About ASEP and
The American Society of Exercise Physiologists
(ASEP) was founded in 1997 to unite exercise physiologists and promote
the professional development of exercise physiology. The Society
serves to protect the well being of exercise physiologists by enhancing
the recognition of their work and educating the public about their importance
and functions in the athletic, fitness, allied health and medical fields.
ASEP also fosters the exchange of ideas and research among exercise physiologists,
and provides a forum for the continual advancement of the profession.
The Society holds a national meeting annually.
The first national meeting was held at the College of St. Scholastica,
Duluth, MN on October 2-3, 1998. ASEP publishes two peer-reviewed
electronic journals, the Journal
of Exercise Physiologyonline, the Professionalization
of Exercise Physiologyonline, and the
The ASEP web site serves as a “sounding board” for issues important to
exercise physiologists. For more information about ASEP, please visit
the Internet site:
Among the goals
and objectives of ASEP is the development of standards for the profession
of exercise physiology. Such standards include a formal Code
of Ethics, Standards
of Professional Practice, Exercise
Physiologist Certified (EPC) exam, and a nationwide accreditation program.
While certification evaluates the competence of the individual, accreditation
is a system for ensuring that the academic programs preparing students
for the exercise physiology profession are of a high quality.
Work began on the development of the accreditation
program in early 1998, shortly after the inception of ASEP in 1997.
Through the collaborative efforts of exercise physiologists from around
the country, the accreditation “guidelines” manual was submitted for final
approval of the Board of Directors at the 1999
national meeting. The manual represents a compilation of two
years of work by exercise physiologists who have identified the minimal
standards that are acceptable for educating students for a career in this
Academic accreditation is an important
and essential component to any profession. The Accreditation Committee
of ASEP desires to work with your academic program to ensure that standards
are met and graduating students are worthy of the title “exercise physiologist”.
Accreditation benefits everyone: academic programs are critically evaluated
and improved, students are better prepared for certification exams and
the workforce, and employers are more confident that they are hiring competent
professionals. In time, students will gravitate to ASEP-accredited
programs, as there will be little incentive to enroll in a program not
recognized by ASEP. We encourage you to carefully read this accreditation
manual, support the professional development of exercise physiology, and
seek ASEP accreditation.
Role of the ASEP
The ASEP Accreditation Committee served
to collect data on the processes of academic accreditation and formulated
a plan for the accreditation of exercise physiology programs. The
ASEP Board of Accreditation approved and administers the plan outlined
in this manual.
the ASEP Accreditation Committee
1. Establish a suggested course
curriculum to serve as a guideline for the academic preparation of students
seeking a degree in exercise physiology.
2. Establish a list of required
learning objectives that will serve as the basis for verifying an academic
program’s credibility and comprehensiveness for preparing exercise physiology
2a. Establish a list of
required cognitive objectives.
3. Work in conjunction with the ASEP
Certification Committee such that the content of the certification examination
corresponds with and is a good representation of the required learning
objectives established for the academic programs.
2b. Establish a list of required
laboratory skill objectives.
4. Promote and implement the ASEP
4a. Establish an evaluation
procedure for assessing the suitability of academic programs that has integrity
and is credible, yet is practical to implement nationwide.
4b. Work closely with other ASEP
committees (e.g., Public Relations and Legislative) so that the ASEP Accreditation
Program will be formally and legally recognized as the sole accrediting
body for exercise physiology academic programs.
The purpose of the ASEP Board of Accreditation
is to establish academic standards for the exercise physiology profession,
verify the credibility, integrity, and quality of academic programs that
prepare students for professional work in exercise physiology, and identify
institutions that have attained the ASEP standard.
ASEP Board of
The ASEP Board of Accreditation works
cooperatively with the educational institutions to ensure that graduates
entering the exercise physiology profession are professionally prepared.
The 10-member Board is comprised of representation from the college and
university communities, the clinical cardiopulmonary rehabilitation sector,
pure and applied exercise physiology research, the fitness industry, and
health/wellness promotion. The vast array of professional experience
and expertise of the Board in leadership and exercise physiology professionalism
provides assurance that accreditation is fair, reliable, and effective.
