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CEU Quizzes

The National Council on Strength and Fitness offers its certified professionals the opportunity to gain Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with our easy Online CEU Program. The NCSF Online CEU Program allows fitness professionals to choose CEUs from a variety of categories.

Select as many quizzes as you like from the CEU categories listed below.
Add the quizzes into your shopping cart and simply follow the purchase instructions. Each quiz is $15.00 and valued at 0.5 NCSF CEUs upon successful completion.
Once purchased, you can access your quizzes from your account and complete them at your convenience online.
For every quiz successfully completed, you will receive confirmation from the NCSF and the CEU value(s) will be applied to your account.

CEU Quiz Categories

Ethics and Professional Practice

The fitness industry has experienced a positive shift toward legitimizing fitness certifications. The International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has made a recommendation that trainers seek fitness certifications from certifying organizations that have been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This article examines the impact this recommendation has had on the fitness industry as well as the importance of possessing an accredited credential.
Within any professional environment, sensitive or difficult situations arise which require a decision making process leading to a path of action. The path one follows is based on one or more of the following: an established moral code, written policy or awritten code of ethics and a personal value system. In some cases there is not only one acceptable answer, but this is where ethics, rules and regulations diverge in the best approach to resolution. Rules and regulations are established to deal with a variety of situations and outline a single defined path or response for each. However, some areas may not be so black and white and responding ethically to a situation requires an individual to look objectively at the circumstances and then make a determination based on both logic and sensitivity. A personal trainer with a solid ethical background is able to judge almost any situation and make the right choice for that particular event. Additionally, a personal trainer with a strong value system is likely to make the right choice regardless of the popularity of that decision because he or she has a strong ethical character. To help personal trainers guide and gauge their decisions the NCSF Board for Certification has a published Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practices which define and outline proper professional behavior.
Professional ethics are an inherent part of every occupation and attempt to develop or evaluate moral standards for a defined group. Health-based professions have a unique relationship in the dynamics between patient and provider, the integrity of which must be protected in order to maintain the professional relationship between the individuals. Many medical based organizations have a written code of ethics for their constituents and members to follow, but ethics in personal training has only recently begun to realize the profession has many aspects that are affected by a moral code. At the onset, ethical focus centered on the trainer and his or her clients from a relationship and level of due care standpoint, but as the profession evolves more emphasis is being placed on the importance of preserving the integrity of the profession as a whole. This places added ethical responsibility upon the professional to serve the client, organization, profession, and society. Of course the foundation of any health-based profession is protecting the client’s best interests, but with prevention becoming a growing aspect of the future of health and wellness in this country, personal trainers will be further scrutinized for competency, peer interactions, and professional role delineation.
Maintaining ethical integrity as a professional is essential to quality business practices within any career field. Personal trainers should advocate and promote ethical behavior to enhance personal attributes and the profession as a whole. On the personal level there must be significant trust and rapport linking the fitness professional and the client for goal attainment. A client who does not display trust in their personal trainer may be less inclined to adhere to the entirety of the trainer’s recommendations for fitness improvement. This can be especially applicable outside of the fitness facility where the client may need to make lifestyle, diet, or activity modifications without direct supervision.
NCSF-CPT credential? Check. CPR/AED certification? Check. The necessary skills and abilities to train an individual effectively? Check. Seems like all the components that make up a successful Certified Personal Trainer are all in place, except for what is perhaps a fundamental, oftentimes overlooked component that separates a knowledgeable trainer from a professional trainer – professionalism. The term professionalism is an all encompassing term used to describe many aspects of an individual – how they dress, how they speak, the way they interact with co-workers and clients, and the manner in which they conduct their business. Regardless of an individual’s aptitude, people who are deciding between two prospective merchants will more often than not select the one they feel exudes the right “feel” or presents the “image” they perceive to be optimal and even if less qualified or not as substantive. You probably wouldn’t hire a Harvard educated lawyer if he came to court in sweatpants and a T-shirt, but you might hire a less qualified lawyer who is dressed in a well tailored suit, carries a leather briefcase and portrays a certain confidence that instills in you, the client, a feeling of comfort and impending effectiveness.
