Course Description

The Certificate will train you to become a fitness instructor in gyms, community centres and fitness facilities. During your study you will build a strong fitness and wellbeing knowledge base, which will enable you to guide, motivate and instruct gym clients.

The course is also a great pathway into the Certificate IV in Fitness, and the dynamic world of personal training.  

Why study this course?

  • With this Certificate you can work as a professional fitness instructor in gyms, fitness facilities and community facilities.
  • You will learn to provide programs for individuals
  • Studying online means you can fit study around your life, while the Certificate’s work placement lets you practice your skills in a real-world environment.
This course involves work placement that currently needs to be undertaken in Australia. More information available in our FAQs

Potential career outcomes

  • Gym Instructor
Course number E1168
Qualification name SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness (Gym Instructor)
Course duration Maximum 12 months
Delivery Method Online with Work Placement
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Case studies, Demonstrations, Knowledge tests, Matching answers , Multiple choice questions, Practical assessments, Presentations, Scenario-based questions, Short-answer questions, True/False questions
Awarded by
  • Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197)


You will need to have completed year 10, or equivalent. Equivalency can be demonstrated by one of the following:

  • A qualification at Certificate II level or higher OR
  • 2 years of industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software.

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Digital equipment

You will need access to:

  • A digital video recording device and/or a digital camera and associated software to save and upload video, image and audio files to OpenSpace. Many mobile phones and smart phones include this technology.
  • Software to view online videos and images. Software such as Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer etc. are available as a free download from the internet.


To successfully complete this course, you will require basic computing skills. This includes:

  • Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents
  • Accessing and searching the internet
  • Downloading and saving documents from websites
  • Uploading documents through websites
  • Participating in online discussions
  • Connecting digital cameras and downloading and storing images and audio files
  • Connecting digital video devices and downloading and storing videos
  • Compressing image, audio and video files.

Physical requirements

You will be required to undertake tasks related to a Certificate III in Fitness qualified Gym Instructor during work placement. Tasks may involve; demonstrating exercise, spotting exercises, physical activity, working with client’s under the age of 18 and the requirement to fulfil maintenance, risk management and safety procedures.

Undertaking the unit HLTAID003 Provide first aid (not delivered by Open Colleges), you will be required to undertake Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) continuously for a minimum 2 minutes while kneeling on the floor as indicated in the assessment requirements for the unit.


First Aid

The unit HLTAID003 Apply first aid (or its equivalent) is not delivered by Open Colleges. This unit can be satisfied via the completion of the nationally recognised unit of competency or its equivalent offered by an approved provider. You will need to provide a certified copy of a current certificate or Statement of Attainment to be provided credit for this unit. You will need to pay a fee directly to the provider and may be required to travel in order to undertake this unit with the provider of your choice. Whilst it is not a requirement to hold a current first aid certificate to undertake work placement in this industry, workplaces have the right to request this.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Working in fitness environments

This module is designed to introduce you to the fitness industry. It focuses on developing your understanding of a professional role in a fitness facility.

  • Develop industry knowledge.
  • Identify client needs and organisational objectives.
  • Implement customer service practices.
  • Minimise risks to personal and public safety.
  • Address client needs and expectations.
  • Provide quality service experience.
  • Resolve customer complaints.

Health screening

Module 2 moves into explaining the importance of health screening and ensuring that clients are cleared for physical activity. This module further reiterates your scope of practice and develops your confidence in referring clients to medical and allied health practitioners.

  • Identify client fitness requirements.
  • Administer pre-exercise health screening questionnaire.
  • Advise benefits of fitness activities and exercise prescription.
  • Identify client fitness goals.
  • Plan and conduct fitness appraisal.
  • Evaluate fitness appraisal.

Healthy eating

In Module 3, you will learn about the type of nutrition advice you can provide to a client. This module will develop your confidence in providing healthy eating information by teaching you how to interpret information within the Eat for Health Program to your clients.

  • Provide healthy eating information.
  • Support positive attitudes to eating and body composition.
  • Comply with the scope of practice in provision of nutrition advice.
  • Identify situations outside of scope of practice.
  • Identify client needs within the Eat for Health Program.
  • Develop client profiles of food choices and eating patterns.
  • Provide eating pattern and health status information.
  • Influence healthier eating patterns.

Managing risk

You are expected to be commencing their Structured Workplace Learning shortly after completing this module. You will learn how to identify and address associated risks within a fitness facility. You will also learn about risk management as a crucial part of your daily role as a Gym Instructor.

  • Identify risks
  • Analyse and evaluate risks
  • Treat risks
  • Monitor and review effectiveness of risk treatment
  • Follow safe work practices
  • Implement safe work practices
  • Contribute to safe work practices in the workplace
  • Reflect on own safe work practices

Fitness programs

You are provided the tools to address your client’s needs that you have identified through Health Screening and Orientation. The module will incorporate anatomy and physiology into the development of fitness programs.

