With clubs re-opening worldwide, Instructors and members are once again experiencing the electricity of live Les Mills classes. Nothing beats the connection and energy of a live class, as you inspire participants to beat their best. To help you get back to teaching full and frequent classes as quickly as possible, a range of initiatives and tools are being rolled out this year – beginning with Les Mills Qualifications.
What are Les Mills Qualifications?
Les Mills Qualifications are a brand-new assessment framework to help you become the best version of you. They are designed to recognize and reflect your ability as an Instructor, your commitment to continuous improvement, and provide a personalized development plan based on your strengths. Ultimately, they will enable you to pack your classes and keep teaching for the long term!
The qualifications are all about your strengths in the 5 Key Elements. (Choreography, Technique, Coaching, Connection and Performance). You will receive a grade for each of the 5 Key Elements and a combination of these will give you an outcome - a level. For example, if you achieve Grade 1 in Choreography, Technique and Coaching you'll pass Initial Training and will be a Level 1 Instructor. The focus is on the grades. As you move towards higher grades in the 5 Key elements your level will recognise and reflect this..
Why have Les Mills Qualifications been created?
This new system has been designed to provide recognition for your commitment to your craft. It will enable you to achieve your goals as an Instructor, as well as help you advocate for better pay, more work, and more classes at those coveted peak timeslots!
Why are you changing the old assessment system?
There was a certain amount of ‘box-ticking’ in the original assessment system. Instructors attended Initial Training, they either passed or they didn’t, and, for most Instructors, that’s where the ‘official’ development ended, with only 20 percent of teachers progressing (in assessment) past the first three Key Elements.
Experienced Instructors know that Initial Training is only the beginning of your journey – the ‘training wheels’ if you will. Once you’re out in the real world, that’s where the actual development begins. Les Mills Qualifications will be accompanied by further development opportunities, including complementary self-directed tool boxes and personal development plans.
Why grades and levels?
This system has been chosen to mirror the recognition shown to other pursuits such as learning to play the violin, ballet or martial arts, where grades and belts are indicative of individual skill. Les Mills Qualifications recognize that group fitness instructing is an art, and the levels and grades represent the teacher’s progression towards teaching mastery. As leaders in the education and training of group fitness professionals, this is the next step in the Les Mills gold standard of development and recognition.
From ‘one size fits all’ to personal development plans
Les Mills Qualifications recognize that all of us have different strengths. For example, having a high grade in Connection will enable you to pack your classes - even if you have a lower grade in Technique. There are tools to help you continue to elevate your strength of Connection, while also developing your skills in the other Key Elements. With Les Mills Qualifications you select the development pathway that best suits you and where you want to go as an Instructor.
How do you know it works?
To test the efficacy of Les Mills Qualifications, trials were conducted with the Les Mills team in the Middle East. 46 Instructors were taken through Initial Training for BODYPUMP™, BODYBALANCE™/BODYFLOW® and LES MILLS CORE™, conducted over five trainings. 22 of the triallists were brand new to the Les Mills training system, while 24 were experienced Instructors already certified in one or more Les Mills programs.
All of the triallists said the Development Form helped them to understand the value of setting goals and knowing their strengths. Every single person found the grades and progression helpful and informative, and they understood their next steps to getting certified.
For Tini Adams, a novice Instructor brand new to the Les Mills system, Les Mills Qualifications provided clarity on her next steps towards certification: “The grading system is clear, easy to understand, and showed me what I can improve on. I think the Development Plan will be a great guide on my journey towards reaching the standard of teaching that members expect from a Les Mills Instructor.”
“The new assessment system will give Instructors the progression they are looking for,” says triallist Dave Mendoza, an experienced Instructor who is certified in multiple programs. “It provides clear direction on what’s next, especially for those who are more ambitious! It helped me identify my strengths as an Instructor, as well as those things I need to work on. I know it will ultimately help my participants to have an even more amazing experience in my classes.”
I’m excited to get my level! When can I get assessed?
Les Mills Qualifications will begin launching this summer in the United States, United Kingdom, Middle East, New Zealand and China with BODYPUMP, LES MILLS CORE, BODYCOMBAT™, BODYBALANCE/BODYFLOW, with RPM™, LES MILLS GRIT™ and BODYATTACK™ to follow shortly after. Then we’ll continue to add each program as created. All other markets will follow with launching later in the year and into 2022.
I’m currently Certified or Advanced or Elite. What does this mean for me?
You will keep your current certification status. Advanced, AIM 1 Complete, AIM 2 Compete, and Elite Instructors will have the opportunity to have their personal grades against each of the 5 Key Elements assessed at no cost as part of the initial launch of Les Mills Qualifications.
How will this affect my certification (could I lose it)?
As a certified Instructor, you have met the requirements for certification so will not lose your certification. You can of course be assessed again if you’d like to ensure your strengths are clearly identified and to have a personal education pathway specific to your needs.
I’m currently in the assessment process. How does this change my assessment?
Your assessment remains the same. Once Les Mills Qualifications are launched, they will be used for new Initial Training participants. You are always welcome to get reassessed to check your grades against each of the 5 Key Elements to identify your strengths. This will also allow you to have a personal education pathway specific to your needs.
What level do I need to receive to be invited to apply for the Trainer Assessor Presenter team (TAP)?
The TAP process is a separate recruitment process. The levels and grades are for development purposes and are not a requirement for TAP. Les Mills Qualifications help you understand your strengths and development areas to continue to improve as an Instructor.
How do I change my level or grade?
Your level and grade changes based on the development of your individual strengths. Each of the 5 Key Elements will be assessed to a certain grade and the combination of those grades is what creates a level - the overall outcome. Participate in Advanced Training and continue your personal education pathway to develop your strengths, so that when you send in your next video for assessment you will see the improvement in level to match your improvement in the Key Elements.
Levels are allocated via assessment and Instructors are welcome to submit assessments for review at any time.
Do I have to submit assessment videos consistently to maintain my level?
No, you do not have to continue to submit assessment videos to maintain your level, but you will need to submit assessment to increase your level and grades as your strengths improve.
An Instructor must stay active to retain their current level. The requirements to stay active vary from market to market; please contact your local office if you are unsure of these.
Can I have different levels for different programs?
Yes, although most likely your strengths are similar, each program has its own assessment criteria for the 5 key elements - just like we do today for certification.
Why is there no Grade 3 for Choreography?
Choreography has 2 grades to reflect that we are all human and make the odd choreography mistake! The power of the workout comes from a combination of ALL the 5 Key Elements.
Why is there a level 6 and 6.5?
All of the 5 Key Elements are assessed ongoing, and as you move up the levels, you will be recognized for achieving a combination of grades 1, 2 and 3 against each Key Element. You will see there are two pathways within each level. This is to recognize that some of us may develop all 5 Key Elements at about the same pace and some of us may have a strength in one or two key elements while still developing the others. Levels 6 and 6.5 are so close in development, which is why they are displayed within the same level.
LES MILLS GRIT has 3 skills rather than 5 key elements? How will it be graded?
The LES MILLS GRIT assessment for the grades will be against the 3 skills rather than 5 Key Elements, but the grades to make up the levels will be consistent with other programs.
Look out for further information on when Les Mills Qualifications will be available in your country.