How to get Certified in Pilates?

Posted on June 23, 2019 by admin

The road to becoming a certified Pilates instructor is fairly straightforward-but you must first decide what Pilates can do for you. Pilates is a fantastic practice and an excellent career choice, with flexible work hours, vibrant studios and a generally fun atmosphere, it can be a welcome change from the arduous and inflexible ‘nine to five’!

To start with, there are many different types of Pilates instructors- with varying types of certifications from a wide range and quality of training organisations. With all the options available, it can be difficult to understand for someone outside the industry so here is our attempt to break them down:

Group Reformer: This is generally considered the baseline qualification within the Pilates industry. The teacher training is generally quite short and usually costs less in comparison to the more in-depth courses which we will describe later. The Group Reformer classes are generally high energy and fitness-based with groups of 5+ reformers in a room and with one generalised program for the instructor to oversee. If you don’t have time or money for the longer qualifications and wish to start working ASAP, then this is the fastest way to gain the skills needed for this sort of employment. The ‘downside’ to this choice of a training program, however, is that instructors who are only trained in Group Reformer Pilates are more plentiful, so there may be greater competition for a position, and some of the finer details of the Pilates Method may be not be included in the shorter course curriculum.

Certificate IV: Widely considered to be the appropriate starting point and introduction to Pilates, the Certificate IV covers topics such as; Pilates mat work, the fundamentals of the Pilates Method as devised by Joseph Pilates and this course will usually also include ‘small’ apparatus such as Magic Circle, Foam Roller and all manner of Balls and bands. This qualification provides the skills and knowledge necessary to teach group mat classes and provide clients with rehabilitation for some pathologies, depending upon the depth of the material covered in the course. Generally a Certificate IV level course will take slightly longer than a Group Reformer Instructor training course and as a Certificate IV graduate, you will be eligible for membership with a Pilates Professional Association, and by extension, eligible to hold the necessary public insurances required for working with clients. Starting a business as a Mat Pilates Instructor can also be a cost effective way to limit the initial capital outlay costs to mats and apparatus which are a fraction of the cost of the Reformer, Wunda Chair and other larger pieces of Pilates equipment.

Diploma: This qualification contains a greater range of skills and knowledge- covering the full range of Pilates equipment as well as going into greater depth on teaching methodologies, client pathologies and conditions and session design.  The possibilities of gaining employment also are increased due to the greater range of services that graduates can offer to potential employers.  Although a Diploma-level course is more in depth, longer and more expensive, the investment in a Diploma is more likely to provide a favourable fiscal return on investment over the longer term.

An Integrated Diploma-level course will cover all the content Certificate IV qualification as well as the Diploma material- teaching all aspects of the Pilates Method and related equipment, history and applications.   A Qualification like the 11053NAT provides an depth anatomy and pathology knowledge and includes a Unit of Competency on pre and postnatal care. With this qualification, graduates can expect to work within a specialist Pilate Studio, gain the necessary skills to starting a business and/or be ready to work alongside a Physiotherapist or another Allied Health practitioner in the Clinical Pilates setting.

Deciding what qualification is right for you is the first step, the second is to choose the organisation to provide the course. There are a number of options available throughout Australia, and we recommend that you a few criteria:

  1. Is the training Government Accredited? A Government Accredited qualification is generally much more valuable than an ‘unregulated’ one.
  2. Will the amount of practical hours taught in the course provide the necessary required number of hours for membership in a Professional Association? Some courses fall short of meeting the standards which have been set by the Professional Association(s) of the Pilates, Exercise and Fitness industries.  It is important to check this before enrolling.  Also  professional association membership is often a requirement when applying for a job or to be covered by insurance.
  3. How much face to face learning does the course include within its curriculum? While some aspects of the Pilates method can be delivered via manuals and instructional videos, these should be companions to a generous amount of hands-on, practical learning to ensure that you as the instructor have the confidence required to pass on the teachings to your clients.

Adding these three points to your checklist for the perfect Pilates Qualification will help you to considerably narrow the search and should provide you with the best opportunity available to explore all your options before deciding how you would like to embark on you budding Pilates career.

Praise From Our Students And Graduates

I have recently completed my Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology with Tensgrity Training and in partnership with Queen St Pilates Studio and absolutely loved every minute of it!

Leanne kept us all so engaged throughout the course and was able to challenge us, without pushing us over the edge. Leanne was professional, inspiring, supportive and filled with so much knowledge … it was a privilege to do the course with her.  Leanne is so passionate about Pilates, our bodies and our overall health, it created a positive and enjoyable atmosphere to learn in.

