Discussion #2160

Pilates CREP Accreditation

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Graham Melstrand, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Council on Exercise, sits down with Elizabeth Anderson, the executive director of the Pilates Method Alliance, to discuss the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP) and how it will help the Pilates industry.

The mission of CREP, as it relates to the Pilates industry, is to secure recognition of PMA certified Pilates instructors for their distinct roles in the medical, health, fitness, and sports performance fields, which would position Pilates as an accredited profession. All Pilates teachers and prospective Pilates teachers should watch this informative video on potential future changes to the Pilates industry.
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May 15, 2015
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Hi, my name is Elizabeth Anderson and I'm the executive director of the Pele's method alliance. And we are here in San Diego at our 14th annual meeting of the [inaudible] method alliance. And my guest is Graham [inaudible]. Graham is the vice president of corporate affairs for Ace, and he's also the board president for c Rep. And that's what we're here to talk about today. So you're very welcome. Thanks for being here. So can you just tell us what c Rep is?

Sure. So you wrap is the coalition for the registration of exercise professionals? Um, it's a coalition that was formed, um, by a number of pure organizations that offer NCCA accredited, um, fitness certification programs, um, that are inclusive of a broad range of, um, of professionals movement, physical activity, exercise and sports performance. And, um, it's organized as a trade organization. So it's a non-for-profit, it's organized as a C6. And our mission is to advance the profession seeking recognition for the well-qualified exercise professional, uh, as provider of, um, health services that involve physical activity and movement. So when was it formed and who are the members of Syrup? Sure. Um, we were incorporated a year ago March and we went live, um, with our, our website and became active as a coalition in March of 2014.

Um, the member organizations, there are seven currently, um, with a number of additional ones we hope to bring on for 2015, um, American Council on exercise, American College of Sports Medicine, National Council for strength and fitness, um, Cooper Institute, um, Nita pilates method alliance and national strength and conditioning association. So of all those seven organizations, the PMA is the only one that deals with Pele's. So is that right? And the other ones, what w how would you describe the range of certifications that, that encompass the other six organization? Well, um, most of them are in, in, in the fitness realm, um, but across a number of, um, of organizational heritage's. I guess when you look at a CSM, for instance, they, their historic roots are in cardio and Pulmonary Rehab. Um, national strength and conditioning association. Um, it's primarily focused in the area of sports performance. And, um, the remaining organizations are focused around, um, around physical activity and exercise programs with their primary credential being in personal training.

What is the requirement to be a member organization and see rep, um, all of the member organizations or prospective member organizations have to offer at least one exercise professional certification that's accredited by the NCCA. And then there are a couple of additional requirements around the continuing education. So if an organization offers a specialty certification, I'm really an advanced qualification for, um, individuals. Those have to be tied to a foundational certification. So, um, they would have to have that certification is a prerequisite for those, um, specialty certifications. And, um, I guess it's important in that that's kind of the common bond that we have. That's the uniform standard to which all of our professionals are assessed for their minimum competence across a variety of exercise professional disciplines.

Okay. So it's all about being accredited by the NCCA, which stands for the National Commission for certifying agencies that that's correct. Um, as part of our mission, um, at the coalition, what we're looking for is, is the respect and recognition that currently other allied health and medical professions enjoy, um, in part, um, because their practitioners are tied to a standard of, uh, of practice, um, and a minimum competence standard. And what we're looking for ideally is that the exercise professional be considered alongside them or in Co-op, or do you have the opportunity to work in cooperation with them based on the confidence and competence, uh, associated with that credential? Uh, it's important to note that the NCCA accredited certification programs serve as the foundation for, uh, for a significant number of licensed professions in allied health care. And so really what we're trying to do is establish a similar level of professionalism for the broader fitness space. Okay. So in the case of [inaudible], it sounds like one of the things that this would achieve is to position Palazzos as a credentialed profession next to other credentialed professions so that our professional identity can be established and understood that that's correct, Dan. It's interesting when you look at it. Um, today for instance, in the context of, of occupations, um, PyLadies teachers right now are not on the Department of Labor's radar and all of the exercise professions are, are really, um, kind of miscategorized if you will, under other personal services, um, rather than in the health category. So part of what we're attempting to do through the coalition's work, um, is to move all of the health and fitness occupations that we represent over to the health category, which most closely resembles the work that, that we do.

And to have those individuals recognized, um, at a high level. Yeah. Well I think that's incredibly important and I think everyone working in this area would agree that it's about health and health care. Well, and I think when you look at, um, at, at the lay of the land today and in the context of how, um, professionals in, in our shared space have been viewed, um, they've really been catering to, um, a relatively small percentage of the overall population. There's about 15% of the population is, is active in participants in structured physical activity programs that are professionally led. Um, and as we move forward in the context of health reform in the enhanced focus on prevention, there's a tremendous opportunity, the connection between the clinic and the community where the exercise professional, um, that that's highly qualified with that accredited credential has the ability to serve as the connection between the clinic and the community.

So translating the information that the physician or the nurses providing around, um, we need you to move more, be more physically active and make better choices around your lifestyle behaviors. Um, for those individuals now that are looking for the leadership and expertise, um, we believe that there's a significant opportunity for, um, professionals that are part of the, the Sea Rett family, if you will, to serve in that capacity. I understand that there's a, an advocacy role for c rep to play. Sure. Um, in, in that really was, was one of the primary purposes for forming the coalition was to give, um, the, the broad range of exercise professionals, a shared voice with policy makers, with um, the government and, and other stakeholders. Um, together the coalition represents well over 150,000 individuals that are, are practicing, which gives us some critical mass on those in what we want is to have a voice for our, um, our shared professionals. Um, and, and a place at the table when the discussions are being held around, you know, who, who is qualified, who should be providing services, um, that are around that physical activity. Um, exercise, leadership and expertise. Okay. So C rep is not proactive in trying to stimulate legislation rather it's about being proactive when legislation is proposed. Is that okay?

