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AFPA and NCCA Accreditation

by Abby Campbell
(Charlotte, NC)

I was recommended to go with AFPA (which is not reviewed by your site) by a couple of personal trainers at my local YMCA. From what I understand, the local YMCAs in my area have their trainers only certified with AFPA.

However, I was so used to hearing about ACE. So, I started research on many of the certification programs you have listed on your site and compared them with AFPA.

AFPA seems to have so many more specialized certifications in addition to their personal training certifications. So, that was my first interest. Second, they are very detailed in their descriptions of the courses... much more so than the other certification sites... and they seem to be focused on what the potential trainer wants to gain rather than costs and accreditations in which I found with most of the sites... and I really liked that.

Then I started looking into the accreditations and found most of the certification programs accredited by NCCA. AFPA is not and this is what they say:

"AFPA has received third party accreditation by Vital Research and The Fitness Standards Council (FSC) a non-profit international organization, established to act as an unbiased mediation committee or resource, to uphold and regulate quality standards within the fitness industry and to provide consumer protection of those standards in the areas of personal trainer certification, personal trainer practices, and fitness facility operations.

"AFPA has elected not to be accredited by NCCA because NCCA is not recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education to grant accreditation; in addition they are not recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). NCCA does not accredit institutions or educational programs, only examinations. NCCA specifically states that any organization that seeks accreditation of their examination cannot require candidates to take any of their courses, classes, training, or workshops as a prerequisite to sit for their examination. It is for these reasons that AFPA chose to seek accreditation from other recognized accreditation agencies, as we believe that some form of educational training prior to and in conjunction with an examination is a necessary precursor for success in the fields of fitness, nutrition and wellness."

I really liked this as it shows that they are concerned about the credibility of educated personal trainers. In fact, AFPA requires a 90 percent to pass their exams. The other programs only required a 65-75 percent.

Please tell me what your thoughts are. Thank you!

Comments for AFPA and NCCA Accreditation

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Yes - AFPA is high quality
by: Deana Guidi

I am working on the AFPA master trainer certification. I also held ACE and NASM certifications. AFPA is much more difficult. AFPA requires extensive short answer and case study essay writing. It requires specific, periodized program design. Anyone taking an AFPA course must treat it like a college course. I believe AFPA will continue to gain industry recognition.

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AFPA IS AMAZING
by: jimmy s

I was certified by afpa in 2006 & i love them. First they are very detailed in course work & the exercises are well explained. You have to do your part & study. I must say their support is excellent. You must get 90% to pass.I dont care what anyone says about them but they are the best!! Plus you get alot of stuff with the course work.

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love it
by: s.cruz

Im a military spouse and its hard for me to really focus on one school....i recently recieved my personal training certification and currently working on nutrition and wellness and group excercise....boy it is a challenge but im so excited about how they conduct their program and the process and customer service is excellent!!!!

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AFPA????
by: Anonymous

I had AFPA - pre and post natal , but let it expire because I thought the testing format was a joke. They gave you study materials and you had an open book exam. I am NSCA-CPT and currently studying for the CSCS exam. NSCA is NCCA accredited and it is has much more recognition to the fitness world the AFPA. You were also happy that the passing rate was 90%, but I challenge you to take the NSCA exam, seeing how its not open book like AFPA.

Good Luck

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