spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Logo Starting a Personal Training Business spacer
Home Sitemap Contact Support Our Site spacer
Trainer Directory Discussion Forum What's New spacer

Get Started - 8 Simple Steps to Success

Step 1:
Is Personal Training
Right for Me?

Step 2:
Get Certified
Step 3:
Get the Job
Step 4:
Launch Your Business
Step 5:
Train Smarter

- Popular Pages -

Exam Prep Course

Complete Training System

Business Plan

List of PT Schools

Cert Comparison

Cert Discounts

CEU Discounts

Free Starter Kit

Job Board

Salary Calculator


Site Search

ISSA not widely accepted?

by Tony Brice

I am currently looking at which Certification is right for me. I like your website. It's GREAT info but there is a correction to be made regarding ISSA. ISSA DOES NOT provide unlimited retesting. According to the information I have received from ISSA they allow for one free retest. Now, I don't know if this is a new option for ISSA but I do think it is very fair to offer one free retest considering the prices of Certification.

I did send ISSA an email in reference to why they are not listed by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). I have not received an answer as of yet. I checked the websites of the two largest and most popular gyms in my home town and ISSA was not listed as an accepted certification for employment as a personal trainer.

ISSA appears to be more than just legitimate to me. It appears to be a very extensive certification that provides excellent support. My question is WHY is it not recognized by the NCCA. Thanks. Tony Brice

Comments for ISSA not widely accepted?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

by: Anonymous

Found this on ISSA's Q&A: Guy asked why they're not NCCA accredited.
With regard to your question consider the following. The two reasons we at the ISSA are pursuing options other than the NCCA is that NCCA standards specifically state that any organization that seeks accreditation of their examination, can NOT require any courses, classes, training, or workshops as a prerequisite to sit for their examination.
What that recommendation means for our profession (and to the public) is that to become a personal trainer, you just need to take a test - no education required. This creates a potential situation where students can literally buy or study test questions to pass an examination.

We believe that students should be required to complete educational courses, classes and training prior to taking an examination to become a personal trainer. ISSA along with over 15 other national and international organizations also believe that all personal trainers should be judged by one national standard, via National Board examinations.

Here are the facts regarding IHRSA's recommendations:

The following information is directly from IHRSA regarding their position on accreditation.

Q: Is this a standard for IHRSA membership?

A: No. This statement represents the opinion of IHRSA. It is a recommendation for IHRSA members, not a requirement.

Q: Are there certification bodies that are preferred or recommended by IHRSA?

A: No. IHRSA maintains no list of preferred certifying bodies. This recommendation is neither an endorsement nor a censure of any particular personal training certification organization/body.

Q: Is IHRSA mandating certain personnel decisions, such as firing or refusing to hire trainers who are not certified by an accredited body?

A: Absolutely not. Hiring criteria for personal trainers and other employees are set by club management, not by IHRSA. There are many sources of information on the topic of certification and personal trainers, and the IHRSA recommendation is one. This recommendation represents the opinion of IHRSA and is intended ultimately to benefit consumers. Whether and in what way an IHRSA member may choose to act consistent with the recommendation is a decision for each member.

Therefore, in an effort to ensure to our members that we are a legitimate distance education provider, we have aligned our course objectives with that of the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE) and are currently undergoing the process of accreditation through a USDE and CHEA government recognized organization. Given that we are in the midst of the process we are not allowed to disclose the name of the organization at this time. However, we should potentially know by January of 2008 which is when the accrediting commission meets for approval of new organizations.

by: Jen Lilienstein

ISSA is currently pursuing accreditation through a CHEA (Council on Higher Education) and U.S. DOE (Department of Education) approved accrediting body, which NCCA is not. We want to make sure ISSA holds an accreditation that offers the most value/benefit to our trainers in their fitness careers, which is why we chose the alternate accreditation path.

It's important to note that in the March 2007 issue of Club Business Industry on page 29, IHRSA noted that personal trainer certifications either pursuing accreditation or accredited by NCCA **or an equivalent organization such as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education** would meet IHRSA's recommendations for accreditation.

I hope this helps!

To your good health,
Jen Lilienstein
Director of Marketing

by: Anonymous

ISSA is getting the accreditation through DETC Accrediting Commission. Check it out

Regarding to NCCA, it is highly accepted but it is NOT recognized by the Department of Education. Check this site *** Editor's Note: wikipedia link removed due to length, it was causing the page to format improperly****

Plus ISSA give unlimited one on one support via email to any problem from why my client is not losing or gaining weight. ISSA is the best choice.

by: Master Trainer

ISSA is the best. I have been a successful trainer for over 12+ years. I am ISSA certified and have trained over 500 clients in my 12+ years. The test is challenging, but I learned so much from it. I am able to call and chit chat with a professional at the 1-800 at any time about clients or get on line an communicate with staff or other trainers. I have NFPT, ISSA, AFAA and group x certs in pilates, reformer pilates, step, kickboxing, water aerobics, spinning, a B. Sc. Degree in Kinesiology/sports administration and Health and am currently working on NASM certification and ACSM certfication.

ISSA does an amazing job with the continuing education of trainers. I am now a director with 18 personal trainers and over 100 employees in all and have reccomended ISSA as one of the best certs in the industry. The reason being is that a limit to how long you can study the material before taking the test, continuing help through the years of training and the amazing support system. Dr. Hatfield created a great thing in the early 80's and now governing boards want to try and demean this because a governing agency says so...C'mon. We all know there are trainers out there that give us a good name, but I have found that it is my job as a director to determine what the trainers knowledge really is and determine if the would be an asset to the members and their clients are a flop.

