Level 3 Diploma in GP Exercise Referral : Patricia’s story

WRIGHT Foundation CIC introduced the first medically-led  Level 3 Diploma in GP Exercise Referral to the UK. We have been training thousands of gym instructors, personal trainers and health care professionals over the years, growing a workforce with the capability to make a real impact on health and well-being in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Level 3 Diploma in GP Exercise Referral courses are recognised by REPs for a CPD value of 20 points and endorsed by CIMSPA for a CPD value of 10 points.

We are starting a series of stories, profiling some of our past students who are flying the flag of GP referral schemes.

Patricia’s story: Making a difference as an Exercise Referral instructor

Patricia Park Yorkshire
Patricia Park, Fitness Instructor, Yorkshire
Patricia Park is a fitness instructor in her local Leisure Centre in Yorkshire. She qualified with WRIGHT Foundation Level 3 Diploma in GP Exercise Referral in 2016. The GP Referral Scheme she works with had already been well set up when she took over from her colleague. The Scheme is very busy with two local GP surgeries referring patients in. Currently Patricia works with more than 20 clients.

Her employer, East Riding Council funded her WRIGHT Foundation course as part of their fitness staff development and because there was a need to continue to service the Scheme with qualified staff.

Patricia explained, “This is a very valuable course and without it, I would not be able to correctly advise and help people who are referred with a varied range of medical conditions. The most common condition referred are often linked to weight management and for me, it is important to give clients the right amount of exercise as not to cause them more pain.

The GP Exercise Referral Scheme also allows GPs to alleviate their workload as exercise is now recognised to help patients who live with medical conditions. As the Gym also carry out health checks, clients get an all-round fitness service in one place.

Level 3 Diploma in GP Exercise Referral: a win-win-win for all concerned

For Patricia, it has been the right career move with enhanced prospect and a higher rate of pay.

Gym instructor assisting woman in her workout.
Gym instructor assisting woman in her workout.
Helping people with medical conditions is a valuable service and can make people’s day to day life much easier and often with less pain.That’s where the training and knowledge comes into play. I am able to adapt exercise and propose alternatives.

The Scheme has also offered many benefits: referred patients tend to stay and become members after the referral period. Coming to the Gym gives them a new lease of life.” said Patricia

As many of Patricia’s clients say,  simply going along and doing some exercise a few times a week has changed their life.

Patricia highly recommends the training she attended with WRIGHT Foundation CIC.  “The lecturer was brilliant, the course covers many common medical conditions and prepares you well to run a Referral Scheme.”

She is continuing her training, currently studying for Cardiac Rehabilitation, Mental Health and Obesity & Diabetes courses.

Lorraine Nicholson
WRIGHT Foundation Training Division Director Lorraine Nicholson
WRIGHT Foundation CIC Training Division Director, Lorraine Nicholson (pictured) shares her views: “At WRIGHT Foundation, we are committed to the concept that Exercise is Medicine and passionate about helping as many people as possible on the road to recovery from a wide range of medical conditions through highly trained individuals with specialist knowledge gained from our courses.  

WRIGHT Foundation courses and its lecturers constantly receive excellent feedback about the quality, thoroughness and delivery. This then provides patients with first class motivated people to help them on the road to recovery and I am very proud to be involved in this.


What is Exercise Referral?

Exercise Referral is a specific and formalised programme whereby a medical or health professional refers a patient to a fitness professional to be given tailored exercise advice, often based within the community.

Exercise Referral helps

  • promote physical activity and exercise to individuals who are living with a medical condition,
  • improve individuals’ health, well-being and lifestyle, and
  • encourage habitual participation for long-term benefits.

Exercise Referral Schemes exist throughout the UK in various shapes and forms, involving hospital, health and medical care teams and services, linking to exercise and phu between medical practices and exercise facilities, such as gyms, leisure centres, etc.

Being part of an exercise referral scheme affords you as an exercise professional the opportunity to play a vital role in the promotion of regular physical activity and exercise participation to individuals with a real need to improve their health and well-being.

Level 3 Diploma in GP Exercise Referral

The current National Occupational Standards (NOS)* states:

‘Instructors who are responsible for designing and delivering structured and tailored physical activity programmes for referred patients or assigning them to an appropriate physical activity must have a range of knowledge and skills specific to the referral process, specified medical conditions and relevant health risk factors related to physical activity participation.’

A Level 3 Diploma in GP Exercise Referral is therefore a sought-after qualification by exercise professionals who want to help their clients improve their health and fitness. The Diploma clarifies the relationship between exercise, medical conditions and medication to allow professionals to deliver a safe and beneficial exercise programme to their clients. Once a person qualifies, they have the tools and skills to establish, or, if already in existence, to continue running a successful referral scheme.

*D463 Design, manage and adapt an exercise and physical activity programme with referred clients


Are you a past student of WRIGHT Foundation? Would you like to be featured on our blog?

Call us on 01307 469055 or drop us a line at info@wrightfoundation.com. We would be delighted to hear about your progress, ask you a few questions and share your story.

For all dates and locations of Level 3 Diploma in GP Exercise Referral courses, check our website wrightfoundation.com

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