I want to know what organizations are advocating the most for our profession. I work with Physical Therapists and they have APTA. Here is their leadership: http://www.apta.org/BOD/
In contrast, I look at the ACSM leadership and see: http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/who-we-are/leadership
Am I the only one that sees a difference here? Am I wrong in assuming that very few people in the ACSM organization are, or were, practicing exercise physiologists or fitness professionals? What I am really getting at is what organization(s) are helping out our field when it comes to legislation and advocacy? With all these certifying bodies, it isn’t like we can get them all to work together like APTA.
I think that these questions bring up implications with who we become certified by. Do you want your money going to an organization that may or may not have your best interests in mind? What are your thoughts on this and what good are different organizations doing for our profession?
I have been thinking about your question for some time. You bring up an excellent point when you ask who represents fitness professionals.
Comparing APTA and ACSM is not a fair comparison, though, because those organization have different objectives.
Here is the ACSM mission statement: “The American College of Sports Medicine advances and integrates scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.”
Contrast that to APTA: “The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is an individual membership professional organization representing more than 85,000 member physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy. APTA seeks to improve the health and quality of life of individuals in society by advancing physical therapist practice, education, and research, and by increasing the awareness and understanding of physical therapy’s role in the nation’s health care system.”
APTA also has a Political Action Committee (PAC) which wants to influence legislation pertaining to issues involving physical therapy. ACSM, on the other hand, provides guidelines in the exercise field and does not talk for the fitness industry because they are not representing it.
IDEA is probably the closest thing to APTA but at present there is a different need compared to PTs. The fitness industry is not regulated – for better or worse. On the other hand, many regulations start like a patchwork of different state legislation, sometimes even on the level of municipalities.
For all I can see, quite a few fitness organizations are in for the money. Just look at the proliferation of certifications and specialties. At least some are recognized by NCCA as a standard for certifications. That is a step in the right direction.
I guess, after a lot of rambling and looking at the issue from different sides, I still don’t have an answer. But thanks for opening the discussion on that.