Why was CREP® formed?
The exercise profession is rapidly evolving and is increasingly perceived as well-positioned, both domestically and internationally, for a leadership role in the adoption and maintenance of active, healthy lifestyles.
With the growing attention placed on the profession, there has been a corresponding increase in the scrutiny of professional qualification standards and a rapidly emerging need for stakeholders to accurately identify exercise professionals with a National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)-accredited exercise professional certification. The need to protect consumers and serve stakeholders has led to a number of actions including: (1) bills introduced by policymakers that would bring regulation to the profession; (2) the establishment of registries in the EU and other countries; (3) emerging standards for exercise facilities that define the qualifications of the exercise professional staff; and (4) interest expressed by other professions in the scope of practice that exercise professionals currently enjoy in the U.S.
Through a shared voice, the Coalition brings a unified message to the industry, policymakers and standard-setting organizations that represent nationally recognized best practices serving the exercise professional and the stakeholders of the profession including the general public.
How is CREP® structured?
CREP® has a volunteer Board of Directors composed of individuals representing qualifying member organizations (currently four with the capacity to expand to seven) elected to a specified term and two non-voting Advisory Directors that represent the NCCA and Commission for the Accreditation of Exercise Science (CoAES) which accredits two-year, four-year and graduate level programs in Exercise Science.
CREP® Executive Office operations are managed by Kellen Company, under the administrative guidance of the Board.
How will CREP® fulfill its mission to advance the fitness profession?
The CREP® strategic plan includes a number of tactics that align with the Coalition’s mission to support the exercise professionals certified by organizations whose programs have been accredited by the NCCA including:
- Providing an internationally recognized registry for qualified exercise professionals in the U.S.
- Supporting portability for the exercise professional that holds an NCCA-accredited exercise professional certification by mapping the U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals® (USREPS®) to international registries
- Advocating on regulatory issues at the local, state, and federal levels
- Promoting the profession while defending the professional scope of practice
- Engaging domestic and international standard-setting organizations (CAAHEP, NCCA, NSF, EHFA) on behalf of the fitness and exercise professional
Where will CREP® focus its efforts?
The primary focus of CREP® will be on:
- Positioning the United States Registry of Exercise Professionals® (USREPS®) as the primary resource for consumers, employers, referring professionals and other stakeholders to verify exercise professionals holding current NCCA-accredited exercise professional certifications in the United States with global recognition by international partners including EREPS, ICREPS, and registries around the world.
- Expanding opportunities for registered exercise professionals by disseminating information as to professional competencies and earning the confidence of consumers, referring health and medical professionals and others through a commitment to best practices for education and credentialing utilized by other health occupations.
- Disseminating information on professional qualification standards to stakeholders.
- Monitoring and engaging policymakers who are pursuing regulation of the exercise professional to ensure that any regulatory efforts follow best practices that align with other allied health and medical professionals as well as positioning the exercise professional certified by programs that have been accredited by the NCCA for formal recognition of their distinct roles in medical, health, fitness and sports performance fields. CREP® works with other industry organizations to promote physical activity and health in the US.
What is the purpose of the Registry?
The Coalition’s Registry (USREPS®) will support the exercise professional that holds an NCCA-accredited exercise professional certification by:
- Serving as a clearinghouse for verification of current NCCA-accredited exercise professional certifications by employers, regulatory bodies and consumers
- Minimizing the burden on exercise professionals who are interested in seeking employment opportunities in other countries where registration is required by employers or government by establishing global registry recognition
- Identifying to the world those individuals who have met the requirements for registry in the United States and maintain good standing with those requirements
How does CREP® determine who is qualified to be on the Registry?
CREP® identifies exercise professionals who earn and maintain an NCCA-accredited exercise professional certifications for roles identified on the Registry in compliance with practice standards, scope of practice and the defined code of ethics.
Who will be in the Registry?
All individuals who hold NCCA-accredited exercise professional certifications for a defined role from member organizations will qualify to be listed in the Registry.
How do I create and download my Registration ("Find Me At") Badge?
How does CREP® define exercise professional roles?
The descriptions for exercise professional roles identified by CREP® were developed through a combination of frequently used job titles identified by the U.S. Department of Labor, used by employers, and the
Job Task Analysis (JTA) studies that are conducted as part of the development of competency-based certification exams used to assess a candidate's knowledge, skills and abilities against a specific job role in the fitness industry. The definitions of
exercise professional roles were written to support the CREP® public comment submission for the update of the US Department of Labor Standard Occupational Classification in 2018 and to assist policymakers who are including exercise professionals in health policy or regulation to accurately define the most common job roles. The CREP® public comment for the 2018 SOC can be found
Which certifications will be displayed in the Registry?
The United States Registry of Exercise Professionals® will display all of the current NCCA-accredited exercise professional
certifications that an individual holds from member organizations for a role listed on the Registry. No specialty certifications or other credentials will be listed on the Registry.
Will the listing on the Registry be able to be edited or updated by the certificant?
No, the Registry is intended solely for the purpose of verification of credentials. The Registry will not serve as a directory for exercise professionals to position and market their services to the consumer. Member organizations provide the verification data for the Registry upon validation of a credential.
What will it cost to be on the Registry?
At this time, individual membership is not offered. Member organizations pay dues and registration fees to support the Registry and the other work of the Coalition as a benefit to you of certification through a member organization.
