Comprehensive Course

The Polestar Comprehensive course provides a unique environment for licensed and certified Rehabilitation Professionals to receive in-depth instruction in Pilates rehabilitation principles, teaching techniques, self-mastery and practice, and for Fitness Leaders & Pilates enthusiasts to become a certified Pilates Studio teacher.

Course Description

Comprehensive Studio & Rehab Series – The Polestar Comprehensive course provides a unique environment for licensed and certified Rehabilitation Professionals to receive in-depth instruction in Pilates rehabilitation principles, teaching techniques, self-mastery and practice, and for Fitness Leaders & Pilates enthusiasts to become a certified Pilates Studio teacher.

Master over 130 Pilates exercises across a full spectrum of apparatuses, including Reformer, Trapeze Table, Chair, Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector and props. By learning a comprehensive repertoire of movement techniques, you can continuously provide and refresh your clients with goal-oriented movement experiences.

The hybrid course consists of online learning modules followed by in-person labs and virtual discussions that allow you to evaluate the practical applications of Pilates exercises, develop assessment techniques, understand movement sequences, and modify exercises and programs for individuals. Completion of the Polestar Pilates Comprehensive Program qualifies you to sit for the Certification exam.

Each student will receive comprehensive didactic and theoretical review and practical training using a clinical reasoning approach; instruction in teaching techniques, Pilates exercise benefits, self mastery and practice is all included.

Polestar has been the leader for more than 30 years in the field of Pilates rehabilitation. The Polestar Pilates didactic curriculum has earned the reputation world wide as the most scientifically-based Pilates curriculum available, taking Pilates education to a new pinnacle, consisting of formal lecture, reading assignments, research literature review, and writing assignments.

Polestar Education is best known for its “critical thinking” model and original design of the Polestar Fitness Screening, Polestar Health Model and use of problem solving rehabilitation assessment tools.

Who is this course for

This course is intended for:

Fitness instructors, rehabilitation practitioners and other movement teachers (eg yoga, dance) who wish to teach Pilates using all of the apparatus found in a typical equipment studio.

The course has additional information for physical therapists and medical professionals who wish to incorporate Pilates into their clinical practice.


  • Completion of Polestar Principles Online (PO) – see below
  • To qualify for the Rehabilitation diploma, you must be a licensed or certified health care professional (MD, PT, OT, DO, DC, RN, and/or Bach. Sp Sc. / Hum Movt. and/or Bach Applied Science)
  • All other applicants qualify for the Studio diploma.
  • If you need to refresh your anatomy and physiology knowledge, please click here for details of how we can help.
  • Participation in 25 hours of group or private Pilates classes

The Polestar Pilates Comprehensive Course consists of a combination of online pre-recorded lectures, quizzes, in-person Labs, live virtual sessions, mentorships and check-offs (see below).

Course Components

The course is composed of these 7 major components that need to be completed in the following sequence: Polestar PO (Principles Online), S/R-1, S/R-2, S/R-3, S/R-4, S/R-5, S/R-6, followed by the Exam.

Whilst attending the Comprehensive course, or once completed, students can also attend optional Continuing Education courses, Workshops and Masterclasses, examples of which can be found here.

Comprehensive Course Flow Chart

PO – Principals Online – in your own time

The first course to be completed prior to attending the first on-site Lab S/R-1 is the Principles Online (PO) course. This non-apparatus course applies current research in movement science, biomechanics, kinesiology and motor learning to instructional practice through six basic movement principles that are utilised throughout the Polestar curriculum.

The PO course also introduces Polestar Pilates Screening, which includes postural evaluation and functional testing, to prepare participants to properly design and implement Pilates exercises for patients and clients. This unique component significantly enhances decision making skills as a Pilates practitioner.

