Fitness is a people business, and getting groups of participants together for activities provides fun and motivation. But any type of physical activity has inherent risks, and gathering information about your participants prior to an activity or event is a responsible way to reduce your liability and ensure the safety of one and all.
A Participant Registration Form provides important information that you may need to screen and protect participants. It typically asks for the following data:
- Contact information like name, address, phone and email
- Name and phone number of an emergency contact
- Participant’s age and date of birth
- Participant’s medical history
- Allergies and dietary restrictions
- Activity-related information such as level of skill or expertise
- Participant’s insurance information
- Current date and signature
Information provided on Participant Registration Forms may also provide useful leads for membership drives or future events.
Situations Where a Participant Registration Form is Used
A Participant Registration Form is unique from a waiver of liability or a health history questionnaire, although they may contain some of the same information. You may not need a new form for every event or activity you sponsor, but there are several cases where a Participant Registration form is needed, including:
- Outings and field trips
- Sports events
- Trial memberships
- Workshops and conferences
- Children’s activities
- Fitness assessments
- Outdoor bootcamps
- Special group classes or activities
If you are unsure if a particular activity warrants a Participant Registration Form, it is better to err on the side of caution.
How to Use Provided Information
It is not uncommon for an organization or company to collect completed Participant Registration Forms and set them aside, unread. This can become a serious issue, especially with new participants. For example, failure to make note of a food allergy can result in a hospital visit or worse, making you liable for negligence.
Prior to beginning an activity, carefully review all participant information, and ask for clarification or additional information when appropriate. Make note of participants who may be at a higher level of risk, and keep a close eye on them.
Also bear in mind that participants do not always disclose personal information, and they may be reluctant to share personal medical or other details. In such cases, a date and signature may help reduce your liability if an issue concerning unshared information arises. When collecting completed forms, check to see that they have been signed and appropriately dated.
For a sample Participant Registration Form, click here.
An important part of conducting a fitness-related business is protecting participants from injury or harm while minimizing your liability for mishaps. Learning more about the business side of fitness can help you successfully navigate legal and operational issues to reduce liability and optimize revenue. The W.I.T.S. Fitness Management certification course provides you with everything you need to know about operating a fitness business. You may also enjoy segments from the certification course, listed as continuing education courses, including Programming Essentials for Member Retention, Human Resources and Staffing, Facility Setup and Design, Attracting Club Members and Retaining Club Members.