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Keywords personal trainer performance evaluation analytic hierarchy process Modern fitness centers provide many different services and in addition to the basic software and hardware services free parking personal rental lockers childcare service multifunction cards and more may be offered Increased public interest in health and fitness has led to greater demand for personal trainers
896 Performance evaluation criteria of personal trainers. personal trainers now provide members with the opportunity to use more than. basic gym services For example the World Gym in Taiwan charges US 330. for six one on one courses and US 782 for 16 courses Tai Chiu 2007 In. addition personal trainers achieved market sales of US 260 000 per month at the. Tungling Branch of California Fitness Centers in 2004 As this branch employed. approximately 100 personal trainers this put the value of each trainer at around. US 2 600 per month The CEO of World Gym in the United States commented. that personal trainers brought in one third of the firm s total gross profits further. highlighting the importance of instructors to fitness centers Tai Chiu 2007. This year Time magazine listed fitness instructors as one of the 20 hottest. occupations in the world and it was noted that at the time there were. approximately 400 000 personal trainers in the United States alone with the. number expected to rise This trend is also apparent in Taiwan where health. clubs and fitness centers have begun aggressive promotion of the services of. personal trainers Wu 2006, One well known institute called FACE TO FACE conducted a survey of fitness. center members and found that 25 expressed an interest in using a personal. trainer Personal trainers are required to fulfill many different roles including. those of teacher trainer consultant supervisor supporter nutritionist dietician. and lifestyle management consultant Chen 2006 Sessions with personal. trainers can be priced at US 50 60 per hour and the quality of the service can. significantly influence the reputation of fitness centers Tai Chiu 2007. Evaluations of their work can be used by personal trainers as references for. pay raises and promotions However inappropriate evaluations of personal. trainers may lead to a wide array of problems ranging from minor issues such as. unqualified instructors a mismatch between clients needs and personal trainer. courses and a lack of emphasis on the service content to major problems such. as instructors distrust and disappointment in the club s productivity and a loss. of morale that leads to a decrease in service quality and quantity and thus a. lowering of the profit margin of the health club Consequently it is essential. for health clubs and fitness centers to design an effective personal trainer. performance evaluation system so that those clubs and centers can ensure that. they are providing the best possible service Therefore the main goal in this. research was to develop an effective performance evaluation system that can. improve service quality as well as being fair to instructors and that will increase. the demand for personal trainers and thus revenue of fitness centers. According to a review of existing literature no reliable methods of personal. trainer performance evaluation are currently in use in Taiwan Most of the. related academic studies discuss the profile certification system professional. abilities training efficacy and general market position of a personal trainer see. e g Chuang 2000 Jeng 2003 Jiang 2005 Ke Yang 2002 Lin Shu. Performance evaluation criteria of personal trainers 897. 2005 Wu 2006 Yeh 2003 Many of the researchers mentioned here analyzed. the abilities of personal trainers and related market developments and found. evidence of the stability and growth potential of the profession However in this. research we sought to take the first step in providing a study of an effective and. comprehensive personal trainer performance evaluation system. In relation to the standards that should be used to evaluate a personal trainer. Ke and Yang 2002 carried out a statistical category and factor analysis and. took steps toward collecting together a body of reliable information Results of. their study show that a fitness instructor s professional knowledge is composed. of six major factors namely administrative management related knowledge. guidance execution work attitude paperwork handling and human relations. Liu 1991 noted that professional fitness instructors should have the following. five skills general knowledge professional skills specialized knowledge and. experience specialized techniques and abilities and thorough knowledge of. and special professional language skills familiarity with technical regulations. and understanding of a professional environment professional sportsmanship. defined as dedicated service attitude stable emotions commitment to an. employment contract and so on Similarly Chen 1989 stated that a successful. instructor must have the following basic skills general knowledge principles. and techniques of sports diagnosis evaluation methods and techniques in body. adjustability CPR and crisis management leadership and command abilities. the ability to arrange an appropriate sporting environment sports technique. teaching ability suitable personality traits concept of corporate management. deep understanding of special personnel and so on, Penman