ACE FAQ Continuing Education Provider

Q: What qualifications do I need to be considered as an ACE CEC Provider?

Your course content must be within the scope of practice for ACE-certified professionals. For example, a course which discusses massage therapy techniques would not qualify. The session also must be educational and conducted in a structured learning environment, complete with learning objectives. The Course Author and the Instructor(s) must meet one of the following credential qualifications in addition to the experience requirement:

  • Hold at least a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a health-related field, OR a four-year degree in a business-related field (only applicable for business workshops pertinent to a fitness professional), OR a current NCCA-accredited fitness certification (ACE, ACSM, NASM, NSCA, NESTA, AAPTE, Cooper Institute, NCSF, NETA, NFPT, PMA and NCCPT), OR is  a current E-RYT 200 registered with Yoga Alliance (for yoga courses only).
  • Hold a current REPs certification which maps equally to ACE Certifications.
  • In addition to the required credential, please note: Instructor or Course Author must possess at least two years of experience in the subject matter being presented.

Q: What does understanding an ACE fitness professional's scope of practice have to do with submitting a course for ACE approval?

Courses that cover material outside an ACE fitness professional's scope of practice will not be considered for ACE approval. Here are a few guidelines:

  • ACE fitness professionals may NOT “diagnose.”
  • ACE fitness professionals may NOT “prescribe.”
  • ACE fitness professionals may NOT prescribe diets or recommend specific supplements.
  • ACE fitness professionals may NOT “treat” injury or disease.
  • ACE fitness professionals may NOT “monitor” progress for medically referred clients.
  • ACE fitness professionals may NOT “rehabilitate.”
  • ACE fitness professionals may NOT “counsel.”
  • ACE fitness professionals may NOT work with “patients.”

Q: How are ACE continuing education credits (CECs) determined?

CEC values correspond to the approximate amount of time (in hours) spent participating in an organized continuing education experience under qualified instruction. This does NOT include breaks or lunch associated with live programs (ie: workshops or conferences). One contact hour equals 0.1 CEC.  ACE does not award partial credit (for 30 minutes) unless it is part of a conference (see "Calculating Conference CECs below).

Calculating CECs for Workshops and Webinars:
1 hour = 0.1 CEC
2 hours = 0.2 CECs

Calculating CECs for Conferences:
(Individual sessions are assigned CEC credits in full hour (0.1 CEC) and half hour (0.05 CEC) increments.)
50 minutes to 1 hour, 25 minutes = 0.1 CEC
1 hour, 30 minutes = 0.15 CECs
1 hour, 45 minutes to 2 hours, 25 minutes = 0.2 CECs

The maximum CEC conference value is rounded to the maximum number of full education hours that can be completed.  For example, a conference with 18 hours, 30 minutes of approved sessions would receive 1.8 CECs.

Calculating Distance Learning CECs:
For distance learning (involving text or video materials), CEC value will be determined according to:

  • Validated formula to determine educational time to read print materials based on word count (adjusted for difficulty of content and including time to answer test questions)
  • Video or media run time
  • Course review by ACE Professional Education staff member
  • Course completion times reported by three external reviewers

Once ACE has assigned a CEC value, it can only be modified if the course is substantially modified or augmented.


Q: How much does it cost to have a new or renewing course or event reviewed for approval?

Costs vary by the type of session. Please see the following chart for a more detailed description. Keep in mind that all application fees are nonrefundable and are valid only from Jan. 1-Dec. 31 of the reviewed year.

Workshops or Webinars

First new or renewed course submitted for year: $250

 

All additional courses in year: $50

Online Courses or Text/DVD

First new or renewed course submitted for year: $500

 

All additional courses in year: $200

Conferences

1-50 sessions: $300

 

51-100 sessions: $800

 

100+ sessions: $1,000


Q: How long will it take ACE to review my application package?

ACE will review your application package within 30 days of receipt. Please keep this timeframe in mind when submitting an application for any type of course review.


