Among the most dramatic trends over the past decade has been the growth of the personal fitness trainer profession and the diversification of services provided. Yet, as the demand for trainers grows, and as more fitness professionals enter the training field, there remains no single, standard qualification or certification required for a person to practice as a personal trainer.
In response to this situation, the IDEA Health & Fitness Association has launched the IDEA Personal Fitness Trainer (PFT) Recognition System. Working with members of our Personal Trainer Member Committee, which is made up of leading trainers from the United States and Canada, IDEA has created a recognition system with four levels of professional achievement. This program serves as a needed and unbiased guide for consumers looking for qualified trainers—and for trainers seeking a credible and effective career path.
Already, well over 1,000 personal trainers have applied to be part of the IDEA-PFT Recognition System. As the number of participants has increased during the past few months, an interesting phenomenon has developed: Fitness facility managers and owners are having their entire personal training staff submit applications to obtain this new credential. Among the businesses included so far are Westerville Athletic Club in Ohio, Northwest Personal Training in Washington, Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet and Fitness Club in Illinois, and a number of major YMCAs. These facilities, all of which have large personal training programs, are discovering that the IDEA-PFT Recognition System can be a powerful marketing tool for attracting new clients.
The IDEA-PFT Recognition System is a sound way to generate new business. Facilities also are using the program as a hiring tool to qualify candidates for personal trainer openings. Employing trainers who are recognized by this new industry standard sends a clear message to consumers: You will be working with the most skilled and experienced professionals who are serious about helping people meet their health and fitness goals. Over the next several months, IDEA will continue to emphasize the importance of the PFT Recognition System to the fitness industry while also bringing it to the attention of consumers.
Fitness facility managers and owners should consider using this professional tool with their staff. It brings needed credibility to the personal training profession.