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?
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.