Online Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Pilates Instructor Training Course

The Industry’s Leading ONLINE Level 3 Pilates Teacher Training Specialists

Pilates Union is the UK’s premier ONLINE Pilates Teacher Training Specialist, with over a decade of experience delivering online accredited courses to the wellness industry.


Director of Pilates Union UK and your tutor, Emma Newham, is one of the UK’s longest serving Pilates teachers and has been teaching Pilates to the public for almost three decades and running internationally accredited Pilates teacher training courses (including the L3 Pilates Diploma) and Pilates workshops since 2007.  Emma brings a wealth of personal knowledge and industry experience to this comprehensive online course.

Emma is an international presenter for MindBody fitness and has delivered face to face and online training to students all over the globe. She is a qualified Assessor for the Pilates Method as well as an Internal Quality Assurer (Internal Verifier), so she assesses the Assessors doing their assessing.  Her attention to detail is unparalleled.  Therefore, you can be assured of the highest quality training standard and education.

The UK's leading ONLINE Pilates Instructor Training Course

The Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Pilates Instructor Training Course has been granted approval by the awarding body, YMCA Awards.  In addition, it is also approved by the awarding body, Active IQ, under their Professional Recognition Scheme.  

Further education courses are available for the Pilates apparatus and small equipment, so you can continue your Pilates journey with Emma, if you wish to continue learning

Course Overview

The Pilates Union online comprehensive mat course covers over 100 exercises, including the original 34 key exercises in Joseph Pilates repertoire. This course covers basic to intermediate exercises and is split into sections covering abdominals, back, upper body, legs and stretches. In addition, you will learn about core stability, scapula stability, posture, class planning and anatomy and physiology.  This L3 qualification is made up of 6 mandatory units and one optional unit:

M/616/7824 – Level 2 Providing a positive customer experience in the exercise environment (5 credits)
K/616/7949 – Level 2 Lifestyle management and health awareness (2 credits)
A/616/4747 – Level 3 Applied anatomy and physiology (5 credits)
R/617/1395 – Level 2 Principles of planning and delivering group exercise (5 credits)
K/617/3542 – Level 3 Principles and fundamentals of Pilates (8 credits)
M/617/3543 – Level 3 Plan and deliver a Pilates session (12 credits)

The Total Qualification Time (TQT) for this qualification is 373

The Guided Learning Hours (GLH) for the mandatory units are a minimum of 215 hours

For a more detailed overview and breakdown of the units, please see the FAQ’s at the footer of this page.

Pay In Instalments

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Award Winning Instructor

Over the last decade, Emma has won various local and national industry awards for her exercise studio and fitness services. Industry experts recognise Emma's experience.

Industry Accredited Training

Emma's company, Pilates Union UK, has been offering globally accredited online instructor training courses in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada for over a decade.

5 Star Reviews

Check out our reviews online. Our client testimonials speak for themselves. We have hundreds of satisfied customers who highly recommend our training courses.


The Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Pilates Instructor Training Course has been granted approval by the awarding body, YMCA Awards.  The content of this training has been professionally recognised and endorsed by the awarding body, Active IQ – a CIMSPA Endorsed Awarding Organisation. In addition, this particular online Pilates teacher training course has gained international approval for continuing education credits and has been awarded CPD points from the following organisations:

Active IQ - UK

This has been professionally recognised and endorsed by the awarding body, Active IQ

National Pilates Certification Program (NPCP) - USA

Formerly Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) - 24 CEC’s

AUSactive - Australia

Formerly Fitness Australia - 15 CEC's

Australian Pilates Method Association - Australia

15 CEC's

Canfitpro - Canada


YMCA Awards

This has been professionally recognised and endorsed by the awarding body, YMCA Awards

Course Structure

Upon purchase, you have instant access to the materials and you can start immediately. Just log in and go to unit one. On each screen, you will find the video of the exercise and how to teach the movement. This includes alignment, breathing, correct technique, common errors and how to correct them, modifications, progressions, contraindications and tactile cueing.

You will then be registered with the awarding body, YMCA Awards, so you may access their online e-learning platform, for the completion of the associated Level 2 and Level 3 mandatory units that comprise the Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Pilates.  You will work at your own pace, according to your schedule, so just login and go to the appropriate unit and work your way through the material. You can view and repeat any unit as many times as you need to.

In addition, there are a minimum of 4 live contact sessions (via Zoom) at prior mutually agreed dates, with full course support and tutor back up.

Assessment Info

In order to achieve certfification, 12 assessments must be passed as follows:

Assessment element 1: Assessment Workbook (for unit ‘Providing a positive customer experience in the exercise environment’)
Assessment element 2: Assessment Workbook (for unit ‘Lifestyle management and health awareness’)
Assessment element 3: Multiple Choice Theory Paper (for ‘Applied anatomy and physiology’)
Assessment element 4: Assessment Workbook for Anatomy and Physiology
Assessment element 5: Principles of planning and delivering group exercise knowledge questions
Assessment element 6: Fundamentals of Pilates worksheets
Assessment element 7: Progressive programme and viva
Assessment element 8: Session Planning
Assessment element 9: Summative observation of practical teaching
Assessment element 10: Evaluation and reflection

Student Support

Constant Contact

Got a query? No problem. Students can get in touch at any time. Contact us instantly via text, telephone call, Zoom, WhatsApp, Messenger, email, Skype or social media.


