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Planning a Return to Work

CREP Offers Critical Pandemic Guidelines for Exercise Profession

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Overland Park, KS – May 11, 2020 – The Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals® (CREP®) announces the release of "Planning a Return to Work," an essential safety guide for exercise professionals working in fitness facilities after COVID-19 shutdowns.

"With most states relaxing business restrictions over the next few weeks, gyms, fitness centers, and exercise professionals are eager to get back to work" says CREP President Brian Biagioli EdD. "Due to the potential for risk, however, we must move forward wisely. This first-of-its-kind resource supports CREP's goal of protecting and advancing the fitness profession while considering the safety of all stakeholders in the fitness industry."

The guide incorporates health and safety research from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Institute for Heath Metrics and Evaluation. Its key recommendations for health facilities and personnel include the following:

  • Assess spaces to support social distancing requirements
  • Determine areas and equipment that users can access and which will remain off limits
  • Set rules for use of personal protective equipment
  • Prepare an operating plan and train staff on procedures
  • Establish cleaning and sanitization practices and schedules
  • Modify classes and training schedules

"The guidelines in Planning a Return to Work fill a need for authoritative and specific information that is currently lacking from other sources," says CREP Executive Officer Katherine Hughey. "It represents the proactive work of several leading exercise and sports science organizations that will be critical to establishing consumer confidence in our industry as well as our ability to safely serve the physical activity needs of our communities."

Organizations supporting the guide include the American Council on Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Council on Strength and Fitness, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the National Pilates Certification Program, and the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches association.

Biagioli stresses that these are uncharted waters and anticipates this initial version of the guide will evolve in the coming months: "We are still learning about how to deal with the threats posed by COVID-19. Responding to evidence-based data as it is collected, CREP will continue to improve these best practices to ensure safe environments for both employees and participants."

Additional Resources

Practice social distancing by putting space between yourself and others. Continue to practice 

healthy habits to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

    • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
    • Clean and then disinfect frequently used surfaces
    • Stay home if you're sick
    • Avoid touching your face

Learn more about staying safe and healthy at

  • This page is ACE's information hub for our certified professionals and candidates for certification. It includes timely, relevant information to help them navigate this unprecedented time.
  • This blog post outlines important steps for exercise professionals and health coaches to quickly pivot their businesses online, a challenge many ACE Certified Professionals suddenly face.
  • In this blog post, one of the key leaders at ACE, Lauren Shroyer, explains to our exercise professionals and health coaches that they are community leaders, and we need them in this time more than ever. Lauren unpacks some great ideas for maintaining community connection even as we stay apart  
  • ACE COVID-19 Infographic 

Pilates Community Resources

When the Time Comes

NSCA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

NCAA: ICSM for Colleges/Universities Resources: