Updated: May 6, 2020
The Pilates specialist industry has seen many changes over the last few years, going from rapid growth and government recognition to studios closing their doors due to COVID-19.
I think we all agree that we need to find ways to strengthen our industry and get us back on track to making Pilates accessible to everyone, and develop strong successful Pilates professionals.
One way to start on this road is to support government accredited Pilates education and the organizations around Australia that provide this training. Recognition is a long road, and takes time and perseverance to achieve, but we can get back to where we once were as an industry, and continue to grow.
But what is Accredited Training? Why is it important to our industry? What can we do to help?
Read on below for more…
We are really lucky in Australia that we have Pilates training that covers different levels of formal qualification to define expertise level. We have courses that range from Certificate IV right through to the Advanced Diploma. As with any industry or profession, and especially with Pilates, the different levels of qualification will refer to a Pilates instructors scope of practice and expertise level.
What is Accredited Training?
Accredited Training is the term applied to government audited and approved training that leads to a formal qualification such as a Certificate, Diploma or Advanced Diploma. These qualifications are recognised across Australia in line with standards and assessment guidelines outlined in national training packages and across sectors. An accredited course provider goes through a comprehensive audit process that ensures that training is nationally recognised and meets strict quality assurance requirements.
Courses must also meet all legislative, educational and industry ethical needs while designing training that provides outcomes and a satisfactory basis for assessment.
The term ‘accredited’ is often casually used by organisations who register within an industry, but this doesn’t necessarily refer to government registered. Beware these differences.
Why is it important?
In the Pilates industry, as with all industries, recognition is vital for successful progression. When we have an industry wide, validated, mutually agreed upon basis for meeting minimum standards, we can all come together as well-oiled organised industry.
Nationally recognised and accredited training has gone through many processes, been analyzed and audited by many sets of expert eyes, and has been agreed upon that the training meets minimum standards for the student to enter the professional workplace. It relies on substantiated data that defines employability and industry standards.
What can we do?
Professional Pilates teachers showing support for recognised training through social media, job postings and mentoring advice and recommendations for new instructors and clients, projects an image of cohesion and unity within the profession.
We also want the general public to be armed with enough information to decide where to go for professional Pilates services. I mean, you wouldn’t get your hair cut by an unqualified hairdresser would you?
How do I know if the courses are accredited?
Accredited courses have been allocated course codes from ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) and must be included in the title of the qualification. You can also check the accredited courses on training.gov.au the official government listing of RTO’s and Accredited courses.
Why should I choose an accredited course?
Because you can be confident that the course has been developed in accordance with nationally defined requirements, is constantly reviewed and must pass quality assurance tests and has consistent compliance checks in place. Any organization delivering government accredited training also has had to maintain quality assurance in all aspects of the delivery of the course.
How do I know that the course provider has accredited courses?
Accredited Courses can only be delivered by RTO’s (Registered Training Organisation) and other licensed organisations. However, RTO’s are the only organizations that can provide a qualification outcome, and have had to register with the Australian Government through a similarly stringent process and ongoing audit system. This registration is constantly reviewed and RTO’s must comply with regular changes, industry updates and student learning experience standards. RTO’s will have a registered code next to their name.
As part of the accreditation process, the course designer must develop the course with relevant industry input and feedback. This allows any industry to develop recognised accredited training that provides workplace ready employees.
The beauty of the vocational education system in Australia is that you can do your training with any school you like, and still apply for recognition of your training through a RPL (recognition of prior learning) process. So it is inclusive, as long as you meet equivalency criteria; if not, that’s ok too, you can “fill in the gaps” to achieve your qualification.
Benefits of accredited training:
Government and Industry recognition. This recognition paves the way for recognition and potentially the return of health rebates for our industry
Government assistance and schemes to support students with fees
Quality assurance, you know you’re getting training that is constantly reviewed to ensure a positive student learning experience
Qualifications never expire! You are free to do continuing education with many different providers to maintain membership to industry associations
Become part of a recognised and strong industry
Differentiate your training with training from non-accredited and/or branded private education providers
Upskill current non-accredited training with an accredited outcome via RTO processes
Builds pathways for higher education, specialties and career progression
Employer confidence that you have comprehensive, standardized workplace training with ready to go professional teachers
What can I do?
If we can all stand together and promote the importance of recognised accredited training to the wider public, confidence will grow. We want Pilates to stand alone as a profession, rather than a weekend warrior/hobbyist type of image. Achieving recognition will make our profession more respected and visible as the Allied Health Care modality that we specialize in.