Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find answers to some frequently asked questions about various aspects of REPs UAE, we’ll be adding to the list as we go along.

What is REPs?

REPs is a public register which recognises the qualifications and expertise of exercise instructors in the UAE.

Who set up REPs?

REPs UAE was instigated by the Dubai Sports Council and set up as an independent entity by the CEO Naser Al Tamimi to support and help to professionalise the local fitness industry.

Is it law that a fitness professional has to be a member of REPs?

Dubai Sports Council have issued circulars in Dubai to all health clubs that registration with REPs for all instructors is mandatory. The Sports Councils in other Emirates are considering the same approach. Checks may be carried out on Clubs through the Sports Council.

Regardless of the legal situation REPS UAE encourages all instructors to register and calls on all employers to back REPs increase professionalism in the industry.

Membership signifies that an exercise professional;

  • has met nationally agreed occupational standards
  • holds recognised and approved qualifications
  • is independently verified as being competent in the work place
  • is committed to ongoing professional development

We strongly recommend that members of the public looking to employ the services of an exercise professional should check to see if they are registered by searching our member database.

What are levels of registration?

Level 1 – Assistant Instructor

Level 2 – Gym Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor (Freestyle), Aqua Fitness Instructor

Level 3 – Personal Trainer, Pilates Teacher, Yoga Teacher

Is there a Level 4 on REPs?

No, not at the moment, we are concentrating on getting trainers qualified and registered at levels 2 and 3 first. Also there is not an agreed advanced (Level 4) criteria around the world so it makes it hard to develop a Level 4 for UAE when different training companies and instructors use different advanced courses from around the world. For Level 2 and 3 there is more or less a global consensus on the skills needed at those levels.

Who sets the standards?

The Standards were developed by REPs and checked with training providers and employers, the standards are based on the Global Standards for fitness produced by the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) – so we can demonstrate the UAE meets best global practice.

Who approves the qualifications?

Courses to give entry to REPs are approved through internationally accepted accreditation systems, at present these include accreditation routes through the UK, Australia, South Africa and ICREPs.

How do I become a qualified fitness professional?

In order to become a fitness professional and register with REPs you must hold a recognised qualification from an approved training provider. To search for approved training providers go to the Approved Training part of the website.

What if I did my qualifications outside the UAE?

REPs will accept qualifications gained in another ICREPs country with a fitness register (REPs certificate or letter of portability required), we can only accept qualifications from other countries for full entry where we are sure that the qualification meets all the UAE Fitness Standards. If we are not sure we may give “provisional status”.

What status do you award to trainers with a US certification?

REPs UAE requires a competency based assessment to have been part of a members qualification, as this is not always the case with US certifications then normally provisional status will be given and the member will be asked to top up to another certification by completing a practical. If a US certification has a practical included and is accredited globally by ICREPS then it gives full entry to REPs.

What is provisional status?

Provisional status is given to members of REPs UAE who are currently employed in the fitness industry and hold a fitness qualification but we are not sure that the qualification meets the REPs UAE Fitness Occupational Standards. Further evidence is needed to prove competence against the standards and convert to full status. Provisional status is given for one year and in that time the trainer must “top up” to a locally accredited certification.

What if my qualifications are very old?

REPs look at each application on an individual basis. We would look at the certificates, and also the CV and continuing education taken and decide whether to give full or provisional status.

Can I get on REPs with a degree in sports?

Degrees in sport (sports science, sports management, sports coaching etc) are recognised as delivering a high level of theoretical learning linked to the sport and fitness industry, however there is normally not much evidence that all of the practical fitness skills which are in the UAE standards have been taught and assessed adequately. Therefore although university graduates are well qualified and have a high level certification for 3/4/5 years of study, often they can only be given provisional status on REPs and must provide further evidence of their practical fitness instruction skills.

How do you assess yoga applications?

We link to globally recognised yoga accreditation systems, in particular we look for Registered Yoga School (RYS) 200 or above from Yoga Alliance. Yoga degrees and masters degrees are also accepted. To help us look at yoga certificates and decide if the teacher can join REPs we have a “yoga advisor” who has good knowledge of yoga certifications and can advise us if a certification is RYS 200 standard or equivalent.

What is ICREPs?

ICREPs is the International Confederation for Registers of Exercise Professionals, it is the global body for REPs registers around the world. There is now a REPS register and member of ICREPs in UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, UAE, Ireland, Canada and United States. ICREPs applied a strict criteria to REPs UAE to be able to join and provides both a forum to share good practice in registration and allow international portability between registers. REPs UAE is a full member of ICREPs and attends their Board meetings.

What is CPD?

It is important for exercise professionals to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. Continuing Professional Development – CPD – is about exercise professionals doing extra courses, attending workshops or conferences or taking part in other activities which increase their skills base. REPs members are expected to do 10 hours of CPD activities per year and to log their CPD “points” where one point is equal to one hour of learning.

Can I get a course approved for CPD points?

Yes we have a process for that to evaluate courses and give CPD points, contact the office for details

How much does it cost?

It costs 400 AED per year to be a member of REPs

Can my employer pay for my registration?

Yes. Employers can submit applications for registration on behalf of their employees.

How long will it take to process my application?

We say it will take 1 to 4 weeks days for qualifications from our list of published qualifications. Applications sent with ‘other’ or ‘non listed qualifications’ will take longer. These can take up to 3 months depending on the evidence provided and if the application needs to be assessed by an independent panel.

Do I need first aid or CPR training to join REPs?

At the moment no, although it is advisable to have up-to-date CPR training. REPs is speaking to the industry about this and may bring in a requirement for first aid and/or CPR from next year.

How are my registration fees spent and is REPs UAE “for profit”

REPs UAE operates as a not-for-profit organisation. Being not-for-profit is a requirement of ICREPs membership and to ensure this principle is upheld the Chair of ICREPs sits on the REPs UAE Board and scrutinises the accounts once a year. REPs does not receive a grant from the Government so all income is derived from member registrations. The office rent and equipment, four members of staff, external consultant, website, magazine, ID cards etc all have to be paid for from registration income.

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