Fitness suppliers and services
The WA Fitness Industry Code of Practice applies to all fitness providers and fitness services to:
- ensure there are appropriate standards of service in the fitness industry
- encourage and maintain consumer confidence in the fitness industry
- support and promote the fitness industry.
The Fitness Code became mandatory in WA in July 2021.
What is a fitness supplier?
A fitness supplier is a business or individual that provides a fitness service, ie:.
- an owner of a gym
- a franchisee of a fitness centre
- a personal trainer
- a fitness instructor.
Registered doctors and physiotherapists are not fitness suppliers.
What is a fitness service?
Examples of a fitness service include a 24/7 gym, an outdoor boot camp, a personal trainer or a yoga class. A fitness service can include:
- an exercise screening
- an individual exercise program
- group exercise
- the provision of exercise equipment for use by clients.
The following are not classified as a fitness service:
- services provided by an educational institution exclusively for students or staff
- businesses that provide the hire of sporting facilities such as basketball courts
- martial arts schools
- dance schools
- facilities that provide a swimming pool and no other fitness service.
Membership agreements for fitness services
If you offer a membership agreement, it must meet the requirements of the Fitness Code.
Details on how to cancel a membership must be in all membership agreements.
- Members can cancel an agreement by providing notice in writing, including via email
- Does not need a specific form
- A fitness service provider must cancel any linked direct debit agreements when a membership is cancelled.
Cancelling during the cooling-off period
Members can cancel in the 7 day cooling-off period by giving notice in writing.
The fitness service can charge the member:
- an administration fee that reflects their administration costs, if specified in the agreement; and
- a fee for any fitness services you have already used and not paid for.
The cancellation will take effect immediately.
Cancelling due to permanent illness or incapacity
Members can cancel if they have a permanent illness or incapacity that stops them using the fitness service by:
- giving notice in writing; and
- providing a medical certificate that confirms the permanent illness or incapacity.
The cancellation will take effect immediately.
When a membership is cancelled due to permanent illness or incapacity the fitness service can charge a fee for any fitness services you have already used but not paid for.
Cancelling for other reasons
Members can cancel for any other reason by giving written notice to the fitness service.
The membership will finish after:
- the end of any notice period specified in the agreement; and
- no more than 30 days from the date they provided written notice.
If a membership is cancelled for other reasons the fitness service can continue to charge for the notice period specified in the agreement.
General agreement items
The following covers other key conditions in a membership agreement.
Membership agreement summary
A membership agreement must start with an agreement summary to help consumers understand the key terms and cost of the membership at a glance.
An agreement summary must include:
- a description of the fitness services you will supply
- the length of the agreement
- if for a fixed term, when the agreement ends
- if an ongoing agreement, when any initial term ends
- all fees and charges that are payable including
- the total amount payable
- when each fee or charge is payable
- the service or good that each fee or charge relates to
- a statement explaining the seven-day cancellation cooling-off period
- any exclusions, limitations or restrictions on the supply of the fitness services.
Required membership agreement details
Membership agreements should be written in plain English, be easy to understand and include:
- the supplier’s name and address
- the supplier’s Australian Company Number (if applicable)
- the supplier’s and client’s rights and obligations
- how payments are made under the agreement
- the service, or services, you will provide under the agreement
- if the agreement is ongoing, a statement that it will continue until it is cancelled
- the date the supplier will contact the member to let them know the initial term of an ongoing agreement has ended
- details of any third party payment agreement
- the client's right to cancel, including in the cooling-off period, or for permanent illness or incapacity
- procedures for cancelling the agreement including how to do it electronically
- the date and time on which the cooling-off period starts
- the circumstances when you may terminate the agreement
- a requirement for a parent or guardian of anyone under the age of 18 to sign the membership agreement.
All fees must be clearly stated and any termination fees must be fair and proportionate to the actual cost incurred by the business.
Other membership agreement details
Other information can be included in the membership agreement as long as it does not conflict with the requirements in the Fitness Code or the Australian Consumer Law (WA).
For example, a standard clause enabling a client to suspend their membership agreement when on holiday.
Disclosure of fees
The code has specific disclosure requirements to help consumers compare and understand options. Transparent pricing makes comparisons easier. A fitness service must publicly provide:
- a clear description of the service
- the monthly or fortnightly charges
- detail of any other fees including fees for early termination
- the minimum term for any contract (if any)
- any exclusions or important conditions, limitations or restrictions
- the total minimum cost associated with membership.
This allows consumers to compare fitness services online. Consumers should not have to meet with someone to get information about a fitness membership.
General rules of conduct
The Fitness Code promotes a high standard of conduct for fitness suppliers including client confidentiality, being truthful and an ethical sales process.
A supplier must provide information to a client on how to lodge a complaint and make every effort to resolve the complaint quickly and fairly. A supplier must also record the complaint on file and notify the complainant that it has been received.
Information available to fitness industry consumers:
- Choosing a fitness service
- Cooling-off periods for fitness memberships
- Cancelling a fitness membership
- Fitness services concerns and complaints
Need some assistance?
Email or call the Consumer Protection Contact Centre on 1300 30 40 54.
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