News 4 is investigating online certifications. The American Sports and Fitness Association is a St. Louis based company that allows customers to take an on line test to receive certifications in everything from sports nutrition to personal training.
In order to pass the test and receive your certification you must receive a 70 percent on the online test. The test consists of true or false and multiple choice questions. If you get an answer wrong you can go back and change your answers as often as you like until you receive a 70 percent.
We discovered it's easy to receive a certificate, all it took was ten minutes and $99. I took the test to get a golf strength training specialist, I didn't read one question and changed my answers enough times to receive a 76 percent passing grade.
The Better Business Bureau is also investigating American Sports and Fitness Association. Click here to read their news release.
The company's executive director Kurt Lippman declined an on camera interview but he agreed to answer questions via email.
Here is a list of those questions and the answers provided by Lippman:
1.) Why does your business have a policy that doesn't allow you to conduct interviews?
As the Executive Director of ASFA and also running a personal training company, I have a very busy schedule. At the current time, our business policy is intended to promote workplace productivity. Further, it is important that all information about the company be disseminated accurately, and I do not believe the most accurate information can be delivered by off the cuff discussions.
2.) Who certifies the American Sports and Fitness Association? What is your tie to Elite Personal Training and Tactical Edge?
All ASFA certifications were originated to ensure the quality of employment and continuing education in niche marketing fields for contractors of affiliated companies Elite Personal Training LLC and/or the Tactical Edge LLC. As the demand for continuing education and niche marketing tests grew and was expressed, ASFA was founded to help other employers screen potential employees as well as provide the required continuing education credits needed to retain employment and/or primary certificates held. As I directly own/manage both affiliate companies, ASFA’s success in becoming a National leader in continuing education and niche marketing certifications in the fitness market is a source of pride.
All ASFA certificates are screened and insured for accuracy by the above mentioned companies that are affiliated and clearly cited on our site’s "Terms and Conditions" page which may be accessed from any page of our site and also must be agreed to before proceeding to purchase. Please check the link below for more information.
Terms and Conditions:
3.) How many people have been certified through your program?
ASFA has certified many thousands of fitness professionals throughout the United States and Internationally. ASFA’s success has grown and led to its emergence as a recognized authority in the CEC and niche marketing field. Many institutions have sought after or reimbursed ASFA (or clients thereof) and/or requested lists of certified professionals who have completed additional training in specific fields.
This list spans all levels of public and private sectors including but not limited to: hospitals/clinics, universities, public schools, city/county/state/federal governing bodies, non-profit agencies and rescue missions, community centers, and of course, corporate/franchise/and private fitness centers.
With thousands of certified professionals, ASFA is proud to state that we have 0 unresolved complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau, and no active disputes in any forum. Considering the large quantity of our customer base and the high volume of renewals, we consider our customer support record an outstanding achievement.
4.) What does getting a certificate mean?
Obtaining an ASFA certificate of academic course completion means that you have successfully completed your continuing education and/or niche marketing course online. After successfully completing an ASFA test, all prospective clients must agree to terms and conditions of certification which clearly state all required actions for testing. ASFA certification, standing alone does not give one the ability to state that he or she is "certified" unless all of the other terms and conditions are met.
Please refer to the following link to better understand your obligation of certification. This link is accessible on all website pages. Also, you may not proceed to payment until you have agreed to terms as is clearly stated in bold red lettering before reaching our checkout page.
Terms and Conditions:
ASFA has received third party endorsements from multiple leaders in the fitness industry. Please follow the link below to see endorsements from the leading collegiate publisher in the field, the largest health care providing insurance company, and the largest fitness/bodybuilding community on the internet.
5.) I took your test and became certified as a golf strength training specialist? It took me about ten minutes to get a 76 percent passing grade...I did not read one question, I simply guessed at every choice, then changed my answers with the prompts provided on the screen. How does this make me a certified golf strength training specialist?
"By providing my electronic signature to these terms and conditions, I verify the following: that I am 18 years of age or older, that I (named in the shipping address) completed this test without the assistance of others, that I will complete certification in CPR/AED before training or working with any others in any fitness capacity, that I will attain a letter of consent from the personal physician of all clients under my care, that I will complete a full practicum/internship (minimum twenty-five hours) with a certified trainer before training individually, and that I will continually train and not let my continuing education lapse."
"I take full responsibility for my actions as a fitness professional and will remain in compliance with and laws in my country and/or state and regulations in my fitness facility. I will not hold ASFA responsible for any restrictions or actions imposed upon me by any authority or individual that is not affiliated with ASFA. As a certified ASFA professional I understand that: ASFA certifications are intended for niche marketing, continuing education, and as a resource for the fitness professional; ASFA certifications are not intended to be sole or primary certifications"
For more information and details, please refer to the links provided above for more terms and conditions of usage.
Unless you are in full compliance with terms and conditions, you are in violation if you hold yourself out as "certified". The terms and made very accessible on the site, ASFA strongly suggests full review of all contractual obligations prior to purchase.
Many fields of work ranging from aviation to real estate to the fitness industry require continuing education and/or pre or post-qualification tests. We believe that just as in many other fields, clients testing should be provided prompts to the correct answer to enhance the learning experience when used correctly.
Of course, if used incorrectly and not in compliance with terms and conditions, the tester has violated his/her contractual agreement and certification is not valid. All ASFA certified professionals agree to provide full documentation upon request to any potential employer and/or ASFA.
In addition to the third party endorsements listed above, our client base has used ASFA certifications for continuing education of their primary certifications. As ASFA is used for continuing education credits for leading primary certificates as well as niche marketing and pre-qualification tests, ASFA has proven valuable to employer and employee alike.
Thank you for exploring the options available from ASFA testing. At this time, you have completed the academic course to become a certified Golf Strength Training Specialist. By taking the time to read the material and answer the questions you have passed the test, however, you are not eligible to practice or call yourself "certified" as (I presume) you are not in compliance with terms and conditions of the site. Please read the following which is made clear and available to you before purchase: