Fitness industry to have its say on the value of regulation.
Driving consumer confidence and helping the industry to recover and excel post COVID-19 is the top priority for Fitness Australia, the peak association for the $3 billion a year fitness industry, and it says it’s time to consider the future by having the fitness industry sector regulated like other Allied Health services.
CEO Barrie Elvish said Fitness Australia has engaged Latrobe University to conduct the independent survey on their behalf but acknowledged the survey had recently been updated following feedback from the industry during the pre-launch phase.
“Regulation of any industry is a significant step forward and we understand there are many different perspectives on it. During the pre-launch phase of the survey by Latrobe University, we realised its intent could be misinterpreted,” Mr Elvish said.
“After reading the feedback, the Chief Investigator, Professor Patrick Keyzer, has made some minor modifications taking the feedback into account. We would like to take this opportunity to invite the fitness community to take the survey once again, or, if you have not yet taken the survey, to do so now.
“Our number one focus is on raising the bar for greater consumer and government confidence by driving service excellence and quality assurance; and through this ideally having the sector classified as an essential service. By regulating the industry, a clearly defined and agreed set of standards and practices can be implemented to give this confidence and peace of mind to gym members and the broader community.”
During COVID, Fitness Australia has been working extensively with state and territory governments, Health authorities and its members to develop COVID-Safe guidelines and protocols to get people safely back to the gym.
“Like many industries, COVID-19 hit the fitness industry hard but what shone through during these tough times was the commitment and dedication from Fitness Australia members to implement robust practices and procedures to ensure the health and peace of mind of their members and staff,” Mr Elvish said.
The united approach to putting the health and safety of people first will give Fitness Australia the confidence to put industry regulation on the table for discussion.
“It’s about ensuring a high level of standards across the industry which we believe will help attract more people to the gym, fitness facilities and exercise generally.”
“A consistent concern articulated from key decision makers and policy writers during our COVID-19 engagement has been the non-existence of industry regulation and/or governance; it is evident that negative and outdated perceptions of gyms will continue until the industry is prepared to hold itself collectively accountable.”
Mr Elvish said the survey is the first step in understanding the industry’s position on regulation and that the findings of the survey will inform the possible development of a model/s for further industry consultation.
“Fitness Australia will not be proposing any Regulatory Framework that does not enjoy significant industry support but I think we need to accept that COVID-19 has really rattled our comfort zone. Now is the time to consider and determine how we want to be perceived in the future”
The regulation survey run by Latrobe University is open to the fitness industry community until Monday 7th December 2020 and can be accessed via: Fitness Regulation