Exercise Safety

ESA Membership, Training and Certification

ESA Membership

ESA membership is exclusive to ESA certified instructors. A one-year ESA membership is included upon registration for a first time certification examination. Membership begins when the certification examination is completed. If the candidate does not pass the certification, he or she retains the membership for the balance of the year, and will be given an opportunity to retest during that time. An ESA certified instructor's membership is renewed at no additional cost when their certification is renewed. If a certification expires, the membership expires at the same time.

Training and Certification

The Exercise Safety Association sets the standards for certification competency examinations and its affiliate program STAR America sponsors the fitness instructor training programs. As a national certification organization, ESA, established in 1978, is one of the oldest in the country. As a training organization, ESA was the first accredited training organization in the United States and shares that position with another agency that earned its accreditation at the same time. Certification examinations are administered independent of training programs.

STAR Certification

ESA Training

ESA offers a basic training to prepare for a primary certification called SAFE Group Exercise Leader; it includes the fundamental academic information and practical skills needed to teach any exercise discipline as defined by the Primary Certification Exam Objectives and provides the foundation for all ESA certification examinations. ESA also offers training programs for a variety of specialty exercise skills and health related disciplines through its affiliate program STAR America.

Home correspondence training for the ESA certification examinations can be ordered directly from ESA. Contact us for immediate assistance. You can also order from one of the STAR America Representatives. Some of the ESA Star America Representatives are Master Trainers and Facilitators, who offer on-site training through their individual training organizations. Each representative is an independent and provides preparation that meets ESA certification examination objectives, but each representative organization designs their particular training format. Contact the representative nearest you for information about their on-site training programs.

ESA Certification Examinations

Certification examinations are administered by the Exercise Safety Association and not by the trainers. ESA STAR America representatives are independent of the testing procedures and do not have access to examination content. Trainers teach to the objectives of the discipline and not to specific examination content. Strategic policies and procedures are implemented by ESA to assure the efficacy of certification examination implementation. The examination questions are frequently changed and numerous versions of each examination are often used simultaneously. A certification candidate must earn a minimum score of 80% to successfully complete the examination and must have earned or be in the process of earning Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification. A candidate may retest a failed examination at any time after notification of results, but must pay an additional administrative fee. The first time certification is valid for one year. See Certification Renewal.

ESA offers two methods of certification examination: on-site testing and home correspondence testing. ESA is the only certification that measures specific proficiency of the principles of safe exercise. An ESA certification is the mark of a fitness professional that through written testing has been assessed in the knowledge, teaching methods, and leadership principles that promote the safest methods in the exercise profession. ESA certification examinations, not only measure basic proficiency and the instructor candidate's knowledge and practical skills in each subject matter but also measure general scientific principles, knowledge, and ability to assemble exercise sessions and programs that promote lifetime health and fitness.

The ESA certification is a must for every professional instructor. As a primary or secondary certification, it is the mark of a safety conscious professional and it demonstrates that the instructor is the kind of leader with high standards, who sets uncommon goals, strives for excellence and cares about their clients.

ESA Star Certification

When an ESA instructor earns three or more ESA certifications, he or she is awarded the STAR Certification, Recognition of Advanced Proficiency.

STAR Certification

Learn more About Certification.