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After successfully completing the CEC/CEU course (Minimizing Legal Liability and Maximizing Fitness Safety), exercise professionals who work in positions, such as manager/director, assistant manager/director, supervisor, program coordinator or other leadership positions (e.g., consultants/business owners providing legal/risk management services and academicians who teach legal/risk management courses/topics and/or conduct legal/risk management research) are eligible to obtain the Fitness Law Academy’s certification:


After successful completion of the CEC/CEU course, eligible candidates will be "invited" to earn this certification. To earn this certification, candidates will need to pass a 2-part practical examination:

Part 1: Completion of a written legal/risk management project that can be implemented in the candidate’s facility/program or in the various services and/or educational programs the candidate provides. The written project will be graded on a pass/fail basis – it must reflect sound legal/risk management principles.

Part 2: Upon successful completion of the written project, the candidate will need to pass an oral examination defending the written project, (i.e., successfully answering questions in a virtual setting via Zoom).

Eligibility requirements:

(1) A minimum of a bachelor’s degree* in exercise science, fitness/wellness, or related field

(2) Currently in a management or leadership position (described above) for at least one year

*In lieu of a bachelor's degree, individuals may be eligible if they have extensive work experience that includes the development and/or coordination of a fitness, sport, or recreation risk management plan -- and an accredited fitness certification from a well-recognized, professional organization.

Certification FAQs

1. What steps are involved to earn the certification?
First, the candidate proposes a legal/risk management project that he/she would like to develop – a project that will benefit the candidate’s fitness facility/program or the services/educational programs the candidate provides. Upon approval, the guidelines and timeframe for preparation of the written portion of the exam will be provided to the candidate. After the written project is submitted, it is then evaluated on a pass/fail basis. If a fail grade is given, the candidate will have a second chance to revise the written project and re-submit. If a pass grade is given, a date for the oral examination is set. The oral exam (candidates answers questions regarding their legal/risk management project) will be conducted via Zoom and will last about 30-45 minutes. Upon successful completion of the oral exam, the candidate will be awarded the certification from the Fitness Law Academy.

2. Is this certification accredited?

No. In the future, the plan is to obtain NCCA accreditation. One of the NCCA requirements is the completion of a job task analysis (JTA), which is accomplished by qualified professionals completing a survey answering questions such as the following for each competency (or job task) listed: (a) how important is that task? and (b) how frequently do you perform that task? A valid JTA cannot be completed until there enough individuals who would be familiar with legal/risk management competencies applicable to fitness facilities/programs. For example, we will need enough individuals who have completed the CEC/CEU course who would be willing to participate in the JTA survey. Once that is accomplished, accreditation can be pursued.

3. What is the fee for the certification?

$200 -- An invoice will be sent to interested candidates.

4. Do continuing education credits (CECs) need to be earned to keep the certification current?

Yes, every three years. There will be a variety of ways to earn CECs. For example, candidates will need to submit two examples of educational programs they have completed (or attended) that covered fitness safety, legal liability, and risk management topics. Two-three months prior to the expiration date, candidates will be sent a form to complete and submit to Dr. JES. There is no additional fee for recertification. 

5. What does it mean to be a Certified Fitness Safety Manager (CFSM)?

A CFSM has successfully completed the Fitness Law Academy’s CEC/CEU “self-study” course and has passed a practical examination involving the development of a legal/risk management project. The CFSM has demonstrated certain competencies reflecting legal/risk management. CFSMs should not be considered an “expert” in the law or risk management, unless they have completed advanced formal education (e.g., a law degree or completion of graduate classes covering the law, risk management, and business law), 5-10 years of related professional experience, and are competent. 

After successful completion of the certification practical examination, individuals will receive the following certificate.

Certificate of Completion

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