The Certification Network

ACE Certification

Certification Standards
ACE's certification programs are among the most respected in the fitness industry. The ACE certification exams and study materials have been developed by leading experts (researchers and practitioners) in the fitness field. In 2003, the American Council on Exercise was granted accreditation for all of its certification programs by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). ACE is now only one of two certifying organizations in the entire fitness industry whose programs have been accredited.

Earning an ACE certification tells clients and employers that you have acquired the knowledge necessary to provide a safe and effective exercise regimen, and that you are committed to upholding the most exacting professional standards in the fitness industry.

ACE currently offers four fitness certifications:

  • Personal Trainer Certification - this is designated for personal trainers providing one to one individual exercise instruction.
  • Group Fitness Instructor Certification is designed for those specializing in group exercise programs.
  • Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant Certification designates the required experience and knowledge to develop and implement logical and balanced weight management programs that bring together the three critical components of nutrition, behavior modification, programming and exercise.
  • The Clinical Exercise Specialist Certification provides an advanced certification that illustrates the expertise required to work with men and women who have special needs and have been certified by their doctor to undertake advanced exercise programs.
  • Peer Fitness Trainer Certification Program - This certification is intended for firefighters and emergency medical technicians, and is offered exclusively through the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

Am I eligible for certification - what are the requirements?

These requirements have been adopted specifically for our certification exams:

  • Age of at least 18 years.
  • CPR certification is required and it must be current at the time of the exam.
  • It is strongly suggested that applicants poses a minimum of 100 Hrs of experience in a related health and fitness field.
  • Current ACE Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor or Clinical Exercise Specialist Certification, or equivalent is required in order to take the Weight Management and Lifestyle Consultant Certification program. 
  • In order to take the Clinical Exercise Specialist Certification Exam, you must have 300 hours of work experience designing and implementing exercise programs for apparently healthy individuals and/or high-risk individuals, as documented by a qualified professional. You must also have a four-year (bachelor's) degree in an exercise science or related field OR a current ACE Personal Trainer Certification or other approved certification (ACSM, NSCA, NASM).

Three to six months to study for the exam is the average required time ACE recommends you allocate depending on your background. You may prepare yourself in any manner and are solely responsible for your own exam preparedness.

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