The online course is divided into 8 segments which take approx. 10 hours to complete. Please note that these segments can be completed in multiple sittings and watched several times for optimal learning:

  • Introduction
  • Principle 1: Breathing
  • Principle 2: Axial Elongation & Core Control
  • Principle 3: Spine Articulation
  • Principle 4: Organization of the Head, Neck, and Shoulders
  • Principle 5: Alignment & Weight Bearing of the Extremities
  • Principle 6: Movement Integration
  • Principles: Additional Resources

Short quizzes are offered throughout to identify the most important concepts and to help students organise their thoughts and study time.

Upon completion you will be able to:

  • Deepen your knowledge in current evidence-based research pertaining to movement science, motor learning, bioenergetics and communication
  • Understand the Polestar Principles of Movement
  • Demonstrate the ability to correctly execute and teach over 130 exercises and their variations
  • Be able to use the ICF Model or the Polestar Screening, specifically designed for the movement professional, which includes postural evaluation and functional testing to determine your clients’ strengths, weaknesses and goals

Please note that for those participants undertaking more than one Polestar Series course, it is only required to complete PO ONE time. So if for example, you want to complete the Polestar Comprehensive Series after you have completed the Mat Series, you do not have to redo PO.

Once payment has been received, access will be provided to the PO online resources.

S/R-1 thru S/R-6: Levels 1-6 (includes 6x on-site Labs)

After the Principles Online course (PO), the Comprehensive Series continue with six course modules scheduled approximately one month apart. The time between courses allows you to practice and become comfortable with the material before continuing to the next course. Each on-site, in-person Lab is usually held on a Saturday and/or Sunday.

At the in-person Lab (beginning with S/R-2) there is a self-mastery check-off session with your instructor where you show the course instructor the practice log book, and get passed off on your mastery of the exercises by demonstrating and teaching them.

For certification, you will be required to complete at your own expense, the required reading and writing assignments, 40 hours of observation, 100 hours of self mastery practice and 100 hours of apprentice teaching.

You will learn the practical skills needed to become proficient with the assessment techniques, movement sequences and the application of principles learned in PO. The movement selections focus on early intervention and beginning through intermediate exercises on Pilates equipment, including Trapeze Table, Reformer, Chair, Ladder Barrel, mat and small props. Additionally, you will learn:


  • Cueing and movement facilitation
  • Adjustment of equipment for patient safety and instructor efficiency
  • Movement sequences for treatment of specific lesions
  • Progression of movement following an injury
  • Indications and contraindications for exercise selection
  • Integration of manual mobilization skills and Pilates movement (appropriate to your scope of practice)
  • To create treatment plans through use of case studies

Online Lectures

Polestar has incorporated thorough online learning for students to assimilate the didactic material at their own pace. These lectures are divided into four categories:

  • Special Topics: These lectures cover teaching topics that include tactile cueing, use of imagery when teaching, program design and sequencing, neurolinguistic techniques for improved client outcomes, energy medicine and common pathologies and their precautions.
  • Assessment Tools: These lectures teach the application of the Polestar Assessment tool to prepare client centered sessions.
  • Exercise Demonstrations: These videos show the repertoire performed in their full expression.
  • Exercise Teaching: These lectures show the nuances of setup and teaching for each exercise in the repertoire. Special attention is given to modifications, precautions, common mistakes and their corrections

In-person Labs

During the Comprehensive program, these labs are typically held monthly with individualised attention from the local Educator(s). During these labs students practice doing and teaching the exercises learned online with in-depth feedback from their local Educator(s).

Live Virtual Sessions

Live virtual sessions are held by the lead Educator on a regular basis and combine multiple cohorts to hold discussions on the material learned both online and in in-person Labs.

These live sessions are in groups of students and offer students the chance to hear feedback from those outside their immediate group, from across the country, or even overseas-based students if appropriate. These sessions also cover live case studies led by the Educator along with homework review.

Mentorship & Check-offs

Mentorship & Check-offs are held regularly with the local Educator. These sessions allow students to get direct feedback on their movement and teaching as they progress through the material taught at the previous modules.

Select exercises will be filmed and submitted to the lead educator to check for competency. These “check-offs” are required prior to sitting for the final exam.

If competencies are not met during these sessions, additional fees may apply to schedule time to check-off missed exercises.

