Continuous professional development for fitness professionals (or CPD for short) is a term that every personal trainer has likely come across. But what is CPD for personal trainers? And why should you care? If your schedule is full, your clients are happy, and you’re already using the latest technology, like a custom-branded personal training app, what more do you need? Actually, it turns out that CPD is one of the most important things you can do for your career.
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What is CPD for personal trainers?
Physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, nutritionists, and other health professionals need continuing education to maintain their credentialing and state licensure. Likewise, the personal training industry requires personal trainers to receive CPD to maintain their certifications.
Of course, the difference is that CPD for personal trainers is not required by any government board. Instead, you will need to check with your fitness and health certifying agency to learn their requirements for recertification. For example, the NASM requires 1.9 CEUs (continuing education units) for recertification every two years. Meanwhile, the ACSM requires between 15 and 60 CECs (continuing education credits) for recertification every three years.
Why is CPD important for personal trainers?
Considering that personal trainers aren’t even required by law to be certified in the first place, why is there so much emphasis placed on CPD? Firstly, CPD and certification help maintain a level of expertise and professionalism in the personal training industry. Secondly, CPD helps ensure that personal trainers’ knowledge base stays up to date with the latest available science.
Science moves quickly, and new information is always being released. It wasn’t that long ago that professionals taught clients to do lots of crunches to get six-pack abs, or advised women against heavy weight lifting. CPD works to keep such outdated notions from perpetuating.
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How can professional development for personal trainers help my career?
Completing your personal training CPD might sound like an inconvenience, especially if you’ve got a full calendar of paying clients to train. However, investing in your education will pay off for your career in the long run. Here are just a few of the benefits of CPD:
- Taking classes with other fitness business experts creates unique opportunities for networking
- Earning additional credentials will increase your expertise and may allow you to charge more for your services
- Taking courses in a specialization (such as kettlebell instruction or obesity and weight management) will help you further stand out from your competitors
- Gaining the knowledge to work with clients with specific needs (such as expectant mothers or seniors) gives you more versatility
- Learning additional techniques (such as myofascial release) will bring value to your clients
Where can I find CPD for personal trainers?
The good news is that an entire industry exists just to help personal trainers get the CPD they need for recertification. Courses can be found in nearly any price range (including free). You can earn CPD credits from attending seminars, going to conferences, or taking college courses. If you prefer the digital world, CPD courses also come in the form of webinars or online classes.
Despite the ready availability of CPD for personal trainers, not all CPD sources are created equal. Many will not be recognized by your particular certifying agency. To avoid wasted time and money, be sure to check the requirements of your certifying agency beforehand to see if the course you’re considering will count towards your recertification.
The Bottom Line: Why Personal Trainers Need CPD
In the end, CPD is all about helping you be the best personal trainer you can be. It’s a win for you, a win for your clients, and a win for the personal training industry. If you’re ready to take your personal training business to the next level, Exercise.com can help. Book a demo to find out more.