CEC Requirements for Personal Trainers
Once you complete your initial Fitness Certifications (Certificate III and IV in Fitness), you are now a Certified Personal Trainer. The next logical step from here is to register with the peak governing body for Fitness Professionals AUSactive (formerly known as Fitness Australia).
The first time you register with AUSactive, all you need to do is:
– Provide your qualifications
– Pay the registration free
Your initial registration period will last for two years
Renewing your personal training registration
At the end of your two year period, you will need to renew your registration. This involves two things
– Paying the registration fee
– Providing evidence that you have completed 20CECs
What are CECs?
CEC stands for Continuing Education Credit and is just another word for “professional development”.
Generally speaking, one hour of professional development will count as one CEC.
To maintain your AUSactive registration, you are required to complete 20CECs every two years or in other words 20 hours of professional development every two years.
Professional development requirements are common amongst most certified industries (e.g. teachers, nurses, physiotherapists etc) to show that the individual is staying up to date with the industry.
In other industries CECs may also be called
– CEUs (continuing education units)
– CPDs (continuing professional development)
– PDPs (professional development points)
How do I complete my CECs?
The most common way to complete your CECs is to complete an AUSactive CEC course.
The way the CEC system currently works in Australia is like this:
1: An educator / education company will put together a short course
2: That educator will submit the course to AUSactive
3: AUSactive will assess the course to ensure it fits within the Scope of Practice for a Fitness Professional
4: Providing the course fits within the Scope of Practice, AUSactive will assign the course a certain amount of CECs (usually based on how long the course is)
That course then gets added to the AUSactive website and the education provider can also advertise the course on their own website, social media etc.
How do I find CEC courses?
You have two main options when it comes to finding CEC courses
1) Directly via the AUSactive website
AUSactive has a CEC directory section on their website, you can scroll through this directory and find every CEC course that is currently registered with AUSactive.
2) Directly via an external CEC Course Provider (e.g. Fitness Education Online)
There are fitness education companies that specialise in providing CEC courses for Fitness Professionals. If you visit their website, you’ll find a whole range of courses you can complete to get your CECs.
How do I show AUSactive that I’ve completed my CECs?
Once you complete a CEC course, you will be issued a certificate by the education company. When it comes time to renew your AUSactive registration, you just need to upload this certificate to your dashboard.
What kind of things will I learn in a CEC course?
It depends on what course you take.
To give a simplified version, most CEC courses fit into one of two main categories.
They are either
1: Fitness based CEC courses (e.g. kettlebells, boxing, training pregnant women etc)
2: Business based CEC courses (e.g. sales, marketing, retention etc)
Generally speaking, most Fitness Professionals start off completing fitness based CEC courses, so they become really proficient Personal Trainers / Fitness Instructors. Once the Fitness Professional is happy with their fitness skillset, they then start completing less fitness based CEC courses and more business based CEC courses.
The fitness based CEC courses can also fit into one of two main categories
1: Skillset based CEC courses (e.g. boxing, kettlebells, bootcamp etc)
2: Population based CEC courses (e.g. training pregnant women, training children / adolescents, training older adults etc)
Whether you choose to go with a “skillset” based CEC course or a “population” based CEC course is entirely up to you!
How long does it take to complete a CEC course?
The length varies course to course, however it’s important to note that a CEC course is just a short course.
Most courses are usually either
Half day courses (approx 4-5 CECs)
Full day courses (approx 8-10 CECs)
Often two similar courses will be packaged together (e.g. a Kettlebell Level 1 course and a Kettlebell Level 2 course) and taught over two separate days.
Kettlebell Level 1: 9am-5pm Saturday (8CECs)
Kettlebell Level 2: 9am-5pm Sunday (8CECs)
This allows the Fitness Professional to complete a large chunk of their CECs in a short period of time.
Are there other way to get my CECs apart from courses?
The other common way Fitness Professionals complete their CECs is via attending conventions / conferences. Most Fitness Industry conventions / conferences will have CEC points attached to them.
Some of the biggest being
– FILEX (based in Australia)
– FITEX (based in New Zealand)
– Expro (based in Singapore)
– IDEA (based in USA)
– IHRSA (based in USA)
– Canfitpro (based in Canada)
Attending conferences is a great way to get your CECs and stay connected with the industry.
To keep your AUSactive membership current, you are required to complete 20CECs every two years.
You can complete your CECs however you see fit, so make it work for you and complete your CECs in areas you are interested in.
About the Author
Jono Petrohilos is the co-founder and director at Fitness Education Online, one of the worlds largest providers of CEC courses for Personal Trainers. Jono is also a best selling author, podcast host, international speaker, former finalist of the New Zealand Educator of the Year
Award and winner of the Australian Fitness Educator of the Year.
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