Medical exercise training is growing rapidly and with its growth we hear the words – accreditation, certification and licensure mentioned but is the fitness industry clear on the meaning of these terms and their appropriate usage.
Accreditation is important but it cannot be used to gain creditability. When 3rd parties, without subject matter expertise, provide accreditation for a new profession, this at best is questionable. The major accrediting body used by the fitness industry reviews the exam process rather than the tested subject matter and its application related to the role, scope, responsibilities and skills expected of the professional.
Certification is just the beginning, not the ultimate in the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Finally, licensure is down the road. Understand licensure is a means of protecting the public and establishing a professional standard. There are many things medical exercise professionals must accomplish before licensure. We must clearly understand each of these as we move forward as a profession.