Queen St Pilates studio was also the perfect environment to undertake the course, with so much support provided by all the current instructors and reception staff.

Mandy Neller

I recently completed the group reformer course though Tensegrity training at Queen St Pilates Studio in Adelaide. Over the three fantastic days of face-to-face training, I was able to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the body and the benefits and versatility of the reformer. Being only 1 of 5 people in this course meant that we were very interactive with the teacher and were able to ask frequent questions, create relative conversations, and feed off of each others ideas. It also meant that we could all use each other to demonstrate and create scenarios, and the instructor was almost always available to tend to us.

The online theory was thorough and simple to follow, which prepared me well for the hands on learning. Ample time was provided to complete the assessments away from the studio, and I loved having to put my knowledge to the test using real life scenarios and putting together class plans for different injuries, ages and fitness abilities. I think this type of learning prepares you extremely well for taking on clients. It was only a week after the course that I taught my first reformer class and it was incredible. I felt like I knew how to tend to each participant based on their abilities and knew how to modify/progress them. It felt extremely natural. I am still teaching at this pilates studio in Moonta Bay and over the course of these past few months I feel like the information I was provided with through Tensegrity has sunk in and progressed, and has not only been of high value to myself, but to the studio and its clients as well.

I have also now completed the face to face component of the Certificate IV in Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology.

Lucy Prior

The quality of the training provided by Tensegrity Training was excellent. The modelling was impressive, and they demanded and succeeded in getting the best from each of us. I was challenged and encouraged greatly as a result. The requirement to complete observations sessions was greatly appreciated as I learnt a great deal from viewing qualified instructors. I was impressed by my trainer’s knowledge and mastery of her craft. Inspirational!

Marney NSW

“….Caroline (Caz) broke the days up well with a balance of completing the
practical and theory components. She was very flexible in her delivery
and allowed us to ask questions are we went. She also made it specific
and relevant to our needs and experience level e.g. desire for more
Pelvic floor set up etc. We would have loved even more time with her,
the course was incredibly valuable. All team members at Tensegrity
have been very helpful and approachable to help with our questions and
enquiries. Thank You!…..”

Jenna Kaine Deniliquin, NSW

I feel the practical assessments is allowed me to feel confident in my understanding of the exercises. I thoroughly enjoyed this part!! Practicing how to explain an exercise and personally knowing how to do them was my challenge, that I’ve now overcome. I will confidently use my learning from this course to teach Pilates classes at the studio I now work in. I’m very excited to be ‘officially’ getting started on my journey as an Instructor!!

Lauren Central Coast NSW

‘…Bruce’s communication style and his ability to enable me to “feel” what muscles were engaging was outstanding…’

Mike Fitsimon Melbourne

‘…..I was very fortunate to have Leanne Mollison as my teacher who kept me
motivated and engaged the entire time. Given Leanne is so passionate
and knowledgeable about Pilates, she was able to ignite a spark in me,
allowing me to be so excited about being a Pilates instructor.
Leanne’s method of teaching of ensuring we are all totally immersed in
the world of Pilates and the required anatomy knowledge, had the
greatest impact on me as I was able to learn the material so much
quicker and easier. Leanne was so supportive and she was able to
challenge us without pushing us over the edge….’

Mandy Neller Adelaide

‘…I valued the presenters hands-on experience, working knowledge and passion of the content. The presenters were very collaborative and encouraged EVERYONE to contribute and express their opinion, which made for a very inclusive learning environment.….’

Louise Osborne Melbourne

The course thoroughly covered safe movement for various conditions and rehabilitation exercises for various pathologies. As most people have some sort of physical issue, I thought this was extremely valuable. Every aspect of the course was so valuable and had a positive impact on my Pilates teacher learning journey.

Tamsyn Deloraine, Tasmania

‘….The entire day was super informative and working with Bruce was wonderful! He was very good at explaining everything and the day was great! There were a lot of phrases and explanations that Bruce used that have stuck with me since Sunday!…”

Bella Sammut Smeaton Grange, NSW- Western Sydney

Clinical Practice hours were valuable time spent under supervision getting hands on training in a safe and supportive environment.  I had “lightbulb” moments throughout the training with certain phrases, cues or knowledge that the trainer shared with us.  The dots started to slowly join. I really enjoyed the Cadillac training and feel confident to go ahead and instruct in all aspects of Pilates instruction.

I have taken away the knowledge acquired in the Integrated Diploma and put it into practice at the Pilates & Yoga studio where I now teach. I am seeing better results and from clients in my classes and have had great feedback. I have learnt so much about my own body and now have a deeper understanding of both my personal Pilates practice and teaching.

