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?
“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.