"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible." -- Jonathan Swift
It is a national non-profit professional organization committed to the advancement of exercise physiologists. Founded in 1997 in the state of Minnesota, the Society provides a forum for leadership and exchange of information to stimulate discussion and collaboration among exercise physiologists active in all aspects of the profession. The Society works to set standards for exercise physiologists through ASEP-approved curricula in universities and colleges in the United States.
Any exercise physiologist can belong to the Society. ASEP members are educated professionals who have a minimum of a bachelor's degree (or emphasis) in exercise physiology (or science). They are recognized as leading scholars and practitioners in the study and application of exercise physiology to fitness, health promotion, rehabilitation, and sports training. Exercise physiologists belong to ASEP because they sense a need for a unified voice that speaks to the academic, medical, and lay communities about problems confronting them in their professional development.
ASEP members have created an organization that by virtue of its values and commitment to other exercise physiologists has had (even at this point in its infancy) a tremendous impact as to how exercise physiologists are beginning to think about who they are and what they do. They have stepped forward in faith that they can and will make a change in the ongoing image and practice of exercise physiologists not only in the United States but worldwide. Their commitment is the continued growth of ASEP so that it will not only last through the ages but will indeed become the premier institution for exercise physiologists. As A Visionary Organization......
To succeed, members of ASEP must not only be willing to take risks and change but be out in front of the change. That is, while we value our core ideology of uplifting the value and professionalism of exercise physiologists, things that should be changed to adapt and move forward are important and critical to the evolution of ASEP with the public's view and expectation of exercise physiologists.
In other words, although the members' respect and responsibility to each other as well as respect for individual initiative and service to society doesn't change, strategies, goals, and policies must change to stimulate progress and to continually optimize the professionalization of exercise physiology. We must never stop renewing ASEP!
Forget about the notion, It can't be done. Simply stated, it has been done. ASEP does exist, and the members will keep going and doing in search of new possibilities. The inner urge for something better needs no justification, regardless of the assumption by some that ASEP members are flying in the face of conventional wisdom or strategic prudence. As such, what else can exercise physiologists do except to embrace their destiny and to realize their dreams by acting on the drive from within. With all due respect to exercise physiologists worldwide, they are figuring out how they can do what they do better today and in the future.
Finding Your Voice: The Courage to Take a Stand
The American Society of Exercise Physiologists is working hard to unite exercise physiologists. Your help and support is needed as we face many professional challenges. Without your support the profession will continue the current path of lost dreams, jobs, and opportunities.
The purpose of ASEP Academic Accreditation is to establish academic standards for the exercise physiology profession, verify the credibility, integrity, and quality of academic programs that prepare students for professional work in exercise physiology, and identify institutions that have attained the ASEP standard.
Accreditation benefits all facets of the profession. Academic programs are critically evaluated and improved. Employers are more confident that they are hiring competent professionals. In time, students will gravitate to the ASEP-accredited programs, as there will be little incentive to enroll in a program not recognized by ASEP.
The curriculum requirements identified by ASEP are minimal so that the faculty of the academic programs has the freedom to address the required content areas and learning objectives in ways that best suit their needs and constraints. Adhering to the course examples presented in this section would meet the curriculum requirements and address most of the content areas and learning objectives.
Academic programs accredited by ASEP will receive several benefits. Most significantly, attaining ASEP accreditation enhances the reputation of the academic program and advances the entire profession of exercise physiology. Having met the standards and external review of peers gives the institution and program, as well as the entire profession of exercise physiology, more credibility and clout when challenged politically and legally.
Professional Exercise Physiologists need a process that assesses the academic training and skills of exercise physiologist candidates. The Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) assures the public that the most highly trained and qualified Exercise Physiologists are providing their care in healthcare, fitness, and wellness settings. This process protects the public safety and the professional Exercise Physiologists.
Today, there are over 300 fitness and sports medicine organizations offering the gold standard certification for exercise professionals. These certifications, without standards and exclusion, have adversely affected the career opportunities and salaries of highly trained professional Exercise Physiologists. In addition, the public is unable to distinguish the level of competence or care that will be provided by a certified exercise professional thus creating an issue of public safety.
Many multidisciplinary organizations use certification of exercise professionals as a revenue producing business. In doing so, they offer numerous certifications that dilute the profession and infringe on the practice of Exercise Physiology. The ASEP vision is that all individuals who graduate with a degree in Exercise Physiology or Exercise Science and have been credentialed through the Exercise Physiologist Certified examination are professional Exercise Physiologists.
There are numerous reasons for licensure, such as to help protect public safety by regulating who can practice, legitimize the exercise physiology profession, increase EP career opportunities, and increase EP salaries by increasing demand for licensed professionals
ASEP has modeled EP licensure around many successful health care professions, has developed many components needed for a profession (e.g., Standards of Professional Practice, Code of Ethics, Scope of Practice, Accreditation Standards, and the EPC Board Certified Exam), and ASEP is working with affiliated state organizations. ASEP fulfills important legal and legislative criteria for the present and future development and growth of the profession. ASEP is the only organization that meets this criterion.
Join and support ASEP. Talk to others about the importance of supporting ASEP. Begin to get involved in the profession at the national level by supporting and helping ASEP. Become active at the state level by supporting or starting ASEP affiliated associations.