The District of Columbia has asked its Board of Physical Therapy to formulate a set of rules and regulations for personal trainers and aerobics instructors in the city.
DC’s board consists of five citizens; all are appointed by the mayor. The Board of Physical Therapy evaluates applicants’ qualifications, administers exams, and recommends standards and procedures for the industry. The Board also issues licenses, receives and reviews complaints, requests investigations, conducts hearings and issues an annual report.
Supporters of the proposed regulation state the rules will protect consumers from unqualified or uncertified trainers. Critics charge this is yet another unneeded intrusion from a bumbling government.
Among nation’s 241,000 personal trainers, many are certified by the two largest organizations in the field, the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM). Although such organizations typically issue certificates to those who qualify, detractors of the proposed rule maintain individual fitness organizations are perfectly capable of training and certifying their own employees without a centralized body overseeing the industry or imposing regulation.
This is rich.
Although personal fitness is an unlikely crucible to spur government action, this proposal completely writes off the ability of the consumer to choose their own fitness instructors so a handful of bureaucrats can claim this regulation as a policy success. Further, this act will likely induce yet another tax.
In the fevered, unimaginative minds of DC City Council members, the government should be the final arbiter in most areas of your life and it plans on extending their reach further. Although this proposal is not a blow to democracy, it is a bit silly.
[YahooNews] [Photo courtesy CitySportsFitness.com]