WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “CERTIFIED”?
What does being “Registered”*/”Designated”/”Certified” even mean?
The Nutrition and Fitness industries are unregulated.
There is no, one, governing body that will tell you the best education/certification options. It is up to you, the consumer, to educate yourself, and to make the best choices possible.
There are many private, for-profit, businesses, operating as Certification/Designation/Registration bodies. These businesses charge a fee, and in exchange, send the applicant an official-looking, stamped, certificate to hang on their wall. Often there is a very basic exam associated with qualifying for the Certification. However, these organizations’ main goal is to Certify as many people as possible, so that they can make as much money as possible – they’re a business, after all! Applicants can re-write the examinations numerous times (for a fee, of course!), even though, those exams are, often, not overly challenging, to begin with.
We’ve had numerous students, in ELA’s programs, that have previously been “Certified” by another organization. Even though they passed the Certification exams, they still did not feel knowledgeable or confident enough to actually practice in their field. They realized that they needed to go to school to learn about how to be an effective practitioner, so they decided to come to ELA.
If you’re a client, who is shopping around for a health professional, don’t fall for somebody’s “Certification” alone. Make sure to research the Certifying organization, along with the professional’s educational background, to ensure that both meet your standards. The education that the professional has is what really matters! Did they attend any type of school program? If so, where did they go to school, and what was the program composed of?
When a professional says that they’re “Certified” in the Nutrition or Fitness fields, make sure to explore the following:
- What is the organization that they’re certified with?
- Who is this organization ran by and how is it regulated?
- What schooling, qualifications, and knowledge-base are required to get Certified by this organization?
Elevated Learning Academy did extensive research regarding which Certification bodies to partner with, and if to do so at all. After completing this research, it reached the following decisions:
Graduates of our Personal Fitness Trainer Diploma write a certification exam with a NON-PROFIT, government-regulated, certification body (ACE). ACE is the largest certification body for fitness professionals, worldwide. Because the ACE exam is so immensely challenging, only 60% of those that write the ACE Certification exam, pass it, on their first attempt. That said, a much higher percentage of ELA’s graduates pass, due to their intensive education with us. ACE-certified professionals can also work abroad, as well as in Canada.
Graduates of our Applied Nutrition Science Diploma are not certified with any Nutrition Certification body. We didn’t feel that any of the Certification bodies, currently operating in the Nutrition realm, meet our high professional requirements. For now, Elevated Learning Academy has made a conscious decision to focus on providing a high standard of Nutrition education alone, and not partner with any Nutrition Certification bodies. As a Nutrition Certification is not a requirement to be a Nutrition Practitioner, our graduates are just as qualified, to provide Nutrition services, as many of those with a “Certification” on their wall. Our graduates also qualify for malpractice insurance. Our program involves hundreds of hours of instruction, numerous practical assignments, and written, challenging, knowledge-based examinations. We are proud of our Applied Nutrition Science Diploma program, and wouldn’t want to minimize it by aligning it with a lesser Certification body. Because the Nutrition industry is unregulated, and one does not need to be “Certified” to practice as a Nutrition Practitioner, our graduates have all the same rights and privileges (if not more) as those that have some sort of Certification.
If you’d like to learn more about ELA’s education model and principles, then, please, contact us.
* “Registered Dieticians” complete a 4-year University degree in Nutrition and Health Science, a 1-year clinical practicum, and are registered with the College of Dieticians in their Province. ELA holds high regard, and does not intend any disdain for the, highly-esteemed, RD designation.