Kelly Brisbane Queensland

‘…..From as young as I can remember my mum has always been bringing me along to Pilates. It wasn’t until I was around 15 that I started taking interest and going myself. I always loved that ‘after class feeling’ and the perfect balance of strength and flexibility.

Along with my new found love of Pilates soon followed a passion for an all round healthy lifestyle. This is where my Pilates journey really began.

Three days before my 16th birthday I started my Certificate IV in my sunny home town of Port Macquarie.

With my teacher and mentor being my mum, it was such an enjoyable experience I gained a deeper awareness of my body. It was through my certification and passion for healthy living that I began my degree of Naturopathy and relocated to Geelong  Victoria. It was here that I fell in love with Hot Pilates and started teaching at Upstate Studios. With the classes having up to 60 students each, every class has such a high vibe and is always nothing but fun.

I feel so grateful to have a job that I truly enjoy and is flexible around my studies. I hope to continue teaching and one day have my own studio. I couldn’t be more grateful!….’

Lilly Howard Port Macquarie

‘….Further information around achieving neutral spine through various
exercises. Greater depth of understanding of Cadillac repertoire. I
very much enjoyed learning form Bruce who not only has extensive
knowledge & experience, but has a very inclusive and approachable
teaching style….’

Vanessa Killen Melbourne

‘….I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Queen St Pilates Studio, feeling
very welcomed and included into a great group of people. Leanne is an
incredible teacher, I admire her passion and dedication to her
students and work place. I felt very supported throughout my face to
face learning time with her….’

Kerryn Mundy Adelaide

‘….I undertook my Diploma of Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology with Tensegrity Training in 2015. For me, it was a total career change having spent the previous 10 years practicing as a litigation attorney. After years of doing Pilates for my own body and experiencing its many benefits, I decided to turn it into a career. The training I did with Tensegrity gave me the skills and the knowledge to work for myself, support my young family, be more present at home and to teach others the joy of Pilates.

The course is well structured, beginning with an understanding of anatomy before diversifying into content that covers both the theoretical as well as practical aspects of the Pilates method, including how to operate a Pilates business. Tracey is a charismatic and passionate teacher whose extensive knowledge is founded in many disciplines, resulting in an educational experience that goes beyond ‘just Pilates.’ In this course you are challenged to think independently, to deduce, differentiate, apply and justify what you are taught. You are required to think critically, logically and thoughtfully in order to successfully and accurately apply what you know to any given scenario. This is how all Pilates courses should be, in order that students enter the profession as self-contained, independent thinkers. The Diploma provides a solid foundation from which to begin your Pilates career.

The learning environment at Tensegrity is relaxed, beautiful and collegiate, and there is opportunity for continuing professional development after you have completed your initial training.

After completing my training with Tensegrity, I worked for a number of studios around the Sunshine Coast before opening my own small, boutique studio. I have a dedicated clientele and delight in what I do every day. For me, witnessing the difference Pilates makes to my clients’ physical and mental health is the greatest reward. I am forever grateful to Tracey at Tensegrity for encouraging me along this path….’

Deborah Commins Sunshine Coast

I have recently completed Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology through Queen St Pilates Studio and Tensegrity Training. I found the learning environment that Leanne Mollison has created at her studio to be very supportive no matter what background the student may have. The course prepares you to enter your career as Pilates instructor both from a technical and physical perspective with lots of opportunities to practice and perfect your teaching style along the way. Leanne is a wealth of knowledge and keeps the course interesting and engaging for the students. After completing my face to face hours of the Cours I gained work in the industry and that is a testament to the quality of my knowledge and teaching skills gained from the course. I highly recommend the course offered through Queen St Pilates Studio to anyone who is looking at becoming a Pilates instructor.

Jessica Bajic

I enjoyed the academic and physical components of the course equally. I am very fortunate to have been offered work in a Studio, so everything I learnt in the Course has proved invaluable. Thank you! I also feel well prepared to teach and confident to ask questions and seek guidance from Tensegrity if needed. They are so supportive of current and past students.

Alana Hobart, Tasmania

‘…Kaz was simply amazing. She explained and demonstrated to us so well
and we were able to pick everything up so quickly…’

Ashlee Huntly Deniliquin, NSW

“All the knowledge and repertoire that I learnt will 100% stay with me and I will pass this knowledge on through my work with clients. I will endeavour to utilise similar explanations when teaching clients how to use any for of Pilates equipment.”

K.M. South Australia
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