and Adams 1980 listed a fitness instructor s necessary professional. abilities as follows financial management with regard to budgets assets. equipment schedule adjustments and employees public relations with regard. to communication with news media personal communication skills and being. able to maintain good human relations professionalism with regard to having. appropriate skills and knowledge education service situation and evaluation. personality with regard to relevant personality traits and maintaining good. relationships with colleagues organizational administrative abilities such as. being able to maintain relationships with colleagues and superiors activity. management the purchase and maintenance of sports equipment regulation. level evaluation ability recruitment ability and procedure policy Stiff 1993. listed the important attributes of a trainer as follows maintaining a high level. of professionalism having appropriate work wear setting personal goals. motivating clients to work out having good communication skills paying. attention to the amount that clients exercise having consideration for others. knowing CPR and basic first aid skills having computer skills being competent. with regard to managing human relations having knowledge of marketing skills. 898 Performance evaluation criteria of personal trainers. caring for clients keeping records in a training log understanding the differences. between individual clients having the ability to solve conflicts. The California Fitness Center in Taiwan evaluates its personal trainers based. on the following dimensions communication skill representation skill service. results achievement results the ability to communicate professional knowledge. in the instructor s own way tailoring communication of knowledge to different. levels for the general public allowing the clients to clearly understand the. knowledge regarding body adjustability teaching results California Fitness. Center 2007 Similarly World Gym s evaluations of its personal trainers include. the following professional skills teaching results content of service service. results and personal and team achievements achievement results World Gym. 2008 with the achievement results being the guaranteed sales of the team for. each month which correspond to an individual s salary level or the sales of. personal courses which affects the amount of commission for each class. Construction of the Research Model, There are two steps in building the performance evaluation system the. literature review and the analytic hierarchy process AHP as follows. Literature review The preliminary structure and standards of the personal trainers. performance evaluation which were developed were based on the literature. review The evaluation included a total of three dimensions and 15 detailed items. The three dimensions are teaching achievement and service The teaching. dimension includes quality of the course client instruction and interaction. course innovation course design and arrangement and client workout result. The achievement dimension includes course schedule arrangement course sales. recruitment of clients marketing communication skills and team achievements. The service dimension includes administrative management improvement of. the center s image interaction with others participation in related activities. and providing related information The structure of the three dimensions and 15. detailed evaluation items is given in Figure 1, Analytic Hierarchy Process AHP This procedure was created in 1971 by. Thomas L Saaty and is widely used for assessing uncertain situations with. numerous evaluation criteria The method allows individuals to choose a value. between 1 and 9 to rate the strength of the relationship between items in order to. establish the pairwise comparison matrix to calculate the related eigenvalues and. the eigenvectors The largest eigenvector will be inspected using the evaluation. criteria through orders of large to small values and then the researcher can. select the appropriate evaluation criteria In recent years the AHP method has. been widely used in different domains to deal with problems related to planning. Performance evaluation criteria of personal trainers 899. generating a set of alternatives setting priorities in decision making and the. allocation of resources Thus in this research we first applied AHP to the. opinions of the interviewees with regard to the three dimensions of teaching. achievement and service We then used the AHP to consider the importance of. the individual components of each dimension,1 Quality of the course. 2 Client instruction and interaction,Teaching 3 Course innovation. 4 Course design and arrangement,5 Client workout result. 1 Course schedule arrangement,2 Course sales,Personal trainer s. 3 Recruitment of clients,performance Achievement,4 Marketing and communication. evaluation skills,5 Team achievements,1 Administrative management. 2 Improvement of the center s,3 People interaction. 