Vision

To provide professionals with a functional fitness toolkit and the knowledge and skills to educate and discuss components of fitness and the UK Physical Activity Guidelines with people aged 50 – 90 so they can motivate themselves to reduce their sitting time, be more active and maintain their functional fitness into later life.

The Functional Fitness MOT (FF MOT) was designed by Professor Dawn Skelton and Bob Laventure for the Glasgow Science Festival in 2011, as a science learning event for older people accompanying their grandchildren to the festival. Over 60 older adults took part in two subsequent events, one at Glasgow Caledonian University and one in the Govan Shopping Centre. A further large-scale FF MOT event was then run during the World Congress on Active Ageing at the SECC, Glasgow attended by over 300 older people during the week-long event. The FF MOT was then run by Glasgow Caledonian University with a local Renfrewshire charity – ROAR Connections for Life.

Based on the training offered to Glasgow Caledonian Students and staff for these previous events, in 2013 a professional FF MOT training day was offered through the former BHF National Centre for Physical Activity and Health at Loughborough University. In four years, over 30 training days reached in excess of over 750 professionals as well as 5 Physiotherapy Specific training days reaching over 125 physiotherapists through the CSP Special Interest Group for Older People AGILE.

The original Functional Fitness MOT was designed to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and functional fitness for people aged 60 – 90 and originally used by local professionals as an educational and promotional tool in a variety of public facing settings including leisure centres, shopping precincts, community centres, supported living settings and physiotherapy settings. It includes activities such as the chair sit and reach, the 30 second chair rise, handgrip strength assessment, together with educational and motivational conversations.

From February 2017, Later Life Training then continued the face to face FF MOT training until December 2019 and reached an additional 450 professionals

LLT has also worked in partnership with the following organisations to deliver bespoke FF MOT training to enhance their programme development:

  • Sporting Memories
  • Paths for All (Scotland) training for Walk Leaders
  • Agile (CSP Special Interest Group working with older people)
  • Care About Physical Activity (Care Inspectorate Scotland) face to face and on-line education modules
  • The English Football League Extra Time programme (Club coordinators)
  • A number of UK universities to enhance practical learning in exercise and sports sciences, leisure and recreation and physiotherapy
International impact

The Functional Fitness MOT training has also been delivered to organisations in Greece, West Virginia (USA) and Canada (British Columbia and Alberta)

2021 Onwards

In the Spring of 2020, face to face courses ceased due to the Covid 19 Pandemic and Later Life Training took the decision to transfer the Functional Fitness MOT training to their online learning portal under the title of the Functional Fitness MOT at Home.

Introduction

The Functional Fitness MOT at Home course (FF MOT at Home) has been devised to replace previous face to face Functional Fitness MOT courses for professionals. As a result of the impact of Covid 19 (whereby professionals have very limited or no opportunities for face to face contact with participants), to initiate or maintain their physical activity, people face the challenge of accessing either on-line resources (groups, 1 – 1, videos and or booklets) or being active away from the home in an “unfriendly” and threatening environment. Delivered through the Later Life Training on-line Learning Portal, the new Functional Fitness MOT at Home course provides the opportunity for professionals to reach participants remotely with advice and guidance on functional fitness, wellbeing and physical activity

The difference between a FF MOT face to face course and the new FF MOT at Home

We recognise that there is some overlap between the content of the new FF MOT at Home online course and previous face to face one day CPD training. However, the FF MOT at Home online course requires a commitment of 16 hours online learning, provides enhanced learning, new resources and a method of working for those who wish to reach people in their own homes.

These are the significant changes that have been made to the FF MOT course since March 2020, now called the Functional Fitness MOT at Home.

