Maintaining CSCS Status as a Health Care Professional

by John McCarthy
July 2017

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Health-related professionals face a double burden – obtaining enough continuing education credits to maintain both their CSCS certification and their healthcare licensure. That’s quite the time and financial commitment – however, it is possible to find CEU opportunities that fulfill both requirements.

WHAT TO DO IN CARE OF MULTIPLE CREDENTIALS

Healthcare professionals are generally required to stay up to date on advancements in their field, and thus continuing education is generally a mandatory part of maintaining licensure. That said, many healthcare professionals hold other, simultaneous credentials, such as the NSCA’s CSCS certification. Continuing education requirements are generally specific to each license and certification, as they must support the scope of practice specific to each. That said, opportunities exist to find and choose continuing education that may count towards fulfilling both renewing your health-related license and renewing your CSCS credential.

UNDERSTANDING OVERLAPPING CONTENT AREAS

Although you cannot expect all your completed continuing education to count towards renewing both your health-related license and your CSCS credential, oftentimes you can find overlapping CEUs. The key is to find an educational offering that focuses on content that overlaps and falls within the scope of practice for both your health-related profession and the CSCS credential. Examples of some areas that may fall into the scope of practice for many healthcare and strength and conditioning professionals include injury prevention, program design, and nutrition related topics. Alternatively, examples of areas that fall outside the CSCS scope of practice, but may fall within a health-related professional license scope, would include manual therapy techniques and rehabilitation. In this example, these topics would generally be accepted for a physical therapy license renewal; however, they are beyond the CSCS scope of practice and would not be accepted towards your CSCS recertification. Since continuing education licensing requirements can vary substantially from state to state, healthcare professionals also need to check whether a specific educational offering that may count towards CSCS recertification also counts in their state for their health-related profession relicensing.

USING THE DETAILED CONTENT OUTLINE AS YOUR GUIDE

Exercise in medicine has received substantial research support in the last several years, and is finally being recognized as an important intervention and preventive measure in many health-related disorders and disabilities. Since only continuing education content that directly relates to the CSCS scope of practice and is included in the detailed content outline of the CSCS exam will be accepted for CSCS recertification, health-related professionals should check the NSCA Certification Handbook for the detailed CSCS content outline to confirm that the opportunity covers CSCS-related content. Another resource is the textbook that is used for the CSCS exam, NSCA’s Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 4th edition.

PLAN AHEAD

Remember, it is the certified person’s responsibility to meet the CSCS recertification requirements; and as a health professional you can plan ahead of time and probably receive at least some continuing education credits that apply for both renewing your health-related license and your CSCS credential.

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