ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Proposed California Legislation Names ANSI as an Accreditor of Personal Trainer Certification Bodies

New York, Aug 21, 2009

More than ever before, Americans are turning to personal trainers to help them get fit and improve their health and appearance. As a result, the Department of Labor projects the number of fitness workers in the United States to grow more than 25%, to nearly 300,000, by 2016. With so many instructors offering a wide variety of services in gyms, private residences, and recreation centers around the country, reliable certification of personal trainers is increasingly valuable to the millions of citizens looking for help getting in shape safely and effectively.

Many trainers earn voluntary certifications to assure clients of their qualifications. Accreditation by an independent third party enhances the credibility and value of these certifications by attesting to the competence of certifying bodies. When certifiers are accredited, an impartial assessor evaluates the the certification process, determining if the examination is evaluating the identified competencies and enhancing consumer and public confidence in a certification program and the personnel who complete it.

Draft legislation currently under consideration in the California Senate underscores the importance of high quality certification and accreditation programs in its requirements for use of the personal trainer title. Under the terms of Senate Bill (SB) 374, trainers may use the title if they are certified by an organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or the U.S. Department of Education. Individuals may also use the title if they hold a qualified bachelor’s degree or are certified by a national independent organization. SB 374, proposed for the state of California by Rep. Ron Calderon, can be viewed here in its entirety.

Organizations that issue personal trainer certifications may apply to ANSI’s Personnel Certification Accreditation Program. Launched in 2003, the internationally recognized program assesses organizations against the International Standard ISO/IEC 17024, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification Systems of Persons.

“In its first six years, ANSI’s accreditation program has already accredited 27 personnel certification bodies and has another 20 in the process of being accredited,” said Dr. Roy Swift, ANSI senior director, personnel credentialing accreditation programs. “We are proud to be included by the State of California in this draft legislation and recognized as a provider of high quality accreditation services.”

For more information on ANSI’s Personnel Certification Accreditation Program, visit the Institute’s accreditation services page.

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