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ACSM Certification

Guiding the Exercise Profession

Costanzo, Dino G. M.A., RCEP

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ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal: November 2006 - Volume 10 - Issue 6 - p 31-32
doi: 10.1249/01.FIT.0000252516.06500.b7
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In Brief

In the July/August 2006 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®, I began my column by defining three essential components of a profession, namely, the existence of a system that standardizes skills training (e.g., accredited academic curriculum), a system that validates skills proficiencies (e.g., an accredited examination), and the presence of a professional community (e.g., membership). I was introduced to this definition years ago through a letter written by Steven Keteyian, Ph.D., FACSM, ACSM's vice president for education and credentialing, in response to a conversation we had about the college's initiatives to promote the growth of the clinical exercise physiologist. In Dr. Keteyian's letter, he went on to introduce a fourth and vital component of all emerging professions: "the existence of a body of knowledge, usually such as that found in the form of textbooks and scientific journals."

As I returned home from meetings recently held at Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins (LWW) in Baltimore to discuss the publications of the next editions of ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (GETP), ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (RM), and ACSM's Certification Review (CR) texts, I recalled Dr. Keteyian's letter. ACSM's GETP has certainly served as one of our profession's principal references ever since it was first introduced in 1975. During the past 30 years, ACSM has contributed even more to our professional "body of knowledge" through the subsequent release of ACSM's RM (1988) and eventually, to better prepare those seeking ACSM credentials, ACSM's CR (2001). Although ACSM's guideline texts serve as references for many disciplines, the primary audience is the certified exercise professional. Mitch Whaley, Ph.D., FACSM, ACSM's GETP, 7th edition, senior editor, emphasizes this point in his dedication of the current GETP:

This text is humbly dedicated to the more than 18,000 professionals who have attained certification and/or registration from the American College of Sports Medicine since 1975. It is from the daily efforts of this prestigious group-mostly working in the trenches-that many advances in health and fitness and clinical exercise practice routines/regimens are first tried, and then refined, and finally become guidelines. We are indebted to all of you and most thankful for your collective desire to advance the fields of exercise testing and prescription.

I, like many, have become very familiar with the guideline texts and reference them regularly. It has only been recently, however, that I have become aware of the extraordinary amount of work and coordinated efforts from so many that go into making these texts available to our professional community. [As you can appreciate, most book projects take many years to develop. The books discussed here are not scheduled for publication until 2009.] Before the writing teams even begin to put pen to paper, each of the Committee on Certification and Registry Boards (CCRB) credentialing groups (i.e., ACSM's Certified Personal TrainerSM, ACSM's Health Fitness Instructor®, ACSM's Exercise Specialist®, and ACSM's Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist®) will conduct a thorough job task analysis (JTA). The credentialing groups will then review and revise their respective knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to reflect the information obtained from the JTAs. Soon after the revised KSAs are released from the credentialing groups, the writing process will begin with more than 200 content experts (i.e., editors, authors, and reviewers) contributing to complete the texts. Throughout the planning and writing process, the text development is managed under ACSM's assistant executive vice president and group publisher, D. Mark Robertson; ACSM's Publication Committee Chair, Jeffrey Roitman, Ph.D., FACSM, and CCRB publication subcommittee chair, Jonathan Myers, Ph.D., FACSM. Considering the collective efforts of the literally hundreds of content experts involved, it is no wonder these texts have earned the reputation as the gold standards of our industry.

I am pleased to announce the senior editors who have been selected for the next editions of our guideline texts:

ACSM's Guidelines for Testing Prescription, 8th edition Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, FAACVPR Email: [email protected]

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ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 6th edition Jonathan Ehrman, Ph.D., FACSM Email: [email protected]

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ACSM's Certification Review, 3rd edition Khalid Bibi, Ph.D. Email: [email protected]

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ACSM's Certification Review, 3rd edition Mike Niederpruem, M.S. Email: [email protected]

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With the goal of reflecting more current information from an industry where the science is rapidly advancing, the editors have committed to a more ambitious 4-year rather than our traditional 5-year cycle (release date in 2009). As in the last editions, ACSM's GETP 8th edition, RM 6th edition, and CR 3rd edition will be released concurrently with increased attention to insure consistency of content among the three texts.

As the editors work with their writing teams on the next editions of ACSM's guideline texts, your feedback regarding current editions, as well as your suggestions for the 2009 editions, is being solicited. What an opportunity for the editors of our industry's most referenced texts to hear directly from the professional community. Contact information for each of the senior editors is included above.

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© 2006 American College of Sports Medicine