63% Say “Yes, Regulate Personal Trainers…”

Below, comments and results from our current survey of 5,500+ health and wellness business leaders who responded to this question:

Good idea or bad idea? Massachusetts may require personal trainers to hold a degree, an accredited certification, and pass an Allied Health Professionals board exam.

(And the poll’s still open – cast your vote now through 5/31 and enter to win a free copy of Radial’s guide “How To Win Customers With Compelling Health & Wellness Case Studies”.)

May 2009 Survey Results: Should Personal Trainers Be Licensed As Allied Health Professionals By The States?

May 2009 Survey Results: Should Personal Trainers Be Licensed As Allied Health Professionals By The States?


Comments from survey respondents:

1) While holding a degree and an accredited certification is a good idea, passing an additional exam is overkill. Holding strict guidelines for the certification organizations should really be all that’s needed.

2) Government has a hard enough time working to regulate other business…where will the funds, man-power and who will oversee this Allied Health Profession exam! There are already organizations that have accredited certifications in place, require a degree, plus have re-certification standards in place – that is their business. Why is the government once again trying to reinvent the wheel when a system is in place with quality organizations. This will be a problem from the start!

 3) More states should consider similar legislation.

4) Great idea to safeguard the public

5) I think the idea is good..but should include a clause to grandfather existing trainers who have practiced xx? amount of years

The poll’s still open – cast your vote now through 5/31 and we’ll update the results in June.

Or, just add your two cents worth below (and as always we’ll keep your email totally private).

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Leslie Nolen, Radial's president, is the nationally-known expert on the art and science of selling health and wellness.


  1. Jeff Bush, M.S., CPT says

    In addition to Massachusetts, several other states, New Jersey, Georgia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia have proposed legislation to license personal trainers. Those bills include use of the National Board of Fitness Examiner’s (NBFE) Personal Fitness Trainer examination as the standardization tool.

    Using the NBFE exam as the standardization tool provides many benefits. Among them, two of the biggest benefits are that: 1) The standards are set and the exam is written by and for fitness professionals, rather than government regulators. 2) Using the NBFE exam as the national standard will allow our licensure to be “portable.” So, unlike the legal bar exam, for example, which varies from state to state, we would not have to take another, different exam if we move to a different state. Furthermore, the NBFE exam is legally defensible, meaning that it can work to our benefit if, in the worst case scenario, a personal trainer is hauled into court.

    Unfortunately, there is a lot of squabble among some of the larger certification organizations about who should set the standards. The idea that many people don’t understand is that the NBFE is an independent organization, with the sole purpose of standardization, NOT certification. It won’t take business away from those certifying organizations. In fact, it might actually help their business.

    It’s going to take more time. However, I think that this is our best bet for standardizing and making personal training a true allied health profession. It could possibly also lead the way to having our services covered by insurance companies.

    Check out NBFE.org for further information.


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