Our Approach

Our success is based on our innovative approach to training in the Pilates Method. Building upon the comprehensive curriculum, our team of experienced tutors ensures that students have the benefit of a varied range of teaching styles built around the core curriculum. This has led to Body Control Pilates developing an unrivalled reputation for the quality of its course and the knowledge and competence of its graduate teachers.

This way of training immediately avoids the potential problems associated with the historical ‘apprenticeship’ method of training in Pilates, whereby a student works with one teacher in one studio for a period of one to two years - their training thus directly reflecting the strengths and weaknesses of that particular teacher.

By enabling students to train initially in matwork, Body Control Pilates has segmented its overall training programme into realistic - and affordable - stages. Students who wish to eventually train in machine work may do so after gaining their Matwork Certificate and will then have the added benefit of being able to use actual teaching experience as a foundation in their further training.

Whilst our course tuition is based in London or Edinburgh, we have a national network of supervising teachers that provides support and ensures that most students can undertake much of their practical (supervised teaching) work closer to home.  

Applying for the Course

From the day we started, the mission of Body Control Pilates has been to bring the benefits of Pilates to everyone. We recognise that excellent teachers can come from a wide variety of backgrounds and we do not define strictly laid-down selection criteria for those wishing to train, beyond asking that, ideally, all applicants have had the experience of regularly attending Pilates classes for at least a few months prior to commencing a course. 

If your classes have been with a Body Control Pilates teacher we will contact them to 'endorse' or fast-track your application. If your classes have been with a teacher who trained elsewhere, that's not a problem at all - it's not uncommon that, even if a teacher didn't train with us themself, they recommend us as the best training provider. In this case we will generally invite you to come in and see us for a complimentary 1:1 session – this gives us an opportunity to meet you and assess your suitability for the course and for an eventual Pilates teaching career and it gives you an introduction to our approach and the chance to ask any questions. Training to be a Pilates teacher is a big decision and it's important that that decision is as informed as possible!

If, after starting a course, our teaching staff feel that a student is making unsatisfactory progress or is struggling to take on board the fundamentals of the method, we reserve the right to ask them, after due consultation, to discontinue their participation in the course. We hold this policy to be in the best interests of both parties. This is covered in our Terms and Conditions.

Course Structure

A course will typically have a maximum of 12 students (this may vary for operational reasons). The period of time between a student starting the matwork course and gaining Certification is open-ended (maximum time period for completion is two years). A student is ‘signed off’ once they have met all the requirements of the course. 

The key elements of the Body Control Pilates matwork course are:


comprising thirteen days of modules - these are online until further notice. There will then be four Contact Days. 

Matwork courses run in two formats:

Intensive, wherein the tuition element is taken in two blocks of six and seven days, interspersed with typically a three-week break;

Extended, wherein the tuition element is taken in two-day blocks (typically Saturdays and Sundays) spread over a three to four month period.

Our matwork course curriculum is broken down into a series of tuition modules covering topics on both a theoretical and practical basis, along with anatomy as relevant:

  • Introductory Day (Including: the legacy of Joseph Pilates; the development of Body Control Pilates; what is Pilates?; movement and posture review; the theory of muscle balancing; key principles)
  • Neutral Pelvis and Spine; The Spine
  • Breathing; Concentration, Release and Relaxation
  • Core Stability: Lumbar and Pelvic Stability
  • Core Stability: Scapular Stability
  • Joints and the Hip; the Knee
  • Ankles and Feet; Elbows, Wrists and Hands, Working with Weights
  • Posture and Alignment; Stretching
  • Classical Pilates Exercises
  • Client Enrolment; Client Assessment; Designing Client Programmes; Client Progression
  • Lesson Plans and Teaching Skills
  • Anatomy Review
  • Last Tuition Day (Including: Completing the Course; Establishing Your Business Setting Up Classes; good practice; Client Care; Planning Your Career)

Practical Assessment

An informal one-hour assessment where students demonstrate their knowledge of the core exercises before beginning their supervised teaching period.

Supervised Teaching

The opportunity for students to learn and refine their practical teaching skills. This period commences after the end of the formal tuition sessions, and involves students assisting in classes, workshops or studios - and eventually teaching clients whilst under supervision. Body Control Pilates has a network of supervising teachers around the UK. This period is open-ended (typically 50 hours) and students receive a 'sign-off' when a senior supervising teacher considers that they are ready - at that point, students are ready to teach their final Assessment Class.

