Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Keep yourself continually educated

In the ever changing health and fitness industry, keeping ones’ knowledge updated is paramount to remaining a safe, effective and successful training coach.

With trends in the health and wellness industry changing faster than Usain Bolt covering the 100m, it can become very difficult to wade through the “fad trends” and those that have been tried and tested, and proven to effective.

Continually searching for, and acquiring, knowledge allows training coaches to make informed decisions about health and exercise prescriptions, and which practices are most effective and beneficial for their customer.

With this in mind, as a consumer, it is essential that you be proactive in ensuring your training coach is qualified to do the job they have advertised they can do.

Start by asking them what their qualifications and certifications are. Ask if they are CPR and first aid certified, and finally, ask them what and when their last Continuing Education Credit course was.

Many trainers and coaches are registered with a governing body (BCRPA, Triathlon Canada), who require them to keep their certifications current, much the same as doctors. This is generally achieved by earning Continuing Education Credits (CEC’s) through various educational resources and avenues.

Each member is required to earn a certain number of credits each year, with credits being acquired by attending workshops, conferences and seminars, even participating in webinars and completing on-line mini-courses.

It is an unfortunate situation, but the entire industry is not regulated as thoroughly as one would wish, leaving gaps for under-qualified individuals and many training coaches, who have not remained current with their certifications, to keep working.

If we want to be seen, and treated, as professionals within the heath care industry, we, as training coaches need to be more consistent about keeping our certifications and qualifications current through the acquisition of CEC's.

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