This is one common question which a lot of fitness professionals ask me. Surely not the more experienced ones, because they have seen the entire bigger picture.
I have addressed this same issue virtually in all my blogs and videos on fitness careers and other topics too, that we need to see the bigger picture and not think like a frog in a well.
A lot of international certifications ask you to renew their certifications after a certain period, generally after 2 years. This is done by mainly two methods:
- By doing some smaller courses or certifications, which the institute offers of their own, or generally though an affiliation from other institutes. For e.g. if someone does an ACE personal training certification, which has a validity for 2 years. Then to renew the certification, either you do couple of smaller certifications, which are offered by ACE itself, or by some other institutes which are affiliated to ACE, and are listed on their website. Each of these smaller courses & certifications give you some credit points, which you have to collect, to reach a set number of points after which the main certification is again valid for the next two years.
- The second way, is that before the period of expiry, you do the original certification again, and pay the full amount, of that of the original certification.
Though, not all certifications need a renewal. But for the ones which do, a common question arises, whether this renewal is actually necessary. The answer, looking at all the present ambiguities is absolutely NOT.
Please understand that in most cases this is a means of earning a continuous source of income for the institute. Whether you pay for the full course again, or do a number of short courses, it’s a win-win situation for the institute, as they gain profits out of both models.
A lot of people may argue that this can be way to upgrade your knowledge. The answer is NO, this is not. You don’t force a path of knowledge on someone. No degree in the world from any university, needs any form of renewal. You don’t go back and renew your bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Justification that you need to renew a certification because they will be upgraded in terms of latest knowledge doesn’t actually justify marketing here. Because there is a much better way to upgrade your knowledge in fitness and much varied and better courses to be done as I have covered earlier.
Now, comes the bigger picture which I have been talking about throughout. Which god damn country are we in? its India, where fitness is an unregulated sector and you do a certification course purely for knowledge and basic credentials to show to your clients or for your own marketing, which gives weight to your portfolio.
There are hardly decent jobs in this country in fitness. If a basic certification helps you secure a job in any of the gyms or fitness centres, rest depends on your knowledge and ability to move up the ladder. People with the finest certifications are offered jobs worse than a daily laborer in India. What is important for a fitness or nutrition professional is not just courses (which are extremely important), but the entrepreneurial and marketing skills on how to market that knowledge.
In all this, certification renewal is a complete waste of time and money. No one asks for an upgraded certification in India, and even in most cases, outside India. So, don’t waste your money, and time on these renewals. You don’t need them.