Unfortunately, AFAA has chosen not to participate in iIDEA FitnessConnect. We have about 50 agencies verifying credentials now. (We expect to be working with 130 US and Canadian agencies by the end of the year.)
We talk to executives at certification and training agencies every day. To be fair, their most common question is “what’s the catch?” IDEA FitnessConnect is free (certification and training agencies don’t pay anything either), so what’s in it for IDEA? The answer: We want to raise the bar of professionalism in the industry; we want to increase the value of getting and maintaining certifications and specialty trainings. A big part of what IDEA does is help professionals do this. So we benefit. Certification and training agencies also benefit. Consumers benefit, too. And the professional integrity of the industry goes up.
We hope that AFAA will participate in the future.
P.S. Just to be clear, IDEA uses the accreditations identified by IHRSA as appropriate for fitness certifications. We provide the same special designations for certifications accredited by NCCA, DETC, NBFE, and NFLA.
AFAA is in the process of completing the construction of its own web directory that is in conjunction with the Biggest Loser television show. As such, AFAA certified professionals who have been verified by AFAA and choose to become Biggest Loser Pros, will be able to leverage the power of the show and earn fees from AFAA to conduct online sessions with clients. In addition, the Biggest Loser Pros will be authorized to conduct Biggest Loser Live Training sessions at local clubs and change the lives of millions of people who need help to lose weight safely and effectively.
With respect to the question of accreditation, the following link will take you to a letter posted on the president of AFAA’s blog that will help clarify AFAA’s decision to select the DETC over NCCA — both of which are considered equivalent by IHRSA.