That, that's correct. Um, I think everybody is concerned about, um, licensure and regulation in the space. Um, currently there aren't any, um, states that have it in place. Although Washington DC as a municipality is putting a registration process in place. Um, while we're not proactively going out and seeking regulation for the space, we are responding, um, to policy makers that, um, feel that it's important either from a consumer protection standpoint or for positioning the Profession for growth and success. And what we want to make sure is that anything that they put in place is reflective of the best practices that they employ for the regulation of other adjacent health professions like, um, athletic training, occupational therapy, dietetics, um, some of the areas of specialty nursing, um, where it's based on that NCC accredited certification. Um, and then eligible to work criteria, which could include a background check, um, in our space. Um, but there's, there's more to it really then just the, the licensure element. Um, there are, um, other that are interested in expanding their scope of practice to include, um, physical activity, um, program design and delivery. And, and we want to make sure that professionals in, um, in, in the exercise professions have the ability to continue to practice their craft with an appropriate measure of autonomy alongside and in cooperation with those other professions so that we're really not, um, standing over each other's respective scope of practices. Um, further there's an opportunity at the federal level around recognition for the exercise professional as, um, as provider and not a provider in the way that you'd look at a primary care practitioner, but our per provider of services around physical activity and lifestyle behaviors. Um, and then there's also the positioning of the profession. There's a number of, of um, tax-related issues that, um, we've been exposed to in 2014 that, um, really unfairly position, uh, the exercise professional. In one case in Nevada, it was as live entertainment. And certainly we don't believe that any of our professionals, well, it's important that they provide a participant and a client experience. Um, they're certainly not entertainers that are professionals like other health professionals that are there to provide a professional service.

And it's important to note that there aren't any other health occupations that services are, are taxed. What is u s reps and how is that related to see rep? Well, see rep is the organization and u s Reps. Um, the United States registry of exercise professionals is really the product of the coalition, if you will. And that's a registry of all those individuals, um, that are certified or hold current certification from the member organizations. And that, um, that registry if you will, is intended to allow, um, various stakeholders, consumers, employers, um, referring medical or other professionals, um, and um, government to be able to verify the accuracy of the credentials that are claimed by the, you know, by the professional, um, third party. It's not a, um, it's not, uh, a directory, if you will, that's used for the purposes of, of marketing to or acquiring prospective clients. It really just serves that purpose of verification of the credentials. Um, and the value of that from our perspective is that, um, we know that particularly among, um, the referring professionals, but even consumers, that there is, um, some wariness around the legitimacy of the credentials that people hold. And they're reluctant to make some of those referrals because it's difficult to know who is qualified and who isn't. Um, and we want to ease that process so that they know that there's a single place that they can go to be able to find individuals that are within their community that are capable and qualified to provide the services.

Okay. That's great. So the registry, it's like a database. That's correct. We're listing all of the certificants from those seven member organizations. Correct. Okay. And how many people are in the, the database or the registry overall? There's, I'm a little over 150,000 current certificates that are available on that to search by via Friday of criteria, name cities, zip code, or even credentials. So if somebody was specifically looking for a [inaudible] teacher in their community, they would be able to use that to support that specific criteria.

And what if I'm somebody that has a certification and PMA certification and another one, if you hold multiple current credentials, all of those would display. Okay. Okay. And um, I understand that u s reps is the most recent national registry to be established, but there are also other ones in other countries. Yes, national registries have been, um, been growing in, in both number and popularity, um, in, in Europe and um, and a lot of the Commonwealth countries and for many of those organizations, those national registries being registered and on that registry is actually a requirement in order to be able to practice in those countries. Um, and of course most of those have national medicine [inaudible] and so they're already well along the way to integrating the, um, the health and wellness elements if you will, um, around referral. And so that's an important piece in most of them are government sponsored. Um, there is a parent organization for those. Um, it's called icy reps. And, um, one of the benefits of that, uh, it membership in IC reps is that, um, us reps and see rep, um, are the, um, exclusive registry for the United States there.

And there's, um, some, um, portability work in terms of mapping the various credentials so that if individuals want to go and work or teach in another country, um, that they won't have to, um, to duplicate their efforts in, around earning their credentials in, they'll be able to go to work or, or at least understand what they need to do specifically when they arrive in those countries to make up for any differences in the mapping process. Right. Okay. So as it stands now, um, the Palati is, uh, qualifications that are, that exist within the other registries, not in us reps are all map-based correct. Right. And that's something that, um, that we hope that we'll be able to influence over time, um, because of the membership requirements. Percy rep in the United States based on that, um, NCCA accredited certification program. Um, we only recognize that PMA credential, um, and have those individuals on the, and um, when you're looking at it compared to the other international registries, they look at those individuals that are qualified to provide a more comprehensive, um, uh, assessment of, of the participant and a more specific program design and, and delivery around that individuals, um, goals and, and their health status, um, would position them at, um, a comparable level for, um, the other credential that's at the comparable level four in the United States is, is the personal training credential. And we hope that, um, the other international registries will look to the standard that we're establishing here and adopt that, um, within the other national registries. Fantastic.

I'd like to thank Graham Maelstrom for coming to talk to us today about c rep and us reps. This is very important information for palladium teachers and I know that we'll be seeing a lot of developments in the future. Thank you. Well, thank you so much for having us and we're thrilled to have the plotters method alliance as part of the coalition. Thank you.

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