Lesson Plans and Assessment Class

Students must plan a series of six progressive Lesson Plans for a group matwork class and deliver all or part of one of these under assessment in order to receive their final certification.

Written Examination

All students must pass two written exams (multiple choice) set by Active IQ, the Awarding Body for this course. One exam relates to anatomy and physiology, the other to Principles of Fitness. Questions are based on materials provided. 
Students will additionally be required to answer two open essay questions demonstrating knowledge of key Body Control Pilates concepts and principles - these can be submitted at any time, whilst the written exam can be taken on any one of the several pre-published dates each year.


Students are also given material to study on a ‘directed learning’ basis, including elements related to health and safety, as required by the Level 3 national standard. Questions related to the content of this must be answered and submitted by the student before they can gain certification. Students who already hold a Level 3 certification in another discipline may be exempt from parts of this element.


Upon graduation, students are awarded a Certificate in Body Control Pilates Matwork and are eligible to become a member of both the Body Control Pilates Association (see below). They will also receive a Level 3 Pilates certification from Active IQ, our Awarding Body.

Student Commitment

By joining a course, each student is deemed to have accepted the guiding principle that, unless they hold a prior, recognised qualification to teach Pilates, they will not teach Pilates classes on a paid basis until they gain full certification. Under no circumstances, may a student offer Body Control Pilates classes until after they have gained certification
Body Control Pilates course management reserves the right to ask a student who breaches this principle to leave the course with immediate effect. Students are, however, encouraged to practise teaching exercises, without payment, to family and friends as long as they are aware that the student is not yet qualified.

Continuing Education and Training

For many training providers, certification is the end of a process, the end of their relationship with the student. For Body Control Pilates, it is just the beginning ... We are committed to providing our teachers with unrivalled educational opportunities and business support throughout their teaching career.

Upon gaining your certification as a Body Control Pilates teacher and on joining our Association, you become part of a community of teachers who are committed to expanding their knowledge and to continually improving the quality of their teaching – a community which regards teaching Pilates as a vocation, not as an ‘add-on’ to personal training or gym teaching.

We believe that Pilates can only be taught safely and effectively by teachers who have undertaken a specialist Pilates teacher training programme, who know how to properly assess clients and adapt exercises and programmes, and who then continue their learning and self-practice on an ongoing basis. The gaining of knowledge with regard to relevant medical research, advanced techniques, new exercises and, at the very least, talking and exchanging ideas with other teachers is a vital part of the professional development process.

As a Body Control Pilates teacher, we help you in that process by offering a unique programme of courses, workshops and conferences led by experienced Body Control Pilates tutors and by recognised Pilates experts from around the world. Courses open to you once you have gained your matwork certification include:

  • Intermediate Matwork
  • Advanced (Classical) Matwork
  • Reformer (two levels)
  • Cadillac (three levels)
  • Chair and Barrels
  • Comprehensive and Master Studio Certifications (Reformer, Cadillac, Barrel, Chair)
  • Pilates & Pregnancy
  • Pilates & Osteoporosis
  • Pilates & Scoliosis
  • Pilates for the Older Person
  • Pilates on the Ball
  • Pilates on the Foam Roller
  • Pilates with the Band
  • Pilates with the Small Ball & Toning Circle     
  • Standing Pilates
  • Level 4 Low Back Pain (REPs Specialist Exercise Instructor) 
  • Pilates for Performance
  • Pilates for Golfers
  • Pilates for Runners
  • Pilates for Dancers
  • Pilates for Equestrians (2017)
  • Understanding Medical Conditions
  • Level 3 Exercise Referral for Pilates Teachers     

Whether your goal is just to teach matwork, to become a studio teacher or to own your own studio, we can provide you, as a Body Control Pilates teacher, with a programme of educational courses and development workshops that will help you achieve your objectives.

The Body Control Pilates Association

Upon certification, you will be invited to join the Body Control Pilates Association (BCPA), Europe’s largest professional Pilates organisation with 1,500 teaching members. Your first year's subscription is covered by your course fees. All members subscribe to a Code of Practice that governs professional ethics, teaching standards, class size (maximum twelve participants) and ongoing professional development. The BCPA provides a range of services for members and actively promotes their contact details. Teachers are only allowed to use the Body Control Pilates trademark in connection with their classes if they are a member of the BCPA and sign a licence agreement.