L3 Diploma in Exercise Referral Course

Price: £425


This qualification is aimed at fitness professionals wishing to design and lead exercise programmes for individuals with a range of chronic 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] Knowledge questions and 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


PTD Hub members receive a 10% discount from all of our courses*.

2023 Online Workshop Dates

Enrol before the 28th September and attend the following online workshop dates:

  • 12th October, 9am-1pm
  • 26th October, 9am-1pm
  • 9th November, 9am-1pm

2024 Online Workshop Dates

Enrol before the 4th January and attend the following online workshop dates:

  • 18th January, 9am-1pm
  • 1st February, 9am-1pm
  • 15th February, 9am-1pm

Enrol before the 13th February and attend the following online workshop dates:

  • 27th February, 9am-1pm
  • 12th March, 9am-1pm
  • 26th March, 9am-1pm

Enrol before the 11th April and attend the following online workshop dates:

  • 25th April, 9am-1pm
  • 9th May, 9am-1pm
  • 23rd May, 9am-1pm

* 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?

You can enrol by downloading the application form below (see ‘Helpful Documents’) and then send it to info@puretraininganddevelopment.co.uk

If you wish to pay for this course via PayPal then click the button at the bottom of this screen and follow the steps. Alternatively, we will send you an invoice.


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.

Free Revision

We run revision sessions for a range of conditions and topics over on our Facebook page. Have a look at our Page for the existing topics and then join us inside our private Facebook group to access further training sessions and future ones too!

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



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