Just my input on ISSA...

DETC Accredited
by: Anonymous

As of January 16, 2009, the ISSA is DETC Accredited.

by: Ray R

As I look, into a good personal training school for me and expenses etc,., I see the advantages of both NCCA certification and DOE accreditation. I would like the best of both possible worlds. I prefer an NCCA because I want to make sure that when I receive my certification I am definitely recognized at any gym as a "professional" trainer and well qualified with a lot of prestige, well known. On the other hand if I need financial assistance and want to seek the accreditation of being recognized by the DOE as a "recognized" school , then I like DOE.

Isn't it possible that there is at least one school out there that has BOTH???? I think it would make financial and prestigious sense if a school aims for both. Thanks.

ISSA is a top certification
by: Andrew

I have been certified as a CFT through ISSA since 2001. Since then, I have been AFAA, Cooper, and ACSM certified and finished my BS in Health and Fitness.

From all the certs I recieved ISSA has been the best.

1.Unlimited web and phone support.
2.Subject matter experts (Just look at there staff.)
3.Cutting edge courses not just regurgitated concepts.
4.They have a GI BIll and tuition program for active duty and former military.
5. They accept a wide variety of CEU's.
6. There programs are challenging but well structured. They want you to pass and give you specific goals to help you acheive that.
7. No I am not making money for saying this :)
8. They teach you business principals and marketing so you don't have to depend on a franchise to make a living.
9.They are now recognized by the Dept. of Education so it is possible to get college credits.
10. Affordable, one 3 credit hour course when I was in college was 500 dollars. For a hundred bucks more you can have a good start on being a trainer from a DETC school.
11. 2 years to finish.
12. Online testing (not any easier) so you don't have to go to a seminar if you can't make it.

I just finished the ACSM CPT and the test was challenging and the materials considered 3 books/manuals. There was no study guide, no organized learning process, and no technical support. Also some questions on the test aren't found in the materials. The cert is very respected however but not for beginners.

AFAA is good for group exercise instructors but their PT program sucks to be put it lightly. The cert isn't one of the top 6.

I attended a Cooper course in Germany for the military so it is slightly different than the regular program. The regular course requires that you go to Dallas to attend the course. The instructors were good but the material seemed a bit vanilla after attending ISSA.

Bottom line is that it comes down to you. Having a certificate doesn't make you a better trainer necessarily. Also, it is good to vary your certs so you have a good background. Write down your goals like you do for a client and prioritize.

This is why ISSA's DETC beats NCCA
by: Anonymous

Why not NCCA?

NCCA is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to grant accreditation nor are they recognized by CHEA.

NCCA is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and does not qualify programs for Armed Forces Tuition Assistance.

Further, the 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 the ISSA chose to seek accreditation from the DETC, as they truly represent the platinum level of accreditation.
Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)

ISSA is the industry leading first fitness organization in the U.S. that is accredited by a federally recognized agency.
The ISSA is proud to be accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission is:

* Listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized agency
* Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
* Recognized by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)

DETC Accreditation Means Student Protection and Opportunity.
Founded in 1912, the DETC centers around one goal: student protection.

So what does this mean for you? The Commission verifies on your behalf that we:

* meet the high performance standards of the U.S. Department of Education and CHEA with approved programs of study and qualified instructors .
* stand by you, listen and respond to your needs, and support you while you earn your training credentials.
* protect your investment with refund policies that parallel other accredited colleges and universities.
* operate on a sound financial basis.

Transfer of credit
ISSA courses can be transferred for college credit.

Military Tuition Assistance
ISSA's accreditation means we are listed with DANTES and our programs are fully approved for Armed Forces TA and Military Spouse Financial Assistance.

A ".edu" domain name
Eligibility for a .edu domain name is limited to U.S. postsecondary institutions that are institutionally accredited by agencies that are approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Such as www.issaonline.EDU

IHRSA Recognition
The ISSA has been acknowledged by IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association) as one of the several personal training groups that have achieved accreditation from an IHRSA-recognized accrediting body.

did you say it took 2 years
by: Anonymous

I was reading thru your text and noticed you put "2 years to finish" did it take that long

Not great but not the bottom
by: Kimo

ISSA is pretty crafty with their end run on accreditation. They have been through a couple of tries to avoid NCCA. Bottom line they are a business and they are trying to make money. Their Cert. is what it is, an attempt to garner their corner of the market. Are they the best? Hardly, but if you have the money, it's not bad. Note: Emphasis on Money........not cheap.

2 years
by: Anonymous

you have up to 2 years to finish

ISSA is Now NCCA Accredited
by: Anonymous

Good news.
Just last month they declared that ISSA is now NCCA accredited.
Now ISSA is great choice for certification. Isn’t it?

Amit Patil
5th September 2020

ISSA short cut to NCCA Accreditation
by: Anonymous

In Sept 2020 ISSA purchased the NCCPT exam which is NCCA Accredited.

On the surface that sounds great for ISSA. But the problem is that the ISSA course and the NCCPT exam are not compatible.

It is like studying all the ACE materials and then taking the NASM exam. How is that going to work? Why would anybody do this?

ISSA should have invested their money into developing a solid program with an NCCA Accredited exam from the ground up.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to ISSA Personal Training Tips.

spacer spacer

Home | Sitemap | Contact | Support Our Site | Trainer Directory | Discussion Forum | What's New | Privacy

Step 1: Is Personal Training Right for Me? | Step 2: Get Certified | Step 3 - Get the Job
Step 4 - Launch your business | Step 5 - Train Smarter

Copyright © 2007-2020. Starting a Personal Training Business. All rights reserved.
We do not sell any information to third parties.