Our Story

Founded in 1979, HFPA was one of the first organisations, internationally, to recognise and act upon the need for representation and specialised training for the sport and fitness industry.

Since then we have lead the way as a Higher Education Institution for health, wellness and fitness professionals around the world.

Our Mission

Our mission is to maintain a leading position as a Higher Education Institution in the health and fitness industry while contributing to its long term growth and success.

We also promise to always represent the interests of our students and to provide services according to their evolving needs.

Why study with HFPA?

HFPA is an international brand that has stood the test of time. We were one of the first organisations in the World to offer specialised training for the fitness industry and, since our founding in 1979 (36 years ago), have been a leading higher education institution in the health and fitness industry internationally.

We have a reputation for producing graduates with superior knowledge and competence who are highly sought after by top employers in the industry.

HFPA is registered with the International Register of Exercise Professionals, an international governing body for fitness education. This means that our qualifications are recognised internationally and that our students can gain employment in Europe, the UK, the USA, the U.A.E, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa without having to undergo further assessments or examinations.

We offer a wide range of courses for students seeking a holistic approach towards health and fitness and aiming to become multi-skilled professionals in one of the fastest growing industries in the world. These courses include personal training courses, instructor courses, life coaching courses, nutrition courses, speciality courses and continuing education courses.

Our continuing education courses focus on developing specific skills to expand your foundations of knowledge and help you stay up-to-date on new developments within the rapidly expanding industry.

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Our world-class campuses are unmatched in the industry. Catering to students who wish to attend either full-time or part-time lectures and practical sessions in their city, these campuses boast multimedia lecture facilities, resource centres where students have access to unlimited Wi-Fi and computers, as well as a library of resources. Our campuses also feature state-of-the-art gym facilities to meet all of our students’ fitness education requirements.

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We have a full complement of professional and friendly, service-oriented staff committed to making your experience at HFPA smooth and efficient in every aspect.

Our lectures, weather online, part-time or full-time, are delivered by passionate academics that love what they do and are devoted to advancing the health and fitness industry and engaging and inspiring students to turn their dreams into reality. They bring great energy to the learning process, creating a highly interactive classroom climate and developing students to produce superior work. Driven to make a difference in each and every student’s journey to success, they individualise their teaching methods to suit all learning aptitudes and focus on personal development.

Our Online Learning Platform (OLP) was developed to bring the classroom to our distance learning students. The OLP uses a wealth of resources to make learning more interactive and structured. These resources deliver theoretical, as well as practical content via multi-media lectures, videos, audio recordings, virtual lessons, a library, animated slide shows, webinars, tips, chat rooms, forums, questionnaires, links, tutorials and more. Students can also upload theory and practical assessments via the portal and receive immediate feedback in turn.

At HFPA we pride ourselves on the outstanding support structures and resources we have carefully developed to enhance the learning experience of our online students.

In our distance learning programmes each student is assigned a highly-qualified, personal online tutor to cater to their specific learning requirements and guide them through the course work and study material. These tutors are dedicated to providing exceptional customer support so that our distance students never go unsupported once they have registered.

We have a vast network of certified HFPA Master Trainers available in outlying regions for students who require additional support through individual or small group contact sessions. Practical work is covered in depth in these sessions and personal attention is paid to the needs of each student.

Our Master Trainers are certified professionals committed to facilitating practical learning for students who require additional support.

As an online student, you can complete your qualification from the comfort of your own home and in your own time, giving you the flexibility to:

  • Combine your studies with work or family commitments
  • Continue to work to help finance your studies
  • Enhance your existing career through further studies
  • Pursue a career change or increase your job prospects

Although our courses can be completed comfortably online, we provide our distance students with the optional extra of attending weekend workshops where they can cover the practical work presented in the courses with an accredited HFPA Master Trainer.

These workshops take place at HFPA main campuses and national and international Master Trainer centres where students can enjoy learning in world-class facilities.

Revision workshops are scheduled each semester to help students prepare for their online theory exams. These workshops cover core concepts learned throughout the semester and practice integrated exam type questions and application.

