Short Course FAQ's

Certificate of Proficiency in Fitness Instruction/ Personal Training

Q. Why should I study to become a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer at AUT?

We are well known for being one of the best in the fitness industry business and for ensuring that quality graduates are properly skilled, informed and quality assessed to be able to effectively work within the fitness industry. It is definitely to your advantage to be able to graduate with an industry recognised Certificate of Proficiency qualification which will assist you with securing employment in the health and fitness industry.

Q. How do I become a Personal Trainer?

To become a qualified AUT Certified Personal Trainer you will need to qualify first with a Certificate of Proficiency in Fitness Instruction, which consists of two papers. To then gain the Certificate of Proficiency in Personal Training, you will need to successfully complete the third and final paper, Personal Training.

Q. What does it mean to be an AUT Personal Trainer?

As an AUT Personal Trainer you will not only have the qualification and skills to fitness assess, pre-screen and write programmes as a qualified Fitness Instructor, you will also be able to develop, train and maintain your own personal training clients as part of a gym franchise or you could contract as a qualified Personal Trainer and start your own Personal Training business.

Q. How do I become a Fitness Instructor?

The Certificate of Proficiency in Fitness Instruction consists of two papers: Fitness Foundations as well as Fitness Assessment and Prescription. These papers are each offered twice per year to allow flexibility of choice and you can choose which option you enrol into. The order of papers cannot be changed as each paper builds on your previous knowledge and prepares you to become a qualified Fitness Instructor. Each paper is assessed and you must successfully pass in order to move onto the next paper.

Q. What does it mean to be an AUT Certified Fitness Instructor?

As an AUT Certified Fitness Instructor you will have the qualification and skills to work on the gym floor as a fitness instructor, undertake pre-screening, write and update gym members programmes, and carry out gym members fitness assessments including blood pressure, body composition, cardiovascular and muscular testing. 

Applications & Enrolments

Q. Who can enrol into a short course?

People who are passionate about the fitness industry, their own fitness and health or who want to be a fitness instructor or personal trainer are encouraged to enrol. Many students who work during the week or who have family commitments will find it highly beneficial to study at AUT on the weekends.

Q. Are there any pre-requisites or entry level requirements for the Short Courses?

There are no pre-requisites or entry level requirements for the short course in Fitness Instruction; however, students are required to pass each paper before moving onto subsequent papers. To enrol into the Sports Massage Course, you must have completed Fitness Foundations or an acceptable equivalent qualification.

Q. Am I too old to study?

No! You are never too old to study and learn new skills. Our students have ranged across all ages up to 70 years + and have successfully graduated! There is a need in the fitness industry for fitness instructors and personal trainers of all shapes, sizes and ages, as our population is very diverse and demographics are changing. If you have the energy and passion to do it then follow your dream!

Q. Can I get a student loan from Studylink to study the Short Courses and Certificates of Proficiency?

Short Courses are not eligible for a student loan from Studylink. We encourage students to pay per short course paper to help ease financial pressure, instead of paying for all three papers in advance.

Q. Can I get funding from WINZ to study the Short Courses?

WINZ will be able to advise whether you can apply for educational funding.
Please contact WINZ directly.

Q. Who do I contact if I want to enrol?

Apply Now
Please call us at our the AUT Short Course office on (09) 921 9999 ext. 7503 or email

Q. I am an international student, can I enrol into a Short Course?

Yes, international students are welcome to enrol. Students studying a short course at AUT will need to ensure they have a valid study visa for the duration of their study. Plese note that you cannot obtain a study visa by applying for the short courses.

Find out more information if you are an International Student


Q. Are there any additional fees?

As well as your individual paper/ course fee there are some other fees that may be applicable to you depending on the paper/ course you enrol in and whether you are a Domestic or International student as outlined below.

