Here are some frequently asked questions by professionals seeking YMCA F.I.T. national certification

  1. How long is the YMCA Fitness Leadership course?
  2. Is the certification recognized across Canada?
  3. Do I need CPR certification before I start the F.I.T. Program?
  4. If I already have certification from another body, can I upgrade to the YMCA certification?
  5. Does my university or college degree in kinesiology or physical education help with my YMCA accreditation?
  6. How do I obtain a fitness instructor position at the YMCA?
  7. Can I work at non-YMCA organizations with a YMCA Canada F.I.T. certification?
  8. Can I teach specialized fitness classes like Pilates?
  9. Can I take the Group Fitness, Individual Conditioning and Aquatic Fitness courses at the same time?
  10. What are the benefits of becoming a YMCA member?
  11. What about recertification?
  12. Are courses, conferences and workshops offered regularly?
  13. Can I take the F.I.T. program for my own general interest?
  14. Which is preferable: Individual Conditioning (IC) or Group Fitness (GF) ? How do I choose?
  15. I already took a certification course (IC or GF). Do I need to complete the other certification course?
  16. How do I register for a course?
  17. When do I receive my exam results?
  18. How much will the courses cost?
  19. Which CPR level do I need to become certified?
  20. Can I change the date of my course?
  21. Can I cancel my course?
  22. Can I receive a refund for my course manual?
  23. How long does it take to complete the exams?
  24. If I have completed my Individual Conditioning certification and want to become a Group Fitness certified trainer, do I have to retake the Basic Theory course?
  25. Is the YMCA Canada F.I.T. certification recognized internationally?
  26. How much time do I have to complete the YMCA Canada certification requirements?
  27. Do I need to do all my internships at the YMCA?
  28. What if I have other questions?

1. How long is the YMCA Fitness Leadership course?

To become certified as an Individual Conditioning Instructor:

STEPS TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATION FROM YMCA CANADA
Individual Conditioning (IC)
Prerequisite course*
*The Basic Theory course may be taken simultaneously with the Individual Conditioning certification course.
Basic Theory
30 hours
Individual Conditioning certification course

Internships
Theory - Individual Conditioning: 20 hours+
Practical - Individual Conditioning: 14 hours

A 10-hour internship in a YMCA conditioning room.
CPR certification course Hold a valid CPR certification, Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child or with Child & Infant Modules.
Evaluation and certification • Successfully pass Basic Theory and Individual Conditioning certification courses.
• Complete the 10-hour internship.
• Hold a valid CPR certification, Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child or with Child & Infant Modules.
• Successfully pass the practical exam (by appointment with a YMCA F.I.T. trainer).
 

To become certified as a Group Fitness Instructor:

STEPS TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATION FROM YMCA CANADA
Group Fitness Instructor (GFI)
Prerequisite course*
*The Basic Theory course may be taken simultaneously with the Group Fitness certification course.
Basic Theory
30 hours
Participants may choose to complete one or more Group Fitness certification courses, such as Group Choreography, Group Strength or Cycle. Group Choreography
40 hours
Group Strength
30 hours
Cycle
16 hours
Evaluation and certification • Successfully pass Basic Theory and the Group Fitness certification course of your choice.
• Complete the 5-hour internship.
• Hold a valid CPR certification, Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child or with Child & Infant Modules.
• Successfully pass the practical exam (by appointment with a YMCA F.I.T. trainer).
 
STEPS TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATION FROM THE YMCAs OF QUÉBEC
Group Fitness-Older Adults Instructor*
Prerequisite course Basic Theory
30 hours
*Required prerequisite Group Fitness-Older Adults certification course Group Choreography
40 hours
or Group Strength
30 hours
*Provincial certification course *Older Adults-Group Fitness
24 hours
Evaluation and certification • Successfully pass Basic Theory and the Group Fitness certification course of your choice (Group Choreography or Group Strength certification).
• Complete the 5-hour internship.
• Hold a valid CPR certification, Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child or with Child & Infant Modules.
• Successfully pass the practical exam (by appointment with a YMCA F.I.T. trainer).
 
