About the Programme

Pilates is a particularly safe and effective exercise system which aims to strengthen the body in a balanced way by specifically improving the function of the weaker muscle groups. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the muscles of the trunk so that, as support of the spine increases, there is potential for improving posture and shape. Regular practice promotes health and fitness including a sense of personal wellbeing.

Pilates is suitable for men and women of all ages and programmes can be designed to suit individual needs, from the very fit through to those requiring remedial exercises to aid recovery and rehabilitation after surgery, back problems and sports injuries. The course is hosted at the Alan Herdman Pilates Studio with affiliations to the Tring Pilates Studio. The two venues provide exposure to different teaching skills, expertise and a range of visiting tutors.

Rationale

Pilates is a particularly safe and effective exercise system which aims to strengthen the body in a balanced way by specifically improving the function of the weaker muscle groups. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the muscles of the trunk so that, as support of the spine increases, there is potential for improving posture and shape. Regular practice promotes health and fitness including a sense of personal wellbeing.

Aims

To produce caring, informed and innovated teachers of the Pilates based method of exercise, who will have a sound knowledge of the scientific principles underlying the composition of the movements and exercise sequences and who, with practice and experience, will be able to develop high levels of expertise as teachers of the Pilates based method of exercise.

Target Group

Applicants must be able to communicate well with teachers, clients and fellow students from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, ages and abilities. They should demonstrate a desire to teach with empathy and commitment and should show a willingness and commitment to continue their own personal development. It is desirable, but not essential, for the trainee to have previous experience in a movement discipline (dance gymnastics etc.) or have had training in other exercise techniques (particularly Pilates), physical exercise, physiotherapy or other medically related disciplines. Applicants lacking this background may be suitable but will be carefully assessed before admission to the programme.

Admission Qualifications

Applicants must be able to communicate well with teachers, clients and fellow students from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, ages and abilities. They should demonstrate a desire to teach with empathy and commitment and should show a willingness and commitment to continue their own personal development. It is desirable, but not essential, for the trainee to have previous experience in a movement discipline (dance gymnastics etc.) or have had training in other exercise techniques (particularly Pilates), physical exercise, physiotherapy or other medically related disciplines. Applicants lacking this background may be suitable but will be carefully assessed before admission to the programme.

Programme Structure and Curriculum

Applicants must be able to communicate well with teachers, clients and fellow students from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, ages and abilities. They should demonstrate a desire to teach with empathy and commitment and should show a willingness and commitment to continue their own personal development. It is desirable, but not essential, for the trainee to have previous experience in a movement discipline (dance gymnastics etc.) or have had training in other exercise techniques (particularly Pilates), physical exercise, physiotherapy or other medically related disciplines. Applicants lacking this background may be suitable but will be carefully assessed before admission to the programme.

The lectures, technique demonstrations and discussions occur once a week outside normal studio hours. This period is set throughout the three terms to allow trainees with work and family commitments to plan ahead. The in-studio sessions of practical observation, personal practice and teaching practice are individually arranged and occur during normal studio hours.

The curriculum is described in detail in the Delivery and Assessment of Units section, but includes foundation courses in anatomy and physiology, the classical mat repertoire and detailed understanding of the mechanics and uses of the reformer and trapeze table equipment. Throughout the programme emphasis is given to Health and Safety in the studio and in the proper application of the exercises.

The curriculum is delivered so that the students learn to use the Pilates repertoire in the most practical and effective way. Exercises are taught in relation to the classical Pilates principles and objectives, with the aim that students are equipped to apply the technique to suit individual clients rather than by a proscribed exercise sequence for all.


Learning and Student Support

Course Work

Written course work is critically reviewed on a regular basis and feedback on progress is promptly given to the students. Confidential structure appraisals are carried out at regular Intervals; these are intended to provide guidance and support, and include a complaints procedure.
Confidentiality of learners on the program is maintained at all times.
Assessment is continuous throughout the programme, beginning with an initial assessment and agreed training plan. For details of Mat and Equipment Assessment click here.
All assessments are documented and kept in a confidential portfolio.

Complaint and Appeal Procedure

In the event of a student wishing to contest an interim or final assessment the following steps will be taken:

  1. An interview with the Program Tutor to discuss the concerns and develop a plan of action including, if necessary, a re-evaluation of the structured appraisal interviews.
  2. If this step does not satisfy the student the same discussions will be undertaken with the Program Director
  3. Following these stages the student may be requested to undertake some or all of the following:
    • Undertake extra practical training under supervision.
    • Retake practical assessment.
    • Review lecture material and resubmit written course work as appropriate.
  4. In the event of exceptional personal circumstances preventing completion of some of the program, and at the discretion of the Program Director, the student may be allowed to extend the program for a fourth term.

Following these stages the student may be requested to undertake some or all of the following: Undertake extra practical training under supervision. Retake practical assessment. Review lecture material and resubmit written course work as appropriate. In the event of exceptional personal circumstances preventing completion of some of the program, and at the discretion of the Program Director, the student may be allowed to extend the program for a fourth term. All complaints will be dealt with in strict confidentiality.

Equal Opportunities

All applicants will be individually assessed with no discrimination by race, age, religion or gender.

Although Pilates is a suitable exercise program for people with specific disabilities, the physical demands required to teach the exercises fully and with the necessary skills may make it impractical for some disabled or elderly people to become teachers.

No particular type of clothing is required to perform or teach the exercises and this would not usually be an issue, for example, with persons whose religion requires a particular style of dress.

However as certain types of clothing may impair freedom of movement or provide a safety risk, a suitable compromise style of clothing may be required to be worn.

Quality Assurance

The Program Director is responsible for assuring that the program is delivered adequately and to a high standard and is also responsible for maintaining contact with the Open College Network and arranging external moderation when appropriate. Internal moderation and quality assurance responsibilities will be shared between the Program Director and the Program Tutor, each of whom will review assessments undertaken by the other.
The confidential structured appraisal interviews carried out during – and at the completion of – the course will provide the learner with opportunities to express and document their evaluation of the course.


Resources

Equipment

The studios are well equipped with traditional Pilates equipment and have a range of other apparatus specifically designed for remedial and therapeutic use. All equipment is maintained to the highest standard and is subject to regular maintenance. An additional movement studio is rented for a weekly mat work class and as a venue for visiting lecturers. The studios have a diverse clientele providing scope for the trainee teachers to develop a wide range of teaching skills.

 

Health and Safety

The studios are under appropriate insurance cover and comply with current health and safety legislation. The principles of health and safety at work are emphasised at all times. All staff have first aid training, updated regularly.


Teaching Staff

Program Director

Responsible for the development and maintenance of the program and the conduct of appraisal and student welfare aspects, also specialist teaching activities.

Program Tutor

Will be responsible to the director for supervising the exercise tuition and teaching practice.

Assistant Program Tutors

Will assist the teaching of the program and provide support during observation and teaching practice.

Visiting Tutors and Assessors

Experts in their particular fields ie Pilates for Pregnancy, Specialist Anatomy etc, will complement the in-house teaching staff. The studios are staffed by experienced Pilates teachers with at least five years experience and come from various backgrounds including dance and physiotherapy.

Staff Training and Staff Meetings

Members of staff at the studio are expected to undertake regular off-site additional training in specialist techniques, and these are reviewed at regular staff meetings. This program of continuous improvement to undergo training is integral to maintaining OCN accreditation.