the professional body for Pilates Teachers

Train to be a Pilates Teacher

We recommend that before purchasing a teacher training programme you should already be experienced in the Pilates method and have taken lessons from a variety of teachers before making a large financial outlay. 

In order to develop public awareness of schools which offer comprehensive training and information for anyone considering becoming a Pilates Teacher the Association has included the opportunity for our members to list if they provide Teacher Training at their studio.

By taking lessons with a Pilates Teacher who provides Teacher Training- either with their own qualification or working for a brand - allows the prospective Teacher to see and experience the method as taught by that school and the approach the school has to the method.  This process should assist in comparing and understanding the various teacher/training opportunities available and the amount of work expected in order to become a Pilates Teacher.

The qualifications offered by Registered Pilates Teachers does  not mean that the school’s training programme  has been accredited to generic National Occupational standards in Pilates Matwork by an awarding body such as Active IQ or CYQ but it does demonstrate that the school meets the criteria for providing a sound Pilates qualification and meets PTA criteria for delivering teacher training.  The generic information is normally covered within the training but not “formalised”.

To become a Comprehensive Pilates Teacher can take from 12 – 36 months depending on your physical skills and experience in teaching movement on a 1-1 basis.   The Pilates Teacher Association recognises that there can be accreditation of prior learning in anatomy etc, however there are no short cuts in learning the Pilates Method

Standards and generic information

There is no standard for a comprehensive Pilates Teacher. The Government appointed skill sector councils (Skills Active for the UK and EU Active for Europe) as responsible for setting the leisure industry standards for Pilates matwork only. The largest study area of these standards contain generic information such as anatomy and Physiology, basic health and safety etc. all of which are taught within the majority of comprehensive Pilates Programmes. Currently, because of the amount of generic content, some matwork programmes can be completed online with minimal contact with a tutor. This is not something we recommend.  Awarding bodies are approved by the Skills Sector Councils and they provide a verification role to training schools and award certificates to learners provided they have met national occupational standards. Some comprehensive schools may also teach the generic standards in addition to their Pilates programme. 

Comprehensive Schools –First Generation influenced

These schools will mostly teach the method in the line of the elders of the Pilates Method- i.e. those who were trained or apprenticed under Joseph Pilates.    Teachers from these schools will have knowledge of the original dynamics and tempo of the method created by Joseph Pilates and in addition will have been taught the skills necessary to build up or challenge the existing strength and flexibility of  the participant  using a wide range of  traditional Pilates apparatus and may use contemporary props/ modifications as appropriate. Participants may range from post-surgery where the apparatus can provide additional support to high level athletes. The schools may market themselves as traditional, true, authentic, classical etc.   A comprehensive Teacher should have a certificate from their own school identifying more than 450 hours of study on all apparatus. They may hold a national occupational standard certificate in addition or may be working towards one. The school may also offer a matwork programme.

Comprehensive Schools –Contemporary

These schools have their own variation or brand of teaching the method and may have had their roots with a Pilates first generation teacher and use additional equipment not used by Joe Pilates. Their brand may have developed from producing Pilates apparatus or from particular views, experiences or influences of their founders. The method may be the name of the founder or the name of the product range. The work can be variations on Joseph Pilates method but the intention to build up strength and flexibility of the participant remain the same. A comprehensive Teacher should have a certificate from their own school identifying more than 450 hours of study on all apparatus. They may hold a national occupational standard certificate in addition or may be working towards one.

Teacher Training School – Comprehensive and Matwork Education

Any Registered Teacher who provides comprehensive Pilates education at their studio and is using their own programme will have completed a minimum of 10 years as a Comprehensive Pilates Teacher. Their course Tutors will have a minimum of 5 years post-comprehensive experience.  The school will be able to show the lineage of education from Joe Pilates to the Programme Director.  Only schools with tutor contact days for teaching the exercises and in person assessments can be considered for listing on the register.

Teacher Training School – Matwork only Education

Ideally Matwork only programmes should meet the national occupational standards (NOS) in their own country and offer generic information in addition to Pilates skills.  It may also be possible for a school to have an affiliation with a school which offers NOS standards

Teacher Training School - Branded Schools of Pilates

Any Registered Teacher who is a host/licensee or franchise holder of a branded school can list on the register as providing Teacher Training. Course Tutors should have a minimum of 5 years post Comprehensive Pilates Teacher experience and be able to show the lineage of their brand’s training to the Director or founder of the branded school. Only schools with tutor contact days for teaching the exercises and in person assessments can be listed.

Apprentice/learner support

Any Registered Teacher who has a minimum of 2 years post-comprehensive experience can provide guidance to apprentices/learners.  The Teacher will be able to show the lineage of their education from Joe Pilates to their qualification.  

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