Top Fitness Certification Organizations Launch Registry to Aid Recognition of Exercise Professionals as Health Providers
New searchable database easily connects reputably certified exercise professionals with those who seek their services
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In its first major move to advance exercise professionals as health providers, an all-new coalition of the nation’s top fitness certification organizations launched its U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals (USREPS) today. Now, fitness facilities, healthcare providers, health advocacy organizations, insurers and consumers can identify and verify qualified fitness professionals in their local communities using the nation’s first searchable database of those certified by the most respected, reputable organizations in the field.
“It will now be vastly easier for health clubs and other exercise facilities to utilize exercise professionals who hold a current, NCCA-accredited certification.”
The introduction of the USREPS registry is the product of the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP, pronounced C Rep). CREP is comprised of exercise certification organizations in the United States that offer certification programs accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the recognized standard in the United States for validating the assessment of professional competence.
“Today is a big step toward the inevitable inclusion of highly qualified exercise professionals into the healthcare continuum,” said Graham Melstrand, CREP Board of Directors president, who said the move is a logical progression due to the unique expertise fitness professionals have in prevention and wellness intervention. “Until now, capable professionals have been inhibited by concerns regarding the qualifications of individuals representing themselves as exercise professionals, and the lack of an easily, accessible mechanism to identify and verify professionals with current certification from an NCCA-accredited exercise program. That barrier is gone, which we expect will help exercise professionals gain the respect and recognition they deserve.”
The CREP organization, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation headquartered in Olathe, Kan., will maintain USREPS and advocate on behalf of exercise professionals who hold current, NCCA-accredited exercise certifications and those who support them. Current member organizations of CREP include:
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- The Cooper Institute (CI)
- National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
- National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)
USREPS provides the best opportunity to establish a regulatory standard that recognizes exercise professionals as health providers. “We believe registered exercise professionals will continue to change lives in fitness settings and see increasing opportunities to provide prevention and wellness services in the healthcare context as they are the most qualified to serve these roles,” Melstrand said.
The USREPS registry provides assurance of the validity of an individual’s credentials and ensures ongoing competence related to those credentials through accepted best practices consistent with other allied health professions. This significant resource offers a cost-effective, strategic means for states considering regulation of the exercise professional to establish and verify eligibility for a license or right to practice.
“State legislators who have introduced legislation that would regulate exercise professional roles have challenged us as credentialing organizations to develop an industry solution to address their concerns around consumer protection. USREPS provides an interface for state regulatory boards to vet qualified candidates for licensure without the added burden of a redundant state examination,” Melstrand said. “States could also adopt it as a statewide standard for registration of exercise professionals.”
Among other benefits of USREPS, membership-based fitness facilities and other organizations that hire exercise professionals now have a single destination to easily verify uniformly qualified candidates. “USREPS represents a trusted source where none previously existed,” Melstrand said. “It will now be vastly easier for health clubs and other exercise facilities to utilize exercise professionals who hold a current, NCCA-accredited certification.”
USREPS can be accessed at www.USREPS.org. Visitors to USREPS can search for exercise professionals via both first and last name. Each individual’s record includes the NCCA-accredited certification(s) that he or she holds and the duration for which the certification is valid. Visitors to USREPS also can query all NCCA-accredited certified exercise professionals in their local area by ZIP code or state.
Mission: To secure recognition of registered exercise professionals as health providers, in order to make structured physical activity accessible and safe for all.