Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Progression of PMA Chapters

When I arrived at the PMA in 2007, there was a regularly established meeting at each PMA conference called the ‘International Meeting’. That gathering usually included conference delegates in attendance who were not US-based (although US-based teachers turned up as well). They usually had questions or wanted to share information about how Pilates was developing in their countries. Every year we would get the question, ‘How can we set up a Chapter of the PMA in our country?’ In response to this question, we set up a set of procedures for doing that. In 2009 we started announcing that a process was available, and interested parties started to come forward.

‘How can we set up a Chapter of the PMA in our country?’

The process is not easy, simple or quick. The steps include establishing a board of directors that represents a spectrum of the local Pilates community, and a minimum of 10 local PMA members, in order to start the process. Getting to this point often takes a year or more. After this, the group applies to form a Chapter, and interviews ensue, and those involved meet with PMA staff and board at the PMA conference to get to know each other better, and to understand the motivations and goals of the group. If this stage is successfully passed, the group establishes Chapter Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation and an Affiliation Agreement with the PMA (the PMA provides templates for these documents, but they can be tailored to the specific needs or laws in the given country). 

PMA Chapters are Formal Affiliations

It is important to note that these groups are initiated and formed by local teachers who set up their own non-profit organization in their own country (or region of the US) and agree to an Affiliation contract with the PMA that dictates many aspects of how they function. These groups are not recruited or organized by the PMA. The Chapters discuss their annual plans with the PMA in Miami each year, and submit annual and semi-annual reports to the PMA office detailing their activities and financial status. The PMA headquarters does not fund PMA Chapters. Start up costs are provided by the Chapter founders who invest or donate initial funds to set up the legal paperwork, to be reimbursed by the Chapter’s futures earnings if they so choose. So far, Chapters earn money by holding continuing education events and the profits become chapter operating revenues.

The PMA regularly responds to inquiries from Pilates teachers interested in setting up regional Chapters. The point of contact for these inquiries is Karen Mobilia, Membership Manager.

Please see the PMA Chapters page for more information please visit:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pilates Professionals Giving Back - Unite to Support Joining Forces

Our military members and their families make sacrifices every day to serve others.  Now, Pilates teachers can show their gratitude to our men and women in uniform through a pledge of Pilates training services.

On Thursday July 28, two staff members from ACE (The American Council on Exercise) visited us in our Miami office. One of their goals was to tell us about Joining Forces, the White House initiative that mobilizes all sectors of society to give back to our service members and their families, to help reduce the stress of war and separation through individual pledges of support services. Joining Forces provides opportunities for the 99% of us who are not serving in the military, to give back to our service members and their families.  ACE has committed to uniting fitness professionals around the country to pledge 1 million hours of fitness training services at no cost to actively deployed military reservists, National Guard members and their immediate families.

Pilates teachers can support this initiative in numerous ways. Pledges may include access to your facility, private Pilates lessons or group mat or reformer class – of whatever you wish.  One hour at a time, your pledge will benefit the health and wellness of this special group of people who may not have direct access to Pilates facilities and programs otherwise.

By bringing this form of movement to service members and their families, you can really enhance their quality of life. The reward to the Pilates teacher is as great as the benefit to these individuals.

To learn more about how you can become involved, download this flyer.  And here is a link to the White House video with First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden discussing the program.

I hope you will participate!  Please tell all of Pilates and fitness colleagues - this is something all teachers can participate in.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

ACE approves PMA-CPTs to offer ACE CECs

Good news! 

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), has recently agreed to include PMA® Certified Pilates Teachers (PMA®-CPTs) in the ACE approved credentials list.

This means that PMA certified teachers can apply to ACE to have ACE credits allocated to their continuing education workshops, and that the PMA credential will be accepted as a necessary professional credential. Being able to offer ACE CECs (as well as PMA CECs) is an additional selling point for workshops, and an additional reason for conferences to want PMA-CPTs as presenters. It also means that Pilates teachers no longer have to be ACE certified to qualify for ACE CECs. They can maintain their PMA certification and support their credential for their own profession, while also offering ACE credits for fitness professionals.

ACE is in the process of changing all of their documents to reflect this updated information. This change is official starting now.

Going forward, it is more important than ever for PMA-CPTs to list the PMA credential (written as PMA®-CPT) on their resumes as well as in any biographies that they create for a conference session or workshop that they are going to present.


