D.C. To Regulate Personal Trainers

By: David L. Herbert, Attorney at Law, David L. Herbert & Associates, LLC,
Attorneys & Counselors at Law, Canton, Ohio 44718; http://www.herblaw.com/
Editor, The Exercise, Sports and Sports Medicine Standards & Malpractice Reporter
PRC Publishing, Inc., Canton, Ohio 44735; http://www.prcpublishing.com/
Author, The Personal Trainer, A Tale of Pain, Gain, Greed & Lust
http://www.thepersonaltraineronline.com/

The District of Columbia has become the first United States jurisdiction to adopt legislation to regulate the personal training profession. The law, part of the D.C. "Omnibus Health Regulation Amendment Act of 2013," passed by the D.C. Council in February of 2014. The law will require all personal trainers providing service in that jurisdiction to register with the D.C. Mayor’s Office for a yet undetermined fee and pursuant to a yet unspecified procedure. The new law will become effective once the United States Congress completes its review of the legislation. The D.C. Board of Physical Therapy will oversee the registration process.

Personal trainers are defined in the law as "personal fitness trainers" and this term is defined as follows:

    (b) For the purposes of this section, "personal fitness trainer" means a person who develops and implements an individualized approach to exercise, including personal training and instruction in physical fitness and conditioning for an individual and a person who performs similar physical fitness training regardless of the designation used.

Once the legislation becomes law, no one in that jurisdiction may use the terms "personal fitness trainer", "personal trainer", "professional fitness trainer", "fitness instructor" or any other similar term unless the person is registered in accordance with the new law. While a legislative committee report supported the enactment of the law, the President of the D.C. Physical Therapy Association opposed the enactment. Further refinements to the law as well as the adoption of regulations are anticipated.

Now that this legislation has been passed in a United States jurisdiction, the question becomes whether or not other states will join in passing similar legislation.

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