1. Define the accepted standards
of academic responsibility of an institution voluntarily seeking accreditation.
2. Through accreditation, demonstrate
levels of academic performance, integrity, and quality that entitle exercise
physiologists to the confidence of the profession, the communities they
serve, and the general public.
Process for Achieving
An institution that wishes to seek ASEP
accreditation of an existing or a developing exercise physiology education
program must show evidence of having met the required curriculum consisting
1. Basic science core
2. Exercise physiology content
3. Learning objectives (cognitive
Members of the
Board of Accreditation
Chair, Tommy Boone,
PhD, MPH, FASEP, EPC
Tom Broderick, PhD
Don Diboll, PhD,
Daniel Drury, Ph.D
Melissa Knight-Maloney, PhD
Harry Pino, PhD
Jesse Pittsley, PhD
Robert Robergs, PhD, FASEP, EPC
Donald Rodd, PhD, EPC
Blake Surnia, MS
Dale Wagner, PhD, EPC
Basic Science Core
curriculum should consist of:
Science Core: A strong science background provides a solid knowledge
base so that the student can fully comprehend and appreciate the complexities
of more advanced course work in the exercise physiology area. ASEP
accreditation requires that a student
complete a minimum of one course (3 units each) in three of the four major
sciences (math, biology, chemistry, and physics). At least two of
the basic science courses must contain laboratory experiences (at least
1 unit each). Thus, the minimal requirement in the basic science
core is 3 courses with 2 labs (11 semester hours). Additionally,
a course in computer science is desirable. Programs that do not require
students to take a computer science course must be able to document that
substantial experience in the use of a computer is being incorporated into
other courses within the program. Although only 11 semester hours
in the basic science core are required to meet accreditation standards,
ASEP recommends additional units in the sciences be taken. A sample
of a suggested basic science core is presented below:
basic science core
Courses in the Basic Science Core (29 units)
College Algebra (3) – essential for doing
metabolic calculations and solving problems in biomechanics
College Trigonometry (3) – essential for
solving quantitative problems in biomechanics
Human Anatomy & Physiology (8) – these
courses may be offered separately but are often combined into an entire
year; this is the basis for many of the more advanced courses in our field
including kinesiology, biomechanics, and exercise physiology
General and/or Cell Biology (4) – a good
base for all other physiology courses and biochemistry
General Chemistry (4) – a basis for exercise
biochemistry and helpful for sports nutrition
Introduction to Physics (4) – essential
to fully grasp the concepts of kinesiology and biomechanics
Computer Skills (3) – the student should
learn skills in word processing, spread sheet data entry, graphing, Internet
navigation etc. to function as an exercise physiologist
1.3 Exercise Physiology
Core: ASEP requires that
the content listed in Section 2 and the learning objectives stated in Sections
3 and 4 are taught. The content and objectives can be met from a
variety of course offerings typically taught within exercise physiology.
However, it is strongly recommended that at least 24 units of exercise
physiology-related courses be taken in order to meet these requirements.
A sample of a suggested exercise physiology core is presented below.
Courses in the Exercise Physiology Core
First aid & CPR (2)
Movement anatomy/kinesiology (3)
Introductory and Advanced Exercise Physiology
Exercise testing & prescription (with
Exercise biochemistry (3)
Sports nutrition (3)
Statistics & research design (3)
Electives: The career options for a student of exercise physiology
are varied and numerous. The basic science core and the exercise
physiology core are intended to provide comprehensive, but general, academic
preparation for all exercise physiologists. The basic science core
and exercise physiology core should be supplemented with elective courses
that compliment the student’s career goals and interests. While ASEP
does not place any requirements on what elective courses should be included
in the curriculum, the following are some suggestions for various subdisciplines
or common career paths of exercise physiologists.
Exercise Specialist for Special Populations
(cardiac rehabilitation, gerontology, etc.)