  • Consolidate understanding of anatomy and physiology.
  • Apply knowledge to own professional practice.
  • Maintain and update knowledge of anatomy principles.
  • Identify client fitness requirements.
  • Develop program plans.
  • Conduct exercise sessions.
  • Evaluate program.

Specific populations

You will use your new fitness programming skills and apply them to specific populations, such as older clients. The module will allow you to solidify your fitness programming knowledge and help you identify the programming considerations for specific population clients.

  • Identify client fitness requirements.
  • Develop program plans.
  • Conduct exercise sessions.
  • Evaluate program.
  • Identify client fitness requirements.
  • Develop program plans.
  • Instruct exercise session.
  • Evaluate program.

Facilities and equipment

Provides you an opportunity to experience what occurs in a fitness facility within periods of down time or towards the end of the day once clients have gone home. The module details the importance of upholding regular maintenance procedures within a fitness facility.

  • Conduct maintenance checks of facilities or areas.
  • Check supplies.
  • Clean facility areas.
  • Contribute to facility or activity administration.
  • Perform routine equipment maintenance.
  • Conduct equipment repairs.
  • Store equipment to maintain serviceable condition.



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Find out more

Boris Bojanovic

Boris' passion for strength training has lead to a multifaceted career as a competitor, coach and presenter. With a degree in Exercise Physiology, his major area of interest is functional anatomy and how to optimise movement for performance and injury prevention.

Boris' is a Corrective Exercise Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, and also provides teaching for Rehab Trainer, Australian Institute of Kettlebells/Functional Training Institute and CrankIt Fitness. Boris has also written articles and developed educational materials for Fitness Australia. He gets immense satisfaction from using his expertise in corrective exercise and functional training to help clients and educate other trainers.

Matthew Burns

Matthew has been employed within the fitness industry and education sector for 6 years as a personal trainer and as a PDHPE teacher/Trainer & Assessor for Fitness and Sport & Recreation. As a personal trainer, Matthew has worked for a number or gyms across Sydney and has run an independent personal training business. Matthew’s passion for learning about the body continued into his university years, where his primary focus was Exercise Science (Bachelor) and Secondary Education (Diploma). Matthew also holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Pool lifeguard Certification, Certificate III in Fitness and was a sponsored fitness model in the under 30 Australian National Bodybuilding (ANB) Nationals competition in Sydney 2012. 

Matthew Morrison

Matthew is a registered Australian Strength and Conditioning Coach with experience training AFL draftees, elite level junior rugby union players and highly ranked Muay Thai fighters. Matthew holds a Diploma of Fitness, a Certificate IV in Fitness, a Certificate III in Fitness, and a Certificate III in Nutrition and Dietetic Assistance, as well as a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

An ardent advocate for fitness, he runs his own personal training business, has worked with one of Australia’s leading supplement companies and continues to work closely with Barbarian Muay Thai fight team. An athlete in his own right, Matthew has a passion for, and competes in, both Muay Thai and Kickboxing.

Phil Casey

Since receiving his Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Phil has held a number of specialist posts in both hospital and community settings, including roles in pediatrics and working with diabetics. He has also worked as a chiropractic assistant in Sydney’s CBD for five years, a role which saw him perform exercise rehabilitation sessions for clients.

Also qualified in sports/remedial massage and personal fitness training, Phil has 20 years fitness industry experience including personal training, facility management and sales.

As an educator, Phil has over six years’ experience teaching a range of face-to-face and online courses across anatomy and physiology, Certificate III and IV in Fitness and the Diploma of Fitness.

Phil McKay

Phil has completed a Certificate III and IV in Fitness and a Diploma of Fitness. Phil began his career as a gym instructor and also worked in personal training. He later moved into a fitness coordinator role, supervising a team of personal trainers and group fitness instructors. After a few years of managing a professional gym, Phil started his own fitness studio. Phil wants to use his experience to help his students take their passion to change their lives, and develop better health and wellbeing.

Professional Accreditation

Upon graduation you may apply to join Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia.

Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia are the two peak health and fitness industry associations and provide support services for Fitness professionals by aiding registered members attain employment, further their education and keep them informed of the latest Fitness Industry developments.

The course contains a minimum of 45 hours of work placement

You will be required to undertake your work placement in a workplace that provides fitness services, once you have successfully completed Modules 1 to 3. Various pieces of contemporary fitness equipment should be made available to clients and staff. This might include a weights gym and an outdoor environment. It’s also recommended that the facility services a range of different clients with different fitness needs.

Open Colleges offers this qualification in association with Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197). The testamur will be issued by Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd.

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