Within the space of ten years, Pilates has gone from
being the exclusive preserve of the rich and famous to
becoming one of the most popular exercise regimes in
the world today. It is estimated that 25 million people
now take regular Pilates classes in the US and that more than 1 million people do the same here in the UK .
Leading Pilates groups and government bodies working with the exercise industry have recognised the urgent need for a formal national standard that ensure the quality and safety of Pilates teaching and which helps Pilates enthusiasts check that their teacher is properly qualified. This standard, which is endorsed by Skills Active and the Register of Exercise Professionals, came into effect in August 2005. The national standard covers the teaching of Pilates matwork in groups or on a 'one to one basis' and requires that all student teachers are given comprehensive training in the theory and background of Pilates; that they undertake an extended period of practical, supervised training; and that they are also able to asses clients and adapt exercises to the particular needs of that client. The goal is simple: to ensure that your Pilates teacher has the knowledge and skills to teach their classes in a safe, enjoyable and effective way so that everyone, regardless of their level, can benefit from Pilates exercises.
The Body Control Pilates Association has led the way in the process with its teacher training course becoming one of the first to be formally approved against the standard. The majority of its existing teachers have also undertaken additional training to meet the requirements of the rigorous standard. It is strongly recommended that, when starting or even when continuing with Pilates classes that you check that your teacher is approved against the new 'level 3' Pilates standard - you can do this by checking the Pilates Register maintained by the Register of Exercise Professionals at www.exerciseregister.org
Lynne Robinson, a director of the Body Control Pilates Association and a member of the Standard Working Group, said: "This standard is a major milestone for Pilates worldwide. Pilates organisations in the UK have spent several years helping to develop its content and the result will be hugely beneficial for Pilates enthusiasts across the country. This standard, and the list of qualified teachers on the register, will significantly help to ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of Pilates teaching. I wholeheartedly support this important initiative." All Body Control Pilates teachers undertake continued learning courses each year to retain their membership. www.bodycontrol.co.uk