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Fitness Australia partners with Latrobe University to launch industry survey

Fitness Australia partners with Latrobe University to launch industry survey
December 1, 2020

Aiming to drive consumer confidence and help the industry to recover in the post COVID-19 environment, Fitness Australia has engaged Latrobe University to undertake an industry survey that suggests having the fitness industry regulated like other allied health services.

Acknowledging that the survey had recently been updated following feedback from the industry during the pre-launch phase, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barry Elvish stated “regulation of any industry is a significant step forward and we understand there are many different perspectives on it. During the pre-launch phase of the survey by Latrobe University, we realised its intent could be misinterpreted.

“After reading the feedback, the Chief Investigator, Professor Patrick Keyzer, has made some minor modifications taking the feedback into account. We would like to take this opportunity to invite the fitness community to take the survey once again, or, if you have not yet taken the survey, to do so now.

“Our number one focus is on raising the bar for greater consumer and government confidence by driving service excellence and quality assurance; and through this ideally having the sector classified as an essential service. By regulating the industry, a clearly defined and agreed set of standards and practices can be implemented to give this confidence and peace of mind to gym members and the broader community.”

Noting that during COVID, Fitness Australia has been working extensively with state and territory governments, health authorities and its members to develop COVIDSafe guidelines and protocols to get people safely back to the gym, Elvish (pictured below) added “like many industries, COVID-19 hit the fitness industry hard but what shone through during these tough times was the commitment and dedication from Fitness Australia members to implement robust practices and procedures to ensure the health and peace of mind of their members and staff.”

Explaining that a united approach to putting the health and safety of people first will give Fitness Australia the confidence to put industry regulation on the table for discussion, Elvish went on to say “it’s about ensuring a high level of standards across the industry which we believe will help attract more people to the gym, fitness facilities and exercise generally.

“A consistent concern articulated from key decision makers and policy writers during our COVID-19 engagement has been the non-existence of industry regulation and/or governance; it is evident that negative and outdated perceptions of gyms will continue until the industry is prepared to hold itself collectively accountable.”

Elvish said the survey is the first step in understanding the industry’s position on regulation and that the findings of the survey will inform the possible development of a model/s for further industry consultation, adding “Fitness Australia will not be proposing any Regulatory Framework that does not enjoy significant industry support but I think we need to accept that COVID-19 has really rattled our comfort zone. Now is the time to consider and determine how we want to be perceived in the future”

Correcting Misconceptions
With Fitness Australia’s motives for undertaking the survey having been questioned in some quarters, Elvish today wrote on Facebook "I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few misconceptions:

• Fitness Australia is a not-for-profit member driven industry association; it is not a private company
• The Regulation Survey is designed to only ascertain the sector’s appetite for the possible implementation of some form of Regulatory Framework. 
• If there is no appetite, the concept will not progress. However, if there is a strong desire to consider the above, a draft proposal(s) will be developed and put out for further industry consultation
• There is no preconceived model in mind
• I imagine any draft would cover and review the full scope of industry interests including but not limited to; CECs and their cost, employment contracts, qualifications, scope of practice, professional development, codes of conduct, hygiene and safety, incentives and potential sanctions etc."

The regulation survey run by Latrobe University is open to the fitness industry community until Monday 7th December 2020.

Click here to complete the survey.

Main image courtest of the YMCA.

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22nd October 2020 - Fitness Australia applauds NSW Government’s relaxation of gym COVID Marshal measures

16th October 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish maintains calls for gyms to open in regional Victoria

12th October 2020 - Fitness Australia provides update on meeting with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer

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

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

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

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

18th September 2020 - Operator questions Fitness Australia’s 26th October reopening claim for Victorian gyms

10th September 2020 - Fitness Australia confirms Melbourne gyms to reopen from 26th October

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

13th August 2020 - Fitness Australia counters ‘misinformation’ that suggests gyms are a hotspot for COVID-19

1st July 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for Queensland Government to release Stage 3 Industry COVIDSafe Plan

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

30th October 2018 - Envibe software drives increasing use of sport and recreation facilities at La Trobe University

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