Corporate Fitness Director
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Graduate School Preparation
(Researcher, University Professor)
ACLS certification, courses relevant to
the population (pediatrics, aging, cardiac
Leadership management, wellness
minor in business/marketing
advanced exercise physiology, research
methods, statistics, teaching methods
Units: The degree (emphasis) in exercise physiology should represent
a comprehensive area of study. ASEP requires
that the total units (basic science core, exercise physiology core, general
education courses, and electives) for an accredited program be a minimum
of 120 semester hours.
curriculum requirements imposed
by ASEP are minimal so that academic programs have the freedom to address
the required content areas (Section 2) and learning objectives (Sections
3 and 4) in ways that best suit their needs and constraints. Adhering
to the course examples presented in this section would meet the curriculum
requirements, most likely address all the learning objectives, and be feasible
to complete in the traditional 4-year period:
Basic Science Core = 29 units
Exercise Physiology Core = 32 units (meeting
content areas & learning objectives)
General Education = 50 units
Additional Electives = 13 units
Total = 124 units
in the Exercise Physiology Core
Academic programs seeking ASEP accreditation
teach the broad content areas listed below. The course listing in
parenthesis refers to the course in which this content area would most
likely be found.
2.1 Basic first aid and cardiopulmonary
resuscitation skills (following the procedures approved by certifying agencies
such as the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association).
It is recommended that those seeking a specialization in cardiac rehabilitation
pursue advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). Note: Verification
of current certification waives this requirement for students. (First Aid
2.2 Basic but comprehensive overview
of the structure and function of the systems of the human body to include
all the systems of the body: circulatory, immune, respiratory, digestive,
urinary, reproductive, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and endocrine systems.
(Human Anatomy & Physiology)
2.3 A detailed study of the skeletal
and muscular systems to include identification of the origin, insertion,
and action of the major muscles. Students should become proficient
in the use of directional and movement terminology and be able to classify
movement levers and identify the plane/axis as well as the agonists and
antagonists in a movement. (Movement Anatomy or Kinesiology)
2.4 Advanced application of muscle
mechanics and physiology to sport and human movement patterns to include
the analysis of kinematics and kinetics, linear and angular kinematics
and kinetics, loads and injuries of joints, and movement in a fluid medium.
2.5 A study of wellness topics and
physical fitness concepts to include the health-related components of fitness,
fitness assessment, and basic exercise program design. (Exercise Prescription
or Introductory Exercise Physiology)
2.6 A study of the energy systems
(metabolic pathways, conversion of food to energy, and measurement of this
energy), the cardiorespiratory system, and the neuromuscular system, and
how these systems respond and adapt to exercise. (Introductory Exercise
2.7 A study of advanced exercise
physiology topics to include body composition, endocrine/hormonal response
to exercise, environmental physiology (heat/cold, hyper/hypobaric), exercise
& aging, and gender differences. (Advanced Exercise Physiology)
2.8 Practice using commonly used
field and laboratory testing devices for the purpose of fitness assessment,
clinical analysis, collection of research data, and the improvement of
sport performance. (Exercise Physiology Laboratory)
2.9 A study of chemistry and molecular
biology as it relates to exercise to include basic genetics, bioenergetics,
enzyme regulation, catabolism and synthesis of different fuels during exercise,
and the interactions between liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue
metabolism during exercise. (Exercise Biochemistry)
2.10 A study of the six fundamental
nutrients – carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, water –
and their role/importance in exercise, as well as ergogenic aids and supplementation,
weight gain/loss/maintenance, eating disorders, nutritional fads and consumer
nutrition/food labeling. (Sports Nutrition)
2.11 A detailed study of the anatomy
of the heart and electrical conduction system to include preparing a subject
for a 12-lead ECG and reading a 12-lead ECG to include rate, rhythm, heart
blocks, axis, hypertrophy, and injury. (Electrocardiography)
2.12 Practical study of submaximal
and maximal exercise tests using a variety of testing apparatus to include
contraindications for testing, testing procedures, guidelines for stopping
a test, interpretation of the test data, and exercise recommendations.
(Exercise Testing & Prescription)
2.13 Introduction to organizing,
analyzing, and presenting data with basic descriptive (measures of central
tendency and variance or dispersion) and inferential (t-tests, ANOVA, and
simple prediction/regression) statistics; the use of computer applications
(SPSS, SAS, etc.) should be encouraged. (Introductory Statistics)
2.14 “Walk students through” the
basics of conducting research to include the formulation of an idea, the
planning of a study, the collection of data, the analysis of data, and
the presentation of the results. Basic research concepts such as
quantitative versus qualitative research, hypothesis testing, and controlling
for extraneous variables should be introduced. (Research Design)
2.15 Provide supervised practical
experience(s) in the specialization area in which the student anticipates
a career. A diary/log should be recorded with comments relative to
what was good and bad about the experience. (Internship)
The objectives are grouped with suggested
courses. Although the courses may vary between institutions, the
objectives are required.
An academic program must demonstrate that 90% (50 of 56) of the objectives
are being taught for ASEP accreditation.
should be able to:
3.1 Recognize the extent to which
physical inactivity is a public health problem and a major contributing
factor to certain diseases, and know the minimal physical activity recommendations
for the prevention of hypokinetic diseases.
3.2 Identify the health-related
components of fitness (cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength &
endurance, flexibility, and body composition), demonstrate knowledge of
how they are assessed, and recognize personal strengths/weaknesses relative
to these components following a fitness appraisal.
3.3 Demonstrate knowledge of basic
fitness and exercise training principles as well as the benefits of exercise.
First Aid &
3.4 Perform artificial respiration
and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
3.5 Recognize various emergency
situations and demonstrate the skills to help sustain life and to minimize
pain and the consequence of an injury or sudden illness until professional
medical help arrives.
3.6 Memorize and use proper anatomical
terminology associated with body structures, directional location and movement.
3.7 Be able to identify skeletal
and joint structures and demonstrate knowledge of their function in human
3.8 Be able to identify and explain
the movement function of muscles including their origin, insertion, and
3.9 In addition to the skeletal
and muscular systems, demonstrate a basic knowledge of other structures
that are vital to human movement such as the nervous system (including
reflex pathways and proprioceptors).
3.10 Identify joint movements and
recognize which muscles are involved and what their specific roles are
in complex human movements.
3.11 Demonstrate an elementary knowledge
of basic biomechanical concepts to include anatomical lever systems, stability,
and laws of motion.
3.12 Demonstrate knowledge of kinetics
and kinematics and explain the ways in which they are related.
3.13 Be able to solve quantitative
problems involving vector quantities.
3.14 Demonstrate knowledge of the
biomechanics of bone growth and development as well as joint articulations.
3.15 Demonstrate knowledge of the
biomechanics of the upper extremity, lower extremity, spine and pelvis
as related to internal and external forces.
3.16 Explain the purpose of a variety
of biomechanical research equipment including electromyography, force plates,
3-D cinematography, computerized vector analysis and high speed film analysis.
3.17 Recognize risks associated
with biomechanical stress, extrinsic forces, and physical demands inherent
in the performance of motor skills common to various sports.
3.18 Be able to apply biomechanical
principles to a broad range of movement activities.
3.19 Demonstrate knowledge of physical
fitness tests and proficiency in using field and commercial fitness testing
equipment and the testing protocols for the measurement of aerobic and
anaerobic cardiorespiratory fitness, power, muscular strength and endurance,
flexibility, and body composition through laboratory experiences.
3.20 Gain an understanding of the
relationship of exercise physiology to the broader “sports medicine” field
and identify professional societies in which to participate.
3.21 Demonstrate an understanding
of bioenergetics, recognizing the different metabolic systems, their interaction,
regulation, and how they apply to exercise.
3.22 Demonstrate an understanding
of the physiological and metabolic processes that facilitate exercise recovery.
3.23 Understand the concepts involved
in measuring energy, work, and power and describe the means by which the
energy cost of exercise can be estimated and measured (including metabolic
3.24 Demonstrate an understanding
of the structure, function, mechanics, and control of the cardiorespiratory
system to include ventilation, gas transport and exchange, hemodynamics
and cardiac output during rest and exercise.
