NCCA is the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. It sets standards for professional certifications. This includes personal training programs, but many other things as well. They have certified hundreds of programs of different types in a number of different fields. You can tell if a certification has earned NCCA accreditation by looking at the web site of that company. There will be a seal, but read carefully as there are other seals that look a lot like this one.
Many gyms and other places that hire fitness professionals look for a certification that is NCCA accredited. ACE is, as is ACSM and NASM and quite a few others. This is a nice tool provided by ACE to compare certifications. (It is true ACE has ‘skin in the game’, but so far as I can see the tool is accurate and helpful)
I don’t work as a trainer anymore, but even doing part time group fitness and decades of yoga I have seen that having a well known major certification is very helpful.
As regards PTIA
On their web site they stress their strength is hands on. They do have a good point. Hands on is as important as learning by reading. Personally I have always thought training programs should be different than certifying programs… in other words one wouldn’t sit for a certification in massage therapy until they had gone through a rigorous training, and then the testing would be done by an independent agency. That way there is no conflict of interest or bias toward teaching to the exam. In any case, aside from such philosophical issues it is prudent before taking any certification to look to places where one would wish to work and see what those places want.
I looked at the PTIA web site and I do not see the seal for NCCA.
Here is the IDEAfit info page on this organization. The only thing that I don’t like is that they have one review, with 5 stars, but if you go to the PTIA web page you can see it was written by the person who founded PTIA. I think it would be better not to review one’s own business. But, again, that is my personal opinion.
Here is IDEAs comparison tool, which is also useful.I think there are over a hundred certifying agencies listed here:
You know, there are all kinds of training and certifications. If your friend heard about this one, and feels it would match her needs, but felt that they wanted to work someplace that requires a more nationally recognized NCCA accredited test, such as NASM, or ACSM (these are huge organizations) there is nothing stopping her from taking both. Doing some sort of hands on work is really useful if she hasn’t had a chance to work in the industry yet.
btw, do you enjoy LinkedIn? I created a profile, but have not been able to figure out how to use it well. I started back when one used snail mail and looked things up in the phone book, and while I love the opportunity to connect with the wider fitness world it is still a little intimidating at times.
I hope this helps.