My take on ISSA
I just completed the ISSA personal training certification program and thought that it was a good experience. As a full-time college student in my final semester, this program served as a perfect fit for me. However, I do have to say that since I have started looking at potential jobs there seem to be quite a few employers that DO NOT accept or prefer the ISSA certification. From my personal experience with the program, this is something that I don’t understand or agree with.
I don’t feel that the online test-taking option should impact the credibility of the program at all. Personally I only had to take the test once and didn’t come anywhere close to failing, and I am sure that many other ISSA students share similar success. So because ACE for example only offers proctored exams at testing centers that makes the people who pass their tests more knowledgeable? I certainly don’t think so.
I decided to take a look at the website for ACE to see what the structure of their test was and what the requirements for passing were. The only reason I chose to compare ACE with ISSA is because it seems to be one of the certification companies that is widely accepted. What I discovered is that ACE has a much shorter exam in comparison to ISSA, and the requirement for a passing score is much lower as well. ACE only appears to require 500/800 points to pass, which comes out to 62.5%, while ISSA requires at least 75% to pass. I feel that a person can learn much more by taking the time to work with the material and apply it to an exam than they would simply taking a test and getting many questions wrong. I'm also fairly certain that any good personal trainer will continue to review material and expand their knowledge regarding their profession. Books are one source of this, so why is it essential to take them away during a test? I would hope that those who pass with the minimum requirements of programs such as ACE would figure out the answers to the 37.5% of the material that they were incorrect in answering.
After completing the ISSA program I simply dont see any reason as to why it should receive less recognition or credibility than any other company, if anything it should receive more. Hiring and credibility shouldn’t be based off of who a certification is through, but rather how that particular person/trainer applies their knowledge. With this in mind, I think ISSA gives its students an excellent opportunity to consume and apply a wealth of knowledge through their studies.