Georgia, Texas Introduce Latest Personal Trainer Licensing Bills

Bills in Georgia and Texas are the latest legislation that have been introduced relating to personal trainer licensing. Another bill introduced in Massachusetts does not have the licensure requirement.

Introduced in March, Georgia Senate Bill 204 would impose professional and continuing education requirements of personal trainers and require them to pass an exam to obtain a license to practice in that state. The bill also would establish an 11-member Georgia Board of Fitness Trainers, which would determine the specific requirements for licensing. If passed, the bill would go into effect March 31, 2012. The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) says similar legislation in Georgia was defeated in 2010.

Also in March, Texas introduced House Bill 3800, which relates to the licensing and regulation of professional fitness trainers administered by the Department of State Health Services. If passed, that bill would go into effect Sept. 1, 2011.

Earlier this year, Massachusetts introduced House Bill 1005 in which personal trainers would be required to have either a current certification by a national independent organization accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or a credential or certification in either personal training, exercise science or a similar field from an educational institution recognized by either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education.

Minus a licensure requirement, House Bill 1005, according to IHRSA, is the most industry-friendly personal trainer bill proposed in the country. Legislation that did include a licensure requirement was defeated during the 2009-2010 Massachusetts legislative session.

IHRSA opposes personal training licensing legislation because it says licensing would lead to higher administrative costs for health clubs and trainers as well as increased fees for members.

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