How to Create a Cancellation Policy for Personal Training

Updated June 27, 2023
6 min read
How To Create a Cancellation Policy for Personal Training

Introduction

Keeping fit is one of the most desirable means to sustain a healthy lifestyle. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), regular exercise or physical activity results in improved health and physical well-being. And as a personal trainer in this regard, you play a significant role in helping and guiding clients on their fitness journey. 

However, you must recognize and accept that cancellations are inevitable in the personal training business. Clients may cancel their personal training contract or even terminate their membership for whatever reason. This is why it is critical for you — as a personal trainer — to have a well-thought-out training contract cancellation policy that manages this expectation and maintains professionalism in your business.  

Why You Need a Cancellation Policy as a Personal Trainer

Training contract cancellation is a policy between you and a client that stipulates the terms, conditions, and obligations under which that client can cancel their personal training contract or terminate the training membership altogether. Having this in place is vital for numerous reasons. 

Firstly, the policy to cancel personal training contracts strongly demonstrates business professionalism and enforces trust. Without this policy in place, your clients may not think you are serious about the business since this would enable them to cancel or terminate arbitrarily. With this training contract cancellation, you show that your time, energy, and commitment are valuable and should not be taken for granted. Essentially, it will establish a relationship based on mutual respect, understanding, and trust. 

Secondly, if you have a policy ensuring clients can cancel personal training contracts, you can better protect the business financially. A physical training enterprise is as much a service you provide to people and your livelihood. Any abrupt cancellation, termination, or frequent no-shows from clients can negatively impact your business and livelihood. You could lose money, and your business operations may risk disruption without a training contract cancellation policy that protects your craft. 

Lastly, a cancellation policy ensures you are on the same page with your clients. Since clients are aware of their responsibilities on when and how to cancel a personal training contract, it will reduce disputes or misunderstandings that may arise. This promotes a healthier and smoother client-trainer relationship. 

Membership Cancellation vs. Canceled Session

Membership cancellation and canceled sessions are two different things in the overall scheme of your business’s training contract cancellation policy. Distinguishing both is important because each has its implication. 

For membership cancellation, the client will terminate or altogether cancel your training services. This means the client no longer needs your training program — a total disengagement. On the other hand, a client that cancels a training session still intends to continue with your training programs but would have to take a break, skip some sessions or reschedule for a later time. 

Whichever the case, you must have well-defined terms to enable you to manage both events without issues. 

Addressing Late Cancellation

When it comes to the training contract cancellation policy in the business, one of the frequent challenges you have to deal with is a late cancellation. Clients who call out of the blue to cancel their programs. Such eleventh-hour or late cancellations may disrupt your business operations and cause financial losses. 

The best way to tackle this is to implement a specific timeframe within which clients who intend to cancel their training must give you a notification. For example, a 24 or 48 hours timeline for cancellations and failure to comply with such notice could come with penalties. When given adequate notice, you can readjust your schedule and make alternative plans with timely information. This will make your schedule predictable and your business running.

How to Create a Training Contract Cancellation Policy for Personal Training Clients

There are several key considerations that would enable you to create a training contract cancellation policy that is fair and effective. 

  • Define the terms: You must clearly define the terms for your clients on how to cancel a personal training contract. This will include differentiating between membership cancellation and canceled sessions, as discussed earlier.

  • Notice period: You must also determine the notice period required for cancellations. What is the timeline they must notify you of any intention to cancel?

  • Late cancellation policy: You must also state the consequences for late cancellations, such as fees or deducted sessions. Specifically, state the penalties clearly to ensure clients know the repercussions of their actions on the issue of how to cancel a personal training contract.

  • Refunds and credits: Decide whether you offer refunds or credits for canceled sessions. You should also stipulate the conditions under which clients may be eligible for a refund or credit.

  • Communication channels: Specify the preferred communication channels for cancellations. This could include phone calls, text messages, or emails. Ensure clients know how to reach you and provide alternative contact information in case of emergencies.

  • Rescheduling policy: This is very important in a training contract cancellation policy. You must provide any limitations or conditions for rescheduling, such as availability and advance notice requirements.

  • Review and signature: Have your clients review the cancellation policy and provide their signature to indicate their understanding and agreement to the terms. This would make the contract legally binding and enforceable on your clients. 

Check this comprehensive personal training contract template that provides a flexible framework to work with. This template already highlights the necessary terms or clauses an enforceable personal training contract must have. Similarly, with this template, you can easily make a flexible adjustment that suits the specific circumstances of your business. This may include adding or removing certain clauses, adjusting the notice period, or specifying the penalties for late cancellations as you deem necessary.

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Conclusion

It takes a lot to run a personal training business and maintain client satisfaction. But with a custom-made cancellation policy that suits your business and communicates your expectations effectively, you’re one step ahead in protecting your business. With a well-drafted training contract cancellation policy that facilitates a mutually beneficial relationship between you and your clients, it impresses your clients that you mean business and fosters positive client rapport. 

Article by
Inna Chumachenko
Lawrina

Inna Chumachenko is the Content Lead at Lawrina. She is responsible for managing all the content found on the blog, guides, and other website pages. Inna has a degree in philology and a vast interest in law. In her role at Lawrina, Inna oversees the content team, establishes collaborations with writers, and curates content from various contributors.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the content for Lawrina, please feel free to contact Inna directly via email at i.chumachenko@lawrina.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Frequently Asked Questions

What financial risks can personal trainers face without a cancellation policy?

Such a policy works just like any regulation — it makes a business truly a business and not just a matter of verbal agreements. Personal trainers are essentially putting their business at the mercy of their clients if they don't have a cancellation policy.

Without sufficient notice, clients may cancel sessions, leaving trainers with open slots and a financial loss. These losses will not be compensated or regulated without such a contract.

Should personal trainers offer refunds or credits for canceled sessions?

Personal trainers may refund or credit canceled sessions to keep clients satisfied and maintain a good reputation. By including this in the trainer's cancellation policy, all clients are treated fairly.

For example, a trainer may offer credit for a canceled session that can be used for a future training session. This not only shows goodwill towards the client but also encourages them to continue training with the same trainer.