To apply for ACE approval of your CEC workshop, click here on this link:

ACE CEC application 

To apply for PMA approval of your CEC workshop, click on this link:

PMA CEC application


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Comparing Certification Eligibility Requirements

Dear Friends -

I have been reading on some blogs lately about the opinion of some that the PMA certification exam tests candidates at the 'lowest level'. There was no explanation of what the scale of measurement was. 'Low' compared to what? What would constitute a 'high' level in their opinion? They didn't say, and therefore it's not possible for the casual reader to know if their view holds water or not.

In order to look at the facts, I did a comparison of the eligibility requirements to sit for a variety of personal trainer certifications and the PMA Pilates Certification Exam. I think the comparison is very interesting. 

The fact is that the skill and knowledge set for a personal trainer is very different from that of a Pilates teacher, and the eligibility requirements are radically different.

Have a look:  Certification Eligibility Comparison

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some Definitions: Professional Certification, Licensure & Credential

Dear Friends:

Here are some terms for clarification. Please note that there is a difference between professional certification and licensure. One is voluntary and non-governmental (professional certification) and one is mandatory and governmental (licensure).

Professional Certification: A voluntary process by which a non-governmental entity grants recognition to an individual who has met certain predetermined qualifications or criteria specified by that entity.  There are 3 key elements to this definition: 1) Certification is voluntary. Individuals are not required by law to be certified in order to engage in a particular occupation or profession.  2) Certification programs are sponsored by a variety of non-governmental entities, such as for-profit corporations, professional and trade associations [the PMA in this case] and philanthropic organizations. They are not a form of government regulation.  3) Individuals receive certification only after the certifier has confirmed that they meet the standards set by the certification program. This means that the certification process must include some means of evaluating candidates for certification. Individuals cannot simply fill out a form, pay a fee, and become certified.’

Licensure: The mandatory process by which a governmental agency grants time-limited permission to an individual to engage in a given occupation after verifying that he/she has met predetermined and standardized criteria, and offers title protection for those who meet the criteria.’


The umbrella term that includes the concepts of accreditation, licensure, registration, and professional certification. Credentialing can establish criteria for fairness, quality, competence,and/or safety for professional services provided by authorized individuals, for products, or for educational endeavors.’

These definitions come from NOCA's Basic Guide to Credentialing Terminology, 2006. (NOCA, the National Organization for Competency Assurance, has changed its name to ICA, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence).

This is good for us all to understand. I hope it's food for thought and discussion.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Filming the Teacher Training Summit in Vail

Dear Friends -

I’ve had a couple of inquiries about whether or not we could film and/or stream the Summit in Vail. We’ve had a discussion about this and here are our conclusions.

We don’t feel that this event lends itself to filming. This is going to be an 8 hour event (on Day 1) and a 4 hour event (Day 2) where material will be ‘work-shopped’. So, people would have to watch an 8 hour, and then a 4 hour, real time event where participants are discussing and possibly arguing, debating and working things out. It won’t be like at the last Summit where we can film a speaker making a speech. The content is too unwieldy. This is a group exploration. Also, the filming is a whole other area of expense. If we were going to do something meaningful film-wise, we would have to edit it for presentation after the fact, and we just don’t have the time and money to do that.  We’re also concerned, even if we did say stream the whole thing – about what meaning it would have to someone who had not engaged in filling out the survey, and didn’t have the raw data in their hands to refer to. There is a lot of background work that’s gone into this event regarding the participants, and what they’ve learned from their preparation in the survey process.

My thought is that we need to do an incredibly good final report. Also, just to say, the result of this weekend will not be a definitive answer to the question of ‘what is the template for the minimum components of a comprehensive teacher training program that leads to minimum competency’.  It will be a first stab at it. Once we create a final report – we will want to disseminate those provisional conclusions to many many more schools for further input, discussion and possibly ratification.

Thanks everyone! Please send me your comments and questions!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

PMA response to The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles Public Declaration

Hello Friends:

I am delighted to welcome you to our new blog where we can discuss and debate matters of interest to Pilates professionals.

This week I have received a few emails, messages through LinkedIn, and Facebook emails asking me to respond to the Public Declaration made by The Pilates Studio ® of Los Angeles, on the website

The statement that was made was predicated on a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding, and I'm glad to have this opportunity to look at what was said, and interject factual information about the PMA and about professional certification.

I welcome your comments and questions. Let's examine all the issues together and untangle this.

Read the full response: PMA Response to PAPT Declaration