  • The whole of the course is delivered on-line through the Later Life Training E-Learning Portal
  • The course now comprises a total of 16 hours online learning
  • The materials and training are designed to allow professionals to deliver the FF MOT at Home assessments and support people with remote conversations in their own homes
  • The programme now includes new data to support the inclusion of people aged 50+, thus expanding the potential of the programme for people from 50 – 90 years
  • The course includes new resources and enhanced content

Later Life Training will be offering the new online course (including all materials) at a discounted price of £50.00 + VAT to those who have attended a previous face to face CPD course between 2017 and 2020. Details of applying for the discounted price will appear on the Apply section of the FF MOT at Home course pages and subject to evidence of previously having attended a Later Life Training FF MOT Face to face CPD day.

The Functional Fitness MOT at Home and a return to face-to-face training

This term (the Functional Fitness MOT at Home) is used to describe the current series of Functional Fitness MOT courses (April to June 2021) that are being delivered to a range of professionals to enable them to deliver the Functional Fitness MOT assessments and conversations remotely to people 50 – 94 in their own homes. This approach is in addition to the previous face to face training that Later Life Training has delivered from 2013 – 2020.

Although the timing is uncertain, as and when the current restrictions on in-person meetings and training are relaxed, Later Life Training will also be providing an enhanced blended learning face to face CPD course. We are planning that these courses will enable professionals to use the Functional MOT assessments in both at home remote settings and face to face events and activities.

Details of these courses will be posted on the LLT website as they become available.

Who can use the Functional Fitness MOT at Home?

The FF MOT at Home course has been designed for use by those who for the sake of simplicity, can be described as a Functional Fitness at Home Coordinator. A number of professionals will be in an ideal position to use the FF MOT at Home tool including:

  • Health and Wellbeing or Physical Activity coordinators.
  • Active Ageing professionals.
  • Adult and Social Care and Housing Support professionals.
  • Exercise teachers and instructors.
  • Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.

The following may also be relevant:

CIMSPA defined Occupations and Job Roles Working with the following Population specialisms
Manager Older Adults
Senior Coach, Coach Inactive People
Group Exercise Instructor Community Environments
Gym Instructor People with Long term Conditions
Personal Trainer

NB. Later Life Training advise that whilst Volunteers, Coaching Assistant or therapy assistants could deliver components of the FF MOT at Home programme, it would not be appropriate for them to undertake a coordination role.

In addition to an understanding of and interest in physical activity and ageing, professionals will also require experience of using remote communications technology. They will also need to be able to understand and provide one to one support to participants over a period of time in order to achieve sustained participation.

The aims of the Functional Fitness MOT at Home are to:

  • Educate both professionals and the public on the importance of physical activity in later life.
  • Highlight the UK Physical Activity Guidelines for people aged 50 – 90 and the importance of the components of fitness, particularly strength and balance.
  • Engage and motivate people age 50+ to reduce their sitting time, include regular physical activity or improve their functional fitness.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Describe the main features of the Functional Fitness MOT and how it works in practice.
  • Describe the key elements of the UK Physical Activity Guidelines for people aged 50 – 90.
  • Engage in meaningful conversations with participants about their own functional fitness and taking action to be more active.
  • Plan how the Functional Fitness MOT at Home can be implemented in their setting and with their target populations.
  • Know how to access additional resources to support their local programme.

NB The Functional Fitness MOT at Home tool is designed for use with people from 50 – 90 who live independently at home and may have long term conditions. It is not appropriate for use with frailer, older people who require care where additional knowledge and skills will be required.

The new FF MOT at Home course is now designed to include people in the 50+ age range, providing new opportunities for those working through primary care, workplace and pre-retirement programmes.

The online Functional Fitness MOT at Home course comprises 3 parts:-

Part 1. Planning your FF MOT at Home Programme and assessments – will include
  • The importance of functional fitness in later life
  • The components of functional fitness
  • The purpose of the Functional Fitness MOT at Home
  • Opportunities for physical activity
Part 2. Implementing the Functional Fitness MOT at Home – will include
  • Functional Fitness assessments at Home
  • Having the Conversation – How did I do?
  • Having the Conversation – What can I do now?
  • Barriers and facilitators to action
Part 3. Supporting people to change and applications
  • Supporting people to change over time
  • Applications to your role
Learning hours required.

