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Friday
Aug152014

Personal Trainer Accreditation

How do you know if a trainer's certification has adequately prepared him or her for the job? Moreover, how do you know if their certification is from a real company?

In 2002, IHRSA began working with some of the fitness industry's leading personal training certification groups on an initiative to help answer these questions and promote safety for consumers working with personal trainers in health clubs. 

One important outcome of those meetings was a determination of the value of an independent and nationally recognized accreditation for personal training certification programs.

Accordingly, in 2005, IHRSA's Board of Directors released the following recommendation for the association's member clubs: 

Whereas, given the increasing importance of personal training in health, fitness and sports clubs, IHRSA recommends that (as of Jan. 1, 2006) member clubs hire personal trainers holding at least one current certification from a certifying organization/agency that has begun third-party accreditation of its certification procedures and protocols from an independent, experienced, and nationally recognized accrediting body.

When the recommendation was first issued, the IHRSA board identified the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) as being an acceptable accrediting organization.

At that time, the IHRSA board also stated that IHRSA will recognize other, equivalent accrediting organizations contingent upon their status as an established accreditation body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and/or the United States Department of Education for the purposes of providing independent, third-party accreditation. Accordingly, the Board has since recognized the Distance Education Training Council as an accrediting organization of education institutions.

IHRSA is aware of the following personal training organizations that have achieved accreditation from an IHRSA-recognized accrediting body:

  • Academy of Applied Personal Training Education (NCCA Accredited)
  • Aerobics & Fitness Association of America (Accredited by the Distance Education Training Council "DETC")
  • American Council on Exercise (NCCA Accredited)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (NCCA Accredited)
  • Cooper Institute (NCCA Accredited)
  • International Fitness Professionals Association (NCCA Accredited)
  • International Sports Sciences Association (DETC Accredited)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NCCA Accredited)
  • National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCA Accredited)
  • National Council of Strength and Fitness (NCCA Accredited)
  • National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NCCA Accredited)
  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NCCA Accredited)
  • National Federation of Personal Trainers (NCCA Accredited)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCCA Accredited)
  • Training and Wellness Certification Commission (NCCA Accredited)
  • World Instructor Training Schools (NCCA Accredited)
  • United States Career Institute (DETC Accredited)

To be added to the above list, please provide IHRSA with proof directly from the third party that your organization has "third-party accreditation of your certification procedures and protocols. Third party certification must be from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or another, equivalent accrediting organizations contingent upon their status as an established accreditation body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and/or the United States Department of Education for the purposes of providing independent, third-party accreditation".

Reader Comments (2)

Has this list been updated since it was written?
I am wondering about the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches association (NCCA accredited)
November 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCorey
As an additional qualifier and clarification, W.I.T.S. is the only NCCA Accredited organization that requires and is approved for practical skill competency exams and the standard written exam. No other certification group is approved or requires these needed fitness practical skills. Frankly we built out the extensive infrastructure so trainers can prove to employers that they can perform in the field. Book knowledge is great but long term career success comes with applying that knowledge.
September 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJay DelVecchio

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