Welcome to Our Exercise Referral Course


This exercise referral course is aimed at fitness professionals wishing to design and lead exercise programmes for individuals with a range of long term health conditions/ medical conditions.  Not only will this qualification develop your knowledge and confidence to prescribe exercise to a wider demographic, but it also prepares you to work both as a freelance instructor and/or within exercise referral schemes.

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for anyone with the drive and passion to improve the health, fitness and quality of life of a diverse range of clients. Regardless of whether you are a personal trainer, Pilates/Yoga teacher or gym instructor, you will meet people with medical conditions. Therefore, it is good practice to enhance your knowledge and understanding to ensure you provide the safest and most effective form of exercise. If you are considering completing any Level 4 specialist qualifications then this course is the mandatory pre-requisite.


  • Learners must hold one or more of the following:
  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing or equivalent
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training
  • Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Pilates
  • Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Yoga

Please note, Level 2 Instructors and L3 Instructors that qualified over 5 years ago will have to complete the full diploma. More details below.

Course Content

During this course you will cover:

  • Professional practice for exercise referral instructors
  • Understanding medical conditions for exercise referral
    • 13 conditions covered, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, high cholesterol, asthma, COPD, type 1 & type 2 diabetes, joint replacements, depression, stress, anxiety and simple mechanical back pain
  • Planning exercise referral programmes with patients
  • Instructing exercise with referred patients
  • L3 Nutrition for physical activity [mandatory unit]*
  • L3 Anatomy and physiology [mandatory unit]*

* L2 Instructors are required to complete these two extra mandatory units as part of the Diploma. These are completed as online learning with mentor support. The cost of these extra units is £245.

* You must have gained your L3 fitness qualification within the last 5 years to be considered exempt from the A&P and Nutrition units. If you qualified outside of this timeframe then you will be required to re-complete the assessments.

Study Formats

This course is offered as blended learning.

  • Mandatory units are studied online with mentor support
  • Exercise referral units are studied online with mentor support
  • 3 live online workshops are delivered online via Zoom

The workshop sessions are designed to help deepen your understanding and apply your knowledge through activities and scenarios.

Length of Course

As a guide, this course will take:

  • Exercise Referral Units Only:  8-12 weeks. You must attend all 3 online workshops.
  • Mandatory Units & Exercise Referral Units: 16-20 weeks.

These recommendations are based on 2-3 hours a day. If you are able to dedicate a little more time, then you could complete them in a shorter time period. Speak to a team member about this route for you.

Example for exercise referral units:

  • Enrol on course
  • Study Units 1 & 2 via online learning (you will be required to complete 6-8 hours of learning ahead of the first workshop date.)
  • Attend Workshop 1 online
  • Continue to study for 2 weeks (units 2 & 3)
  • Attend Workshop 2 online
  • Continue to study and complete assessments for 2 weeks (units 3 &4)
  • Attend Workshop 3 online
  • Complete your assessment workbook and practical assessments


The assessments include:

  • Multiple worksheets
  • Consultation (video submission or attended*)
  • Exercise referral programme
  • Programme review
  • Letter to healthcare professional
  • Session plan
  • Practical assessment (video submission or attended*)
  • [Mandatory Unit] Case study related to nutrition
  • [Mandatory Unit] E-book assessment
  • [Mandatory Unit] 1 combined multiple choice theory paper (A&P and Nutrition combined)

Cost of Course

Level 3 Instructors: £425 

* Proof of prior learning achievements will be required and a decision will be made as to whether the learner is exempt. L3 Personal Trainers need to have qualified within the last 5 years to be exempt.

Level 2 Instructors: £670


2024 Online Workshop Dates

Enrol before the 27th May and attend the following online workshop dates:

  • 4th June, 9.30am-12.30pm
  • 18th June, 9.30am-12.30pm
  • 2nd July, 9.30am-12.30pm

* Practical assessments can be completed via video submission or by attending a venue with an assessor. In person assessments are subject to assessor and venue availability.

How Do I Enrol?

As long as you have the correct pre-requisite qualification, you can pay online and gain immediate access to the course materials. Just follow these steps:

  • Click the ‘enrol now’ button and create an online account.
  • Once registered, you will be taken to the payment page to complete your enrolment. You will then receive immediate access to the course materials.

To complete your official enrolment, you will need to download the application form below (see ‘Helpful Documents’) and then send it to info@puretraininganddevelopment.co.uk

Once your application form has been received, you will be contacted within 24 hours by your mentor and an admin member who will confirm your suitability for the course and finalise confirmation. Ensure you read the terms and conditions. By purchasing this course you are agreeing to our Full Terms and Conditions and Online Booking Terms.


By the end of this course, you will be a fully qualified exercise referral instructor receiving a Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral (YMCA Awards).

What will I gain by completing this course? 

You will have the knowledge and competence to plan and instruct exercise programmes for individuals with controlled medical conditions, working independently with clients or in a group. This course provides you with the opportunity to get involved in local exercise referral schemes and improve the health of your community. Following this course, you can progress your health and fitness career, including the opportunity to study Level 4 specialist disciplines such as Chronic Lower Back Pain, Cancer Rehabilitation, Phase IV Cardiac Rehabilitation and many more.


Helpful Documents

Application Form for Pure Training (PDF)

If you aren’t sure how to complete or sign your form use the support documents for computers here, iOS here, Android here & OSX here (Mac).

Full Terms and Conditions

Online Booking Terms and Conditions