Rather than looking at learning as something they “have” to do, successful people in every industry view it as an opportunity to learn something new and exciting that will either help them in their business or help their customers benefit more from their services (ideally, both). For health coaches and exercise professionals, this could mean anything from courses on sales and marketing to a specialty certificate in communication and behavior change. When chosen well, continuing education allows you to build on your current skill set or broaden your skills into entirely new areas.
ACE offers a wide selection of continuing education opportunities. From ACE Specialty Programs and the ACE CEC Club to offerings from some of the most respected educators from around the globe, there’s something for everyone.
You may be surprised to learn that ACE also offers the opportunity to acquire continuing education credits (CECs) through some nontraditional channels. Here are creative ideas for earning CECs:
Up to 2.0 CECs
- Pass another ACE certification exam: Earn 2.0 CECs for successfully passing an additional ACE certification exam.
- Pass college courses from an accredited college/university with a grade ‘C’ or higher: Courses must be relevant to your ACE certification. University extension classes do not automatically qualify for CECs; however, you may petition for approval (the process costs $25). Semester = 1.0 CEC per unit. Quarter = 0.8 CECs per unit.
Up to 0.5 CECs
- Give professional presentations: You may earn up to 0.5 CECs for a fitness-related professional presentation or lecture at a convention or symposium.
- Write a correspondence course: To qualify, you must be the sole author for all learning objectives, course content and the correspondence exam.
- Obtain another fitness certification: ACE offers CECs for earning all current National Committee for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)–accredited fitness certifications. ACE professionals must go through the petition process and pay the $25 review fee.
- Get published: You may earn 0.1 CEC for each published article in a fitness-related periodical, 0.2 CECs for each published chapter in a fitness-related book, and 0.5 CECs for any published fitness-related book or research paper in a peer-reviewed journal. The publication date must coincide with your renewal period.
- Serve on an ACE committee: ACE assembles ad hoc committees of working health and exercise professionals who have been identified as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for each certification we offer. Earn up to 0.5 CEC per calendar year for offering your expertise on a committee.
Up to 0.2 CECs
- Take part in a clinical observation: You may earn 0.2 CECs by observing clinical procedures or surgeries related to your certification.
- Complete paid internships relevant to your ACE certification: You can earn up to 0.2 CECs for completing a paid internship. For internships completed to earn college credit, see the college course information in the “Up to 2.0 CECs” section above. If your internship is in conjunction with a college course, you cannot receive additional CECs for the internship if you’ve already received CECs for the course. The ACE approved with a CEP code otherwise the professional will have to petition the event and pay $25 for review.
- Participate in community outreach: You can earn 0.1 CEC per renewal cycle by participating in a fitness-related event in your community.
- Attending health and fitness events: Many health and fitness organizations, including ACE, offer conferences, workshops and webinars throughout the year both in-person and online. These events offer approved CECs for attendance. The event must be ACE-approved with a CEP code. If not, you will have to petition the event and pay $25 for review.
- Take First Aid courses: CPR/AED is required for renewal and is worth 0.4 CECs. However, taking additional First Aid courses are worth between 0.1 to 0.2 CECs depending on course length and content.
Take a look at How To Develop a Continuing Education Strategy for additional thoughts on your professional development.