Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is Licensure in Your Future?

“The quest for credible education and safe application of exercise programs has been a popular and important topic in the health and fitness industry for years. Because of the growing obesity epidemic, health and fitness professionals need to be well-versed in working with a variety of populations with a variety of health conditions. This requires the health and fitness professional to be qualified to work with this growing population. Traditionally, one would prepare themselves to work with such individuals by taking a CEU course or going through a home study certification. But does this truly prepare the health and fitness professional to work with these (and other) populations? When does the government finally step in and require trainers to go through the same training process as say a Physical Therapist? An Athletic Trainer? This could add immediate credibility to a profession that at times has received a bad rap due to its lack regulation (one time, I certified my dog Barney through one of those “certify-by-mail” organizations you see in the back of fitness magazines). The tide has started to turn with the IHRSA recommendation for certifying organizations to become accredited by a third party accrediting agency. This is a good first step in adding some level of credibility to certifying agencies, but that just accredits the certification exam. It doesn’t accredit the content, how the individual is becoming certified, contact hours, etc... So what if the next step is the government stepping in and mandating that to become a personal trainer, one must obtain a degree in personal training and/or to take a licensure exam to become one? Good? If so, why? Bad? If so, why?”

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