Q: My course or event is taking place in less than 30 days. Can I expedite my application?

Yes. ACE offers a "rush" option for workshops, webinars and conferences only. Rush applications must be received at least 15 days in advance of the proposed program date. Applications received after this timeframe cannot be guaranteed review or approval prior to the start of the program. The rush fees for courses, workshops or webinars are $100 and those for conferences are $250. All rush fees are in addition to standard course or event application fees, and are also nonrefundable.


Q: What types of courses will ACE consider for approval?

  • Conferences
  • Workshops and webinars
  • Distance learning courses

Q: What course topics will ACE approve?

We approve courses in a variety of topics including, but not limited to anatomy, body composition, business management, chronic conditions, communication & motivation, cueing & choreography, exercise physiology, exercise programming, fitness assessments, injury prevention, instructional techniques, nutrition, post-rehab programming, specialty class formats and weight management.


Q: What courses will ACE not approve?

Courses not eligible for ACE CECs include:

  • Courses designed to prepare students to take ACE certification exams
  • Courses redundant to the experience and education of ACE-certified professionals
  • Courses that prepare students for a different field (ie: massage) or are beyond the scope of practice for ACE-certified professionals
  • Courses positioned or titled as core certifications that are not NCCA-accredited
  • Any course or continuing education provider that does not meet ACE educational requirements and standards
  • Any course or session that does not demonstrate a structured learning environment, complete with learning objectives (such as master classes/workouts, panel discussions or roundtables)

Q: I have a course that was ACE-approved several years ago that I would like to once again offer for ACE credits. Can I simply renew this course?

Courses that are eligible for renewal are those that have been ACE-approved within the past two years. Courses that have been inactive for more than that must be resubmitted as new courses.


Q: How do I submit my conference for ACE approval?

You should be prepared to enter the following information into the online application. Tip: If you have event information in a word document, you can “cut and paste” the information into the appropriate fields.

  • Conference Name
  • Conference Description
  • Conference Start Date
  • Conference Length in Days
  • Conference Location: Country, State, City, Zip Code
  • Conference Number of Sessions
  • Conference Upload- Upload a copy of the event brochure which includes a session grid (specifiying the date/time of each session), session descriptions and presenter bios.
  • *NOTE: Provider is responsible for insuring that the instructors meet ACE-required qualifications:

 Hold at least a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a health-related field, OR a four-year degree in a business-related field (only applicable for business workshops pertinent to a fitness professional), OR a current NCCA-accredited fitness certification (ACE, ACSM, NASM, NSCA, AAPTE, Cooper Institute, IFPA, NCSF, NESTA, NETA, NFPT, PMA, TWCC and NCCPT), OR a current RYT credential (yoga courses only)

  • Possess at least two years of experience in the subject matter being presented.

 


Q: How do I submit my workshop or webinar for ACE approval?

We suggest you prepare a document with the following information before you begin the online application process. That way you can copy and paste your responses in a timely manner. You will need the following:

  • Description (should be clear and engaging) of 100-150 words to represent the focus, subject and intended audience of the workshop or webinar
  • Briefly list three measurable objectives the participations will be able to meet after attending your course. Start each objective with "Students will be able to ..." (should be clear and specific to the outline submitted).
  • Detailed workshop or webinar outline with an hour-by-hour breakdown  that  includes breaks and meals.
  • The information provided should explain the scientific basis of your course and how it meets exercise science, nutrition, behavioral or fitness business standards.
  • Instructor/Presenter name,  and resume to include relevant credentials
  • Detailed course outline and course manual in electronic format that contains the text of the course content. File must be a .pdf, .zip, .doc or a .docx file under 10 mb. Be sure to include detailed descriptions of all content, especially practical drills or skill enhancements. If your workshop or webinar includes specific exercises, please include illustrations of each as well as instructions on how to correctly perform them.

Q: How do I submit my distance learning course for ACE approval?

