Seneca College's Fitness Leadership certificate has been developed to prepare students in careers requiring leadership to organize, develop and manage fitness and wellness programs for individuals and in corporate and commercial settings. This program reflects the guidelines for the training of fitness leaders established by existing advisory boards and professional organizations.

Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.

Career Opportunities

Our Fitness Leadership Certificate program trains its students both theoretically and practically to pursue certification exams for:

  • canfitpro
  • Canadian Personal Training Network (CPTN)
  • Canadian Fitness Education Services

Individuals wishing to pursue a full-time or part-time career in the fitness field in one or more of the following areas: fitness appraisal, exercise prescription, fitness class instruction, personal training, lifestyle counseling and fitness management. Students researching this field should note that employers may seek other additional certifications from agencies with accreditation standards.

Entry Requirements

  • It is strongly recommended that students should complete an Ontario Secondary School Diploma and have Grade 12 English and Grade 11 Biology. Those students who have not successfully completed Grade 12 English and Grade 11 Biology should consider upgrading their skills through the College/University prep program.
  • Students must present a valid Standard First Aid and Basic Rescue CPR certificate to the instructor in the first class of FDV250 and FDV135.


It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Knowledge of the prerequisite material is assumed by your instructor and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or Transfer Credit for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.

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Group Exercise Leadership

In this Introductory practical course, students learn the skills required to plan and instruct a group exercise class. Topics covered include basic anatomy, class formats, use of music, choreography, cueing, monitoring techniques and successful instruction techniques. Students gain experience in the instruction of group strength training, flexibility training, and traditional group exercise. Students improve these skills through practice teaching sessions, and peer and instructor feedback and evaluations.
Note: FHP103 has replaced FDV101. FDV101 will be accepted towards the Certificate.

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Anatomy and Physiology for Fitness


FHP103 can be taken concurrently with FDV100

This course is comprised of anatomy, biomechanics, and physiology of the human body and their applications to fitness, in order to help the fitness professional to prescribe safe and effective exercise. Topics covered include anatomy of the skeletal, muscular, respiratory and nervous systems, and physiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular and energy systems. Responses and adaptations to fitness programs will also be discussed.

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Nutrition for Health and Fitness


Students are recommended to have Grade 12 English and Grade 11 Biology, or equivalent

Fitness leaders need to provide their clients with sound information about healthy eating. This course provides the student with a variety of theoretical and practical nutritional guidelines. Topics covered include the function and sources of the various nutrients (including carbohydrates, fibre, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals), human digestion, weight loss, weight gain, and sport specific dietary requirements. Controversial dietary trends are also discussed.

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Injury Recognition & Post Rehabilitation


FDV100 and FHP103

This course allows students to have a better understanding of common athletic injuries and present the concepts required to safely develop an effective exercise program post injury. The most current techniques in acute care management, investigate athletic footwear, explore common rehabilitation tools and develop an understanding of how to treat an injury from beginning to end, are examined. Various teaching techniques are utilized to allow the student a better practical understanding of functional anatomy, physiology and musculoskeletal injuries that occur in the body. Different equipment will be introduced throughout the term, allowing students to gain hands-on experience of industry tools and how to safely use them. Student presentations are incorporated into the teaching model to expand the practical knowledge of different exercise apparatuses and training techniques that are utilized by the fitness professional when working with clients.

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Fitness Appraisal and Lifestyle Counselling


FDV100 & FHP103

This course is designed to teach students the various fitness appraisal protocols that are currently being used by personal trainers and fitness facilities. Counselling styles and communication skills are emphasized to help the student develop rapport with clients and help them to meet their goals. Students are involved in class testing each other on the different appraisal protocols. Role playing allows them to improve on their communication skills. The student is well prepared to conduct a fitness appraisal and counsel the client on the results.

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Exercise Prescription and Program Design


FDV100, FHP103 & FDV120
Students must present a valid Standard First Aid / Basic Rescuer CPR Certificate to the instructor in the first class.

This course introduces students to the process of designing exercise programs. Through analysis and practical experience of each of the fitness components including cardiovascular, flexibility, plyometric, resistance and weight training, students are able to implement well-balanced personalized programs.

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Personal Training

Personal training is growing in popularity and many fitness consumers are realizing the benefits of working one-on-one with a fitness expert. In this course, students develop a client-centred approach to fitness instruction and exercise prescription. Topics include: health screening, assessment methods, goal setting, motivational techniques, program design, professionalism and especially business operations.

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Fitness Leadership Field Placement


FDV100, FHP103, FDV120, FDV102, FDV103, FDV240, FDV250, Standard First Aid / Basic Rescuer CPR. Must be taken as the last course in the program. Prerequisites will be checked by faculty on the first day of class.

The field placement experience provides an opportunity to implement the knowledge acquired through classroom teaching and practice. Students develop a working relationship with an institution to improve their skills in the area of fitness that they are interested in pursuing. The student can choose or be assigned to an agency supervisor who will maintain an ongoing supervising relationship with the student.

