SVQ Instructing Exercise and Fitness SCQF level 5

The Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Instructing Exercise and Fitness at SCQF level 5 allows candidates to demonstrate competence in job related skills in their particular area of work and expertise.

This qualification covers areas such as Planning, preparing and instructing individual/group gym based exercise sessions. With an emphasis on promoting and motivating participants to exercise in a safe environment. The SVQ would be suitable for those looking to gain direct entry to employment as a Fitness Instructor Leisure Attendant or similar posts within either private health clubs or local authority leisure centres.

This qualification has been designed in partnership/jointly awarded with the SkillsActive Sector Skills Council to ensure relevance to the sector.

SVQs are based on National Occupational Standards. SQA works in partnership with other organisations to ensure that National Occupational Standards (NOS) are relevant to the current and future needs of Scottish industries.

This qualification is available through colleges, employers and training providers. The SVQs are designed to be assessed in the workplace, or in conditions of the workplace. Examples of the settings or centres in which the SVQs are likely to be delivered include:

Why deliver this qualification

Upon successful completion, learners will gain an international recognised qualification which guarantees that they have the skills, knowledge and abilities required to carry out their role successfully.  Employers will also benefit from their employees being proficient.

As assessment is carried out in the workplace this minimises any time learners would need to be away from their work.

Candidates can progress to a range of qualifications including PDA in Personal Training or HNC IN Fitness Health and Exercise.

The SVQ can be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time (eg day-release) 

Who does this qualification suit

This SVQ is suitable for:

  • learners who may have just left school
  • individuals who are currently in employment and who wish to obtain a formal qualification
  • employees who wish to obtain short, continuing professional development courses


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Candidates should be in a job or placement where they are carrying out relevant tasks and responsibilities which allow then to gather the required evidence.

No prior qualifications are required to undertake this qualification, although experience in/knowledge of subject would be an advantage. 


The level 5 award could provide progression to:

  • an HNC in Fitness Health and Exercise or a related area
  • a PDA in Personal Training
  • an SVQ in Sports Coaching  at SCQF level 6
  • employment in the following sectors, sports coaching, sports and exercise science, sport and recreation management and sport and active lifestyle promotion.


Centres interested in offering this qualification should come forward for approval and contact SQA's Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide. The specific delivery requirements are set out in the Assessment Strategy.

How to assess

For general information on how to assess this qualification, please refer to the document Guidance on how to assess SVQs.   For detailed guidance on how to assess this particular SVQ, please refer to the Assessment Strategy.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

Qualification Structure

The SVQ in Instructing Exercise and Fitness at SCQF level 5 consists of 2 mandatory Units and 2 optional Units.

For details of the Units making up the SVQ, please refer to the Qualification Structure.

National Occupational Standards

Unit information for this qualification is available on our Unit Search.

Core Skills signposting

Core Skill mappings are carried out by the SSC responsible for the development of an SVQ. It is a requirement of SQA Accreditation that every SVQ submission includes information on where possible opportunities for candidates to develop Core Skills exist across the mandatory units.

Centres should note that mappings are not audited or validated against the Core Skills framework/units so are not accepted by SQA awarding body as evidence towards achievement of the Core Skills units.

Modern Apprenticeships

This SVQ is a mandatory component in the Level 2 Modernn Apprenticeship in Active, Leisure, Learning and Well-Being

Unit Title SCQF 3 SCQF 4 SCQF 5 SCQF 6
Core Skills: Communication F425 04 F426 04 F427 04  
Core Skills: Numeracy F429 04 F42A 04    
Core Skills: Information and Communication Technology F42D 04 F42E 04    
Core Skills: Problem Solving F42H 04 F42J 04 F42K 04  
Core Skills: Working with Others F42M 04 F42N 04 F42P 04 F42R 04

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material

Assessment strategy

Assessor's guidelines

Candidate Guidance and Portfolio