By: Gina Cortese Shipley, M.S.
It is common knowledge that exercise plays a vital role in healthy living. In recent years, the focus on the adoption of and maintenance of an active lifestyle has grown for a multitude of reasons from preventing chronic disease, to disease management, to lowering of health care spending, to increasing quality and quantity of life, just to name a few. As such, the exercise profession has rapidly evolved in order to meet these growing needs and interests. Despite this, there is still even greater potential for outreach and impact.
With greater attention placed on the profession, there has also been a corresponding increase in the scrutiny of professional qualification standards and a need to accurately identify qualified exercise professionals. All of the above led to the formation of The Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals® (CREP®), a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) corporation dedicated to securing recognition of registered exercise professionals for their distinct roles in medical, health, fitness and sports performance fields. Coalition members are committed to:
- Advancing the fitness profession.
- Securing the recognition among consumers, other allied health professionals, and policymakers of the exercise professionals' leadership and expertise in the design and delivery of physical activity and exercise programs which improve the health, fitness and athletic performance of the public.
- Providing individuals of all ages and abilities with resources and leadership to assist in safely and effectively reaching their goals of achieving more active, healthy lifestyles through movement, physical activity or exercise for recreation or performance.
In order to achieve the above, CREP has focused its efforts in a few key ways, one of which has been the creation of the U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals or USREPS. USREPS identifies those professionals who have passed (and who maintain) a competency-based program using an exercise certification exam that has been accredited by the NCCA. It is the intention of CREP to support and further the industry by having USREPS:
- Serve as the primary resource for the verification of current NCCA-accredited exercise professional certifications by employers, referring professionals, consumers, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders.
- Provide global recognition for those exercise professionals who are interested in seeking employment opportunities in other countries where registration is required by employers or government by establishing global registry recognition.
- Identify to the world those individuals who have met the requirements for registry in the United States and maintain good standing with those requirements.
As you can see, CREP is truly trying to make a difference in the lives of professionals and the public alike. But USREPS isn't the only way we are making a difference. Check back next month to learn more about our other efforts!