What Is the IHRSA Board of Directors' Position on Personal Trainer Accreditation?

In 2005, the IHRSA Board set a goal to help health club businesses hire qualified personal trainers and ensure consumers felt safe working with these trainers in a health club setting.

After working with many of the fitness industry's leading personal training certification organizations, the board decided that an independent and nationally recognized accreditation for personal training certification programs would be extremely valuable for the industry and the people it employs.

Therefore, the The IHRSA Board of Directors recommends that IHRSA member clubs hire personal trainers holding at least one current certification from a certifying organization/agency that has third-party accreditation of its certification procedures and protocols from an independent, experienced, and nationally recognized accrediting body.

What’s Currently Happening with Personal Trainer Accreditation?

The IHRSA Standards and Membership Review Committee of the IHRSA Board of Directors is reviewing a request to expand IHRSA’s Personal Trainer Guidelines to recognize the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an “acceptable accrediting organization” under the guidelines.

Currently, the Board has identified the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) as acceptable accrediting organizations.

Which Organizations Have Achieved Accreditation Based on the Requirements?

As of this moment, the following personal training organizations have achieved accreditation from an IHRSA-recognized accrediting body:

  • Academy of Applied Personal Training Education (NCCA)
  • Athletics & Fitness Association of America (DEAC)
  • American Council on Exercise (NCCA)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (NCCA)
  • Cooper Institute (NCCA)
  • International Fitness Professionals Association (NCCA)
  • International Sports Sciences Association (DEAC)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NCCA)
  • National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCA)
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCCA)
  • National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NCCA)
  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NCCA)
  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NCCA)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCCA)
  • Training and Wellness Certification Commission (NCCA)
  • United States Career Institute (DEAC)

To be added to the above list, please provide IHRSA with proof 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 organization contingent upon its 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."

Need more information?

Contact IHRSA public policy.