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?
Thanks for the feedback Steve. Yep, we can respectfully disagree on this one 🙂 As a former hospital administrator and healthcare attorney, I’ve had a few up-close and personal experiences with reimbursement issues. I can honestly say that ‘guaranteed outcomes’ does NOT even apply to the medical profession. Very little is guaranteed when it comes to health, and certainly not a ‘permanent’ solution to a health problem. I don’t agree that 1 on 1 personal training is not an efficient delivery of services. Our entire healthcare system (we can certainly argue whether that’s a good model – smile) is based on individual care. I know of no instance where a physician or other healthcare professional treats patient in a group (not even in a clinic or ER setting; well ok perhaps at least one – group therapy sessions). If WE are hoping to one day be considered a part of the healthcare system, then we should expect and even demand to be viewed as a viable part of the continuum of care.
If WE only see the valuable services that we provide to our clients as a ‘luxury service’ then how can we EVER expect the lay public, the medical professionals, and the reimbursers to ever treat us any differently.
I believe that if the fitness industry is ever to gain recognition as part of our overall healthcare system, then we cannot treat what we do and offer as some sort of ‘product’ that comes with a 100% guarantee as if we are selling tires or some other fungible good. We are not, we are offering a professional, and very personal service, and until we treat it that way, and expect ourselves to be viewed that way, we will ALWAYS be viewed as a ‘luxury.’
Love the debate, thanks so much for introducing it.
The topic of reimbursement is certainly another completely different debate and could be a lengthy one. For just the purposes of this discussion, I’d like to keep on the topic of fitness organizations. One with our interests in mind might pursue some sort of program that could make reimbursement a possibility. What the actual reimbursement looks like is of little concern until we have an organization strong enough to push it through.
Searching on ACE’s website, I found the Legislative Action Center (http://www.acefitness.org/cp/legislativeac.aspx). Definitely some interesting topics in there, including bills that are currently being considered (https://votervoice.net/ACEFITNESS/Bills). I’m not sure if this is actual legislation that they are trying to push through, or if they are just making people aware of it. In either case, it is an excellent idea.
After looking through a lot of the organizations, ACE seems to be doing the most in terms of recognition for our field. I would love if someone could change my mind about ACSM because I believe that the they have a better certification system in place, with certain certifications that are only obtainable with a degree in the field. That being said, it seems like most, if not all, of the decision makers are professors or doctors. I have yet to find any other professional organization that does not have a high percentage of their board being made up of professionals of that field.
To me, the ideal fitness organization would:
– Represent and advocate for fitness professionals, especially in areas of improving the respect for the profession. Be involved in legislation that will lead to growth of our profession.
– Provide certifications for a variety of levels and different scopes of practice. This might be one place where ACE fails. Their high level certification only requires 300 hours of experience (healthy or high-risk individuals) and has not requirements regarding education. I think “Advanced” certification should require actual experience with high-risk individuals. The higher end certifications should really be more like an online class too and should be difficult. Everyone wants to have the highest end certifications, but you should have to earn them.
– Provide high quality continuing education. Not too much fluff. I think there is a void for practical science. Currently, we either have detailed science presentations with no practical applications, or fun and games without any understanding or basis for what we are actually doing.
– Provide support for small businesses. Often times new business owners need to be advised regarding liability, start-up costs, hiring employees, and more.
Would love to hear other opinions,
This is the million dollar question in our industry
The truth of the matter is that nobody is looking out for our best interests.
This is a self driven profession
ACSM has done what all others have done, they have realized they can make a ton of money by offering certifications/cec’s etc to fitness pros
We are not regulated or licensed.
Until those two aspects get changed nothing else will change.
/Agree with above posts.
I’d say that none of the certifying bodies have our interests in mind. They are businesses, and profit is usually a driving force. For example- I’ve been hearing/seeing ads for starting salaries of personal trainers. If there are any trainers making salaries like that, I have yet to meet one.
As for insurance companies paying for PT, I see it in the future but it’ll be messy. People usually don’t enjoy working out. I still get clients who pay for several months in advance and stop showing up half way though.
Insurance companies already pay for gym memberships, and it’s not the prettiest thing. When a membership should start at 29.99-60+ a month, insurance companies may pay 3.50 for each visit and max at 30.00 a month. Very few people will show to your gym 10+ times a month.
After reading each of the responses I’d have to agree with Susan most- it really comes down to how much YOU put into yourself.