Hi Linda. There are several certifications out there that many consider the “gold standard.” However, I’ve found that few trainers will agree on what is “the most preferred” or “best.” I truly think that the best of anything is what we as the practitioner make of the education and skills that we acquire through the certification process, as well as what we do AFTER receiving the certification (e.g. continuing education, research, constantly challenging ourselves and our knowledge base).
Like anything else, the education (or in your question, the certification) that any of us receives is only as good as the person receiving it. There are many wonderful trainers in our industry, and they all come from a variety of backgrounds as well as certifications. My advice to anyone in our industry, keep learning, keep challenging yourself and your knowledge, and make the most of what you’ve learned, no matter which agency issued your certification.
I hope that this helps.
‘most preferred’ may depend a lot on the population that you most likely will be working with. If you interest is in working with frail older adults, then a certification from the NSCA with its focus on athletic performance may not be the best choice even though they may provide a broader base of knowledge.
Having said that, a certification from an organization that is considered the ‘gold standard’ is definitely worth having if only from the perspective of possible employment if that’s what you are seeking.
The organizations that make my short list are ACSM, ACE, NASM and NSCA, but there are more of equal reputation.
The one that helps set you up best for success. That is determined by your demographic you wish to work with, your finances for obtaining the credential, including other things. Look at the different organizations and their requirements (education, prior certification, KSAs,) and determine which one or many are worth your money.
Fuel the Movement,
There’s a lot of good ones out there and a lot not so good. The most important thing is to make sure your certifying organization is NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies) accredited. NCCA evaluates certification organizations for compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. The NCCA helps to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of individual certification programs that assess professional competency.
You can check to see if your organization is NCCA accredited by clicking on this link: http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/NCCAAccreditation/AccreditedCerti…
Good Luck! Tiffiny