Students will be required to complete practice hours (self-mastery), which are in addition to course fees. Polestar have a national network of New Zealand mentors that can offer assistance with practice and teaching hours: click here for the list of names and locations.

Further information will be given out on the first day of the course.

Online Quizzes

For each module or level, there is an online review quiz that students can take an unlimited amount of times. This allows students to become familiar with the concepts they are expected to understand for the written portion of their final exam.

Assigned Homework

  • Thought Papers: These are graded on a pass/fail basis. To gain a passing grade, the assignment must meet length requirements and demonstrate understanding of the subject material. If it is not sufficient in length or content it will need to be re-written.
  • Readings & Discussions: Each comprehensive module has a set of required readings followed by a group discussion on a topic relating to the reading.
  • Case Studies: The Polestar Screening and ICF model/Nagi Grid are used to create exercise plans which verse students in how to create sound and effective, goal-oriented exercise sessions that progress over time, and prepare the students for the Case Study part of the exam.

Self-mastery (practical)

Self-mastery hours encompass any type of self practice of the Pilates exercises. Students can achieve this by taking group or private sessions at a local host site (at their own cost), taking classes online through Polestar’s online learning portal and through self directed practice of the material at home or during studio practice time.



Observation can be done at any local studio, though observation of a Polestar instructor is preferred. Polestar provides online class recordings that can be watched for observation hours. Observing Polestar instructors on Pilates Anytime is also a valid form of observation hours.

Apprentice Teaching

Apprentice teaching consists of both self directed practice teaching of friends and family (a certain number of which sessions are filmed and shared with the lead virtual Educator for feedback), and practice teaching during mentorship sessions with the local Educator for real time feedback.

Comprehensive Certification

Certification involves completing the series, completion of assignments and short quizzes, as well as a number of hours of observations, self-mastery, assistant teaching, and practical teaching (as outlined below). Full certification is given once the final written and practical exam is passed – pass mark is 80%.

Pre-CourseOnline Lectures (PO)LecturesObservationPractice (Self-Mastery)Apprentice TeachingAssigned HomeworkExercise Check-Offs
25 Hrs10100401001005025

NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) recognised

Upon successful completion graduates will gain a total of 20 CPD points.

NZ Register of Exercise Professionals REPs

Text Books

As part of the training students will be required to purchase the following course textbooks (additional to course fees):

  • Anatomy of Movement , Blandine Calais-Germain: Eastland Press 1993
  • The Complete Writings of Joseph H Pilates (Return To Life & Your Health) , Joseph Pilates: Bain Bridge Books
  • Dynamic Alignment through Imagery, Eric Franklin : Human Kinetics 1996
  • Energy Medicine, The Scientific Basis, James L. Oschman: Churchill Livingstone, 2000 Chapters 1-4, 15

Polestar may have copies of these books available from head office in Auckland – please enquire by clicking here

Locations & Course Dates

LocationCourse POS/R-1S/R-2S/R-3S/R-4S/R-5S/R-6
AUCKLAND CBD - 2024Comprehensive Series4 & 5 May '2415 & 16 June '243 & 4 August '2414 & 15 Sept '242 & 3 Nov '24
AUCKLAND CBD - 2025Comprehensive SeriesT.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025
WELLINGTON - 2024Comprehensive Series18 & 19 May '2422 & 23 June '2427 & 28 July '247 & 8 Sept '2419 & 20 Oct '24
OTHER NZ LOCATION(S) - 2025Comprehensive SeriesT.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025T.B.C. for 2025

PLEASE NOTE: It’s very important to register well ahead of time, because you need to complete the online theory portion of the course prior to attending in-person weekend. Don’t hesitate and register now!

Course Fees

Course fees include attendance at lectures, student manuals and handouts, morning and afternoon teas, as well as GST. Students are responsible for all personal extras, such as travel and accommodation and personal supplies and lunch during the course dates.

Please note that an automatic credit card surcharge of 3% gets added when you pay via Visa or Mastercard. This fee will be added to your invoice & receipt.