The course is delivered through the Later Life Training online e-learning portal and learners will be able to access via interactive and self-directed individual learning tasks. All these activities will be supported by a course tutor. A total of 16 learning hours will be required, spread over a period of 4 weeks.

The FF MOT at Home Learner Journey

FFMOT at Home Learner Journey

The FF MOT at Home assessment tool

A new FF MOT at Home Assessment Tool has been devised which contains the eight original FF MOT assessment activities, (involving strength, balance, flexibility and endurance) and a physical activity questionnaire used as a means of initiating conversations between the participant and the coordinator.

Some of the functional assessments have been modified to permit participants to self-assess their functional fitness (assisted if they choose, by a friend or family member) to ensure accuracy, safety and ease of access.  NB Self-assessment is unlikely to be sufficiently accurate to permit robust assessments and be used as pre-post physical activity outcome measurement or evaluation. This would require additional planning. They retain their principal use as awareness raising, educational and motivational tools.

Those attending the FF MOT at Home course are provided with the new FF MOT at Home Assessment Tool as a download document which can be customised to enable local information (contact details, information on how to be active and local identity) to be added.

Participants will be provided with:

  • A hard copy of the course manual summarising learning from the course including planning FF MOT at Home programmes and activities.
  • A Personas tool, used throughout the course to consider applications to a range of case studies
  • A Personal Implementation Plan, designed to record learning and issues critical to the local implementation of local FF MOT at Home programmes
  • These and other course resources (including PowerPoint materials) are provided as downloads from the Later Life Training portal

There is no formal assessment during the FF MOT at Home course. Participants will be asked to undertake a number of Multiple Choice Questions and learning checks throughout the course.

Participants will also be given the opportunity to consider how the course can be applied to their own workplace or setting and asked to undertake personal and professional reflection on their current practice using a Personal Implementation Plan (PIP).

Following the submission of the MCQ learning checks and their Personal Implementation Plan, participants will be issued with a downloadable certificate of completion.

The FF MOT at Home programme is underpinned by a strong evidence base relating to what is required to improve functional fitness and how we can support individuals to change their physical activity habits and behaviour. We have retained the original functional fitness assessments (with some modifications) and continue to advocate that supporting people over time (including the use of goal setting and self-monitoring) is fundamental to their ability to make decisions and changes that will improve their physical activity behaviour. Recent research offers additional insight into the impact of Covid 19 upon physical and psychological function and how (older) people are adapting to the increased use of information technology, virtual learning and communications.

Specific evidence

The content of the FF MOT at Home course and the resources provided are based upon the following evidence.

  • The 2019 UK CMO Guidelines on Physical Activity for Adults (19 – 64) and Older Adults (65+) (DH 2019)
  • Normative data sets from large research studies of adults and older adults

The evidence base relating to motivation and behaviour change including

  • Make Every Contact Count
  • Achieving Behaviour Change – Guidance from Public Health England and the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change
  • The importance of one to one, tailored, advice and action planning included in NICE Public Health Guidelines

The course has been enhanced by the evidence from the Centre for Ageing Better publications :-

  • Raising the Bar on Strength and Balance: The importance of community-based provision.
  • How has COVID-19 changed the landscape of digital inclusion?
  • The experience of people approaching later life in lockdown: The impact of COVID-19 on 50-70-year olds in England

The Impact of COVID19

Activity restriction brought about by shielding and the (voluntary) restrictions on movement brought about by Covid19 has resulted in deconditioning, functional loss amongst older people and has contributed to increased fall risk. This has been accompanied by an additional loss of confidence and feelings of increased vulnerability amongst those who have been shielded or isolated. These feelings may also have been exacerbated by a lack of meaningful social contact with family and friends and increased loneliness as well as a lack of contact with health care and support professionals who provide access to healthcare for pre-existing or new non-Covid-19 illnesses.