We suggest you prepare a document with the following information before you begin the online application process. That way you can copy and paste your responses in a timely manner. You will need the following:

  • Course title and summary (100 words max)
  • Course description (100-150 words)
  • List of three measurable objectives. Begin each with “Students will be able to …”
  • Name of author(s), as well as any degrees or certifications earned and related experience
  • Material permissions - If the author is not affiliated with your organization, please explain your right to use the material.
  • Detailed course outline including agenda that meets listed objectives. Include descriptions of all practice drills and skill enhancements.
  • Post-completion test – An exam should be designed to verify participant completion of the course, reinforce important content, evaluate student comprehension and verify that the learning objectives were met.
  • Name and email addresses of three reviewers, along with their completed ACE Distance Learning Course Review Forms. All reviewers shoudl be subject-matter experts or fitness professionals who meet the professional level of the intended audience. Feedback will be required regarding course content, relevance, accuracy and readability, as well as completion time.

 

You will also need to provide the following, if applicable:

  • Run time of DVD/CD or video materials
  • Word count for print materials
  • Link to access online course

 

Aside from the online application and additional materials listed previously, you will be required to mail in a complete set of course materials (all manuals, DVDs, CDs, bibliography, references and post-completion test).  

All  course materials should be sent to:

American Council on Exercise
Continuing Education Applications
4851 Paramount Drive
San Diego, CA 92123


Q: Is there a proper form for writing quizzes for my distance learning course?

Yes. Adhering to the following guidelines will speed up the review process and eliminate the need for ACE to go back to the test writer for new questions or extensive rewrites.

  • Multiple-choice questions should be formatted so that they have a question and four answer options.
  • Do not use “All of the above,” “None of the above,” “Both A and C,” or similar formats for answer options.
  • All answer options should begin with a capital letter, even if they are part of a fill-in-the-blank question. 
  • Do not use abbreviations (ie: abs, reps or quads)
  • Avoid terms that refer to frequency (ie: rarely or usually) and those that refer to absolutes (ie: never or always).
  • Avoid repeating words in the question and answer options.
  • Do not use periods at the end of answer options.
  • To emphasize a key word in the question, use all capital letters and boldface (no italics or underline). Use this technique sparingly.
  • Keep answer options similar in length and wording. For example, if the first three answer options for a particular question are “Biceps,” “Triceps,” and “Hamstrings,” the fourth option should be something similar, such as “Quadriceps,” as opposed to “Teres major and minor.”
  • For fill-in-the-blank questions, the blank should be 10 spaces long.
  •  If answer options are all numbers, please put the smallest number as option “A” and list them in order from smallest to largest.

The following is a list of the minimum number of quiz questions based on CEC value:

CEC Value

Min. Number of Quiz Questions Required

0.1-0.3

10

0.4-0.6

20

0.7-0.9

30

1.0-1.2

40

1.5-1.5

50

1.6 and higher

60


Q: Does ACE approve courses that culminate in a certification?

ACE does not approve non-NCCA accredited core certification programs. We believe that accreditation is necessary to enhance the image of our industry’s professionals and ensure that consumers receive the highest level of service. ACE does, however, approve quality continuing education programs including specialty certifications, certificate programs, and instructor training courses committed to providing outstanding training to certified fitness professionals.


Q: How do I post my approved course or event dates on the ACE website?

To post your upcoming approved course/event dates, simply login to your ACE account and click on the Course History link. Then, select the desired course approval number.  Now click inside the Course Detail field. This can be updated periodically to provide upcoming course or event information. Remember to click Update Course at the bottom of this page to update the website information.

Also, be sure to provide the correct url so your customers can go to your website!


Q: What do I give my participants upon completion of my ACE-approved course/event?

Providers must issue each attendee an accurate certificate of completion at the conclusion of every ACE-approved course. An ACE-approved certificate is available on your provider web page once your course is approved. That certificate includes the attendee’s name, the ACE-approved course title, ACE course approval number, course date, number of CECs and the approved presenter’s name.