3.25 Demonstrate an understanding
of the structure, function, mechanics, and control of the neuromuscular
system to include synaptic transmission, proprioception, muscle contraction,
and fiber typing.
3.26 Describe what a hormone is
and demonstrate an understanding of the significance of specific hormones
with respect to exercise.
3.27 Expound upon why and how flexibility
is related to health and athletic performance.
3.28 Demonstrate an understanding
of the methods of body composition assessment, recognize healthy values
for body fat, and what impact body composition has on athletic performance.
3.29 Recognize the differences in
the physiological response to exercise as one progresses through the life
3.30 Demonstrate knowledge of the
physiological adaptations that occur with exercise training.
3.31 Identify differences in physiology
between men and women that impact exercise performance and recognize the
effect of the menstrual cycle and pregnancy on fitness.
3.32 Recognize the methods of heat
transfer in the body and the physiological adjustments that occur during
exercise in extreme temperatures, and identify strategies to reduce thermal
3.33 Demonstrate an understanding
of the gas laws, acclimatization, and how performance is affected by exercise
at extreme altitudes.
3.34 Apply thermodynamic principles
and demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of metabolism.
3.35 Explain the basic concepts
and kinetics of enzymes.
3.36 Explain the mobilization, utilization,
and regulation of substrates at rest and exercise and the corresponding
role of skeletal muscle, the liver, and adipose tissue.
3.37 Explain the pathways of biosynthesis
and their role in metabolism.
3.38 Demonstrate an understanding
of basic nutrition concepts by differentiating between essential and nonessential
nutrients, duplicating the food guide pyramid, and having a working knowledge
of the RDA.
3.39 Recognize dietary misconceptions
and fads and the impact that these can have on health and physical performance.
3.40 Demonstrate knowledge of human
bioenergetics and metabolism and how this relates to the dietary needs
of the athlete prior to, during, and after competition.
3.41 Explain the function of carbohydrates,
fat, protein (amino acids), vitamins, minerals, and water and electrolytes
and their role in athletic performance.
3.42 Recognize the factors affecting
body composition and the methods of determining body fat, as well as the
principles of weight control and the signs and symptoms of common eating
3.43 Explain the effect of a variety
of ergogenic aids, dietary supplements, and nontraditional dietary practices
on human physical performance.
3.44 Evaluate the nutritional profile
of an athlete and make appropriate recommendations.
& Exercise Testing:
3.45 Demonstrate an understanding
of the electrophysiology of the heart.
3.46 Demonstrate strategies for
health screening/risk stratification and identify contraindications to
3.47 Identify various stress test
protocols and be able to select a protocol appropriate for the client and
the testing situation.
3.48 Interpret the results of an
exercise test and design an exercise prescription appropriate for the client’s
capacity and goals.
3.49 Demonstrate knowledge of the
scientific process to include the formulation of a hypothesis, experimental
design, data collection, data analysis, and the reporting of results.
3.50 Read, synthesize, and critique
exercise science and sports medicine literature, and be able to distinguish
between lay publications and peer-reviewed journals.
3.51 Develop and demonstrate competence
in research, library, and computer skills by using library resources, including
computer databases, to search for literature and using statistical computer
software to analyze data.
3.52 Conduct a “mini” research project
and write a databased report about the project.
3.53 Present research in an oral/poster
3.54 Demonstrate knowledge of statistical
analysis to include the organization and display of data and basic descriptive
and inferential statistical procedures.
3.55 Integrate the knowledge obtained
through classroom and laboratory experiences into an independent (supervised)
3.56 Synthesize the pros and cons
of the internship experience and develop strategies to improve the operation
of the facility where the intrnship took place.
An academic program must
demonstrate that 90% (13 of 15) of the objectives are being taught for
should be able to:
4.1 Calibrate commonly used testing
apparatus (bicycle ergometer, treadmill, and scale).