Consequently, physical activity now provides an even greater challenge for those deconditioned as a result of movement restriction but also a greater need for those seeking to return to a previous level of functioning and independent living

Turning research into practice

As yet there has been no scientifically evaluated outcomes on the previous Functional Fitness MOT. However, recently in Edinburgh, a feasibility study on the implementation of the FF MOT within musculoskeletal physiotherapy out-patient clinics was undertaken. You can read the published paper for this study here.

The FF MOT has received a lot of anecdotal evidence on the positive outcomes to participants and also to the professionals attending training and delivering the FF MOT in practice. Many of these are highlighted in the BHF NC Impact Report on the use of the FF MOT.

The Functional Fitness MOT at Home course is endorsed by CIMSPA and has been awarded a total of 8 CPD points.

20 New ideas from UK Universities that will change the world

The theme of Universities week (June 9th–14th 2014) was Ideas for Life and the relevance of university research and its everyday impact on our lives. To this end, a survey commissioned for the annual event, which was run by Universities UK with Research Councils UK, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, asked the general public about the issues that they want university research to address.

Thirty per cent said they wanted improved wellbeing in old age; just under half (47 per cent) wanted better treatments for the UK’s most deadly diseases; a quarter wanted technology that would improve people’s quality of life; and 38 per cent said they cared about living in cities that are safe, enjoyable places. With this in mind, 20 UK university research projects that hope to tackle these issues were highlighted as part of the celebrations.

“The FFMOT was included as one of the 20 new ideas from UK universities that will change the world”.

ROAR (Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire)

Glasgow Caledonian University worked closely with a local charity called ROAR (Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire) training their volunteers to run Functional Fitness MOTs with the older people they befriend and as a result the partnership won “Innovation Partnership of the Year” (2016) from Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. The awards, held in the Scottish Parliament, celebrated people and projects from across the country which support others to feel in control of their health and wellbeing.

You can watch a brief video about the ROAR project below:
What do our professional participants say?
Working in supported living settings – Anchor Hanover

“We’ve used the Functional Fitness MOT as part of a grant-funded project in Hackney to encourage those who’ve not yet experienced a fall to take part in preventative activities. Not only have we had some great feedback from participants, it’s helped us to better understand the level of risk among older adults living in Anchor Hanover properties. This information has helped us to think about how falls prevention services and activities can be adopted within retirement housing, and how we can work more closely with the NHS and local voluntary services.”

Amy Charters, Service Improvement Business Partner, Anchor Hanover
Working in community rehabilitation – Hampshire

“The Functional Fitness MOT is a really great tool which we run alongside our exercise classes. The seven tests are all very straight forward and all our participants are able to perform them and even enjoy it and feel motivated by it! Participants really like to be able to see where they score against their peers. It is really informative for both the instructor and the exerciser and it works as a great outcome measure and goal setting tool. Using the FF MOT we are able to promote the benefits of physical activity in succinct way. The Functional Fitness MOT training was time very well spent – we implemented it the next day and haven’t looked back”!

Caroline Taverner, Therapeutic Groups Coordinator, Hobbs Rehabilitation, Independent Provider of Specialist Neurological Rehabilitation Services.
Rural Community Physiotherapy Services, Cumbria

“We have used the Functional Fitness MOT across Cumbria as a key component in multi-agency health and wellbeing days. FFMOT has been incorporated into various health promotion initiatives such as falls awareness week, carers week and Older Peoples’ Day and we have held events in a variety of locations such as local libraries, farmer’s markets and health centres. The benefits of these events have been felt not only by participants and visitors but by staff and services taking part. FF MOT days have proved to be invaluable in building links between services and sectors including our local voluntary organisations”.

