Become a Group or Aqua Fitness Instructor
Body Blueprint is happy to help you with all of the steps to becoming a Group Fitness or Aqua Fitness Instructor, and it can all be done online or in-class here in Victoria (or through private courses at your request).
You have come to the right place for getting a Canada-wide certification. All of our courses are approved by British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) which is part of Fitness Leadership Canada (formerly National Fitness Leaders Association of Canada). We can easily help you with the steps to get fully certified with them. BCRPA is a high standard fitness certification and can be used nationally. If you'd like to get certified with a different governing body, please contact us for information.
Step 1: Fitness Theory Course (in class in Victoria or online from anywhere)
The In Class Fitness Theory course runs over 3 days: Friday evening 5:30 to 9:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 8:30am to 4:30pm. Please see the dates these classes will be running in Victoria. You are provided with a full colour manual and work book. There is a short pre-course reading assignment and quiz and you will complete a final assignment within two months of finishing this course.
With the online course, you can begin right away. You are given 4 months to complete it, but you could easily do it within a month (or less) if you put your mind to it. It includes 8 assignments, which you submit to us for evaluation and we return to you with thorough feedback. The course includes your manual and videos and tutorials to help you learn the information.
The Fitness Theory final assignment makes sure you are prepared for the BCRPA provincial exam. After you complete this, you will receive a Fitness Theory Certificate from Body Blueprint.
If you have done this course before or have previous knowledge in Anatomy and Physiology and Fitness Theory, you may be interested in challenging the course. We have practice exam options that will help prepare you for the provincial exam. Please contact us to find out more. You may be asked to show proof of your previous experience/knowledge.
Step 2: Fitness Theory Exam
When you are ready, you may take the provincial Fitness Theory BCRPA exam. You are given one hour for this exam and it is offered online only. You can find more details about this on the first BCRPA link (http://bcrpa.bc.ca/fitness_program/registration/exams.htm) here.
This Fitness Theory course will also prepare you for the fitness theory exam with the Manitoba Fitness Council (MFC), Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association (AFLCA), the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) and the Nova Scotia Fitness Association (NSFA). This exam is a prerequisite for your specialty module course (Weight, Group, Aqua, etc). Please contact the governing body of you choice for more information on how to get registered with them in Group Fitness, after taking the Fitness Theory Course.
Step 3: Register with BCRPA
Once you pass the BCRPA exam, you must pay BCRPA's registration fee, which insures you as a student and allows you a year from that time to complete your next specialty module (Weight Training). This step cannot be skipped – it must be done before taking the Group Fitness course.
If you want to switch organizations later on, other registering organizations of Fitness Leadership Canada (FLC), formerly known as the National Fitness Leadership Alliance (NFLA), may allow you to challenge their exams/evaluations once you've taken Body Blueprint's courses, but you need to contact them directly.
First Aid and CPR
Your First Aid and CPR must be complete and up-to-date before you can be fully registered with BCRPA.
For First Aid and CPR, we recommend Alert First Aid if you are on Vancouver Island. BCRPA Registered Fitness Leaders and registration candidates are required to have current CPR and First Aid certifications at all times. These certifications must come from the following organizations or from companies that are authorized by them to provide these certifications: Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance, Canadian Ski Patrol, the Lifesaving Society or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Note: The BCRPA does NOT accept online CPR or First Aid certifications
Fitness Leaders are required to have a minimum of CPR-A certification and either Emergency First Aid or Standard First Aid certification.
Step 4 – Group Fitness or Aqua Fitness Course
The Group Fitness or Aqua Fitness in-class course in Victoria runs over 2 full days, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm. It is a hands-on course that prepares you to teach small to large classes fitness. If choreography is not your thing, you can still take this course to learn to teach boot camps and other group style fitness classes.
After the course, you will have 2 months to attend two fitness classes and complete observation reports and write up a class lesson plan. You will receive a hard copy manual.
The online course includes 12 short written and 8 video assignments (you film yourself doing the assigned exercises - all can be done from home). You will have 4 months to complete all of your assignments, though it can easily be done within one month.
After you complete the Group or Aqua Fitness course, you will receive a certificate from Body Blueprint, but you will not be certified until you complete the next step.
Step 5 - Practicum (8 hours)
Once you’ve done the Group or Aqua Fitness course, you begin your 8 hour practicum. This involves teaching portions of classes (usually starting with 15 minutes here and there, i.e. just the warm up, or just the stretching) until you’ve taught 8 full hours total (4 of them must be signed off on by a mentor, and the remaining 4 are simply your own practice with peers). If you are already in touch with an organization, it’s good to start planting the seed for this now, so you’ll have a mentor or location to teach these practicum hours from. Otherwise, we suggest attending classes now so you can get to know the instructors and connect with those who may mentor you.
Step 6 - Instructor Competency Evaluation (ICE)
After your 8 hours are complete and signed off on, you finish with your Instructor Competency Evaluation (ICE). This involves completing some BCRPA forms (see here under Group or Aqua Fitness: https://www.bcrpa.bc.ca/fitness-program/ice-forms/) This is easy to do. After this you will need to teach a 45-60 minute class (must be to 1 or more participants) and we will come and evaluate you. If you aren't in Victoria, you can submit a video to us (participants don’t need to be in the video). This is marked, submitted to BCRPA for approval, and then you are a fully certified Instructor!
Keeping up your Registration:
Once you are fully certified with BCRPA, you will need to pay a registration fee and submit 16 credits every 2 years to BCRPA to stay registered. This is what our online Continuing Education Credit (CEC) Workshops are for.
Older Adult Certification:
Once you are fully certified in Group Fitness, Aqua Fitness, or Weight Training (Personal Training not needed), you may take the Older Adult course in order to become certified as an Older Adult Instructor or Trainer. After you complete this online (or in class) course, you submit a final assignment to us for your Body Blueprint Older Adult Certificate. The certificate can then be submitted to BCRPA for your 20 credits toward your registration, but you will not be fully certified in Older Adult until you take the next steps.
Older Adult Exam (online through BCRPA) and Older Adult ICE.