Being a personal trainer is certainly no walk in the park. From running sessions with clients and offering them nutrition and lifestyle advice, to keeping on top of fitness trends and maintaining an online presence, a career in personal training is as multifaceted as it is rewarding. Like many other career paths, however, it can also be risky.
It’s not uncommon for personal trainers to find themselves filing insurance claims after being sued by clients — often due to inadvertently injuring them. As insurance provider Salon Gold explains: “A client may sustain an injury while following advice you gave them for their fitness routine. This may lead to a claim for malpractice and spell bad news for your business.” Likewise, a poor set up or ineffective communication can also lead to the same outcome.
Whatever the reason, the more insurance claims you make, the higher your insurance premium will be, not to mention the likely damage to your reputation involved. Luckily, there are a few ways you can reduce the risk of injuries to clients, keeping your insurance costs low and your reputation strong.
Gain proper certification
Becoming a certified personal trainer is the first step in ensuring that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective workouts. While it’s mandatory to have a Level 3 personal training qualification, going further will help you make your sessions better and safer. This will also boost your credibility, helping you to secure and maintain clients.
Gaining a Level 4 personal training qualification is the most effective step here, as this will teach you advanced skills in personal training, making you an even more well-rounded professional.
Another useful qualification to have is the Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral. This will equip you with the knowledge needed to be a personal trainer for those with specific medical conditions, further boosting the safety of your sessions.
Perform comprehensive assessments
Before designing any fitness programme, you should conduct thorough assessments of your clients, looking at aspects like their medical history, physical condition, and any existing injuries or limitations. This initial evaluation helps you to understand your clients’ needs and develop safe, tailored exercise plans.
It’s essential to maintain detailed records of these assessments, including signed consent forms, as they serve as crucial evidence in the event of a dispute or insurance claim. Doing so reinforces the client’s understanding and acknowledgment of the potential risks, helping protect you from liability claims altogether should an injury occur.
Have safety protocols in place
It’s vital for personal trainers to establish and enforce strict safety protocols in their training sessions. These may include teaching proper exercise techniques, maintaining clean and safe exercise environments, and monitoring clients’ form and effort to prevent injuries. Great communication is key here — be sure to check out this guide to communication for personal trainers to identify areas of improvement.
Moreover, you should be prepared to adapt your programmes to accommodate clients’ physical conditions and limitations, ensuring a gradual and safe progression. Being attentive and proactive in risk management significantly reduces the likelihood of accidents and subsequent insurance claims.
Written by Lara Harper