You know about our fabulous Conferences (2023 event currently in planning). Many of you enjoy the comprehensive and competitively priced insurance through our arrangement with BMS and appreciate the access to the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies that come as part of your membership package. Or the insights from the podcasts and the Masterclasses, the posts on social media, the regular newsletters.
But is being a member of the PAA worth the membership fee?
We are confident it is, but think we can provide better information about what you get for your membership and what the organisation is actually doing.
What does the PAA do exactly?
- We source and deliver to you discounts, research, skills development, education options, industry insights to help keep you on top of your game
- We work on multiple industry issues to promote and protect Pilates as a recognised discipline
- We provide a home for Pilates instructors and teachers to collaborate with their peers
What do you get for your money?
The PAA’s work is done by a combination of paid staff and unpaid work by dedicated Pilates teachers. Your fees cover the cost of employing the people who do the essential work to keep the organisation functioning plus the operating costs. We run a very lean organisation with less than 2 Full time Equivalent Employees – although three people – and everyone works from home so we keep the overheads down.
Everything else is done by volunteers – your peers, who are not paid for their PAA work. The amount of work put in by the volunteer Committee, and other generous contributors, effectively doubles the workforce. You easily get twice the value of the fees you pay.
To name a few examples – as well as the “official” work of Kerry Haywood, Sharan Simmons and Natalie Ryan, the Masterclasses happen because of the work of Eve Fairbairn. All the education work depends on Chris Lavelle. Bruce Hildenbrand produces the podcasts with contributions from Daniela di Fabio and Eve. Your Committee are all Pilates teachers who care deeply for their community and seek to build a better Pilates industry.
But what have we actually done?
There are tangible benefits which we know are widely appreciated:
- PI/PL insurance with BMS, plus various industry relevant discounts (all listed on the website)
- Free subscription to the JBMT for professional and studio instructors
- Masterclasses, discounts on workshops, conference discount
- Information and advice: newsletters, posts, podcasts covering technical, teaching and business issues (e.g. Covid)
The work behind the scenes to make this happen is considerable and time consuming and great when the outcome is visible to you all. But outcomes from many of our efforts are not so easy to see – maybe because it’s long term or we need to respect confidentiality. Or maybe because it came to nothing in the end but was worth the attempt. In particular, our work in promoting and advocating for Pilates is relentless but still has a long way to go.
What have we done to get Pilates taken more seriously?
We share your frustration that Pilates does not have a clearly identified and valued place in the exercise and movement therapy world. We continue to take all the steps we can to generate change so that:
- Pilates has its rightful place in Allied Health as well as in Fitness
- Is affordable for many more people through health fund support
- Is better defined and ultimately regulated so all teachers and instructors are required to be properly trained. We all know that qualifications in adjacent areas (physiotherapy, exercise physiology, yoga, personal training etc) are not the same thing at all.
The Natural Therapies Review (critical for health fund rebates and Allied Health status) has been a priority for the PAA for 3 long years – but the review panel is yet to present any findings. It has taken a huge amount of time and effort by Penny Latey (for the PAA and APMA) and Robyn Rix, PAA President. Effectively months of their personal time has been contributed for the potential benefit of all of us, but it is still unresolved. Inevitably advocacy work is like this – a lot of time and effort, which may or may not pay off, but needs to be done.
We want to, need to, do more.
We know we could do more but we need your help. We rely on volunteers and welcome any time and expertise you have to offer (please let us know: info@ or firstname.lastname@example.org)
We can also do more with more scale – with more members. Please encourage your colleagues to contact us even if they are not sure if their qualifications will be accepted, especially if acquired overseas.
We also want to hear from you if you have an idea for something we can do/do better. You can contact any of the Committee members (email@example.com) as well as Kerry or Sharan.