How will the Registry be kept up-to-date?
Data is supplied to CREP® by the member organizations. Each certification organization who is a member of the Coalition is responsible for providing notification to the Registry of any new, renewing or expired professionals. CREP® makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information displayed on the Registry. If a listing of a registered professional is believed to be inaccurate, please contact the issuing certification organization directly.
Will a listing be removed immediately if the certification lapses or expires?
Is there a grace period?
If a certification expires and is removed from the Registry, can it be registered once it is renewed?
Yes, after a certification is renewed, or if a new or additional NCCA-accredited exercise professional certification is earned, it can be added to the Registry.
The United States Registry of Exercise Professionals® will display all of the current NCCA accredited exercise professional certifications that an individual holds from member organizations. No specialty certifications or other credentials will be listed on the Registry.
How can a fitness certification organization join CREP®?
In order to be eligible for membership, a certification organization must meet the following criteria:
- Be engaged in the fitness business
- Offer no less than one current certification program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for an exercise professional role defined by the U.S. Department of Labor
- Provide only certifications or credentials (1) which are NCCA accredited, (2) are in the process of receiving NCCA accreditation or (3) for which an NCCA-accredited certification serves as a prerequisite.
CREP® welcomes all currently eligible organizations to join the Coalition and hopes that other organizations will pursue NCCA accreditation for their programs and join our efforts on behalf of the exercise professional.
What is credentialing, and why is it important?
A vital part of The Institute for Credentialing Excellence's mission is to educate stakeholders, including the public, about the importance of credentialing to ensure competence across professions and occupations. As such,
they have created a short video to answer the question, "What Is Credentialing and Why Is It Important?"
Why did CREP® select NCCA accredited certification programs as the standard for membership eligibility?
CREP® believes that meeting standards of excellence already recognized in the regulatory and other professional communities is the most direct path toward recognition of the exercise professional. Additionally, the NCCA accreditation of certification programs for professions is currently recognized by regulators as a qualifying distinction for credentials used in State licensing, providing a defensible argument against the creation of redundant examinations and continuing education requirements when policymakers feel regulation of the profession is necessary. For example, the NCCA also accredits programs for other regulated health professionals like registered dietitions, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and occupational therapists.
What about other accrediting bodies?
At this time there are no exercise professional certification programs that include a competency-based exam other than those accredited by the NCCA. There are personnel certification programs for other occupations that are accredited under the ANSI/ISO 17024 which is also anchored by a competency-based exam but there are none in the exercise professional category. Other third-party accreditations employ standards for academic or vocational education programs which evaluate contact time and student learning or programmatic outcomes, but do not objectively assess competency to perform a task or professional role.
CREP® believes that the best opportunity to advance the exercise profession and to expand employment opportunities is to follow the lead of other respected occupations which require education AND competency-based credentialing.
What is accreditation and why does it matter?
Accreditation is an independent (third party) verification that an organization is able to perform its claimed function. There are two main types of accreditation in the United States.
Accreditation of entire educational institutions: Third-party verification that an institution is able to assemble and oversee education pathways in a number of different fields of study.
Academic programmatic accreditation: Third-party verification of a specific program’s ability to prepare individuals for a specific career. Upon graduation individuals will often complete a culminating experience that includes an internship or residency and a requirement to pass a competency-based board or certification exam.
The primary stakeholder for educational institutional and programmatic accreditation is the student.
Personnel certification program accreditation: Third-party verification of a board/licensing exam or specific certification program’s ability to assess an individual’s competence against a specific job role for the protection of the consumer.
The primary stakeholder in personnel certification is the public.
Does CREP® promote licensure for exercise professionals?
CREP® does not actively promote licensure for the exercise professional. CREP® does engage policymakers who have introduced bills that would regulate the profession. Our goals when working with policymakers who feel regulation of the profession is necessary are:
To understand why they believe regulation is necessary
To assist policymakers in becoming more familiar with the fitness industry and exercise professional roles
To ensure that the language of the bill aligns with, and reflects, the best practices currently in place for the regulation of other adjacent professions regulated by the state
To avoid the creation of redundant credentialing and continuing education requirements that would add an unnecessary expense and/or burden for professionals with current NCCA-accredited certifications
To ensure that exercise professionals are well-positioned to be able to work cooperatively with other professions and to broaden the career opportunities available to those who are qualified
What are the goals of
CREP®'s advocacy efforts?
The goals of CREP®'s advocacy efforts are:
- To provide a dedicated voice for the exercise professional that positions them for respect, recognition and expanded career opportunities
- To defend the scope of practice of exercise professionals
- To ensure any introduced regulatory bills:
- Accurately reflect the professional roles in the occupation
- Follow best practices for the regulation of adjacent health professions
- Do not create an undue burden through redundant examination or continuing education requirements that would adversely affect cost or access to services
- Provide an appropriate level of consumer protection
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
The Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals® (CREP®) makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information displayed on the United States Registry of Exercise Professionals® (USREPS®). If you believe a listing of a registered professional to be inaccurate, please contact the certification organization directly.
Newly certified exercise professionals are added to the Registry once vetted through the member organization. The Registry represents qualified professionals from member organizations only and therefore should not be considered a comprehensive resource to identify all exercise professionals with NCCA-accredited certifications. For a comprehensive list of NCCA-accredited exercise certification programs please visit:
For information on individual registration please contact us at