What my school taught me is drastically different from what my certifications taught me. School was about exercise science (what is best for clients). Certifications taught me about trends (what clients may want). Should certifications be evidence based or trend based? How do we reconcile what is best for clients with what they may want?
Your question is a bit confusing to me. Is your question pertaining to education or certification.
I am of the opinion that a certification or course is valueless if it does not:
1. Increase one’s knowledge base.
2. If it is not evidence-based
3. If it lacks a theoretical foundation.
If a course, whether it is a certification or not does not follow the above criteria for me, then I will not spend my money on it.
I hope this is insightful.
Thanks. Well, both in a way. Is a certification not education?
I’m mostly asking about your #2. Nearly every PT certification lacks a LOT in the way of a base of evidence. They seem to be more trend based.
Is that what trainers prefer and think it (certification) should be comprised of?
Or should they be more evidence/science based (college education in exercise science)?
“Is a certification not education?”
My answer is no it is not. A certification is a tool to measure and recognize competency in a particular area. A certification, then is more like a degree in what it stands for.
Unfortunately in certifications, as in educational institutions, there are a range of rigor. There is money to be made in giving a certification, and there will always be people who will want the fastest, or cheapest route, rather than the most rigorous. But I think if one sifts through the options there are many that are not trend based, but based on solid understanding of research and principles. I hold ACE in group fit and used to hold it in PT. I have been reading the new book, as I am considering sitting for it again, and I am impressed by what fifteen or twenty years have done: I think it is a good measure of an understanding not just of the relatively narrow area of sets and reps, but really presenting from beginning to end how to understand and practice this craft.
As far as keeping up with current research, that is the role of continuing education. A certification is more about principles and practices based on an avalanche of research and clinical experience. That is one reason I read IDEA Today each month, and I keep track of research bubbling into the mainstream, and continue to take continuing ed. classes, even when they do not add to my required CEs.
Anyway, that is what I think…. I am sure there are others who will have a different take on it.
I would probably disagree a little. Many take a certification in lieu of something like a degree. Many certifications are taught as a course. If someone were to forego a degree and only take a certification, where does the education take place if the certification is only the measure of competency? I’d suggest both offer an educational experience to some degree or another.
And I agree ACE has gotten better over time in some respects. But, that brings up my point perfectly.
For example, stability ball training is something heavily taught. But, yet, here is much of the published research showing that it is no different or LESS effective than more standard exercise platforms. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=link&linkname=pubmed_pubmed&uid=1…
It seems they, and most organizations, are teaching to a trend rather than being aware of the actual research or basing recommendations and courses off of existing evidence.
I would argue they are not mutually exclusive. Some people gain competency through lots of workshops, some through university level education, some through self study. The certification does not comment on where they learned what they learned, but simply that they learned it. A person with a university degree may determine they will not also sit for the certification. Getting work may not require it as those who hire often will take one or the other. Someone who has learned from an alternate source may take the certification to show their level of competence. Some do both.
Someone may get a degree from a university and can put the letters that refer to the degree after their name. Some take a certification that allows them to refer to themselves as, for example “ACSM certified”. Each supposes a certain level of understanding of the subject matter, though of course, just as certifications differ in rigor so do educational programs.
The point of the NCCA is to address the rigor of certification programs. They do not do so with educational programs, though other agencies do so. In yoga we use the registry, which is run by the yoga alliance. They do not certify or train anyone, they merely vet that programs that claim to certify or train meet certain standards.
Most certification programs exist to make sure the trainer has the understanding of the tools of his or her trade, but current research, such as the research on stability ball training is the purview of continuing education.