To ensure quality of service and consistency, you will deal directly with Emma throughout your training journey. There are no other parties or channels to go through.


Just because your course finishes, it doesn't mean your journey ends. Emma provides guidance with setting up, advice on gaining employment and support on a range of topics

Flexible learning compatible across a wide range of devices

Learn anytime, any place, anywhere.  Emma’s courses are compatible across a range of devices.  Flexible learning means that you can work according to your schedule.  Upon purchase, you have immediate access to the online content, so you can begin learning straight away.  Each time you login, the system will return to the unit and step you last completed.  You can repeat units and steps as many times as you like.

Units may be completed in any order you choose or you can follow the suggested schedule.  Go at your own pace and work your way through the units in your time.  Each course has a specific duration, after which time your course will expire and you will no longer have access to the online content, so your learning must be completed before your course expires.  Course extensions are available for a small charge, so you can re-gain access to the material.

Further Course Information
  • The Pilates Union UK Level 3 Diploma in teaching Pilates is split into two components:

    • Part One – Delivery of exercise instructional videos and guidance from Emma Newham of Pilates Union UK
    • Part Two – Delivery of 6 mandatory units at Level’s 2 and 3 by the online e-learning platform, from the Awarding Body, YMCA Awards


    PART ONE – Pilates Union UK – consists of over 14 hours of exercise video material alone, split into the following units –

    Unit One – Introduction (no videos)
    Unit Two – Pilates basics, fundamentals and technique -13 videos (90 minutes)
    Unit Three – Scapula stability – 6 videos (14 minutes)
    Unit Four – Pilates stretches and mobility work – 16 videos (234 minutes)
    Unit Five – Pilates Back exercise series – 13 videos (107 minutes)
    Unit Six – Pilates Upper Body Exercise series – 8 videos (61 minutes)
    Unit Seven – Pilates Leg exercise series – 11 videos (84 minutes)
    Unit Eight – Pilates Abdominal exercise series – 32 videos (351 minutes)
    Unit Nine – Anatomy Review – 18 videos (58 minutes)
    Unit Ten – Posture – 3 videos (35 minutes)
    Unit Eleven – Teaching Skills (no videos)
    Unit Twelve – Special Populations (no videos)
    Unit Thirteen – Class Planning (no videos)
    Unit Fourteen – Final Assessment Theory Quiz (no videos)

    PART TWO – YMCA Awards – Before doing the Level 3 learning, there are some mandatory units at Level 2 which need to be completed:

    Level 2 Mandatory Units

    • Lifestyle Management and Health Awareness
    • Principles of Planning and Delivering Group Exercise
    • Providing a Positive Customer Experience in the Exercise Environment


    Anatomy and Physiology Level 2 and Level 3

    Musculo-skeletal system
    Cardiovascular system
    Respiratory system
    Digestive system
    Nervous system
    Energy systems

    Pilates Principles and fundamentals

    Posture and postural assessment
    Background History and Pilates origins
    Pilates training schools and approaches
    Pilates Principles
    Benefits of Pilates

    Information gathering

    Health screening
    Medical referrals
    PAR-Q and Informed consent
    Risk stratification
    Medical clearance profile
    Confidentiality agreements

    Planning Pilates sessions

    Pilates exercise selection
    Pilates Props and small equipment
    Lesson planning and progressive programme design

    Delivering Pilates sessions

    Communication skills
    Approaches to teaching Pilates
    Motivation  encouragement
    Tactile cueing
    Observation and correction
    Evaluating a Pilates session

  • PART ONE – Exercise Video Instruction from Pilates Union UK

    Course Duration and Video Breakdown

    There are 120 videos on this course. If you watched one video per day, it would take 120 days. It’s really dependent upon individual instructors and the time they have available to devote to learning. All learning must be completed before the 270 days is up.

    Total number of videos = 120

    Total Video Playing Time = 1034 (17.3 hours)

    Total Quiz Time = 60 minutes

    Total Reading Time = 700 minutes

    Total minutes = 1794 (30 hours)


    PART TWO – Mandatory Units from the Awarding Body, YMCA Awards:

    1. Providing a positive customer experience in the exercise environment (M/616/7824)

    Aim – This unit develops the knowledge and skill an exercise and fitness instructor needs to present themselves in a professional manner, provide excellent customer service and demonstrate effective communication skills.  Above all, to provide a positive customer experience, an exercise and fitness instructor needs to ensure the exercise environment meets health and safety requirements.

    2. Lifestyle management and health awareness (K/616/7949)

    Aim – This unit develops the knowledge and exercise and fitness instructor needs to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.  This includes the importance of healthy eating and offering behaviour change strategies to support clients to adopt behaviours that will help to prevent a range of health conditions.

