It is important in our roles as fitness professionals that we ensure our clients, park/venue owners’ and members of the public can be confident in our ability to provide safe and high quality fitness classes that minimise disruption whilst maximising fun and promoting exercise.
With this in mind the Boot Camp and Military Fitness Institute has developed this Code of Conduct for Outdoor Fitness Training, ‘The Code’, in order to facilitate these aspirations.
Although there are no legal or other obligations on fitness operators/licensees’ to follow The Code, abiding by the general principles demonstrates to park/venue owners’ and members of the public a commitment to developing a safe exercise environment and appropriate standards of behaviour.
The purpose of The Code is:
- To avoid conflict between those undertaking licensed fitness activities in the park/venue and other park- or venue-users.
- To protect the park/venue.
- To ensure access to and use of public open space is preserved for all visitors.
- To provide the opportunity for visitors to benefit from, enjoy and engage in fitness training in a variety of outdoor environments.
- To work alongside a licence agreement to ensure that fitness operators are complying with current health and safety regulation and industry best practice for the safety and enjoyment of all participants.
- To ensure that all fitness licensed operators are fully insured and hold liability for participant’s safety (as a rule, park/venue management will not accept liability for any activity related to outdoor fitness training as part of the licence).
- The fitness operator/licensee shall not have exclusive rights over any area of the park/venue owner’s premises and shall ensure that right of way is given to members of the general public visiting the park/venue owner’s premises.
- No large items of keep fit and/or exercise equipment shall be used on the park/venue owner’s premises other than hand-held equipment, e.g. jogging weights, kettlebells and/or resistance bands, without prior agreement with the park/venue owner.
- Fitness operators/licensee’s shall leave the park/venue owner’s premises in a clean and tidy condition and be liable for any loss of or damage to any park/venue owner’s property through their direct improper use.
- The fitness licensee shall abide by the relevant rules, regulations and policies of the park/venue (the park/venue owner should provide access to any relevant documents as part of the license application process).
- The licensee shall ensure that the park/venue owner’s property is not used for the purpose of fitness training i.e. benches, tables, trees, lamp posts, bandstands, etc, and to keep all pathways clear and accessible to all users.
- The fitness operator/licensee shall not display, produce or distribute any sign or advertisement, unless agreed with the park/venue owner and the payment of any appropriate fees. The restriction of advertising applies to all boards, hoardings, flags, posters, etc. displaying any organisation or company or brand name of any goods, including those of the licensee/fitness operator.
- The fitness operator/licensee must ensure that no particular area of the park/venue owner’s premises is overused to the extent that it causes unreasonable wear and tear to the fabric of the park/venue, e.g. waterlogged, obviously worn and muddy areas.
- The fitness operator/licensee must ensure they familiarise themselves with restricted and other unsuitable areas of the park/venue and avoid training in these areas.
Park/Venue ‘No Go’ Zones
Fitness operators/licensee’s are not permitted to use:
- Areas within the park/venue where training activities have a negative impact on other park/venue users, residents and licensees’, e.g. intrusive noise, aggressive language, etc.
- Areas of high pedestrian activity such as pathways, monuments and bandstands.
- Areas clearly marked as sports fields, any formal garden areas and other park sensitive locations such as: waterside areas, picnic areas, deck chair areas, long grass, meadow land, conservation areas, etc.
- Areas closed for renovation or upgrading.
- Any park structures, including trees, and furniture must not be used for training purposes.
Park/Venue ‘No Go’ Activities
The following activities are not to be conducted by personal trainers/group fitness licensees:
- Amplified music or audio equipment, whistles and loud shouting or other intrusive noise-generating activities;
- Aggressive, intimidating or unreasonably noisy training activities that interferes with the comfort of other visitors; and
- Use of objects that mark out an area to imply exclusive use.
As a qualified fitness professional you should abide by these guidelines at all times. Non-compliance to the above Code of Conduct and any associated Park/Venue Regulations means that you may be at risk of losing your fitness licence and being asked to leave the park/venue with immediate effect, with the subsequent impact on reputation and revenue.