4.2 Prepare a laboratory for testing
and take basic pre-test measurements (temperature, barometric pressure,
4.3 Identify contraindications to
exercise testing and make appropriate risk stratification based on health
4.4 Palpate resting and exercise
4.5 Assess resting and exercise
blood pressure using manual sphygmomanometry.
4.6 Conduct a variety of submaximal
tests that estimate aerobic capacity, using tests and exercise modes appropriate
for the client (examples include Astrand or YMCA bicycle ergometer test,
YMCA or NYU step test, Cooper 12-min. run or Rockport walk).
4.7 Estimate energy expenditure,
workload, and oxygen consumption by mathematical calculation of metabolic
4.8 Prepare a client for a 12-lead
ECG and record a resting and exercise 12-lead ECG.
4.9 Read and systematically interpret
an ECG to identify rate, rhythm, axis, blocks, and injury.
4.10 Conduct a maximal graded exercise
test using a protocol and exercise mode appropriate for the client.
4.11 Detect the ventilation threshold
and use established criteria to determine if maximal oxygen consumption
4.12 Conduct commonly used tests
of static (hand grip dynamometry) and dynamic (1RM) muscular strength.
4.13 Assess flexibility using a
variety of commonly used tools, such as a goniometer and a sit-and-reach
4.14 Assess body composition by
means of skinfold measurements or hydrostatic weighing.
4.15 Conduct commonly used tests
of anaerobic and explosive power, such as the Wingate test and the vertical
accreditation requires that
there be at least one exercise physiologist with a terminal degree (Ph.D.
or equivalent) employed as a full-time faculty member within the exercise
physiology program. Furthermore, a significant portion of the courses
taught within the exercise physiology core should be taught by an exercise
physiologist with a terminal degree.
internship is an integral part of developing the exercise physiology student
into a professional. Regardless of the specialty area of the internship
(i.e., health/fitness, cardiac rehabilitation), ASEP requires
that the on-site supervisor have a minimum of a B.S. with an emphasis in
exercise physiology from an ASEP-accredited program or a B.S. with additional
supporting certification if not from an ASEP-accredited program (e.g.,
nurse, physical therapist, etc. with appropriate certification for the
specific internship). A graduate degree in exercise physiology or
a related field (e.g., medical, nutrition, etc.) with a background in exercise
physiology is preferred for an on-site internship supervisor.
Size: ASEP does not stipulate a maximal student/teacher ratio.
However, this will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Excessive
numbers of students in a course or section hinder the learning process,
and limits should be placed on class size that correspond with the particular
course and facilities. The equipment available will limit class size
in laboratory courses.
are no explicit requirements established for the facilities and equipment
that must be maintained by an exercise physiology program. However,
the facilities and equipment must be sufficient to support the required
cognitive learning objectives (see Section 3) and the laboratory skill
objectives (see Section 4). The facilities and the amount of equipment
should adequately support the number of students in the program.
Facilities and equipment will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Submission Procedures for Accreditation
of Intent: The department chair or program director of the exercise
physiology program must submit a “letter of intent” with their “self-study”
materials. This letter should state a desire to be evaluated and
accredited by ASEP and indicate a commitment to developing and maintaining
standards set forth by ASEP.
ASEP requires that the program completes and submits a detailed self-study.
(10) copies of all materials must be submitted so that it can be distributed
to accreditation committee members and kept on file at the ASEP national
office. The self-study should include the following:
1) An overview of the exercise
physiology program. This overview must include documentation that
a minimum of 120 semester units are required for graduation, 11 semester
units are required in the basic sciences (see Section 1), an exercise physiology
course is required, as well as a 6-unit internship.
Fee: An application fee of $1000 is due with the submission
of the self-study. This fee will support the flight, room, and meal expenses
of one onsite reviewer.
2) Course descriptions of the courses
that constitute the basic science core.
3) The course syllabi from all of
the courses within the exercise physiology program. The syllabi should
clearly indicate that the required cognitive and laboratory skill objectives
are being presented. If the objectives in Sections 3 and 4 are not
explicitly present in the course syllabi, a suitable alternative must be
provided that clearly indicates how these objectives are being met.
