I am currently taking the Precision Nutrition Certification and I am finding that I like the layout of the information, testing structure and the general nutritional information that they present. The program is taking me more than just a weekend to complete. It is taking me a few months. Will this make me a nutritionist? Absolutely NOT! Precision Nutrition teaches us to refer to a medical professional whenever it is needed. Since exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, it is great to have a basic nutrition knowledge base as a group ex professional and a trainer.
That being said, I think that it has sparked an interest for me to take more nutrition courses and find out more about how and what my clients are eating. The program has also encouraged me to venture out of the fitness field and find more coaching resources to inspire and guide my clients. I do not think that I will be putting the PN credential after my name, however, the cert is making me a more educated trainer and that is one of the reasons that we take CECs, right?
Precision Nutrition is a Coaching certification, not aimed at being a nutritionist, or RD. It is extremely well known, as mentioned above about their marketing tactics. I can not speak to the other certifications, however I assume that the ACE is a good one as well as ISSA, and a few other accredited ones.
None of us here can do anything but give an opinion on the course we went through, everything else is just speculative opinion without experience to back it up.
With that being said, the PN Level 1 Cert goes pretty deep into the biology side of things. You will learn things you think are way too granular for you as a coach or trainer trying to give sound nutrition advice. However having that information allows you to have a better understanding of the practical information supplied as well. One of the benefits of the PN course is that they go into a bit of change psychology which is a big deal in adherence to any program. Especially for those who already admit that they have problems with staying motivated and on track.
As far as using the PN Cert to get a job, with it not being accredited that may not help you get a job. However Precision Nutrition is quite well known and would still be seen as a plus anywhere a trainer, or nutrition coach might be needed.
In the end, I think most people who go the PN route are trainers or online coaches, and not people trying to become Nutrition professionals / dieticians, same with ACE or IIN. So in that aspect it is really the public opinion that is going to matter. If you have people who love Precision Nutrition they will be all over it. If you have people who love ACE they will be all over that. Bottom line none of these 3 give anyone the legal right to prescribe meal plans. That is the job of a Nutritionist or RD. So having any of them does not benefit you, should benefit you as a trainer or nutrition coach considering all 3 are relatively popular.
If you want to be a true nutrition professional then get a degree.