Staff Training

The value of staff training and workforce development in becoming an inclusive facility should never be underestimated. If staff attitude and organisational culture is not inclusive then this will prevent many users from using or getting much further than the front door of a facility.

An unwelcoming environment can affect most people’s impression of a business, facility or club. More than eight in 10 disabled customers have taken their business elsewhere after experiencing poor customer care.

As a result, many organisations are missing out on the numerous benefits that disabled customers can offer as a large proportion of our population.

Staff training created through EFDS’s Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) programme will support more organisations to reap the rewards of satisfied disabled customers and make active lives possible.

There are two different delivery methods available and these can be mixed and matched as needed to meet preferred learning styles and budgets:

Customer Service Training

Delivering an excellent service for disabled customers

'Delivering an Excellent Service for Disabled Customers' - eLearning course

This explores inclusive customer service, perceptions of disability, effective communication, legislation and much more. Completing the course can help to ensure everyone plays their part in creating a welcoming environment for disabled people.

There are now over 400 IFI Mark accredited facilities and although the training is essential for the staff at these sites, any businesses and individual can register for the course. This includes all front of house leisure centre staff e.g. gym staff, supervisors, facility staff, receptionists, caterers, cleaning staff and management. The cost can be as little as at £6 per trainee.

For more information or to access the course visit or contact the IFI Team on email or phone 01509 227750.

Training costs (VAT exempt) are as follows:

Bookings for 1-19 people = £10 per person

20 – 49 people @20% discount = £8 per person

50 – 99 people @30% discount = £7 per person

100 people or over @ 40% discount = £6 per person

Payment at the time of booking is by credit card or registrants can request an invoice. If you book by credit card the registration and passwords will be released immediately. If you choose to pay by invoice these will be released once it has been paid.

Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training

Support your local area to be active with the Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training

Are you looking for new ways to engage with disabled people and the disability sector? Perhaps you are actively seeking new ways to increase the disabled users at your facilities? If so, you may be interested in supporting the Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training Programme.

Through the Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training, we are working directly with those that support disabled people (including health care professionals, volunteers, parents, and carers).  We hope to boost their awareness so they too can be advocates to introduce physical activity and sport.

We are now asking facility providers if they want to be part of this programme, and support every local community to make a real difference. By supporting the promotion of this training to relevant audiences (perhaps hosting the workshop at your facility), your centre could directly benefit from forming new connections with a range of people. In return, they could help you to shape and promote your offer for disabled people.

For further information about the programme, including details of workshops taking place near you, please contact EFDS via email: or phone: 01509 227751.

Exercise and Disability - Health and Fitness Professionals

This course is tailored specifically to meet the needs of fitness instructors ensuring that they have the knowledge required to deliver, safe and effective inclusive workouts. It provides instructors with the training, confidence and expertise in supporting relevant and safe fitness programmes with disabled people.

Woman on treadmill with trainer


Courses are delivered by YMCAfit on behalf of the Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) and will provide staff with a nationally recognised qualification. 

YMCAfit can also provide operators who have their own Awarding Organisation status with the option to train your trainers to deliver the programme. 

For further information please contact Rebecca Bridges at or on 07471 143545 or visit

Ad-Lib Training

The Ad-Lib Training team have over 15 years experience delivering exercise and disability training in support of the Inclusive Fitness Initiative, and can meet all your IFI associated instructor training needs.

For larger companies with their own training capacity, they can train your trainers to deliver the CYQ Award in Programming and Supervising Exercise with Disabled Clients.

Contact Robin Gargrave at, call 07507 204 230 for an informal chat about your requirements or visit


Instructor from the InstructAbility programme supporting a gym memberInstructAbility is a multi award winning bespoke programme designed to engage disabled people in the fitness industry as gym instructors and gym users. The scheme provides disabled people with free, accessible fitness industry training and qualifications followed by a voluntary industry work placement where instructors work to encourage more disabled people in the local community to participate in fitness activities.

The programme has been created by Aspire, the spinal injury charity and delivered in partnership with YMCAfit, the leading fitness industry training provider.

What can the programme lead to?

  • Full-time or part-time work as a gym instructor within a health and fitness club.
  • Become a gym supervisor or fitness manager within a health and fitness club.
  • Deliver popular group classes (by taking CPD modules) including Circuit Training, Keiser Cycle or Core Stability.
  • Build towards becoming a level 3 personal trainer by completing the remaining personal trainer modules.  

Find out more about the InstructAbility programme by clicking here.

Visit the Inclusive Fitness pages to find out more about EFDS's work in physical activity.