Olathe, KS (PRWEB) February 25, 2014
Fitness facilities, healthcare providers, health advocacy organizations, insurers, and consumers can now identify fitness professionals in their local communities who are certified by the most respected, reputable organizations in the field. With the all-new U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals (USREPS), launched today, those who seek to hire, work with, or refer to a qualified, certified exercise professional can easily search, find, and verify all of his or her credentials in real time.
The introduction of the USREPS registry is the first move by the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP, pronounced C Rep). CREP is comprised of exercise certification organizations in the U.S. that have programs which are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the recognized standard in the U.S. for the assessment of professional competence.
“Today is a big step towards the inevitable inclusion of highly qualified exercise professionals into the healthcare continuum,” said Graham Melstrand, CREP Board of Directors President. “Recognition of exercise professionals as health providers is a logical progression due to their unique expertise in the areas of disease prevention and wellness promotion. Until now, truly capable professionals have been inhibited by concerns regarding the qualifications of individuals representing themselves as exercise professionals, and the lack of an easily accessible mechanism to identify and verify professionals with current NCCA-accredited certification programs. That barrier is gone, which we expect will help exercise professionals gain the respect and recognition they deserve.”
The CREP organization, a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation headquartered in Olathe, KS, will maintain USREPS and advocate on behalf of exercise professionals that hold current, NCCA-accredited certifications and the stakeholders of the profession. Current member organizations of CREP include:
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- Cooper Institute (CI)
- National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
- National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)
USREPS provides the best opportunity to establish a regulatory standard that recognizes exercise professionals as health providers. “We believe registered exercise professionals will not only continue to change lives in fitness setting, but see increasing opportunities to be providers of prevention and wellness services in the healthcare context as they are the most qualified to serve these roles,” said Richard Cotton, CREP Board of Directors Vice President.
USREPS provides verification of an individual’s credentials and ensures ongoing competence related to those credentials through accepted best practices consistent with other allied health professions. This significant resource offers a cost-effective, strategic means for states considering regulation of the exercise professional to establish and verify eligibility for a license or right to practice.
“State legislators who have introduced legislation that would regulate exercise professional roles have challenged us as credentialing organizations to develop an industry solution that would address their concerns around consumer protection. USREPS provides an interface for state regulatory boards to vet qualified candidates for licensure without the added burden of a redundant state examination,” said Brian Biagioli, CREP Board of Directors Treasurer. “It also can be adopted as a statewide standard for states exploring registration of exercise professionals in lieu of licensure.”
Among other benefits of USREPS, membership-based fitness facilities and other organizations that hire exercise professionals now have a single destination where they can easily identify and verify uniformly qualified candidates for hire with certainty as to the accuracy of the information. “USREPS represents a new trusted source where none previously existed.” said Levi Boren, CREP Board of Directors Secretary. “It will now be vastly easier for health clubs and other exercise facilities to utilize exercise professionals who hold a current, NCCA-accredited certification.”
USREPS can be accessed at http://www.USREPS.org. Visitors to USREPS can search for exercise professionals via both first and last name. Each individual’s record includes the NCCA-accredited certification(s) that he or she holds and the duration for which the certification is valid. Visitors to USREPS also can query all NCCA-accredited certified exercise professionals in their local area, such as by ZIP code or state.