Health/Fitness Facility Standards and Accreditation

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Over the past two years I have been involved as part of a Joint Committee on Health/Fitness Facility Standards that is under the guidance of NSF International, large international group that develops standards and accreditation processes for various industries using the procedures set forth by ANSI (American National Standards Institute).  The Joint Committee is composed of professionals from the various industry segments, as well as from the medical, insurance and public health segments. The Joint Committee initially voted on adopting the Health/Fitness Facility Standard in the fall of 2009, but it did not receive the necessary support to be adopted. Over the past year, the Joint Committee, working with industry players has adapted the wording of the Standard and will bring it to a vote of the Joint Committee sometime the first quarter of 2011. If the Standard receives the required support for adoption, then NSF International will introduce the Standard to the Health/Fitness industry sometime in 2011, followed by development of a Facility certification process that will allow Health/Fitness Facilities to earn certification. Concurrent with the NSF effort, the American College of Sports Medicine is preparing to release the 4th Edition of its Health/Fitness Facility Standards and Guidelines in the late spring of 2011. ASCM's Standards and Guidelines will align with those of NSF, but they will not be identical.  Finally, their is a group in New York that is planning on introducing a distinctly different set of standards, and accompaning accreditation process for the Health/Fitness Facility Industry. With these parallel efforts to introduce a set of standards that the Health/Fitness Facility industry willadopt, the question is, "Does the industry need a single set of standards and facility certification process, and if it does, what benefits should these bring to the industry?"
 

 
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