Certificate of Proficiency in Personal Training/ Fitness Instruction

Domestic Student:

International Student:

  1. International Enrolment Fee NZD $150 (one off fee for first time AUT University Students)
  2. Insurance - Medical/ Travel (either approved by AUT University from your own provider or purchased from AUT University)

Continuing Education courses

International Student:

  1. Insurance - Medical/ Travel (either approved by AUT University from your own provider or purchased from AUT University). 

 Q. What are the Learner Service Levy fees for a part time student studying these programmes?

The information provided on this website is relevant to full time students. Part time students pay a proportion of this fee for each paper. These fees are between approximately NZD $45 - $55 depending on which paper you are enrolled in.


Q. Is AUT a recognised REPs Training Provider?

Yes! AUT is an Accredited Education Provider with the Fitness Industries Registration Body, Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). This means we are recognised by the fitness industry as providing programmes that meet or exceed the industry standards.

Q. Are the Certificate of Proficiency in Fitness Instruction and Certificate of Proficiency in Personal Training internationally recognised?

Once you are registered with REPs you can take your qualification overseas. You will need to check with REPs the countries that are involved with their registration system.

Q. What will my lecturers be like?

AUT highly values quality lecturing staff and we ensure that the staff teaching you have a wealth of up to date knowledge, fitness industry experience and the empathy needed to relate to you as a student studying the short courses. Lecturers understand that for many students it is a juggling game, with adapting to part time study, whilst working and or running a busy household.

Q. How are the Short Courses organised?

All AUT short courses to becoming a Certified Fitness Instructor and Certified Personal Trainer are run on the weekends. They are intensive papers delivered by quality lecturing staff who are dedicated to helping you understand the information, apply the practical skills and succeed in the programme.

Our Continuing Education Courses and Fitness Industry Workshops are run on both weekends and evenings depending on the specific course/workshop.

Q. Where do the Short Courses take place?

All of our short courses are run from the AUT North campus, Northcote.

Q. Do I need to gain working hours within a gym as part of my qualification?

No, as AUT’s lecturers teach students both the theory and practical sides of becoming a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer.

Q. How many hours of study outside of the classroom is recommended?

It is expected that students spend a similar amount of hours on self-directed learning as they do during specified classroom learning.

Q. What other courses can I take that may interest me?

We offer short courses in Sports Massage, Body Composition (Anthropometry), as well as Fitness Industry Workshops on a range of new and important topics. These courses all have REP’s credits and will help keep you up to date by furthering your knowledge and building towards your REP’s credits.

Q. Can I use the AUT Sport and Fitness Centres?

Yes. You will have access to all three Sport and Fitness Centre weight rooms for the duration of each paper. If you wish to use these outside of the dates you are enrolled in a paper, you will need to join by paying for a membership or pay the casual member rate. In 2017 both the City and North campus Sport and Fitness Centres are offering students enrolled in the School of Sport and Recreation Short Courses a competitive joining package.

Q. I have not studied for a long time and did not do very well at school, will I cope?

Many of our students who have never studied at a University or did not achieve at school are concerned about studying the short courses. We have found over the 28 years of running these short courses that students have surprised themselves with their own level of achievement. Many people find that if they pursue their passion they actually can succeed to become a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer. Learning about the human body, and in fact your own body, helps you relate to the information and classes a lot easier. You will need to apply yourself to your own learning and study during the week so that you are prepared for your classes on the weekend and your assessments.

Q. Where can I go to get help with studying?

The team at Student Learning can assist students with academic help.

Alternatively if you have a disability or learning disability please contact the Disability Student Support team and they can assist.

Q. Can AUT help me with seeking employment after I am qualified?

The team at Employability and Careers can provide advice on career related issues.

You can also telephone 09 921 9899 for more information.

In addtion the Short Course Office may receive notices of vacant positions for Fitness Instructors and Personal Trainers from local gyms and fitness centres as we are well known. This information is distributed to all qualified students.

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Last updated: 25-Nov-2016 6.08pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.