New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 4)

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Fees-free is available for eligible first-time tertiary learners. Find out if you’re eligible at

Are you interested in the Health and Wellness of your community?

This programme is available for the entire Northland region as an online option as long as the learner has access to a functional gym. The use of the onsite "Red Barn" Gym at the NorthTec Raumanga campus is available to learners' for practical learning.

About this programme

This programme has been designed to equip you with the know-how to start your exercise industry journey. You’ll learn about the exercise industry, what it means to be an exercise professional, what support is available and, importantly, what is required to be an effective exercise professional and help others along their exercise journey. You’ll need to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the theories and gym exercises you’ve learnt.

This nationally recognised qualification for personal trainers will enable graduates to register with the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

This qualification provides a pathway for entry into the New Zealand Diploma in Sport, Recreation and Exercise (Level 5), as well as those looking to start a career as a personal trainer.

How you will learn

This qualification is delivered online with face-to-face workshops (with an option to attend via Zoom) around specific topics. Throughout their learning experience students will be supported by tutors and industry supervisors.

  • Theory (online) - The theory components of this programme are offered as online courses, which is intuitive and responsive to learners, providing a range of interactive learning opportunities between tutors and students, peer to peer and via self-assessment. This platform delivers learning to students using multimedia content, course overviews, relevant audio-visual content and readings.

  • Practical - The practical delivery will engage with exercise organisations (usually gyms) to set up appropriate practicum opportunities. Exercise facilities are required to meet host site criteria to be approved and must sign a Work Experience Agreement outlining their role and responsibilities.

This qualification requires 220 hours in the Red Barn Gym or a gym-based workplace.

What you will learn

Graduates will be able to:

  • deliver safe and effective exercise programmes, including pre-screening, within own scope of practice and industry code of ethics;

  • apply knowledge of anatomy and physiology to adapt and deliver safe and effective exercise programmes to individuals;

  • adapt programmes for apparently healthy people and common at risk groups using exercise science and testing;

  • apply motivational and communication techniques to enhance individual participant commitment to a personalised exercise programme;

  • apply a health and wellness framework and evidence-based nutrition principles to support a personalised exercise programme and recommend referral pathways to allied health professionals;

  • use marketing and business tools and techniques to support business practices as an exercise professional.

Entry Requirements

Applicants under 20 years of age must hold NCEA (Level 2) or equivalent.

Applicants who have attained the age of 20 years and do not hold the minimum entry requirements will be eligible to be enrolled where their previous educational, work or life experience indicates they have a reasonable likelihood of success.

All applicants must have a level of English sufficient to be able to study at this level. Applicants for whom English is not a first language must have an IELTS General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5; or an accepted international equivalence.


New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 4)

Courses in this programme

Courses Level Credits
EXE401 - Fundamentals of Exercise Delivery 4 20
EXE402 - Delivering Exercise Programmes 4 20
EXE403 - Becoming an Exercise Professional 4 20

Courses and programmes may be cancelled, postponed or have their content or configuration changed from time to time (including during the academic year) at the discretion of NorthTec. Fees are an indication, include GST and apply to domestic students only. View terms and conditions

From 1 January 2023, all NorthTec learners will be part of Te Pūkenga. Please note that these programmes of study are currently under review as part of the reform of vocational education training and may be subject to change.

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Full time


1 semester

Start Dates

Online: July

Cost Incl. GST (Approx):

Domestic: $3,083.94

Student levy may apply

International: Programme not open to international students

Programme Code


Phone 0800 162 100
Enquire about this programme
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