UK Level 3 Matwork

Course Introduction Video


in Pilates Matwork

In August 2005, the UK introduced a national standard for Pilates. It was approved by the Qualifications Curriculum Authority (QCA) and is administered by Skills Active and REPs.  Skills Active is the ‘Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning’ and REPs stands for the Register of Exercise Professionals.

The standard sits at Level 3 in the National Qualifications Framework and it is the first of its kind in the world and still is the most comprehensive national structure.  It sets the minimum requirements in terms of skills and knowledge that a teacher should have to teach Pilates Matwork while working within the Health and Fitness Industry to national standards of safety and professionalism.

Michael King, co-founder of MK Pilates, was an integral part of the working group that helped create the standard, having been involved in the development of a previous Level 2 qualification in 2002, which was replaced by the Level 3 in 2005.

What is involved?

By the time you are certified to teach, you will be expected to have spent around 250 hours working towards your qualification and a recommended 100 hours of that time in front of teaching or student support staff. 

At MK Pilates we also provide online video support content which you have permanent access to, both during and after your certification process which is in addition to our evidence hours. 

We provide the qualification through our students achieving our own Standard Matwork Diploma and then completing an additional 3 days of face to face tutoring, specifically developed to complete the ‘Level 3’ processes.  Full details of the MK Matwork Diploma are available on our website.

The MK Pilates Standard Matwork Diploma, when combined with the addition of a 3 day, Level 3 course, is accredited by Active IQ, under the mandatory requirement for all training providers to have their course ratified by an approved awarding body to achieve Level 3 status.


MK Pilates - UK Level 3 Diploma in Instructing Pilates Matwork

Mapping your MK Pilates Diploma qualification to the Active IQ UK Level 3 Diploma in Instructing Pilates Matwork

Once you have completed all attendance and assessment processes for the MK Pilates Diploma, you then have the opportunity to obtain the UK Qualification to Level 3 for Pilates Matwork by completing a simple process of coaching and the successful completion of the Active IQ Theory Papers, Learning Workbook and after attendance, completion of a final video assessment of a Pilates Matwork class with supporting paperwork.

Why can my Level 3 not be done during my MK Pilates Diploma process?

As one of the training schools involved in writing the guidelines for the first Level 3 Pilates Matwork certification, we believed that this would be achievable.  But with each Awarding Organisation there are variations in the specifics that must be evidenced to achieve their qualification, and to meet these specifics, training companies would have to change the content of their existing programmes.  We as a company believe that what is important is that we maintain our structure and content as applied across all our international training centres.  This means that for UK based teachers or international teachers who wish to obtain a UK qualification that is also recognised within most EU countries through the European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPs), we have to give a further course to meet the specifics of our chosen Awarding Organisation – Active IQ.

Our Standard Pilates Matwork Diploma goes well beyond the minimum requirements of the Level 3 Diploma in all areas of face to face hours, self-study hours and teaching practice hours.  And by being entirely our own content we are able to go beyond the parameters as required by Active IQ while still evidencing many of the requirements of the Level 3 Diploma.  We feel this structure gives us the best possible scenario for any teacher who aims to make Pilates their main focus in their teaching repertoire.


The Specifics

We have developed a 3-consecutive day course, at the end of which, you will have completed all required paperwork other than your class lesson plan and have also taken the required multiple-choice Anatomy and Physiology theory papers.  Students who hold existing national qualifications may be exempt from some elements.  After you attend the weekend, you then prepare your class plan and video your group class assessment.  Full instructions will be covered on the course.

With this format you have tutor time and take personal responsibility to practice, during and after Tutor Face to Face time. You will also be expected to complete paperwork and study both evenings during the course, so please schedule these into your plans.  There is a recommended period of at least 4 weeks teaching practice before your final assessment, with a suggestion of 4-5 hours teaching practice per week.  Depending upon your existing teaching experience, this can be flexible.

As soon as you are booked onto the course you will receive your workbook and other supporting materials along with a suggested reading list.  Many elements of the workbook can be completed in advance of attendance on the course, but all workbook instructions and guidance should be read prior to attendance.

Lecture Hours include:

  • An overview of the qualification framework, paperwork structure and assessment processes.
  • Breakdown of new terminology and its application within the qualification.
  • Health & Safety, working practices and professional roles and responsibilities.
  • Class design, exercise variations and modifications.
  • Review of moves and Pilates specific cueing issues.
  • Preparation and closing phases, movement transitions.
  • Effective communication, verbal cueing and effective imagery.
  • Workbook requirements documenting understanding of Health and Safety / Emergency issues and understanding of the group education dynamic. General and Pilates specific anatomy knowledge assessment.
  • Practice teaching with feedback.
  • Mock assessment of 2-3 moves for practical preparation (mobility and strength).
  • Anatomy and Physiology relevant to the Level 3 Pilates Matwork Diploma.
  • Multiple choice theory papers supplied and processed by Active IQ.

Hours Summary

3 Days: 24 lecture hours,
Self-Study, Assessment and Workbook Completion 18 Hours,
Teacher Development - Total 18 Hours


£500 which includes all registration fees to Active IQ, examination issuance by Active IQ, assessments processes and certificate issuance. 

Please note this does not cover re-assessment or Active IQ examination retakes which will incur additional costs if required.