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Professional- licensure, reimbursement, other

Certification is voluntary
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For the vast majority of CEPs, certification remains voluntary. Something that I did not appreciate until not that long ago is that it's hard, really hard, to get a job description changed once it has been established. Human Resources is very reticent to change job descriptions when there are already employees in that job classification that may not meet the new requirement. Listing certification as "required" in such a situation is nigh unto impossible, which is why there are non-certified employees in some very high profile programs across the country.

State licensing boards are unlikely to go to the time, trouble, and expense to develop a licensing examination on their own that is sufficiently capable of distinguishing minimally competent candidates from those that are not. That's even more true when such a tool already exists in the form of an industry developed certification. It makes sense that the licensing board would adopt that certification as evidence of professional competency and include it as one of the requirements for licensure. In the event that a state were to successfully pass such a bill licensing CEPs, then the certification wouldn't really be "voluntary" any more. The thing is, that hasn't happened. Even in Louisiana, where CEPs have had the opportunity to become licensed since 1995, the license itself has not been mandatory. There is not a single jurisdiction in the United States where a license (and, by extension, certification) is required to be employed as a CEP.

In my opinion, for whatever it is worth, the confusion that surrounds the roles and responsibilities that can/should be appropriately assigned to a CEP will continue until academic preparation is standardized and outside groups (e.g., physicians and third party payers) agree that holding an externally accredited certification is evidence of minimal competency and capable of performing a reimbursable task.

This comment was posted during the CEPA webinar on licensure & reimbursement (Jan 2021). It is important to understand that outside of government regulation of CEPs (eg, licensure law), certification is voluntary. It is up to the employer to decide if it is meaningful for their staff to have earned a given certification, such as ACSM's CEP. In addition, the employer determines the job responsibilities for their CEPs. These responsibilities do not need to align with the ACSM CEP certification.

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