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Fitness Australia Chief Executive slams ‘potentially damaging’ FITREC claims

Fitness Australia Chief Executive slams ‘potentially damaging’ FITREC claims
October 7, 2020

Fitness Australia Chief Executive Barrie Elvish has hit back at criticism of its Quality Assurance Employment initiative made by Dennis Hosking of fitness registration body FITREC.

In a statement released to Australasian Leisure Management, Elvish writes “in normal circumstances Fitness Australia does not respond to fictitious statements or disinformation in the belief that giving them oxygen only serves to perpetuate the myth making. “However, a recent statement attributed to FITREC founder and Director, Dennis Hosking, is so mischievous and potentially damaging to the whole industry, it warrants a response.

“FITREC is a privately owned directory for exercise professionals that, as a recruitment tool, actively promotes on their website a ‘no CECs/PDPs’ requirement.

“Fitness Australia is a not-for-profit association that through industry Codes of Practice and Ethics and the AusREPs registration process mandates and upholds professional standards and development.

“Fitness Australia launched the Service Excellence Program on 2 May 2020 after wide-spread industry consultation and feedback. Contrary to reports of ‘professionals expressing their concerns’ about the initiative, it has been overwhelmingly endorsed by Fitness Australia members, the RTO sector, industry players and key external stakeholders.

“This is demonstrated by the facts; a record number of businesses either joining or re-joining Fitness Australia since May, including Jetts, Zap Fitness, Belgravia Leisure, a large number of F45s and many independent facilities, RTO’s completing MOU’s to provide Fitness Australia membership to their graduates, and in a COVID environment, state health departments actively engaging on the basis of Fitness Australia’s credibility and quality standards.

“Mr Hosking erroneously makes the claim that the initiative ‘ignores government mandated best practice’. However, the Service Excellence program is based on the government recognised Fitness Australia Codes of Practice and Ethical Behaviour.

“As well as the above-mentioned consultations, before the introduction of the Service Excellence Program Fitness Australia sought advice from lawyers and Counsel to ensure the initiatives within the program were legal. This has now been confirmed independently four times and any claim to the contrary is either based on ignorance or intentional misinformation.

“Fitness Australia has never claimed to have government or legal authority, although ironically suggestions to the contrary by Mr Hosking does highlight all levels of government do look to Fitness Australia as the industry leader.

“The Service Excellence Program only applies to Fitness Australia members and attempts by Mr Hosking to confuse the sector is disingenuous. There is no requirement by non-members to employ registered AusREPs, although we are aware that most do. Similarly, Fitness Australia has never stated that registration as an AusREP is a requirement to work in the industry; although we have said on numerous occasions that to be taken seriously the industry, as with all other recognised professions, should require some form of professional membership and ongoing professional development.

“Lastly Mr Hosking’s statements on CEC compliance are a figment of his imagination and out by 100%. Over the past six months, and taking into account COVID-induced industry shutdowns, our ongoing random audit program has indicated that the average compliance rate is 87%, while the other 13% were either able to complete their CEC requirements during the suspension period or did not complete due to their exit from the sector.

“The lessons from COVID-19 for the fitness sector are myriad but a key message is the lack of credibility and respect the sector receives outside the echo chamber we operate in. If the sector want to seriously address this situation it needs united leadership, ongoing professional development, high quality standards, some form of regulatory framework and constant self-reflection - all of which Fitness Australia is focused on for the future success of the growing $3 billion industry that employs more than 35,000 Australians across more than 6,425 businesses.”

Lower image: Barrie Elvish.

Related Articles

6th October 2020 - FITREC expresses concern about Fitness Australia’s ‘Service Excellence Program’

3rd October 2020 - Fitness Australia launches transferable membership and AusREP Relief package

2nd October 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for COVID Marshal overhaul in NSW

28th September 2020 - No change to fitness centre restrictions as Victorian Government eases lockdown measures

25th September 2020 - Fitness Australia asserts there is no clear evidence gyms spread COVID -19

24th September 2020 - Aquatic, fitness and sport facilities headed for membership crisis

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21st September 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish to meet with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer to urge gym reopening

15th September 2020 - Fitness industry disappointed gyms in regional Victoria cannot reopen under this week’s Coronavirus easing

14th September 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for one-on-one training to be allowed under Victoria’s new outdoor exercise restrictions

10th September 2020 - FITREC delivers Code of Practice for outdoor fitness training in public spaces

9th September 2020 - 12RND Fitness’ Michael Jordan backs challenge to Victorian Chief Medical Officer’s comments that gyms are ‘high risk’

8th September 2020 - New body to advocate for the reopening of fitness centres in Victoria

6th September 2020 - Fitness Australia challenges Victorian Chief Health Officer’s assertion that gyms ‘cause outbreaks’

31st August 2020 - Fitness and Lifestyle Group advises of redundancies amid restructure

30th August 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for Victorian Government to reclassify health and fitness facilities as an ‘essential service’ 

21st August 2020 - Fitness Australia secures support for exercise to be classed as an ‘essential service’ from Victorian shadow sport minister

19th August 2020 - FITREC highlights ‘heartbreaking’ impact of Victoria’s Coronavirus lockdown

15th June 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for national consistency in state government gym reopenings

10th June 2020 - Fitness Australia releases new industry code of ethics

29th May 2020 - Fitness Australia releases Checklist to ensure gyms offer safe environments when reopening

23rd May 2020 - Fitness Australia says governments should put peoples’ health and wellbeing above a drink at the pub

11th May 2020 - Fitness Australia launches Service Excellence Program

7th May 2020 - Federal Department of Industry video profiles the fitness industry and Fitness Australia


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