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California Proposes Stricter Regulations on Personal Trainers

California legislators are eyeing to pass Senate Bill 374 that would require all physical trainers in the state to acquire a four-year college degree in a related field of study before practicing physical training activities. The proposed law would require necessary degrees in exercise or fitness science and kinesiology, aside from current certifications from several national independent organizations.

Physical trainers across California are facing tougher and weightier oversights. The bill, which was filed by Senator Ron Calderon D-Montebello in February 2009 and passed in the Senate on April 24 the same year, is still yet to be imposed and enforced statewide. However, it has been receiving different kind of reactions, some are in favor, while others are in opposition.

Advocates and supporters of the bill assert that the proposed legislation would set standards and would ensure overall safety so that consumers could always be assured that professional standards are at hand. They add that strengthened oversight is necessary because personal training is imposing a direct effect on the well-being and health of a person.

Several clients are also raving about this new development. According to them, such stricter regulations would serve as an important safeguard especially these days when money is harder earned. Every investment, they added, should be able to yield significant and guaranteed results. Data from the National Academy of Sports Medicine show that on the average, fees collected by personal trainers reach about $40 to about $100 per hour. That is relatively costly, especially these days when the global financial crisis is still scattering its impact.

However, several sectors of the society are also skeptical over the proposed law. In particular, physical training practitioners and health clubs are mostly opposing the proposal. To them, there is no need to suddenly impose stringent oversights to a sector that has been self-regulating for many decades already. Some clients slam the proposal, saying they should be left to take responsibility of looking at trainers’ qualifications. They want to spare the government from that task. To them, the state should focus on making ends meet, especially these days.

If implemented, Senate Bill 374 would set as a requirement submission of certifications from appropriate agencies that are accredited by no less than the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education. Several criteria and other requirements would be asked from personal trainers so those professionals could finally be formally and legally allowed to operate and provide training services to clients.

Proponents of the bill assert that the legislation has no ill intentions. Through the proposed law, the state government aims to screen out legitimate and qualified personal trainers from con artists. They also attest that the bill would serve as a protection clause that would guarantee consumers and clients that their investments in time, effort, and money would not be put to trash in the long run.

Some people raise the possibility that Senate Bill 374 would generate more income for the state. That is because penalties would be imposed to personal trainers who would be found declaring false qualifications. In that way, any costs to be incurred by implementation of the bill would be effectively offset by the state government.

Thus, tax payers would need not question the viability and independence of the bill because it surely would be able to pay for itself, and potentially add more to the state funds.


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