The ACE advocacy team employs a number of tactics when working on behalf of our Certified Professionals. Most recently, we worked to advocate against a bill that would have significantly impacted our Certified Professionals living and working in Louisiana.
In April the Louisiana state legislatures proposed a bill (LA HB 748) that dealt with occupational regulation across a wide variety of industries. The bill was amended to include language that would have made it illegal for anyone to use the term “certified” when receiving a certification from a voluntary program. How would this affect ACE Certified Professionals? It would mean that all of you who have worked hard to earn those certifications and are living and/or working in Louisiana would not be able to call yourselves a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, health coach or medical exercise specialist.
We knew we had to jump into action to protect the status and credentials of our Louisiana ACE Certified Exercise Professionals, and working collaboratively with the Louisiana ACE family and other organizations we were successful! Below is a timeline outlining the activity around the bill language and its demise.
- Upon introduction and amendment, LA HB 748 quickly passed the House with little opposition and was sent to the Senate for their consideration.
- ACE joined a coalition of like-minded organizations from a broad range of industries to join forces in lobbying against this legislation.
- ACE sent an email alert to all of our certified professionals living in Louisiana via email encouraging individuals to reach out to their LA state senators and express their concern with the certification definition in LA HB 748 that. The same information was also posted on our social media channels.
- ACE, the Coalition for the Registration for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP) and the broader HR748 coalition all sent letters to the various members and committees of the LA legislature.
- A bill hearing occurred in the Senate and the author of HR748 requested the language around certification be removed from the bill. The Senate complied and a version of HR748 was passed and signed into law that protects the rights of individuals holding voluntary certifications to continue to use the word certified when describing their credentials.
Our advocacy team is always on alert for bills and policies across the nation that would impact the physical activity sector and the ACE family of Certified Professionals. We are thankful for the quick and effective collaboration that occurred to advocate against this legislation.
To learn more about the work ACE’s advocacy team does, contact advocacy@ACEfitness.org.