The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) introduced the National Registry of Exercise Professionals (NREP) during the 2023 Committee of Supply (COS) debates on Mar. 6, 2023.
Targeting Singapore’s fitness industry
It is part of the ministry’s longer-term strategy to professionalize and build capabilities in the fitness industry, especially in the area of safety and knowledge.
It “strongly encourages” all exercise professionals to register themselves under the NREP.
With the implementation of the NREP, MCCY said there will be clear safety standards and capability requirements to help the fitness sector raise its professional standards.
These individuals will be certified and provided with free membership with the National Instructors and Coaches Association (NICA) in their first year.
As NICA members, exercise professionals can enjoy benefits such as mediation support for workplace disputes, training support and grants to defray essential course fees, and business networking and resources.
The public will also have access to the NREP so that they can make more informed decisions and have greater assurance when engaging accredited exercise professionals.
Additionally, government agencies that hire a sizable number of exercise professionals—including Sport Singapore (SportSG), People’s Association, Health Promotion Board, and the Ministry of Home Affairs—will only hire exercise professionals registered under the NREP from April 2024.
Rolled out in three phases from April 2023
MCCY said the NREP will be rolled out in three phases, with the first phase starting in April 2023.
However, exercise professionals will first need to possess certifications in Standard First Aid with AED and CPR, code of ethics, as well as one in a relevant fitness or exercise, in order to be accorded the full NREP membership.
Exercise professionals who do not possess the Standard First Aid with AED and CPR certification can still register for the NREP, but they will receive a provisional NREP membership instead.
These individuals can then register themselves for the Standard First Aid course at a subsidised rate, and they will be accorded the full NREP membership upon completing the course.
Additionally, those who wish to be hired by the aforementioned government agencies will need to have Safe Sport Certification.
“Through the NREP, we hope that exercise professionals will be equipped with the relevant accreditations to raise the overall quality and safety standards of the fitness industry,” said Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for MCCY.
The NREP will implement an accreditation framework in a later phase, developed by SportSG and the relevant stakeholders.
This will drive continual education and capability development in the sector, the ministry said.
Chua added that SportSG will release further details about the Basic Exercise Science certification and its requirements, and the continuous education framework in due course.
Top image from SportSG/Facebook for illustration purposes only