APA Instructor Qualification Update & How We Hope to Engage More Women in the Community

In response to community feedback about our current APA Qualification system, we are pleased to announce a number of both pending and immediate updates. There will be a number of other things announced in the coming weeks, but in this post we would like to specifically announce the decision to remove the women’s version of the qualifications.

Instead of having different requirements for men and women to pass certain areas of physical testing, we will be shifting to a modular system which includes baseline requirements for each level of instructor (regardless of gender), with an additional selection of modules to allow flexibility and recognition of different abilities, strengths, and skill sets. We believe this serves to provide a happy medium in which we maintain a professional standard for parkour instruction, while also supporting a diverse community of practice.

Examples of modules (to be completed in addition to baseline requirements for physical and theory) include:

  • teaching kids
  • flexibility & mobility
  • creative movement
  • advanced strength & conditioning

Details are still being drafted but will be shared soon for further community feedback as these updates are finalised.

After spending the weekend almost entirely focused on revisions of the qualifications, we are hopeful that this new system will encourage and enable more people to gain their qualifications, recognise diverse expertise and interests, and encourage more people to get involved in their local communities.

We are very proud of the growing number of female practitioners around the country, and have always hoped this would translate into more female instructors. We believe that this new system alleviates all of the major issues raised in recent months, including complaints about it being discouraging for women by setting them ‘lower standards’.

Our immediate actions

We recognise that the finalisation of the new system will take some time, but there is a need to provide additional support right now. In particular, we discussed that if we are genuine about increasing the number of female instructors, we need to be providing a broader suite of support right now. As of this weekend, we are launching two things:

Instructor intensive – We will be holding an Instructor Intensive for which we are particularly encouraging women from around the country to attend. Our instructor intensives are for both current and aspiring instructors who want to develop their depth of understanding of parkour and parkour instruction. We will be announcing further details (when, where, etc.) soon, but you can keep up to date by registering your interest here.

Mentor and buddy system – We are also introducing a mentor & buddy system for aspiring instructors to help provide support for those training towards their qualifications. This will include access to a list of current APA instructors at all levels (who are happy to be listed) and those willing and able to offer support, advice, or just be a training buddy – whether online, over the phone, or in person. The first stages of this will be launched in the upcoming days.

If you would like to be kept up to date with either of these initiatives please register your interest here.

We’ll be sharing more details about the updated qualifications system over the coming weeks. In the meantime, huge thanks to all who have shared your thoughts and feedback online, and particularly to individuals from who dedicated time this weekend to help collate this feedback and make change happen. Please continue to share any thoughts/feedback/questions in the comments!


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