Eigenmann's native Switzerland is an excellent example of what can happen. Health insurers provide subsidies to individuals who pay for a membership to a health club. However, the club must be certified by an independent third party to ensure that they are following established standards.
Standards play a vital role in allowing the health club industry to define its place in the health care market. As Eigenmann puts it, “[The healthcare industry] will not adapt to us, we have to adapt to them.”
CEN communications have echoed Eigenmann's sentiment, adding clubs small and large can benefit from complying, and they believe doing so is vital for the general success of your business.
The Global Impact of CEN Standards
These new standards will replace any previously existing national standards for all member countries of CEN.
Even though CEN standards are voluntary by nature, they are often critical in liability cases. Often, ruling bodies will reference CEN standards while deciding legal and court cases.
Additionally, CEN standards can influence fitness facilities outside of Europe in two ways:
- In the absence of standardization—such as in the United States—judges may consult CEN standards when ruling on liability.
- The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) could use the CEN standards as a model when developing their future standards.
The ISO has international regulatory capabilities that could broaden CEN standards to apply on a global level.
For these reasons, IHRSA actively monitors and attends meetings discussing current and proposed standards on behalf of our European members and the global fitness industry.
Contributing to these organizations lets us ensure the logical and reasonable development of any suggested practices. Staying up-to-date on any changes as they happen allows IHRSA to protect our members in Europe—and globally—from any excessively harsh and severe standards.
The CEN standards are available for purchase.
To learn more about CEN, visit their website. We will continue to update you as more standards are proposed and approved.