So your certified by AAAI/ISMA and your personal training certification is about to expire. How do you maintain your certificate and get recertified? This is the question I want to address – because I get asked about Recertification all the time. Along the way I also want to give you some tips to reduce the odds of you letting your certification expire by accident. So, if you are stressing out over this, you have come to the right place. No stress! I will help you. What you will read below will help you maintain youre cert no matter which AAAI/ISMA cert you have – personal training, yoga, spinning, sports nutrition etc.
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When Do I need To Recertify?
All certifications have an expiration date. No certification is good for ever. The very first time you become a certified fitness instructor with AAAI/ISMA, the certification is good for 2 years. They give you 2 years to get a job, get settled and find your way in the fitness world.
After that 2 years are up, you will have to get recertified each year.
Do NOT let your cert expire. Fortunately, your cert is pretty easy to maintain.
How To Re-certify For AAAI/ISMA
If you are trying to get recertified, all you need is 8 CEUs (continuing education units).
CEUs are also called CECs –continuing education credits. Both mean the same thing.
The good thing about AAAI/ISMA is that ALL of their fitness and health programs count for 8 CEUs. So to recertified, the easiest way would be to just attend another class and you are good for another year. Easy Pesy.
Do I Need To Take The Same Class Again?
No you dont. You do not have to take the same class to get re-certified. For example suppose you were certified as a personal trainer. You don’t have to take the personal training class again to recertify as a personal trainer. You could take a sports nutrition certification class or their yoga certification class.
Tip. Remember there is an additional $20 re-certification fee too. Failure to pay this $20 will hold up getting your new, updated certification.
While this $20 recert fee is usually collected when you register, if you take a classes at a college, it wont be. I suggest you call AAAI/ISMA and pay the $20 recertification fee to speed up the process.
Do I Need To Take Another Test?
No you dont. Some people ask me “if I take a nutrition class do I have to take the nutrition test to get recertified in personal training?” No you do not. All you have to do is take the sports nutrition class. When the class is over, you can leave. No test taking required.
There is a full list of classes at the AAAI/ISMA website (click to visit their site)
Can I Recertifiy At AAI/ISMA Conferences?
Yes you can. One of the easiest ways to recertify is to attend one of their conferences They call these “One World” conferences. By attending the conference, you are automatically recertified for another year. The conferences have dozens of classes going on at the same time so it’s a fun way to learn a lot in a short time.
Each year conferences are held at
- Atlantic City NJ
- Baltimore MD
- Colorado Springs CO
The dates are always listed on their website.
Can I Take The Same Class To Get Recertified?
Sure you can. You can also take the same class, taught by someone else too. For example, suppose you took a class I taught. You could also take the same fitness trainer class offered by:
Or any of the other faculty instructors.
The good thing about this is other instructors will cover topics that I did not cover. This will help you be a more well rounded / qualified personal trainer.
How Much To Recertify?
Each AAAI/ISMA class is $99. If you take the class at a college or attend a conference, then the cost might be slightly more. When you recertify, there is also a fee of $20 to cover the new certification they will send you (you get a real cert, not a PDF copy). Generally it takes a few weeks to get the new cert.
What's The Fitness Certifiation Number?
Every certification will have a certification number printed on it.
Some gyms may ask you for the certification number. This is the number on your fitness cert that identifies you to AAAI/ISMA. Fitness centers need this number so they can report it to their corporate offices and get you hired faster.
AAAI/ISMA may also be able to fax you a cert if you need it faster. When in doubt, it’s best to call and ask them about this. Their contact number is 609 397 2139.
Tip. Never share your certification number with anyone and NEVER post it on Instagram etc. We don't want anybody stealing your identity. It's great to post your cert on social media but hide the certification number.
Read the gym scams post for more insights.
Can I Take Classes From Other Organizations?
AAAI/ISMA will accept course work you do for other organizations (ACSM, ACE, NSCA, etc.). They will count for a certain number of continiune education credits (CECs) but AAAI/ISMA gives these courses a maximum of 4 CECs. You will still need to take a course from AAAI to maintain your cert.
I know what you are thinking but this happens with other organizations too. Fitness organizations value their courses more than others. For example, I'm certified by the NSCA. The NSCA will let me use other courses from other orgs to maintain my CSCS and NSCA-CPT certs BUT those other courses won't not count as much as courses offered directly through the NSCA.
The easiest way AAAI/ISMA certified is to accumulate 8 AAAI CEUs per year. Each AAAI/ISMA class is 8 CEUs.
Regardless of this, I suggest taking classes from others too. Recertifying or not, the education you get will help you in the real world.
How To Prevent The Cert From Expiring
If your personal trainer cert expires, you WILL have to take the personal trainer test again. Each AAAI certification has an expiration date. Go check what that date is!
To ensure your fitness cert does not expire, I suggest you choose a date that’s at least 6 months before the expiration date and put it a calendar program like MS Outlook or Google Calendar.
That way when the date arrives you will get a reminder.
Don’t put your fitness cert in a drawer and forget about it. Trust me. I get a lot of emails from people who did this and the cert expired. Once your certification expires, you will have to take the test of that fitness cert again.
The Gym Asked Me For My Cert
NEVER NEVER NEVER give your certification to the fitness center you will be working at. Give them a copy of the certification. If the gym loses your certification, you will have to pay AAAI/ISMA $30 for a new certification. Many people make this mistake.
There is no reason why a gym would need the actual cert.
All the gym needs is the certification number. Also, if they give you the excuse they want to post your cert on a wall, you can make a very good color copy on most home printers. Staples etc. can also do it for you.
I hope this review of how to get recertified by AAAI/ISMA has helped you. I know getting recertifid can be stressful but it does not have to be.
AAAI/ISMA makes it very easy for you – a LOT easier than most other organizations and it's not expensive either. The trick is to not let your fitness certification expire. If you can do that, you will be OK.