ASEP Accreditation:  A Brief History, Purpose, and Academic Guidelines

The American Society of Exercise Physiologists was founded in 1997 to unite exercise physiologists and promote the professional development of exercise physiology. Thus, it serves to protect the well-being of exercise physiologists by enhancing the recognition of their work and educating the public about their role in 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.

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, the Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) profesional credential, and a nationwide academic program accreditation. While certification evaluates the competence of the individual, accreditation is a system for ensuring 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 by the Board of Directors at the 1999 national meeting. The manual represents a compilation of two years of work by exercise physiologists who identified the minimal standards acceptable for educating students for a career in exercise physiology.

Academic accreditation is an essential component to any profession. The Board of Accreditation works with academic programs to ensure that standards are met and graduating students are worthy of the title -- Exercise Physiologist.

Accreditation Process:

Academic institutions interested in ASEP Accreditation are encouraged to review the Accreditation Manual and send an introductory email to the national ASEP office at You can click this link to open and save the Accreditation Manual for your reference. 

 Several benefits of academic accreditation include:

1. Accredited academic programs are critically evaluated and improved.

2. Students of accredited programs are better prepared for the Board Certification exam.

3. Accreditation increases public confidence in the exercise physiologist as a credible healthcare professional.

4. In time, students will gravitate to ASEP Accredited Programs, as there will be little incentive to enroll in a program that does not result in a professional designation..

The ASEP National Office is glad to receive inquiries and help get the process started.  If you represent your institutions Exercise Physiology (or related title) program, email us today at