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Other Courses of Interest

Exercise Physiology and Life Diseases

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Biomechanical Analysis of Fundamental Movement

This course offers a comprehensive and integrated discussion on human movement science. Through the investigation of quantitative and qualitative biomechanics, students will develop the skills needed to observe, analyze, and critically evaluate patterns that commonly exist in sport, workplace, fitness/recreations and clinical settings. Special topics such as NCCP fundamental movement skills, motor learning injury prevention, sport performance and clinical assessments will be included to enhance students' placement experience and career endeavors.

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Note: FHP103 has replaced FDV101. FDV101 will be accepted towards the Certificate.

*FDV135 - complete as the last course in the program - instructor will check prerequisites on the first class.

Not all courses are offered each semester. Students may begin the program in any semester.


  • For each hour of class, participants can expect the equivalent of about two hours of home study. Evaluations will include short essays, tests, oral presentations and practical assessments. It is the responsibility of the student to advise the College when they are ready to graduate (forms are available from the Registration office).
  • Please note that FDV120, FDV250 and FDV135 have a large practical component, therefore students should be in good health prior to the course start.

Field Placement

Students must register for fieldwork practice upon completion of the seven core courses.

The student may determine where they would like complete do their field placement based upon approval from the field placement supervisor. If the student does not have a field placement in mind, then the field placement supervisor may give the student recommended facilities to approach for field work. The field placement involves 50 hours of placement and evaluation of the student by their supervisor, along with a student report which is submitted at the end of the placement to the field placement supervisor. Students must have completed all program courses before registering in the field placement. The field placement supervisor will check the prerequisites on the first day of class. Anyone who has not completed all the required pre-requisites will be asked to withdraw from field placement.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Fitness Leadership Certificate will be able to:

  • Recognize various lifestyle habits and their effects on the health and fitness level of an individual.
  • Assess clients' fitness needs.
  • Administer a number of components from popular fitness testing protocols.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of various concepts of anatomy, kinesiology and exercise physiology and apply them to fitness activities.
  • Discuss the relationship between regular participation in physical fitness and health.
  • Design effective fitness programs using various exercise techniques.
  • Evaluate the physiological effects of the exercise program on the client.
  • Identify and understand how to prevent common fitness based injuries.
  • Identify, analyze and utilize effective leadership and communication skills in the fitness setting.
  • Incorporate a variety of fitness resources in the provision of a fitness program.

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Transfer Credit (Advanced Standing)

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.

Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.

More Information

Please visit the Degree and Credit Transfer Office.


If you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a Certificate, Diploma or Degree you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the fee. Forms are available at the Registration office and online.

Certificates and diplomas are issued twice a year: Fall (October) and Spring (June). Graduation Application forms must be received no later than July 31 (for Fall Convocation), November 30 or March 31 (for Spring Convocation).

Minimum Performance for Graduation

Students will only be eligible to graduate with a Seneca College certificate or diploma if they have maintained an overall good standing in their current program of study. Students in degree programs will be eligible to graduate when they have obtained an average of C (2.5 GPA) in courses in the main field of study, and an average of C (2.0 GPA) in all other courses.

Residency Requirements

A Faculty of Seneca College may recommended a student for a certificate, diploma or degree only after the student has earned a minimum of twenty-five percent of the credit for that program at Seneca.


Alanna Tasios

It started as a desire to keep health and fitness as part of her life. Where her journey led her, Alanna never would have imagined.


When you?ve played hockey for most of your life, there is a part of you that will always be interested in health and fitness. After my playing days were behind me, I realized that it was still an important part of my life, and knew that this was a career path I wanted to pursue. And so I enrolled in the Health and Fitness Leadership program at Seneca."My teachers at Seneca were instrumental in helping me turn what I loved to do into a career path I never thought possible. They showed me how to trust myself, how to let my passion and my instincts guide me in the right direction for my career and my life."


My experience at Seneca opened many doors. It led me to opportunities in the field of sports medicine, including the chance to work in the Bahamas with a sports medicine doctor. I was working with people who had sports backgrounds just like mine, but who were now dealing with injuries or rehabbing to get back to playing. And I saw in many of these people – especially women – so much fear and doubt in their own abilities. That was when I realized I wanted to make a change: I wanted to help women to be their best self.


Since then I have gone on to start my own business as a certified Integrative Health and Lifestyle Coach. I work with women who are looking to make big changes in their lives but don?t have the support to do so. Whether it has to do with their relationships, their careers, their spirituality or their physical fitness and nutrition, I help women set the goals to make those changes, and provide them with the guidance they need along the way. I?ve also helped launch On The Run Meals, an organic meal prep and delivery business. My position as Vice President of Operations helps me interact with all clients on a deeper level by integrating my health coaching."Changing lives is so rewarding. Watching people get out there and get what they deserve, it feels so great to know that I was a part of that."

Program Contacts

Maria Graziosi
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22512

Barbara Pimenoff
Program Coordinator
416-491-5050 ext.24019

Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.