IHRSA Keeping Close Tabs on Licensing Bills


OVERLAND PARK, KS -- More bills on personal trainer licensure popped up last month in state legislatures across the country.

The latest bill is in Georgia, where Senate Bill 441 was introduced by state Sen. Emanual Jones on Feb. 18. The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) already is lobbying to kill this bill, as it is with a similar bill in New Jersey, Senate Bill 695, which was reintroduced by state Sen. Paul Sarlo in January.

“The legislation, SB 695, would be extremely detrimental to the industry and would have the dual effect of reducing the number of personal trainers and group exercise instructors and the number of consumers who are able to use their services to pursue healthier lifestyles,” IHRSA said in a statement.

Maryland Delegate Robert Costa introduced House Bill 747 in early February. Not only would this bill require the licensure of personal trainers in Maryland, it also would elevate the standards for programs that educate and train personal trainers in that state. The programs, according to the bill, would be offered by organizations approved by the American Council on Education for content and the International Association of Continuing Education and Training or the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (formerly the National Organization for Competency Assurance) for educational process.

Executives from World Instructor Training Schools testified in support of the bill at a Feb. 24 hearing before the Health and Government Occupations Committee of the Maryland General Assembly.

The latest personal trainer bill in California, Senate Bill 1034, sponsored by state Sen. Ron Calderon, deals with certification of personal trainers, not the licensure of them. The bill states that “a person may not hold himself or herself out as a personal trainer without having either a college degree or certification from a national independent certifying body.”

Elyse Flynn Gyore, a legislative consultant in Sen. Calderon’s office, says the bill, which was introduced Feb. 12, is a “bare bones” version of a similar bill introduced last year.

“We’ve pared it back quite a bit so it’s more of a spot bill, which means it’s more of a placeholder,” Gyore says. “We haven’t decided yet exactly what we’re going to do, but it never hurts to put in a placeholder bill just in case we decide to pursue it.”

A personal trainer bill in New Hampshire, House Bill 1313, which was introduced in January, has been defeated, according to IHRSA. HB 1313 would have required trainers to provide written disclosure of their training certifications and education prior to working with a client. IHRSA submitted testimony to New Hampshire’s House Committee on Executive Departments and Administration opposing the bill.

Massachusetts’ licensing bill, Senate Bill 870, remains in committee.

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