First off, I didn’t write that I thought certifications were not worth it. I just believe that the term and practice of certification is not regulated in such a way that credibility is guaranteed. Moreover, I don’t believe education, per se, is necessarily better (there are many idiots with a BA). However, on the side of education, it takes several years of work, scrutiny, and relatively high standards to attain a Master’s or PhD; that said, I know many trainers with a Master’s or PhD who can’t string a sentence together in a social setting (never mind trying to help somebody learn to do a proper squat).
My beef is two fold:
1) with the less reputable (if at all) organizations that offer certifications with questionable content and participation. These are typically done online and/or only one-day with weak content; this is not to be confused with very good things we can do online (distance education with Human Kinetics, for example), or even a one-day seminar or workshop hosted by a strong, experienced, and professional presenter.
2) If you want to be regarded as a professional trainer, then please be responsible how the information and experience you’ve gained is used and presented; it’s one thing (and valid) to say you have experience with whatever after attending a one-day seminar, it’s quite another to position yourself as an expert.
I think this all boils down to personal and professional integrity: Rattle off all your accomplishments if you want. Be more reserved if it suits you better: whisper, shout, put up a billboard, take out a newspaper ad, do whatever you want to trumpet what an awesome trainer you are! Just be damn sure it is honest, true, and with at least a shred of conscience and concern for the people you are trying to attract.
Does this clarify my opinion Lisa, or have I dug myself into a hole?
Let me know:)