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Qualifications vs CPD: What is the Difference?

Qualifications vs CPD: What is the Difference?

In the fitness industry, professionals are often required to engage in ongoing learning to maintain and enhance their skills and knowledge. This learning can take the form of regulated qualifications or continuous professional development (CPD). Both options contribute to the growth and success of exercise professionals, but they serve different purposes. In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between RQF qualifications and CPD, including the role of REPs CPD points, to help you make informed decisions about your professional development.

What are RQF Qualifications?

Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) qualifications are nationally recognised qualifications overseen by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) in England. RQF qualifications are designed to provide a structured and consistent framework for assessing and recognising the knowledge and skills of individuals in various industries, including the fitness sector.

In the fitness industry, RQF qualifications include certifications such as Level 2 Gym Instructor, Level 3 Personal Trainer, and Level 4 Specialist Instructor, among others. These qualifications provide a solid foundation for fitness professionals to build their careers and ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver safe and effective exercise programmes.

Some RQF qualifications also allow entry onto the REPs register and provide REPs CPD points, further demonstrating a fitness professional's commitment to ongoing education and industry standards. To learn more about the different categories of REPs membership and the associated qualifications, visit the REPs Categories page.

What is Continuous Professional Development (CPD)?

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) refers to the ongoing process of learning, development, and improvement that fitness professionals engage in throughout their careers. CPD is not a formal qualification but rather a means of enhancing one's knowledge, skills, and abilities in specific areas of interest or specialisation.

CPD can take various forms, such as attending workshops, completing online courses, or participating in conferences and seminars. In the fitness industry, CPD enables exercise professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, techniques, and research, ultimately ensuring that they can provide the highest quality services to their clients.

REPs CPD Points and Endorsed Courses

The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) recognises the importance of CPD and has developed a CPD points system to encourage fitness professionals to engage in ongoing learning. REPs members are required to accrue a specific number of CPD points over a two-year period to maintain their membership and demonstrate their commitment to professional development.

REPs endorsed courses are an excellent way for fitness professionals to earn CPD points while ensuring that the training they receive meets industry standards. The REPs-endorsed courses directory allows exercise professionals to search for a wide range of courses that have been approved by REPs, offering valuable learning opportunities in various areas of interest and specialisation.


Both RQF qualifications and CPD play vital roles in the professional development of fitness professionals. RQF qualifications provide a structured framework for learning and assessment, while CPD ensures that exercise professionals remain up-to-date with industry trends and advancements. By understanding the differences between RQF qualifications and CPD, fitness professionals can make informed decisions about their learning and development, ensuring they continue to provide the highest quality services to their clients.

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