Articles for Employers, Articles for Professionals

‘Code of Practice’ Falls Short of Representing Industry

Below is an email we received recently from a fitness professional that had concerns about Fitness Australia’s new Code of Practice. Specifically, the attempt to use the code to drive registration (business registration in particular) to Fitness Australia. This professional was not registered with FITREC and was not known to us. 

I’ve gained permission to post their correspondence, including their email to the ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing, because I believe it raises a valid concern for any professional, especially those working in the ACT. 

If you live in the ACT and would like to protect your right to choose your registration provider…

Send a message to Ms Meegan Fitzharris, the ACT Minister of Health and Wellbeing, via this page. Feel free to cut and paste from the letter below.

Dear Ms Hosking, [Chenille Hosking, from FITREC]

Please find attached a copy of my correspondence with Ms Meegan Fitzharris, the ACT Minister of Health and Wellbeing, concerning the above FYI.

I thought you may be interested, given FITREC would be most affected by the seeming anti-competitive aspects of Fitness Australia’s new Code.

Yours faithfully, [name withheld]

Dear Minister,

I am writing to you concerning the new National Fitness Industry Code of Practice promulgated by Fitness Australia in November 2018 (a link to which can be found here) (“the Code”).

I welcomed the Government’s far-sighted decision to recognise FITREC as an Approved Registration Body under the ACT’s Fair Trading (Fitness Industry) Code of Practice 2009 in May this year. Consumers and other stakeholders within the ACT’s fitness industry will benefit from the competition between FITREC and Fitness Australia as registration bodies under a self-regulatory framework.

I am concerned that the Code is a retrograde development in this respect. In particular, while the Code recognises the existence of other registration bodies (see clause 3.24 definition of “Reputable registration body”), I believe the Code attempts to give Fitness Australia monopoly power within the registration body market – clause 4.3(a) obliges suppliers of fitness services to maintain a Fitness Business Membership with Fitness Australia. Membership with other registration bodies (such as FITREC) would not suffice.

I accordingly ask that your Government not implement the Code or undertake any other measure that would undermine the competition benefits arising from the recognition of FITREC as an Approved Registration Body, thereby allowing registration with either body (and any future bodies that could fulfil this role) to satisfy ACT’s registration requirements for suppliers of fitness services.

I have no relationship or association with FITREC (and am indeed currently a member of Fitness Australia), but as a qualified personal trainer, am concerned about attempts by any organisation to acquire monopoly power to the detriment of consumers.

Yours faithfully, [name withheld]

I’m grateful for the mention (of FITREC), I’m grateful for the notice that was sent to us and I’m especially grateful that there are professionals out there speaking up for the industry as a whole. This is the way forward to a more collaborative, integrated and respected industry.


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