4 Participation in related activities,5 Providing related information. Figure 1 Personal trainers performance evaluation structure. Participants, We applied AHP theory and methods and conducted interviews with 10. experts including five personal trainer managers two Federation of International. Sports Aerobics and Fitness FISAF personal instructor examiners and three. college professors,Analysis Method, We applied AHP theory and methods to the survey data to establish the weights. of the various dimensions and their components for the performance evaluation. of personal trainers The details of the procedure are presented below. Establish a pairwise comparison matrix Using the survey data to establish a. pairwise comparison matrix A aij m m the importance of the comparative. values is represented by aij while aij 1 aji 1 aij i 1 2 m j 1 2 m is. the multiple comparative value of the decision maker versus the decision factor. of i and j, 900 Performance evaluation criteria of personal trainers. The fraction number used during the comparison is represented by 1 3 5 7 9. 1 for equal 3 for moderate 5 for strong 7 for very and 9 for extreme If there is. a need for compromise values then 2 4 6 8 can be used as constant values. Calculating the eigenvalues To examine if the pairwise comparison matrix A. met the requirement for consistency it was necessary to calculate the maximum. eigenvalue max and eigenvector Wi and when the maximum eigenvalue. max should be matched to the eigenvector then they become the relative. weight values in the evaluation criteria,Wi aij l m aij l m 2. After establishing the pairwise comparison matrix it is possible to obtain the. priority vector of the factors for each level If turns into the eigenvalue of A. then W will be A s eigenvector, The approximate computation of the maximum eigenvalue max is to. multiply pairwise comparison matrix A with priority vector W obtaining vector. W and then take every factor in W to prioritize the factors in the W vector. 1 a12 a1m W1 W1,a21 1 a2m W2 W2,am1 1 Wm Wm, The number obtained at the end of the equation is then used to calculate the. average value which then becomes the maximum eigenvalue max. Examining the consistency When AHP needs to be compared it is necessary to. achieve consistency and thus it must be ascertained whether pairwise comparison. matrix A is consistent The method of examination involves using a consistency. index CI and consistency ration CR and the equation used is as follows. CI max m m 1 6, Performance evaluation criteria of personal trainers 901. CR CI RI 7, In this equation m represents the index number of that certain hierarchy and. RI is a random index which is obtained by the different CI values produced by. the index number in different hierarchies Saaty 1977 referred to research from. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. and produced with a set of RI values as shown in Table 1. Random Index Chart,m 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15. RI 0 00 0 00 0 58 0 90 1 12 1 24 1 32 1 41 1 45 1 49 1 51 1 48 1 56 1 57 1 59. Saaty 1980 suggested that CI 0 represents the survey takers consistency. before and after the assessment of the decision factor signifying that there are no. discrepancies between the two while CI 0 1 is the permissible error tolerance. When CR 0 1 the consistency of the matrix is satisfactory and thus it can be. said that the whole evaluation process reaches its consistency. Calculating the weight of the whole hierarchy Lastly the eigenvector of the. maximum eigenvalue must be calculated and transformed into the weight of. each hierarchy index the sum of which should be 1 A description of how this is. carried out can be found in the Data Collection and Analysis section. Data Collection and Analysis, In order to analyze the performance evaluation criteria and its structure the. researchers used Microsoft Excel to execute the AHP procedure to obtain the. average weight of each group Each group thus represented the expected index. weight of the personal trainers performance evaluation. Analysis of the three dimensions of personal trainers performance evaluation. The analysis showed that the achievement dimension is the most important. and the weight value was arranged from high to low in the order of 0 637 for. achievement 0 258 for teaching and 0 105 for service In addition the CI and. CR were both valued below 0 1 at 0 019 and 0 033 signifying consistency in. the pairwise comparison matrix index and ratio as confirmed by the survey. responses of professional decision makers The details of the order and weight of. the three evaluation dimensions are given in Table 2. 902 Performance evaluation criteria of personal trainers. Order and Weight of the Three Dimensions,Weight of system Weight value Order. Teaching 0 258 2,Achievement 0 637 1,Service 0 105 3. Weight analysis of the personal trainer evaluation criteria. Teaching Following the AHP procedure the weight of the criteria of the. three dimensions of personal trainer evaluation was calculated and examined. with CI and CR Table 3 shows the order of priority of the teaching criteria as. client workout result 0 261 client instruction and interaction 0 260 course. design and arrangement 0 256 course innovation 0 145 quality of the course. 