STEPS TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATION FROM YMCA CANADA
Aquatic Fitness Instructor
Practical certification course Aquatic Fitness
32 hours
Evaluation and certification • Successfully pass the Aquatic Fitness certification course.
• Complete the 5-hour internship.
• Hold a valid CPR certification, Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child or with Child & Infant Modules.
• Successfully pass the practical exam (by appointment with a YMCA F.I.T. trainer).

2. Is the certification recognized across Canada?
Yes, the YMCA developed the first nationally recognized Fitness Leadership program in 1974 and continues to train Fitness Leaders today. By fostering relationship building, YMCA Fitness programs create a positive atmosphere where members can achieve their personal goals.

3. Do I need my CPR AED with Child Module or with Child & Infant Modules certification before I start the FIT Program?
You can take a Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child Module or with Child & Infant Modules certification course during your FIT courses. We highly recommend participants to complete the Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child Module or with Child & Infant Modules certification prior to taking the practical exam.

4. If I already have certification from another body, can I upgrade to the YMCA certification?
Yes, you can upgrade to YMCA certification under certain conditions. Please contact ymcafit@ymcaquebec.org for more details.

5. Does my university or college degree in kinesiology or physical education help with my YMCA accreditation?
Yes, if you have a degree in kinesiology or physical education, you may be eligible to take our Basic Theory and Individual Conditioning theory and practical exams without having to take the entire 30-hour Basic Theory course and 34-hour Individual Conditioning certification course. Please contact ymcafit@ymcaquebec.org for more details.

6. How do I obtain a fitness instructor position at the YMCA?
Since the earliest days of YMCA physical education, program directors have recruited members who exemplify YMCA values in spirit, mind and body. These individuals volunteer their time and train hard to serve as instructors, coaches, mentors and counsellors for other YMCA members. This tradition continues to this day.

7. Can I work at non-YMCA organizations with a YMCA Canada F.I.T. certification?
Yes, it depends on the employer’s hiring criteria.

8. Can I teach specialized fitness classes like Pilates?
The YMCA is not a certifying body for Pilates. Our Group Fitness classes focus principally on choreography, group cycle, strength, aquatic fitness and older adults.

9. Can I take the Group Fitness, Individual Conditioning and Aquatic Fitness courses at the same time?
If your schedule allows you to take more than one course and still be successful, you may take more than one certification course at a time. You must dedicate the same amount of time in class and at home. However, we recommend you focus on one certification specialty at a time and build a comprehensive knowledge of one subject area. However, after you have completed a certification specialty, we encourage you to expand your learning with another certification.

10. What are the benefits of becoming a YMCA member?
By becoming a YMCA member you will save on your YMCA Canada Fitness Instructor Training Program registration fees, gain a greater sense of belonging, build stronger connections throughout our community and grow personally and professionally.

11. What about recertification?
Your certification is valid for two years. However, to maintain the quality of your Fitness Leadership knowledge and skills, instructors must become recertified every two years from the date that the certification was issued. Learn more about the recertification process and requirements.

12. Are courses, conferences and workshops offered regularly?
Yes, there are many opportunities to continue your education. The workshops range from 3 hours to full-day trainings. We also offer one annual event:

  • Recertification Clinic at the Downtown YMCA (May). 8 credits.

Workshops and certifications calendar: http://www.ymcaquebec.org/en/Health-and-Fitness/Fitness-Instructor-Training/Health-Fitness-Workshops-and-Certifications

13. Can I take the F.I.T. program for my own general interest?
Yes, we frequently have members and other fitness enthusiasts take the course out of general interest without receiving a certification.

14. Which is preferable: Individual Conditioning (IC) or Group Fitness (GF)? How do I choose?
Simple! Just ask yourself if you want to work one-on-one with individuals or in a group setting. The IC certification will prepare you to work with clients on an individual or small-group basis. IC-certified individuals are qualified to evaluate, design and monitor individual and small-group training programs in a fitness centre, home or workplace setting. The GF certification will prepare you to lead large groups and teach safe and effective fitness classes. The GF certification incorporates leadership, motivation, practical training (movement patterns, cueing, musicality and choreography) and class design to help you become a group fitness instructor.

