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FAQ - Updates to ACSM's Certification Exams - GETP10 

Q: When will ACSM's certification exams be changed to reflect the content of GETP10?

A: The ACSM certification exams reflecting the changes in GETP10 (e.g., exercise preparticipation health screening) will be administered in December, 2017.

Review the consensus statement and additional information. 

Review the infographic

Q: What changed in the recommendations for exercise preparticipation health screening?

A: An expert panel proposed a new evidence-informed model for exercise preparticipation health screening based on three factors:

  1. The individual's current level of physical activity
  2. Presence of signs, symptoms and/or known cardiovascular, metabolic or renal disease
  3. Desired exercise intensity

The new recommendations no longer include the cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor profile as part of the decision-making for referral to a health care provider prior to the initiation of a moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise program .

Additionally, the recommendations no longer utilize a low/moderate/high risk classification scheme. It makes general recommendations for medical clearance versus specific recommendations for medical exams or exercise tests. The manner of clearance is left to the discretion of the health care provider and does not automatically refer individuals with pulmonary disease for medical clearance prior to the initiation of an exercise program.

Q: How will this affect my job if I am working directly with clients on exercise programming?

A: The new recommendations will change how you go about determining whether or not a client needs a referral to a health care provider prior to commencing an exercise program. The new exercise preparticipation health screening recommendations are not a replacement for sound clinical judgment, and decisions about referral to a health care provider for medical clearance prior to the initiation of an exercise program should continue to be made on an individual basis.

Q: I don't understand the change or difference between medical clearance versus a medical exam or exercise test and how that works with the new recommendations.

A: Medical clearance (a doctor advising a patient that it is ok to exercise) has replaced specific recommendations for a medical exam or exercise test because it should be the health care provider that decides what evaluation, if any, is appropriate prior to the initiation of exercise. The current recommendations indicate the need for a medical exam or an exercise test based on the results of a CVD risk-factor assessment and classification as low, moderate or high risk. In the update, medical clearance has replaced these specific recommendations as we believe it should be the health care provider's decision as to what further evaluation, if any, is appropriate prior to the initiation of exercise. For example, a doctor may simply review the patient's chart and deem the patient cleared to exercise, and the need for a full medical exam may not be necessary. In addition, there is a lack of evidence that medical exams and exercise testing are effective in mitigating the risk of exercise-related cardiovascular deaths. Thus, acquiring medical clearance (rather than requiring medical exams or exercise testing) leaves the decision-making to the physician.

Q: What do I do if I have a question not answered here?

A: For questions not addressed on the FAQ please contact the following individuals:

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