Having the right credentials is important for fitness leaders, yet navigating water exercise certification, and figuring out what’s best for you, can be confusing.
I’ve been involved in aquatics for over 25 years. Along the way, I’ve worked for leading fitness certification and continuing education organizations, while teaching group classes and providing personal training. Today I share my knowledge and experience through my company, WECOACH.
Oftentimes I get asked: Water Exercise Certification vs Certificate of Continuing Education. What’s the Difference?
Certifications and certificates are a growing part of the fitness industry, yet incorrect labeling causes confusion over what these courses entail and what we need to have. Being informed about the differences will help you make better choices:
Water Exercise Certification
This assures baseline competency. Assessment requires passing an exam that has been developed using an industry-wide job analysis to determine necessary knowledge and skills. Certification is awarded by a standard-setting organization and has ongoing requirements. For example, the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) requires certified instructors to complete continuing education to maintain their certification.
CEPD (Continuing Education Professional Development) is earned by completing courses by approved education providers. Courses may be live, online or a blend of both, and provide a certificate of attendance. While courses are designed to increase knowledge and improve skills, education courses do not necessarily assess comprehension. Therefore, certificate of attendance is different from an assessment-based certificate course.
These courses can also be live, online, or both. These courses can be designed for both new and experienced professionals. The difference – written and/or practical assessments evaluate understanding of the learning outcomes, not just participation.
When looking for a water exercise certification, consider:
- Is the organization a standard-setting organization?
- Is the exam set based on a job analysis?
- Are professionals required to complete annual CECs to keep their water exercise certification?
When looking for a certificate, ask yourself:
- What new skills do I want to acquire?
- How will earning this certificate benefit me/my clients?
- What certification organizations recognize the certificate?
If you become certified with one or more organizations, you’ll want to make sure that the continuing education classes you take are recognized by those particular associations.
WECOACH offers workshops, assessment-based certificate courses, and a NEW online mentorship program called Wavemakers®. WECOACH is an approved continuing education provider for the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA), Arthritis Foundation (AF), Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute (ATRI), and American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Workshops – Attend our workshops in-person at industry conventions, and online you’ll find our most popular programs such as HIYO™ interval training.
Certificate Courses – WECOACH founder Laurie Denomme has teamed up with industry leaders to create a wide range of assessment-based certificate courses.
- AquaStretch™ Foundations Certificate assisted stretching and myofascial release
- BioExercise™ Coach Certificate cognitive exercise
- Aqua Yoga Strength™ Certificate water yoga for all pool temperatures
- Water Exercise Coach Certificate customized training for facilities
Mentorship – Wavemakers® is an online mentorship program designed to increase your exercise know-how and shift your creativity into high gear to accelerate your teaching skills. It allows newcomers and experienced professionals alike to apply best practices established by the Aquatic Exercise Association.
At WECOACH, we strive to provide you with the most current research, best practices, and tools you need to help others feel and move better.