In response to your August article, “NBFE Written Exam Gets Mixed Reviews,” what is the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE) really doing? The leading certification associations like the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), which require trainers to take a proctored written exam to become certified, did not want to equally recognize organizations that would allow its customers to simply mail in an exam to become certified. This coupled with intense clashing of egos and damaged pride led us to where we are today.
After 12 years in the health and fitness club industry, I have worked independently with many trainers and club owners and discovered a general consensus about what makes for a quality certification: proctored written exams, a practical exam, National Organization for Certifying Agencies (NOCA) accreditation and CPR certification requirement. That's it. But the other organizations do not want to do the work required to bring their certification up to this level of oversight and verification. There is no need for yet another exam that duplicates the information on the leading organizations' certification exams.
Furthermore, the NBFE exam preparation courses cover the same content the leading organizations already cover. There is no greater depth of information in the NBFE prep courses than in the ACSM or NSCA examinations and lectures.
If the NBFE really cares to improve the industry, it should simply improve its certification qualifications and obtain NOCA accreditation. It's that simple.
Daniel R. Gaita, MA, CPT, AAAI/ISMA
President, Personal Trainer Listing Service
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