In many cases, ethical crossroads and challenges occur throughout a professional career, but sometimes they may actually present themselves right at the start. When it comes to honestly representing oneself, employing professional ethics should precede actually earning a job. It is estimated that 33% of resume information is misleading, embellished, or blatantly inaccurate, as career seekers “dressup” their resume to improve chances at landing a job. The ideal situation is to have followed the path of a strong candidate and therefore never trip over the ethical line. Most people though, vary in the level of education, academic achievement, public service, work experience, and professional aptitude. Due to the variability and the often known traits of an “ideal” candidate, individuals seeking gainful employment attempt to produce a resume that looks more like the “ideal” than the actual.
Most personal trainers enter the profession out of a passion for fitness, an enjoyment of the physicalsocial environment, and an ability to connect with and help others reach personal goals using their expertise. Many trainers though, lose a taste for the profession when the painful reality of selling moves to the forefront of the business. Although this should have likely been expected, as all business relies in whole or in part in the “sale” of the product or services, selling seems to be a completely separate mindset from the intended services of the personal trainer. Exercise science students are taught the background disciplines similar to related fields like athletic training and physical education, but are unique in that to engage in their trade they must sell their services, as they are discretionary rather than peripheral aspects of schooling or sports activities.
The internet provides instantaneous information on virtually all subjects currently known to man. It allows for immediate data related to a multitude of disciplines; allowing for research to be performed related to a subject, instructions to be provided for a specific task and advice to be gained by an “authority” in the area of interest. What is amazing is the number of “experts” who exist in each domain and this may be no more evident than in the fitness industry. Every newsletter, e-news, blog, instructional video, webinar, etc. is presented by an “expert in the field.” But what defines the word expert?
Continued learning is a rudimentary component to the maintenance of competency and growth as a professional. It is also a relevant ethical responsibility for individuals who participate in the health care and guidance of others. In most cases, continued education is required for professional and vocational jobs that require certification and/or licensing. The foundation for this type of education is defined by the role delineation study or job task analysis. These studies reflect in depth evaluations of what a professional does on a daily basis, as well as the knowledge and skills that support those responsibilities. These same competencies are measured on assessment instruments (exams) used to qualify a candidate for professional credentialing and therefore are an obvious foundation for continued learning as well. When continued education is constructed in this manner – with an emphasis on the domains of a profession and is supported by strong industry standards, the work embodies key aspects of professionalism and represents best practices.
People make decisions every day. Some are relatively simple and affect only the individual: bagel or eggs for breakfast? Jeans and t-shirt or khaki pants and collared shirt? Other decisions require an individual to process multiple aspects of a situation involving others and make a decision based both in logic and emotion. In cases such as these, individuals must follow established guidelines, along with their own personal code of ethics, to help them make the soundest decision possible. Personal trainers, along with other health practitioners, find themselves making such decisions every day. It is important to keep in mind that health practitioners are held to a higher standard than the average vocation because of the uneven relationship between the professional and the patient, so trainers must be especially careful to follow ethical guidelines and maintain the highest professional standards possible.
Physical activity inherently comes with an assumption of risk. It is well documented that even in controlled environments, conducive to the activity being performed and compliant with national standards and guidelines, that unintended events happen. In fact, injury or incident may occur even if the activity has been performed hundreds of times prior to the occurrence of a single negative event. In many cases, the activity itself serves as the trigger, but the event was actually caused by a mix of factors culminating to create the problem or situation. Due to the fact that it is difficult (if not impossible) to account for all possible risk factors that may present a negative event in a given situation, the prudent course of action, following efforts of prevention, is to have a plan to manage the incident. A comprehensive action plan should be constructed to ensure that negative outcomes are minimized or limited to the greatest possible degree in the event of an incident or injury. Several aspects of a plan affect its effectiveness to reduce the impact of the incident. Therefore, the plan should be comprehensive in its development, thoroughly reviewed, competently implemented and practiced, and regularly updated.
Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) have become commonplace in sports as an extremely effective means for performance enhancement. In the sixties and seventies the drugs were far less common, and use centered on bodybuilding and resistance-based sports; although some documents suggest Olympic athletes were already using them with some level of consistency.
A professional’s success is, to a large degree, the outcome of processes developed over time. It entails more than can result from any single event or particular occurrence; it is rather shaped through experience. Experience may be related to or attained via education, one’s work environment, shadowing/mentoring or a combination of all three. The idea that someone can become a professional due to a single experience is ultimately flawed.
As with any profession there is always a top and bottom 10%. Some individuals aspire for greatness while others tend to contribute to the negativity associated with any job.
Following an Olympics shadowed by the Russian performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal; banned substances once again reach the forefront of the sport’s media.
Is nutrition really within the scope of professional practice(s) of exercise professionals? Job role delineation studies in the United States identify nutrition and weight management competencies as roughly 10% of an exercise professional's job. So it must have some place within the scope of practice. Additionally, certified fitness trainers, strength coaches and Pilates teachers are constantly asked by their clients to provide information regarding novel dietary strategies, the latest trends in pop-culture (diets); as well as what micronutrients and performance-enhancing supplements work. So, what is appropriate behavior for the exercise professional?
Exercise professionals are in a unique position to provide improved health and well-being, reduce the risk for injury and disease, lower the occurrence of depression and emotional stress, and even enhance a person’s look and confidence. But all this good may still go unrewarded if you make a mistake (or are perceived to make a mistake), and if the client or customer thinks the mistake impacted them physically, emotionally, or financially.
Billboards across America advertise the newest of the proposed cure-alls - CBD, formally known as cannabidiol. CBD has become a household-recognizable supplement due to significant advertising and celebrity-endorsed claims. Part of the hype is the novelty of the dietary supplement. In December 2015, the FDA changed the regulatory controls which allowed clinical trials to examine the effects of CBD on humans. Part of the reason it is fairly new to the public is CBD is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis and is an essential component in medical marijuana. For this reason, it has been historically regulated as an illegal drug and banned from public use. Today the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana but does little to regulate it as states ease up prior marijuana laws. Currently all 50 states have legalized CBD with varying degrees of restriction, though limited to no enforcement takes place. Part of the reason for limited regulatory efforts is CBD does not produce a “high” and the World Health Organization has cleared CBD as neither an addictive or harmful agent. Additionally, CBD from hemp is legalized similar to other hemp crop products in most states.
In recent years there have been a slew of unethical events reported in the media; consequently one of the downfalls of these situations is the fact that the events are not isolated to one particular field of practice. The most commonly noted and publicized unethical events occur in the medical, business, and political fields.
It has been said that business ethics is one of the most antagonistic subjects facing a capitalistic society. On one side is the concept of doing the right thing by customers, on the other side is the goal of maximizing profits and increasing business opportunities. While doing the right thing to one person may simply mean being honest in marketing and sales to consumers, others may suggest business ethics must be broadly applied and extended to all human and environmental considerations.
It is well known that nutrition is at the forefront of health, disease management, fitness and performance. As such, all of the professions that deal with these areas of human physiology have some role in providing guidance for consumers, clients and patients. This has been clearly identified in role delineation studies and curriculum preparations for fields such as exercise science, nursing, personal and athletic training, health coaching and strength and conditioning. Some programs require intro to nutrition or basic nutrition for health, whereas others extend into advanced nutrition, sports nutrition and even nutritional biochemistry. This supports the fact that all of these professions maintain the right to use their nutritional knowledge to help others within their defined scope of practice; where it gets questionable is in representation and overreaching.
In every role delineation study across NCCAaccredited programs for exercise professionals, nutrition and weight management competencies in both knowledge and task statements represent about 15% of the expected professional capabilities. This sometimes creates confusion about what is within that scope, and what is the emerging role of fitness and sports nutrition specialists. There are currently forty-six out of fifty states which have enacted specific regulations regarding the practice of dietetics by either nutritionists or dietitians. Each state has its own specific licensure and certification requirements to allow people to practice within their individual state.

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