4) The vitae of all faculty that
teach courses in the exercise physiology program. Indicate which
courses each faculty member teaches. Additionally, provide documentation
that verifies the qualifications and credibility of on-site internship
5) The number of students in the
exercise physiology program. The number of students permitted in
laboratory sections must be reported. Typical lecture class size
and any class size limits should also be noted.
6) A detailed description of the
facilities and equipment. Specifics and the amount of equipment should
7) A final report from the program
director evaluating the program’s strengths, weaknesses, and future plans
Fee: An annual fee of $500 will be assessed to the program
to maintain ASEP Accreditation. This fee will support the administrative
costs of accreditation and help fund onsite visits (audits). The
fee is due every 12 months following the identification of the initial
programs making their initial application for accreditation, the program
director will be notified about acceptance status by the ASEP Accreditation
Committee within six months from the date of submission for accreditation.
The accreditation committee will send a written report of their comments.
Review: Ten percent of ASEP-accredited programs will be randomly
selected annually for an onsite review (audit) to inspect the program and
facilities first-hand and verify that the requirements are being met.
of Review: Due to expenses that may be incurred with an onsite
review, the program to be visited will be notified one year in advance
of the visit so that it may budget accordingly.
of Review: All onsite reviews will take place while school is
of Review: The review team will be onsite for a minimum of 1
day but not more than 2 days.
of Reviews: Onsite reviews will be random, but a program will
not be audited more than twice in a ten year period. If a program
has not been selected randomly after six years, it will automatically receive
an onsite visit the following year. Thus, all ASEP accredited programs
will receive at least one onsite visit in a seven-year period but not more
than two audits in a ten-year period.
Team: Depending on the circumstances, the review team will consist
of either one ASEP member who is a member of the Board of Accreditation
or two ASEP members with at least one of the two being a member of the
Board of Accreditation. None of the reviewers will have any affiliation
with the program being audited.
Decision: Within one month of the onsite visit, the review team
will submit a summary of its findings and recommendations to the ASEP Board
of Accreditation. The Board will then vote on whether the program
passed or failed the audit. Any Board member affiliated with the
program in question will not be able to cast a vote. At least two-thirds
of the Board must cast a vote, and the decision will be the result of the
majority of the votes cast. A written evaluation with notification
of a successful or failed audit will be sent to the program within three
months of the onsite visit.
Review: In the event that an academic program is deemed unsatisfactory,
it will be placed on “accreditation probation” for a period of two years.
During or at the immediate conclusion of this two-year probationary period,
a report detailing the improvements made to the program and the readiness
for a follow-up visit must be submitted to the Board of Accreditation.
A follow-up onsite review will be conducted. Failure to make the
necessary improvements or an unsatisfactory follow-up review will result
in the loss of ASEP accreditation.
of Review: The cost of initial onsite reviews and audits will
be shared equally between ASEP and the academic program under review.
The cost of a follow-up visit due to a failed review will be borne entirely
by the academic program.
Summary of Criteria
The following is a summary of the requirements
for an exercise physiology program to achieve ASEP accreditation.
The attainment of these requirements should be evident from the information
in the self-study that is presented to the accreditation committee.
Minimum of 120 total units for completion
of an undergraduate degree.
Minimum of 11 units in the basic science core
with at least one course from three of the four science areas (mathematics,
biology, chemistry, and physics) and two laboratory experiences.
Required content areas in the exercise physiology
core (Section 2).
Six (6) units of internship in a specialty
area related to exercise physiology under the direct supervision of a degreed
exercise physiologist or certified professional in a related field with
demonstrated knowledge of exercise physiology concepts.
Teach at least 50 of the 56 cognitive learning
objectives (Section 3).
Teach at least 13 of the 15 laboratory skill
objectives (Section 4).
Have at least one exercise physiologist with
a terminal degree in the field as a full-time member of the faculty with
significant teaching responsibilities within the exercise physiology core.
Have facilities and equipment adequate to
meet the objectives and the student population.