Vicky Johnstone, Highly Specialist Physiotherapist, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
Working in Higher Education – Sheffield Hallam University

In developing our BSc Module ‘Working with Ageing Populations’, we included the Functional Fitness MOT as a key practical element and experience to enhance our students learning. It provides excellent insight into understanding how physical functioning relates to well-being and successful ageing and in Later Life. The Functional Fitness MOT is an absolute must.

Dr David Broom, former Reader of Physical Activity and Health, Sheffield Hallam University
A city-wide approach to well-being – Aberdeen

“As a wellbeing team, we have used the FF MOTs for 7 years now, and delivered both FF MOT events on a large scale citywide, smaller in community centres and individualised approaches in sheltered housing. We have evidence that the FF MOT is a great motivational tool to initiate conversations about physical activity and getting started! We have also realised the potential of the FF MOT to our partnership working with our local authority leisure provider, city physiotherapists, university and college students and our local care providers. We can’t talk highly enough of this great resource! #BeLikeAberdeen “

Darren Smith Wellbeing Coordinator, Public Health and Wellbeing. Aberdeen City Council
Community physical activity and falls services – Bury

“The FF MOT tool is a fantastic way to engage with individuals and provides a very tailored bespoke programme. By doing each assessment and documenting the results, you have a working document that allows the monitoring of progression for that individual with an agreed action plan. BEATS have found the individual then takes enhanced ownership of their plan, as they have something clear to work toward. It is a very powerful motivator. The FF MOT also enables our exercise referral officers to baseline test and re-test a group of individuals in one session as it’s also is very cost and time effective, which is essential when you have a small team like ours with large demands on your service”.

Shelley Caulfield, BEATS Team Leader, Bury Sport and Physical Activity Service
Further education – Perth

“I use the Functional Fitness MOT with my HND Fitness, Health and Exercise students and also our year 3 BSc Sport and fitness Degree students. All of our fitness students are qualified fitness instructors and have knowledge of the Functional Fitness MOT, as they may use this in industry in the future when working with older adults. I also teach practical sessions on functional fitness testing for older adults and the Functional Fitness MOT resources are excellent for introducing this”.

Lisa Dods, Sport and Fitness Lecturer, Perth College UHI, Scotland

Payment must be received at least 4 weeks prior to enrolment in order to allow access to the online training portal.

The full costs for the course are £70 + VAT which includes all resources, access to the Later Life Training Learning Portal and tutor support.

If you have previously completed an FFMOT course with us, we are offering a special price of £50 + VAT.  Just tick the box on the final page of the booking form, and we will provide an invoice with the discount applied.

If you are an individual wanting to attend a course but there are no course dates offered in the course dates listings, please contact the LLT office.

Medical Conditions and Learning Support Requirements

We encourage everyone to be responsible for their own learning. In light of this, we ask that you please inform us, at point of application, about any learning support requirements and/or medical conditions support that will help you to access our course content and learn effectively. All information will be treated confidentially and we will make reasonable adjustments to meet your needs.

IT Requirements

The face-to-face sessions will be delivered via the Big Blue Button, accessible through our e-learning portal. For maximum compatibility we recommend using a personal laptop or desktop computer with the most up to date version of the Chrome or Firefox web browser installed. If neither are available to you, Microsoft Edge (version Blink 79 onwards) is also compatible. Please test your browser compatibility prior to booking, via the Big Blue Button test link.

We don’t recommend using a work PC as there may be firewall restrictions that prevent you from connecting to the Big Blue Button. However, if this is necessary, please check with your IT department to ensure you can connect to our BigBlueButton server prior to commencement of your face-to-face days.

A brief summary of the minimum requirements:

  • 2GB of memory and a 1Ghz processor
  • For a reliable internet connection, at least 1Mbits download and 0.5 Mbits upload speed
  • Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox (Microsoft Edge version version 79 onwards)

Optional:

  • Headset for audio
  • Webcam and microphone