Earning and Tracking Continuing Education for your ACSM Certification

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Earning and Tracking Continuing Education for your ACSM Certification

Francis Neric, MS, MBA |  May 20, 2019

ACSM Certification Renewal CEC

How do I earn and track CECs for my ACSM Certification? ANSWERED

The purpose of ACSM recertification is to ensure that ACSM Certified Professionals enhance skills and knowledge above and beyond minimum competence. Periodic recertification occurs through the documentation of (and confirmation, when audited) of required continuing educational activities over a three-year cycle.  Each level of certification requires a different amount of continuing education.

ACSM Certification Recertification CEC Table

When you renew your certification, you are required to acknowledge completion of the required continuing education credits (CECs), have current CPR certification and pay the required renewal fee. ACSM audits a percentage of randomly selected certification renewals at each credential level every year. If audited, you will be required to provide documented proof of your CECs to the ACSM National Office within 30 days. Below are a few quick tips regarding CECs and recertification:

1. Need CECs? ACSMceOnline offers many affordable options to fulfill your CEC requirement and is available 24/7, 365 for you to earn CECs. ACSM members do receive a discount here.  The member discount code is no longer required since we transitioned to our new learning management system. The system will recognize you as an ACSM member once you log in; and member pricing will be reflected at checkout.  If member pricing is not reflected, and you believe you are a member, please email the membership department prior to completing your purchase.

2. ACSM accepts CECs you earn from other organizations that are directly related to your ACSM certification. Here are the criteria:
       a. Content outside of the scope of your certification will not be accepted.
       b. You must have been awarded CECs or contact hours from the organization that sponsored the event or from any other major fitness organization.
       c. ACSM has a network of Approved CEC Providers that offer courses, but your CECs do not have to come from them. 

3. CECs, CMEs, CEUs and contact hours are sometimes used interchangeably, fortunately we do accept all related increments of instructional hours. Organizations have different ways of calculating CECs, the general rule is that the CEC equivalency is always 1 = 1, but if the organization uses the decimal system (i.e. ACE or NSCA) then its .1 = 1. If there is any doubt, it typically equates to 1 CEC per hour of participation. For a listing of what is accepted, click here. 

4. You do not have to send in your CECs unless you are audited. Be sure to keep all of those certificates of attendance/completion that you've received. You can be audited up to a year after recertification.

5. Earning CECs does not automatically renew your certification for you. You still must actively complete the renewal form and pay. The form will have you input the number of CECs you've earned in the designated fields, you will not have to list out each course. If you are audited, a more detailed form must be submitted along with your audit documents.

ACSM Self- Reporting Tool

When you earn CECs from attending an ACSM Annual Meeting or Health and Fitness Summit or by taking courses on our ACSMceOnline site, those will automatically show up in your My CEC/CME History tab when you log into your MyACSM profile. All other CECs you must manually input using the Self-Reporting Tool. This currently is not required but is a great way to track your continuing education.
1. To track your continuing education using the Self-Reporting tool, login to your MyACSM profile.
2. Next, you will click My Profile, the MyCEC/CME History tab and then click the Self-Reporting tool button.
3. Enter your course information into the form and submit.

Author: Francis Neric
Francis Neric, MS, MBA, is the national director of certification for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Neric leads the development and administration of ACSM's state-of-the-art certification programs. He also serves on the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES) and Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP) which directly supports the mission, vision, and values of the college. Neric has a BS degree in exercise science from CSU Long Beach, a MS degree in clinical exercise physiology from CSU Fullerton, and an MBA in management from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

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