Certification and Registration - What's the Difference and how does it work?
What does "registration mean"?
The OFC along with it's provincial partners of the NFLA (National Fitness Leadership Alliance) , make up the national register for exercise practitioners in Canada. This position as a national group register requires a continuing process to "map" or compare various certifications, certification courses, placements and assessments, with or without formal post secondary schooling with international partners. The outcome has been sharing best practices with international affiliates, transfer or portability of membership and qualification for OFC and other NFLA members. Due to our long history of supporting highly qualified and experienced fitness and exercise professionals, our national partnership with the NFLA , our transparency and unbiased position on theoretical and practical standards, our association was approved to represent Ontario as part of full Canadian Member to the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPS). Our international confederation agreement for member portability, national agreement for transfer of members, and provincial mandate for qualification of membership is explained below.
OFC Members are referred to as OFC Certified Registered Health and Exercise Practitioners (OFC-RHEP). Please call 1-800-671-4632 for current programs.
OFC TFL's (Trainers of Fitness Leaders and Exercise Practitioners) at various universities, colleges, vocational schools, high schools and community locations, qualify members as Registered Health and Exercise Practitioners or "RHEP". All examples of members below must meet provincial and or national performance standards including all theoretical and practical testing procedures and benchmarks. Certifications are developed by certification companies and other non profit organizations as both a standard test for competence and a source of revenue through sales of textbooks, continuing education studies and online workshops. Unlike these"certification companies or organizations" the OFC does not receive monetary gain from courses, textbook sales, or online workshops. OFC TFL members qualify or authorize individuals to offer exercise instruction or training. The process and recognition is as follows:
1) Fitness or Exercise Theory - The member passed a national theory exam after an approved course based on performance standards was completed. This member is registered but not active or qualified in a scope of practice. Examples - first year college diploma students or a member in the community enrolled in a stand alone TFL course offering. Next step is to achieve qualification in at least one (1) specialty certification/scope of practice.
2) Silver (one specialty/scope of practice) - The member has qualified for at least one specialty/scope of practice and is an active member. This member can work in the industry as an active OFC RHEP with insurance and a scope of practice. This member may have national and international transfer and or portability acceptance. Examples - college diploma students who have completed their first year and have qualified in Group Exercise or Resistance Training, or members who received their qualification through a community program.
3) Gold (2 or more specialties/scopes of practice) - The member has qualified in additional specialties/scopes of practice - Example - college diploma students have completed their 3rd semester and have achieved Group Exercise and Resistance Trainer or a member without a college diploma has multiple scopes of practice in fitness and exercise instruction.
4) Platinum GROUP - The member has at least one specialty/scope of practice plus a 2 year diploma in fitness and health promotion (75% GPA - 80% Practical in Ontario) or equivalent from another province or country; members who have a degree in health sciences.
5) Platinum LEVEL - The member is an association advocate or trainer of fitness and exercise leaders (TFL). The member can do one or more of the following based on the members education and or experience: a) proctor exams b) act as an assessor for practical testing c) teach courses used as prior learning d) qualify new members for OFC RHEP activation or upgrade existing members e) offer continuing education courses for approved credits (CEC's) and or for additional specialty/scopes of practice.
Note -All Platinum LEVEL members are approved by the OFC and are specific in their duties or advocacy. OFC groups and levels are specific to Ontario and may be referred to or categorized differently both nationally and internationally.
International, National and Provincial Registers
ICREPS – International Confederation for Registers of Exercise Professionals – Full members are Fitness Australia, REPS New Zealand, REPs South Africa, REPs United Kingdom part of Skills Active, REP's Ireland, REPs United Arab Emirates, NFLA (Canada), CREPS (USA), Reps Belgium
NFLA – National Fitness Leadership Alliance – a provincial partners membership between Nova Scotia Fitness Association, Fitness New Brunswick, Fitness Practitioners Association of Ontario, Manitoba Fitness Council, Saskatchewan Recreation and Parks Association, Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association, British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association
Ontario – Fitness Practitioners Association of Ontario – Provincially registered non-profit association and Ontario NFLA Representative. Founded in 1979 originally as the FOLP (Fitness Ontario Leadership Program. Amalgamated organizations in 1984 to form the Ontario Fitness Council. Incorporated January 1, 1989 as the Fitness Practitioners Association of Ontario DBA Ontario Fitness Council (OFC)
Qualification: The formal transparent registry of recognition, and leveling based on minimum standards plus post secondary achievements, in the field (s) of Certified and Registered Fitness or Exercise Practitioner or Professional. Grants transferability and or international portability between NFLA partners at the national level and ICREPS partners at the international level.
What is "Certification?" The term certification is broadly used. The OFC for example certifies our members are Registered Health and Exercise Practitioners. An OFC Certified RHEP has met a qualification based on performance standards, theoretical and practical testing, an outcome and a level. The OFC accepts various certifications as part of prior learning or continuing education options. Please note that certifications can be specific to a style, product, business, gym, club and licencing. Certifications are developed by for profit companies and non profit organizations as both a standard test for competence and a source of revenue.