At HFPA we believe that finances should not hinder the desires of someone dedicated to furthering their studies. That is why we have created exceptionally affordable courses that offer outstanding value for money unrivaled by other institutions in the industry. On top of this we offer easy payment plans that allow you to spread the payment of tuition over monthly installments to ease financial pressure while you focus on your studies.

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You can study with us

We offer the following study modes:

—  Full time
—  Part time
—  Blended (online + workshops)
—  Online

We offer

—  Specialty Health & Fitness Courses
—  Introduction Courses
—  Group Instructor Courses
—  Mind & Body Courses
—  Sport Psychology Courses
—  CPR Course

Start date (1979)

the first to...

The first to offer professional representation to the SA fitness industry, to negotiate on it’s behalf and to satisfy the specific needs of the industry.

The first to provide professional education and training for the SA Fitness Industry.


Pretoria University Relationship

Established a professional relationship with Pretoria University, Sport and Training Institute for Continuing Education seminars.


Introduced Competitive Aerobics to South Africa

Introduced competitive Aerobics into South Africa and ran the SA Nationals Aerobics Championship annually until 1991.


SA Fitness Industry Convention

Presented the first SA Fitness Industry Convention, Which became an annual event featuring international presenters.


Invited by SAASPER

Invited by SAASPER, as a founder member fo the National Exercise Leaders Committee, to set educational standards and establish and "umbrella body" for the fitness industry.


Professional Indemnity Insurance

Successfully negotiated Professional Indemnity Insurance cover for qualified fitness instructors.


Continuing Education Provider

Appointed as Continuing Education Provider for the IDEA Foundation USA.


Aerobics Certification Examination

Appointed as by IDEA Foundation and Columbia Assessment Services, USA, to administer the Aerobics Certification Examination in South Africa.


National Certification Examinations

Joined forces with the Educational Assessment Service of Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to provide National Certification Examinations for fitness professionals.


Member of the NSC

Accepted as member of the NSC (National Sport Council) representing the fitness industry.


International Liaison in Africa for IHRSA

Appointed International Liaison in Africa for IHRSA (USA based International Health, Racquet and Sports-club Association).


Exclusive Licensee of DSWF

Appointed as Exclusive Licensee (South Africa) to market Continuing Education Courses by Desert West Fitness Inc. (DSWF), the world’s largest provider of continuing education courses for the Fitness Industry



HFPA courses are accredited by SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) on the Higher Education level.


Private Higher Education Institution

Registered by the Department of Education as a Private Higher Education Institution for the courses as shown on Certificate No. 01HC05.


Service Provider to University of Johannesburg

HFPA becomes a service provider to RAU (now the University of Johannesburg) Sport Faculty. We offer ‘elective’ programmes for their students.


Vice Chairman of the SGB

Our principal is elected as vice Chairman of the SGB (Standards Generating Body) for Fitness in SA.

Courses are fully accredited by the Fitness Standards Council (FSC) who are based in North America & represented internationally.


NBFE Affiliate

HFPA is awarded "Affiliate" Status by the NBFE (National Board of Fitness Examiners) USA.

HFPA Exercise Science courses are accredited in the UK by "Skills Active", the UK accrediting body for courses in Sport, Recreation & Fitness.


Virgin Active and HFPA

Virgin Active and HFPA enter into an agreement to offer the HFPA Diploma in Exercise Science (Personal Trainer) ‘in-house’ to Virgin Active staff members.



REPS SA (Registrar of Exercise Professionals) recognises HFPA as one of the leading fitness providers.



HFPA is awarded "Affiliate's status" by CanFitPro, Canada.


CEC workshops for Vrigin Active Personal Training staff

HFPA and Virgin Active work together to offer all in-house CEC workshops for their Personal Training staff – HFPA launches it’s online student portal.


Department of Sport and Recreation

Agreements are formalised with the Department of Sport and Recreation in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Northern Cape to offer Fitness education for community upliftment projects.


Bedfordview Family Fitness Centre

HFPA undergoes a major facility upgrade and launches the Bedfordview Family Fitness Centre and the HFPA LifeStyle Academy.


Where we are today

Wherever your passion lies, HFPA can provide the path for you to achieve your goal in becoming a professional in one of the fastest growing and most exciting industries in the world.

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