Scope of practice for group exercise instructors explained.

Scope of practice is a set of guidelines that describe what a professionally recognised instructor can do in their job.

For instructors, it means deciding what you are allowed to teach. Your scope of practice is basically the boundary of what you know, what you can do, and what you have learned over time. It’s a way to celebrate the great work that you do and to help you work within your area of expertise.

What is a Scope of Practice Overview

This overview helps make clear what you’re good at and where your skillset is. It’s also the key to becoming a recognised member of your national governing body (NGB) for group exercise, EMD UK.

Your professional recognition tells employers what you’re skilled at. It follows professional standards, and is a seal of approval that you are trained to deliver your classes safely and you represent your field well.

Making It Simple

Defining your scope of practice might sound complicated, but it’s not. It’s about looking at the training you’ve had, what you teach, and if there are any gaps in your knowledge.

If there are gaps, you can fill them. The important thing is that it recognises your unique path of learning and celebrates the knowledge and skills you’ve gained along the way.

Raising the Bar for Professional Standards

Recognising your scope of practice is a long-awaited change that celebrates the differences among instructors and encourages diversity and inclusion whilst recognising and celebrating high-quality work.

It’s crucial to understand that defining your scope of practice complements workforce professional standards. In fact, it evidences that you meet and often exceed these standards. Scope of practices are written to be more inclusive of all instructors and make professional recognition easier.

Whether you want to teach one thing or many, your scope of practice acknowledges your expertise and allows training programs to adapt whilst keeping industry standards high and keeping participants safe.

Supporting Instructors and Employers

As the national governing body for group exercise instructors, EMD UK are thrilled to professionally recognise instructors by supporting and defining their scope of practice.

As an employer, scope of practice makes it easier to recruit the right instructors for your class timetable. It clearly defines their skillset, sets clear boundaries. It also guarantees instructors who have been professionally recognised by EMD UK will:

  • Meet the workforce standards for the fitness industry
  • Meet their scope of practice for the disciplines they teach
  • Are committed to adhering to and upholding professional standards
  • Have access to a range of resources to support and advance their career.


In simple terms, ‘Scope of Practice’ is like a guidebook to celebrating your skills and recognising your expertise in your field of practice.

Defining your scope showcases your skills and commitment to the fitness industry standards. It ensures you meet or exceed the professional standards. It’s an overdue change that values your unique skills and helps employers find the right people for the job.

How many scopes of practice are there?

EMD UK will be releasing the main scopes of practice in the coming weeks, including:

  • Group exercise
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Step aerobics
  • Indoor cycling
  • Aqua

More scopes of practice will be released as we work with brands and operators across the sector.

How can an instructor become professionally recognised?

You can become professionally recognised by joining EMD UK as a PRO member.

More info for employers, instructors and training providers

If you need more information on how scope of practice affects your leisure chain or you want to get your brand professionally recognised, contact our Head of Workforce, Sue Wilkie, here.

Find your scope of practice

Core disciplines

Group exercise 

  • Download Group Exercise Scope of Practice here.
  • Download Aqua Scope of Practice here.
  • Download Step Aerobics Scope of Practice here.
  • Download Indoor Cycling Scope of Practice here.


  • Download Matwork Pilates Scope of Practice here.
  • Download Reformer Pilates Scope of Practice here.
  • Download Fitness Pilates Scope of Practice here.


  • Level 3 Yoga coming soon!
  • Download Freestyle Fitness Yoga Scope of Practice here.

Branded products 

  • Download Les Mills Scope of Practice here.