If you have completed any of our other training courses with Polestar NZ you are entitled to an additional discount. Please contact us for the details.

Location:Normal Package PriceEarly Bird PriceEarly Bird Saving
Auckland & Wellington Comprehensive Full Series$6,995*$6,645**$350**

* Normal Package Price – post Early Bird date

** Early Bird Price – if registered and paid in full by 1 February 2024

Should you require a payment option other than credit card, please contact us by clicking here

Exam Fees are not included in the Course Fees

IMPORTANT: The following options exist to pay for your Polestar course(s):

1. Pay the registration fee in full, and make use of the Early Bird discount (provided you’ve paid prior to the Early Bird expiry date)

    • Click one of the yellow banners above to register and pay via credit card – for which you will get charged a credit card fee
    • To avoid paying the credit card fee, internet transfer the full amount into the Polestar account 030104 0440078 00 (Westpac). Please note to add your name as a reference, otherwise we may not recognise your payment!

2. Use the Payment Plan, outlined below, and pay the fee over a period of time. This is a slightly more expensive option, but helps when you need to spread out the payments.

    • Click one of the yellow banners above to register and pay via Payment Plan. This is only available via credit card.

Please note that an automatic credit card surcharge of 3% gets added when you pay via Visa or Mastercard.

Payment Plans

Polestar Pilates NZ offers two payment plans that allow you to pay for your enrolment over a period of time instead of all at once.

Both plans require a $1,000 deposit and a $100 handling fee. Payment Plan #1 is for 6 months, and Payment Plan #2 is for 12 months.

Payments are due on the 1st of each month and a late payment penalty or credit card decline penalty of $50 will be applied. For the Comprehensive Series, the following payment options are available:

Payment Plan #1 – over 6 months

LocationNormal Price (including handling fee)Deposit *Month 1Month 2Month 3Month 4Month 5Month 6
Auckland - Comprehensive Full Series$7,095$1000$1,015$1,015$1,015$1,015$1,015$1,020
Wellington - Comprehensive Full Series$7,095$1000$1,015$1,015$1,015$1,015$1,015$1,020

Payment Plan #2 – over 12 months

LocationPrice (including handling fee)Deposit *Month 1Month 2Month 3Month 4Month 5Month 6
Auckland and/or Wellington - Comprehensive Full Series$7,540$1000$545$545$545$545$545$545

* Deposit of $1,000 is required at the time of registration

Please note that an automatic credit card surcharge of 3% gets added when you pay via Visa or Mastercard


The Comprehensive Certification exam consists of three parts:

  • A written exam consisting of 50 multiple choice questions (50 points)
  • A case study with written problem solving (50 points)
  • A practical one-on-one demonstration of theoretical knowledge, exercise mastery, movement teaching skills and problem solving skills with an oral defence (50 points)

The written portion of the exam (parts 1 and 2) lasts approximately two hours in total, and part 3 lasts approximately one hour. The entire exam is worth a total of 150 points.

The candidate will need to achieve an 80% pass mark on both written and theory sections of the exam.

The Comprehensive examination tests depth of knowledge, skills and ability to facilitate movement in the Pilates-evolved environment. It is designed to establish an essential level of skill, with emphasis on safety and competence, and evaluates cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains as they pertain to movement analysis, problem solving and treatment planning.

The oral defence addresses theory, adaptations to pathology, contraindications and precautions associated with treatment planning in the Pilates-evolved environment.

Exam Fees of $530 (incl. GST) are not included in the Course Fees. Click here to register for your Rehab Exam, click here for your Studio Exam.

Registration Policies

Please ensure to familiarise yourself with our Registration Policies (incl. Cancellations and Transfers) on this page before you register.

PLEASE NOTE: It’s very important to register well ahead of time, because you need to complete the online theory portion of the course prior to attending in-person weekend. Don’t hesitate and register now!

If you need help with our online registration system, please CLICK HERE.


We would love to hear from you. Please use the form to send your message and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.