New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 5)

Get the specialised skills and knowledge you need to become a personal trainer. With this practical qualification, you’ll discover how to plan, implement and evaluate specific exercise programmes tailored to your clients’ needs and abilities. This programme will also take you through nutrition and behaviour, so you will be fully prepared to work with clients in a holistic manner.

About the programme

Gain the skills and knowledge you need to become a Personal Trainer. 

With this hands-on qualification, taught by highly-experienced and industry-connected staff, you will discover how to plan, implement and evaluate exercise programmes. By also studying nutrition and behaviour, you will be fully prepped to work with clients in a holistic manner.   

Time spent in our purpose-built, teaching gym, as well as experience with local industry, will enable you to gain a solid understanding of the role of a Personal Trainer. In addition, the chance to work with a variety of clients during the programme will allow you to develop a strong client base. Other career opportunities include an Exercise Consultant.

Successful completion of this Level 5 Certificate will enable you to apply for registration as a Personal Trainer with REPs NZ (Register of Exercise Professionals New Zealand). Alternatively, you could expand your learning and career horizons with our degree programme specialising in Sport, Exercise or Health (Physical and Nutrition).    

Studying part-time 

We know full-time study isn't always possible. We also offer this programme part-time over one year.


Course name Description Level Credits
Professional Practice 2 Learn how to apply and evaluate professional practice principles of working in the exercise industry.  5 15
Exercise Science 2 Gain an understanding of how to apply behaviour change interventions in relation to nutrition and exercise.  5 15
Exercise Prescription - Theory Learn how to develop and adapt exercise prescriptions to meet the needs of clients.  5 15
Personal Training - Practice Discover how to plan, implement and evaluate exercise programmes for a range of exercise participants. 5 15

Further study options

Expand your learning and career horizons with our Bachelor of Applied Science (specialising in Sport, Exercise, or Health (Physical and Nutrition). This can then pathway into more advanced study specialising in Physical Conditioning with our Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science.

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.