The ACSM education component offers NCCA accredited certification programs. The Health Fitness certifications are for those who wish to become certified personal trainers or health and fitness instructors. Further it also offers Clinical Certifications as either an exercise specialist or a registered clinical exercise physiologist.

The ACE, involved in the setting of current standards for fitness program certification and education,  offers NCAA accredited certifications for Personal Trainer, Advance Health + Fitness Specialist, Group Fitness Instructor and Lifestyle + Weight Management Consultant (ACE, 2008). In addition, it offers Peer Fitness Trainer Certification specifically adapted for firefighters’ fitness needs.

Both institutions essentially differ in their education curricula. Except for the Personal Trainer program, the ACSM caters more to health professionals and graduates of health-related courses (i.e. nurses, physical therapists, public health workers) who wish to further their professional development so that the added training in sports medicine and exercise science serves to broaden their career choices (ACSM, 2008).

Hence, ACSM certified professionals are also degree holders and their certification is aimed at complementing the health related services they provide. In addition, the ACSM also permits its members to participate in the organization’s health and fitness research undertakings, advocacy and education providing an opportunity for a well-rounded experience in this field (ACSM, 2008).

The ACE generally caters to any individual interested in pursuing its certification programs, tailored not for largely clinical or academic settings but to complement the fitness industry.

ACE curricula is anchored on professional health and fitness practice based on the evaluation of current fitness products, health programs and developments in order to ascertain their effectiveness and safety for use in health and fitness clubs and facilities (ACE, 2008).

List of References

American College of Sports Medicine (2008). Certification. Retrieved 13 March 2008 from


American Council for Exercise (2008). Certification. Retrieved 13 March 2008 from