Annual $500 accreditation fee.
Benefits of ASEP
The program will receive a certificate indicating
that it has achieved the standards set forth by ASEP and is recognized
as an accredited program of exercise physiology.
The institution will be listed on the ASEP
web site for public acknowledgment and recognition as having an accredited
program of exercise physiology. This can be a valuable recruiting
tool in bringing students to the institution and program.
At the request of the program and given the
appropriate contact person, ASEP will notify the academic dean of the college
that presides over the exercise physiology program and/or the institution’s
regional accrediting body (i.e. Western States, etc.) that the exercise
physiology program has been accredited by ASEP.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to attaining ASEP
accreditation is that it enhances the reputation of the academic program
and advances the entire profession of exercise physiology. Having
met the standards and external review of peers gives the institution and
program, as well as the entire profession of exercise physiology, more
credibility and clout when challenged politically and legally.
The ASEP Philosophical
With respect to the
ASEP Accreditation Guidelines, the "Accredited" status designates, in the
professional judgment of the Board of Accreditation, that the department's
present academic degree title, other than exercise physiology, if and when
it is accredited, will be viewed as consistent, substantively and procedurally,
with the recognized scope of accreditation practice, and its published
policies and prcedures. However, with respect to Exercise Physiology
as an emerging profession of healthcare practitioners, there are funamental
principles pertaining to appropriateness of title, specificity in course
work, and other perspectives that address the professional nature of the
field. That is, in most other fields of work, including their accrediting
bodies in the professions, the structure upon which the emerging profession
is based has been clearly defined. This is not the case with Exercise
Physiology. To achieve consistency among accredited programs and
practitioners of the professions, and the publics served by accreditation,
it is appropriate to require the following "Recommendation" as part of
the Accredited status. The Board recommends that the academic degree
should be changed from "Exercise Science or an academic degree of some
other title" to "Exercise Physiology" to embrace the ASEP perspective.
By perspective, the
academic programs should align their academic degree and/or department
vision and purpose in accordance with an acknowledged academic degree in
Exercise Physiology whereby the students are expected to sit for the Board
Certification at their institution upon graduation. Hence, the accredited
programs fuels the professional credential (the EPC) for exercise physiologists
while also setting the stage for increased professionalism and the professionalization
of exercise physiology. The Board recommends that the department
and thus the institution become a professional site for annual offering
of the ASEP Board of Certification for Exercise Physiologists (i.e., the
Exercise Physiologist Certified exam, othereise known as the EPC credential)."
For the purposes of
understanding the ASEP accreditation process, the Board views the “Accredited”
status according to the following five steps:
1. Any program
with relatively minor problems but, in general, meets the Accreditation
Guidelines can maintain the “Accredited” status as long as the individual(s)
responsible for the program take seriously the recommendations made by
the Board for changes in faculty, equipment, or course work which may include
the title of the academic major and/or department. By “taking seriously”
it is meant that the individuals responsible for the program demonstrate
significant steps towards accommodating the recommendations by the Board
during the first 5 years of the 10-year Accredited status.
2. If the Program
Director (or Chair of the Department) fails to make significant progress
towards the recommended changes as verified during a second onsite visit
during year 6 of the 10-year period, then the program will be identified
as “Accredited, on Probation”. This means that in the professional
judgment of the Board of Accreditation, the program is not currently consistent
with the ASEP Accreditation Guidelines.
3. If the changes
are made by year 8, the program will again be identified as “Accredited”.
If not, the program will remain on probation through year 10. The
purpose here is to give the program and/or administrators 10 years to become
compliant with the Board’s recommendations.
4. If the changes
are not corrected by the end of the 10-year period, the ASEP Board of Accreditation
will initiate “Revocation of Accreditation”. From the Board’s point
of view, this means that the program is not likely to become consistent
with the Accreditation Guidelines within a foreseeable time.
5. All programs will
need to undergo accreditation review at the end of their respective 10
years to continue their ASEP accreditation and professional relationship
with the ASEP Board of Accreditation.
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