15. I already took a certification course (IC/GF). Do I need to complete the other certification course?
Yes,the IC and GF programs are different and lead to different Standards of Practice so it is necessary to use the tools (course, manual) associated with the certification. The delivery of the course and basic theory will be similar, however, the practical concepts and applications are very different.

16. How do I register for a course?
We accept credit card payments by phone or online: inscription.ymcaquebec.org
Credit card, debit card or cash payments can be made in person at the front desk of a YMCA of Québec centre.

17. When do I receive my exam results?
Your trainer will send you an email within 3 weeks of the exam to give you the results.

18. How much will the courses cost?
For course prices, please click here

19. Which CPR level do I need to become certified?
Valid Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation certification (CPR), Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child or with Child & Infant Modules.

20. Can I change the date of my course?
To make a change, we require a written notice via email at ymcafit@ymcaquebec.org and your request must be sent prior to the course start date. If you request to be transferred to a different certification course, you will be asked to pay the difference owing for the course.

21. Can I cancel my course?
Should circumstances make it impossible to continue with your course, it is your responsibility to request a refund as soon as possible. Refunds are calculated from the date of the request and will not include classes missed prior to the request date. Refunds are issued for the classes remaining in the course. Course material is non-refundable. Please send your written notice (via email) to the YMCA Customer Service department where the course is offered. Below is an email list of our YMCA Customer Service departments:

22. Can I receive a refund for the course manual?
All course manuals are non-refundable.

23. How long does it take to complete the exams?
Participants will be evaluated as follows in Individual Conditioning:

  1. Theory exams on material covered in class, a final project submitted in the last class, a team project to be completed in class and the design of a program.
  2. A 10-hour internship in the conditioning room.
  3. The practical exam consists of a 30-60 minute demonstration on how to cue and perform different exercises in front of your trainer.

Important note: Participants have 3 months from the last day of courses to complete their internship, take the practical exam, and if necessary, to retake the practical exam. After this period, participants must pay a fee of $50.00 plus tax to take the practical exam.

Participants will be evaluated as follows in Group Fitness:

  1. You must be present for at least 2 (or 3 – for Step) of the in-class mini-evaluations to be eligible for the final exam.
  2. A 5-hour internship in Group Fitness classes. You must actively participate in the instructor‐led classes.
  3. The practical exam consists of teaching a 30-minute class in the participant’s chosen specialty.

Important note: Participants have 3 months from the last day of courses to complete their internship, take the practical exam, and if necessary, to retake the practical exam. After this period, participants must pay a fee of $50.00 plus tax to take the practical exam.

24. If I have completed my Individual Conditioning certification and want to become a Group Fitness certified instructor, do I have to retake the Basic Theory course?
The Basic Theory course is the common course for all certifications except Aquatic Fitness. If your first YMCA Canada F.I.T. certification is valid, you will not be required to retake the Basic Theory course.

25. Is the YMCA Canada F.I.T. certification recognized internationally?
The YMCA Canada F.I.T. certification is recognized in Canada. International employers may recognize the YMCA Canada F.I.T. certification depending on their hiring criteria.

26. How much time do I have to complete the YMCA Canada F.I.T. certification requirements?
Participants are required to complete the first certification within one year of completing the Basic Theory course. After one year, participants will be required to write a Basic Theory exam and a penalty fee of 50,00$ + tax will be charged. After 2 years, files will be closed and considered incomplete and participants will be required to redo the course in its entirety, at the full price, in order to become a YMCA certified instructor.

27. Do I need to do all my internships at a YMCA centre?
If you would like to complete your internships with an external organization, please inform us at ymcafit@ymcaquebec.org so that we can ensure that you will have a quality internship experience.

28. What if I have more questions?
If you have more questions, you can: