so you can search to see whether your local personal trainer is on the register or not right here: www.reps.org.nz.

When I first joined REPS, I was one of very few people locally who had chosen to be on the register. Then, when Ryding2Health joined the register, we were one of the first (and only, back then) to be on the register. In the last 6 years since then, almost all of the big gyms locally have now joined REPS, plus one or two smaller fitness businesses. It’s great to see the support for REPS growing like it has. It shows that more and more fitness professionals want to show a level of service and commitment to high standards and high quality delivery for Their customers.

All our staff REPS certificates and our facility REPS certificate are displayed behind reception in the gym.

There is a code of ethics that we as a REPS registered facility, have to abide by. These are displayed by the door at the gym.

What about our massage therapists?

With the nature of how the massage industry actually started (with massage ‘parlours’ and such like) I believe it will take a lot longer to raise the massage industry to the same level of professionalism. That said, there are things that you can do to make sure your massage therapist is correctly qualified.

Massage qualifications

In the massage industry, the level and the range of qualifications varies greatly. I have seen ‘online massage’ qualifications advertised, (which I think is horrific to think you can learn a hands on skill ‘online’!!) I know some other complementary therapy courses include massage very briefly, then their graduates class themselves as massage therapists. Then in addition to that there’s a large range of ‘traditional massage’ styles to be found in much less regulated countries around the world where skills are passed down by word of mouth. I’m not saying any of this is wrong, I’m simply saying it is something to be aware of when considering what the background skill level of your massage therapist might be.

What Ryding2Health look for when we employ a massage therapist

At Ryding2Health, we have always employed QUALIFIED massage therapists. By this, we mean staff that have gained a qualification of at least Certificate level, from a school of massage therapy specifically. This ensures consistent skills / customer approach across all our staff and means that customers will get a consistent massage experience regardless of which staff member they choose.

We offer a range of different massage appointments also, these are dependent on the level of qualification that staff hold.

RELAXATION AND SPORTS MASSAGE

These massage styles are both covered at certificate level, therefore all our staff offer relaxation and sports massage. Staff who only hold this qualification have copies of their certificates on display in our massage treatment rooms.

HALF / FULL BODY MASSAGE

This appointment was relatively recently created, to accommodate customers who wanted more pressure than a relaxation massage but were not seeking specific injury / pain management treatment usually provided by therapeutic massage. Therefore all our massage staff offer this appointment.

THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE

Therapeutic (or deep tissue) massage is a specific treatment style for specific injuries, diagnosed medical conditions and pain management. Staff who offer this massage appointment must hold at least a diploma or a degree in therapeutic massage. Two of four massage staff hold a diploma. One of those is also currently also working towards a degree. Copies of their qualifications are on display in the massage treatment rooms.

When you come to Ryding2Health, regardless of which of our services you are engaging with, you can be assured that your therapist / personal trainer is appropriately qualified and you will receive a high quality service.

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