    3. Applied anatomy and physiology (A/616/4747)

    Aim – This unit covers essential anatomy and physiology knowledge an exercise instructor requires for application to exercise programming and design for a range of clients.

    4. Principles of planning and delivering group exercise (R/617/1395)

    Aim – This unit covers the knowledge and skills, which a group exercise instructor needs, to be able to plan, deliver and review group exercise sessions for a range of participants, within the scope of practice.  This includes demonstrating effective communication to engage and fully support participants.

    5. Principles and fundamentals of Pilates (K/617/3542)

    Aim – This unit provides the core underpinning knowledge that is essential for Pilates teachers.

    6. Plan and deliver a Pilates session (M/617/3543)

    Aim – This unit covers the knowledge eand skills that a learner needs to design, manage, deliver and evaluate a progressive programme of Pilates for both individuals and groups.

    OPTIONAL UNIT – Level 2 Anatomy and physiology for exercise and fitness instructors (K/616/7823)

    Aim – This unit develops the learner’s knowledge of anatomy and physiology and how it relates to exercise.

    The Total Qualification Time (TQT) for this qualification is 373

    The Guided Learning Hours (GLH) for the mandatory units are a minimum of 215 hours


  • Course Outcomes

    Gain a comprehensive understanding of the Pilates method, principles, repertoire and fundamentals and to be able to apply that knowledge to the individual exercises.

    Gain a deeper understanding of the individual exercises, including aims, target muscles, common errors, contraindications and modifications.

    Learn how to adapt and progress each exercise to cater for different fitness levels

    Review and recap on core and body anatomy.

    Learn effective teaching skills and cueing technique.

    Identify postural types and perform postural assessments.

    Students will be able to design a progressive programme and deliver a one hour Pilates session to relatively healthy adults

  • The course costs £945 GBP

    A copy of the information contained in the Pilates Union Pilates Matwork manual is viewable online. Should you wish to have a hard copy of the manual, this costs £21.99 and is available online via the store

    The other cost is for the practical assessment. A fee of £45 is payable when submitting your practical exam video. This covers your assessors time to watch your video and give you feedback. This also covers the cost of your certificate

  • Candidate Suitability – Who is this course for?

    Pilates Enthusiasts – If you want to take your Pilates practice to the next level or if you are looking to make a career change into teaching this wonderful method, then this course is for you.This will allow you to combine your passion for holistic exercise, with a job you will love to do.

    Health Professionals – If you are a physiotherapist or similar health professionals, then you may already teach some form of exercise on an informal basis. This course will elevate your existing knowledge and skills to the next level and formalise your certification in order to teach professional classes.

    Fitness Professionals – If you would like to gain a deeper understanding of the body and a different perspective on movement, then why not add to your existing portfolio of skills. By adding another string to your bow, you can increase your income potential and an additional revenue stream to your business.

  • The difference between the two courses is the addition of the mandatory units from the Awarding Body (i.e. Part Two referred to in the answer to ‘Course Unit Breakdown’).  There are only 3 assessments offered for the non Level 3 Pilates course, whereas there are a minimum of 10 assessments for a L3 certification (hence the increase in price).

    In the UK, a ‘Qualification” is classed as an “Industry Award” – this is for big courses such as Pilates Mat, Yoga Mat, Personal Trainer etc – which are categorised as Level 3 qualifications.  These are considered solid foundation courses in a particular movement method.

    However, Level 3 does not mean anything outside of the UK.

    Many of the major international Pilates specialist training providers (Basi, Balanced Body, Stott, Polestar) all have UK training schools but do not deliver Level 3 courses – they don’t need to as they are so huge and therefore they can trade on their brand name.  They have chosen to stay pure to their own ethos and run their courses in the manner that they think Pilates should be delivered in a very bespoke, tailored way.  These companies successfully train hundreds of instructors in the UK each year.

    Many of the older Pilates teachers in the UK, who qualified over 20 years ago, do not have a Level 3 qualification – because they certified before Level 3 came into existence. That does not mean that they cannot teach Pilates or because they are not in posession of a L3 qualification, that it is not valid or worthy.  Many of the highly experienced Pilates teachers in the UK do not hold a L3 certificate.

    If you are unsure whether you really need a L3 qualification or not, then it is advisable to check two things:

    Does your insurance company ask for a L3 qualification?

    Does your employer want a L3 certified instructor?

    The answer to these questions may determine if you go down the Level 3 or non Level 3 route.

  • If you have already completed the Pilates Union UK Mat Pilates course and passed all assessments within the last 5 years, then you can convert this into a Level 3 qualification by completion of the addition mandatory units from the Awarding Body, YMCA Awards and payment of an additional fee.

    The extra costs involved in this bridging option are as follows:

    • Student registration with YMCA Awards
    • Access to YMCA Awards online e-learning material for the 6 mandatory units (the awarding body charge per unit)
    • Level 3 certificate from YMCA Awards
    • Assessor fees to mark all ten assessments and associated paperwork


    The conversion cost starts from £395 (please note that prices are subject to change in line with YMCA Awards pricing structure)

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