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Specialist Credential Prerequisites

ACE encourages anyone who's interested to pursue our specialist programs, as we believe that health and fitness professionals with a broad education can better serve special populations in our communities. In order to be eligible for an official designation as an ACE Specialist, however, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Hold a current professional certification in health education, fitness, wellness, or allied health that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 17024)
  • Hold a current license as a healthcare professional
  • Hold a current health or wellness coaching credential from an organization accredited by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). For a full list of approved programs, please visit nbhwc.org/approved-programs.

NCCA-Accredited Certifications: Fitness

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Certified Group Fitness Instructor
  • Certified Health Coach
  • Certified Medical Exercise Specialist

Action Certification

  • Certified Personal Trainer

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Certified Exercise Physiologist
  • Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist
  • Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • Certified Group Fitness Instructor (AFAA-CGFI)

Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa)

  • Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC)

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • Certified Personal Trainer

National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT)

  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Certified Group Exercise Instructor
  • Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor
  • Certified Strength Training Specialist
  • Certified Yoga Instructor - Vinyasa Flow

National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)

  • National Certified Personal Trainer
  • Certified Strength Coach

National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

  • Personal Fitness Trainer

National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Certified Group Exercise Instructor

National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

  • Certified Personal Fitness Trainer

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • Personal Trainer
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • Tactical Strength and Conditioning-Facilitator

Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)

  • PMA Certified Pilates Teacher

PTA Global (PTAG)

  • Personal Trainer

World Instructor Training School (WITS)

  • Certified Personal Trainer

NCCA-Accredited Certifications: Healthcare

American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR)

  • Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional

American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)

  • Certified Medical Assistant

American Clinical Board of Nutrition (ACBN)

  • Diplomat American Clinical Board of Nutrition

Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS)

  • Certified Nutrition Specialist

Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM)

  • Certified Dietary Manager

Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)

  • Dietitian Technician, Registered
  • Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI)

  • Professional in Human Resources
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources
  • Global Professional in Human Resources
  • Associate Professional in Human Resources
  • Professional in Human Resources, International
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources, International
  • California Certification

National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification (NATA BOC)

  • Entry-Level Athletic Trainer Certification

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)

  • Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Occupational Therapist Registered

National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE)

  • Certified Diabetes Educator

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

  • National Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, Inc.

  • Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing

  • Certified Health Education Specialist
  • Master Certified Health Education Specialist

Medical and Allied Health Professional Licensure

  • Medical Doctor (MD)
  • Pharmacist (RPh)
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
  • Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Physical Therapist (PT)
  • Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Licensed Nurses (LPN, LVN)
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
  • Medical and Nursing Specialties (multiple)
  • Naturopathic Doctor (ND)

Other Accepted Credentials

Teachers with specific State-issued Certification or License

  • Physical Education Teachers
  • Adaptive Physical Education Teachers
  • Health Education Teachers

CrossFit

  • Certified CrossFit Trainer Level 1

National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)

  • NBC-Health & Wellness Coach

Don't see your credential? You may petition ACE to accept it as a prerequisite requirement to become a specialist by clicking here.