About Position Stands
An ACSM Position Stand is an official pronouncement, developed using a specified evidence-based methodology, on significant societal issues that merit interdisciplinary consideration and consensus within the College. Joint Position Stands are similar to ACSM Position Stands, but are developed in concert with at least one other not-for-profit organization or governmental agency.
To serve as the College’s most authoritative and influential, evidence-based statement on topics of relevance to those in the fields of exercise science and sports medicine. The Position Stand is designed to: 1) answer specific scientific and/or clinical question(s), 2) to provide an overall summary of the literature and strength of the evidence, 3) to provide evidence-based recommendations to support decision making, and 4) to identify gaps in knowledge for topics within ACSM’s portfolio of priority areas and initiatives.
How Topic is Identified:
ACSM’s Executive Committee, with approval from the Board of Trustees, may identify priority topics on an annual basis. On a case-by-case basis, topics nominated by members of the College will also be considered. As a component of topic identification, the relevance to ACSM’s portfolio of high priority areas and initiatives must be characterized and described. Generally, no more than two Position Stands are approved for development in any given calendar year.
Protocol for Paper Development:
Position Stands are developed using ACSM’s approved Evidence-based Protocol for Position Stand development. This includes development of PICOT questions, a systematic review of the literature, evaluation of individual studies for freedom from risk of bias, and grading the overall strength of evidence. The Evidence-based Protocol manual also details specifics related to composition of writing group, reporting of evidence, use of the MOSAIC platform, etc. The goal is for the paper to take no longer than 18 months from approval to publication.
Review and Approvals:
The Pronouncements Committee will identify 5-7 content experts to serve as the external review group. The Position Stand will undergo two rounds of external peer review. The Pronouncements Committee will evaluate and discuss the comments and recommendations from the external review group and will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees regarding approval of the Position Stand. The Board of Trustees has the final decision regarding approval of the Position Stand. The Pronouncements Committee Operating Code has additional specifics regarding the review process.
Position Stands are published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (MSSE) and are freely available to everyone. In addition, they are promoted via Sports Medicine Bulletin (SMB), social media platforms, and reside on the acsm.org webpage. For Joint Position Stands, the paper will also be published and advertised via the collaborating organization’s identified venues.