ACSM Announces New Certification for Personal Trainers

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is adding a personal trainer certification to its existing product line, which includes the ACSM health/fitness instructor, ACSM exercise specialist and ACSM registered clinical exercise physiologist certifications.

ACSM’s objective in offering the new personal trainer certification, according to Mike Niederpruem, national director of certification and registry programs, is to make an impact in the fight against obesity. “When you factor in the interaction personal trainers have with the general public and the potential influence they have, it’s an opportunity we couldn’t afford to pass up.”

The new exam and credential require that an individual be 18 years or older, have a high-school diploma or equivalent and hold a current adult CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification. Although not required, a strong working knowledge of exercise science principles is expected in a person seeking the new certification, Niederpruem said.

“We are in tune with personal trainers’ abilities to practice with respect to what they’re capable and not
capable of doing in the continuum of health care,” he added. “We don’t want to create a personal trainer who is a jack-of-all-trades, but rather one who operates within [his or her] scope of practice and knows when to refer to outside healthcare professionals.”

ACSM expects to launch this certification on December 1, 2004. Registration is tentatively scheduled for October 1.