A Washington, DC, city council member introduced legislation Tuesday to repeal licensure requirements for personal fitness trainers in the District.
Jack Evans' bill would remove the D.C. Board of Physical Therapy's authority to regulate personal fitness trainers. The board was tasked to draft requirements under a 2014 law that requires personal trainers to register with the mayor's office. The board was set to vote on requirements at its meeting on Tuesday but did not vote on the regulation, according to Alma White of the DC Department of Health.
“The proposed regulation of personal fitness trainers is an overreach by the District that would significantly harm the well-being of our residents and the entrepreneurial climate of the District,” Evans said in a statement.
The board oversees regulation of physical therapists, which Evans called "appropriate" due to its nature as a medical profession with standardized research, educational training and administration.
"Personal fitness training, on the other hand, encompasses a broad range of activities with different theories, approaches and levels of support by trainers to clients," Evans said. "There are no universally accepted standards of training, education or operation that the District could reasonably hold a practitioner to and therefore we should not attempt to regulate and license this industry just for the sake of collecting revenue for the District.”
Personal trainers are unregulated in all 50 states, according to a Washington Post report.
Evans' bill, the Omnibus Health Regulations Rationalization Amendment Act of 2015, has six co-sponsors on the 13-member council. Up next for the bill is a public hearing within the DC Council's Committee on Health and Human Services.
Co-sponsors David Grosso and LaRuby May are on the five-councilor committee. Committee Chairwoman Yvette Alexander urged her colleagues to wait until they see the proposed regulations, according to the Washington City Paper.
Once the committee votes, the bill will be sent back to the council to be voted on for approval. Evans will be monitoring the timelines for both approval of his bill and any proposed rules from the Board of Physical Therapy, DC Council Communications Director Thomas Lipinsky told Club Industry.
If there is concern the board's rules would go into effect before legislation can be approved, the council could take action called "emergency legislation," Lipinsky said. The emergency legislation would not need to go through the public hearing and committee vote process, though the legislation would only be in effect for 60 days.