0 078 CI and CR valued at 0 011 and 0 010 both 0 1. Order and Weight Value of Teaching Result Criteria. Criteria of teaching process Weight Order,Quality of the course 0 078 5. Client instruction and interaction 0 260 2,Course innovation 0 145 4. Course design and arrangement 0 256 3,Client workout result 0 261 1. Achievement Table 4 shows the order of priority of the achievement criteria. was as follows course sales 0 919 team achievement 0 914 course schedule. arrangement 0 688 marketing and communication skills 0 687 recruitment. of clients 0 655 CI and CR were valued at 0 079 and 0 070 respectively. Performance evaluation criteria of personal trainers 903. Order and Weight Value of the Achievement Criteria. Achievement criteria Weight Order,Course schedule arrangement 0 688 3. Course sales 0 919 1,Recruitment of clients 0 655 5. Marketing and communication 0 687 4,Team achievement 0 914 2. Service Table 5 shows the priority of the service criteria was as follows. administrative management 0 254 providing related information 0 203 people. interaction 0 194 participation in related activities 0 187 improvement of the. center s image 0 162 CI and CR were valued at 0 085 and 0 076 respectively. Order and Weight Value of the Service Criteria,Service criteria Weight Order. Administrative management 0 254 1,Improvement of the center s image 0 162 5. People interaction 0 194 3,Participation in related activities 0 187 4. Providing related information 0 203 2,Discussion, The results of this research show the order of priority for the main structure. of the personal trainer performance evaluation was as follows achievement. 0 637 teaching 0 258 service 0 105 The data clearly show that. achievement is far more important than teaching and service with regard to. personal trainer evaluation Chen 2006 stated that trainers have adapted. to the changes in the market and the sports environment The duties of the. trainers in fitness centers have greatly changed since the 1990s and the. multifunctional instructors of today not only reduce human resource expenses. but also can bring greater profits to the club The achievement dimension of the. personal trainer evaluation has become the most important evaluation system index. 904 Performance evaluation criteria of personal trainers. The criteria for the teaching process show that client workout course design. and arrangement and course innovation all have significant weight values. followed by quality of the course and course innovation Consequently the. relationship between the first three items comes from the workout result of the. personal trainer and the client and the trust between the personal trainer and the. client during the workout The end result corresponded to the main motive for the. member to join in the program This is the inclusion of the workout regime in the. client s lifestyle for the benefits of doing exercise with the help of professional. trainers to achieve his her goals The professionalism of the personal trainer will. thus present itself in the evaluation of teaching, The achievement criteria show that course sales weigh much more than the. other four items and the respondents reported that the main duty of a personal. trainer is to design personal short mid or long term workout plans However. before executing the plan the client must be persuaded to purchase the course for. the plan to be realized Therefore the results of this research clearly show that. trainers must have other professional skills such as marketing in order to fully. realize their potential and bring adequate profit to the fitness center itself. The service criteria show that the most important item was administrative. management Tsai 2005 stated that an exceptional personal trainer can advance. to the management level and such individuals require additional skills Other. than providing services to the customer service criteria also included a set of. self management standards for the trainers to improve themselves This is an. important criterion in evaluations if trainers are to advance to the management. The application and research methods used in this study could be used as a. reference in future works Despite the importance of the achievement dimension. it should be emphasized that fitness centers cannot ignore service quality and. should continue to adapt to meet clients needs, In this study we have taken the first step in constructing a performance. evaluation system for personal trainers Future researchers could take this a step. further by applying our methods even the fuzzy AHP method to the various. types of fitness centers for the purpose of studying differences in the appraisal. of personal trainers,References, California Fitness Center 2007 Handbook of personal trainers education Taipei California. Chen C C 1989 The development of fitness instructors Taipei Taiwan ROC Aerobic Fitness and. Health Association of Taiwan, Chen C C 2006 Discussion of the market of fitness centers and personal trainers in Taiwan Sport. 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Sports Quarterly 20 4 46 57, Penman K A Adams S H 1980 Assessing athletic and physical education programs A. manual with reproducible forms Boston Allyn Bacon, Saaty T L 1977 A scaling method for priorities in hierarchical structures Journal of Mathematical. Psychology 15 2 234 281, Saaty T L 1980 The analytic hierarchy process New York McGraw Hill. Stiff M C 1993 The personal trainer Fitness and Sport Review International 28 3 83 88. Tai L S Chiu W Y 2007 The case study of management in world gym Journal of Physical. Education 14 77 81, Tsai C C 2005 Fitness instructors Sport of Zhu Shi 3 17 18. World Gym 2008 Handbook of personal trainers education Taichung World Gym Fitness. Wu C H 2006 Discussion of market profile on personal trainers across the strait Sport. Management 11 45 48, Yeh Y C 2003 Inspection of fitness instructors professional ability Unpublished master s thesis. National Taiwan Sports University Taoyuan Taiwan ROC. 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