Level 3 Exercise for Older Adults

The YMCA Awards Level 3 Award in Adapting Exercise For Independently Active Older Adults will provide you with the skills, knowledge and competence required in order to work with Independently Active, Older People in an unsupervised manner. There will be particular focus on the considerations for safe and effective exercise and how to plan and adapt exercise for this demographic group.

This qualification is recognised by REPs (20 points) and CIMSPA (10 points).

Distance Learning Course
Pay course in full @ £250 
Or pay a £125 deposit to use our 3, 6, 9 or 12 month interest-free payment plan.
How to book using our payment plan?

What will I learn on this course?

What does the content of this course include?

Recognise who ‘independently active, older people’ are in the population, The ageing process and demographics, The effects of ageing and inactivity on body systems, biomechanics, cognitive function/performance, psychological/emotional/social function and wellbeing, The special considerations that must be taken into account when programming and delivering exercise for independently active, older people and the benefits of physical activity and exercise to them, How to support and motivate the independently active, older adult in exercise and promote exercise for this section of the population, The impact of ageing on the planning and delivery of safe exercise for independently active, older people, The components of a pre-exercise consultation, screening and goal setting with independently active, older people, How to plan and adapt exercise, and adapt session instruction, for independently active older people. The medical conditions commonly associated with old age and their implications for physical activity (please note, you won't be qualified to work with older clients with medical conditions unless you have a Level 3 Exercise Referral qualification)

What will I be able to do by the end of the course?

Upon successful completion of all units, you will be qualified and insurable to run specific fitness and exercise sessions (in the context of your current qualifications) for apparently healthy older adults including those aged 70+. Working with older clients with medical conditions including low back pain, arthritis, osteopororsis, cardiovascular conditions including hypertension, asthma, COPD, diabetes, alzheimers, dementia, strokes/TIAs, depression and anxiety are beyond scope of this qualifications. Further training would be required such as Level 3 Exercise Referral, Level 3 Exercise for Disabled Clients.

What is the entry requirement for this course?

You must have at least a recognised and valid Level 2 Gym Instructor or Exercise to Music qualification.

What are the course units and how are each assessed?

Unit 1 - Considerations for Safe and Effective Exercise for Independently Active, Older People - assessed via a multiple choice theory exam Unit 2 - Plan and Adapt Exercise Programmes for Independently Active, Older People - assessed via a worksheet, and case study/progressive programme for a client aged over 70 years old.

Study Method and Assessments

The Exercise for Older Adults qualification is a DISTANCE LEARNING course.


This DISTANCE LEARNING course includes a course manual, assessment paperwork, personal tutor, tutorials (via phone or video call), full guidance on how to complete assessments, and access to our study support Facebook group.


All coursework can be completed remotely and submitted to us digitally or via post for assessing. The multiple choice theory exam is available our assessment centre in Telford, Shropshire although it is possible to sit the exam online from home - please read our E-Proctored Exam guidance for details.

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