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Instructor Certification Program

The Balance and Mobility Specialist Instructor Certificate Program is designed to provide physical activity instructors and health care professionals with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to implement an evidence-based balance and mobility training program for older adults at moderate-to-high risk for falls in community and residential care settings. Balance and mobility disorders, resulting in falls among the older adult population, pose a serious public health problem in the United States. This fact, coupled with the knowledge that adults over the age of 65 years represent the fastest growing population in the United States, suggests an immediate need for tailored balance and mobility programs specifically designed to reduce physical frailty and the risk factors that contribute to a higher incidence of falls among the older adult population. The balance and mobility specialist instructor certificate program was developed in response to this need.

First of its kind Certification

The Balance & Mobility Specialist Instructor Certificate Program is the first program of its kind to be offered in the U.S. The content of the program is based on sound theoretical evidence and will prepare the instructor to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of balance and gait and also teach an evidence-based Balance and Mobility program. The efficacy of this program has been established and replicated in multiple community-based settings with certified instructors. In addition to lowering the risk for falls as a result of improved balance and gait, older adults who complete the program demonstrate reduced fear-of-falling and higher physical activity levels. This innovative program currently operates in numerous community-based senior centers and residential care facilities throughout Southern California as well as other states across America. The primary goal of the Balance and Mobility Instructor Certification Program is to provide eligible professionals with the specialized knowledge and practical skills that will prepare them to implement an effective and safe balance and mobility program within their immediate community.

Students completing the course will learn about the following:

  • Theoretical basis for balance and mobility training
  • Rationale for the development of multi-dimensional fall risk reduction programs
  • The role of intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors in falls
  • Multi-dimensional screening and assessment of balance and mobility
  • Core components of the program:
    • Center of Gravity Control Training
    • Multi-sensory Training
    • Postural Strategy Training
    • Gait Pattern Enhancement & Variation Training
    • Strength & Flexibility Training

Training Programs

Level 1 - $650.00 U.S. dollars.  On-line program only, includes self-paced on-line course.  Upon successful completion, you will receive a certificate of completion.  Completion of level 1 does not include Instructor Certificate.

Level 2 - $900.00 U.S. dollars.  On-line program, AND three-day practical skills workshop INCLUDING two practical examinations (i.e., administration of program-related assessments; instructional competency).  Upon successful completion, students will receive a certificate of completion and a signed Instructor Certificate card that is valid for two (2) years.  Students may choose to be evaluated to teach group-based classes or one-to-one only.

Three-day practical competency workshops and exams are currently held at the following locations:

  • California State University, Fullerton in March, May, July and October.
  • Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Canada in October.

Students must complete all on-line course content within one year from the date he/she receives a username and password to access the certificate course website. Fees are subject to change.  Program fees are non-refundable.  Practical competency workshops are scheduled based on a minimum enrollment.

Program Requirements and Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, all applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • B.S. in Kinesiology, Physical Therapy, or related field (e.g. Occupational Therapy, Exercise Science, Nursing);
    AND,
  • Minimum of two years working with older adults in exercise or rehabilitation settings.
  • The work experience can either be in group-based settings or one-to-one settings.

Once students are accepted into the program and pay the program fee, a username and password is assigned, allowing access to the website and on-line coursework.  Students have one year from the date he/she is issued a username and password to complete the on-line course content and to attend an on-site practical competency workshop and evaluations.

Students enrolled in the program will complete the didactic portion of the course via the internet. Seven learning modules are presented that include audio- and video -based lectures and learning laboratories, check-your-understanding quizzes, practical application assignments, case studies, module exams and a final examination.  Minimum passing scores are required on the module exams and final exam for successful completion of the on-line course. 

This is an intensive, evidence-based course, taking up to 100 hours of work to complete the on-line coursework.  You will be provided with a recommended schedule to follow for completing the course and you will receive periodic e-mail reminders, but ultimately it is up to you to manage your time to complete the course.

Following successful completion of the on-line coursework, students who wish to take the course to be “Certified” will attend the final three-day practical competency workshop and evaluation at one of the following three sites:

  • California State University, Fullerton
  • Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Canada

Students may choose to be evaluated for certification to teach group classes or one-to-one only.

Renewal of Certification is required every two years following completion of the first certificate program.  In order to retain the balance and mobility specialist instructor certificate, instructors will be required to complete the following:

  • Teach a minimum of 100 hours per year of balance and mobility classes OR
  • Teach a minimum of 100 hours per year of balance and mobility content within a clinical practice (PT, OT, PTA) or personal training sessions.  A log detailing hours must be submitted.
  • Complete two (5 hour) continuing education courses per year offered by the Center for Successful Aging at CSUF or another approved organization providing older adult programming (e.g., International Council on Active Aging; American Council on Exercise; Desert Southwest Fitness; APTA).  These courses may be offered on-site or via the internet.
  • Complete an on-line recertification exam.
  • Pay a $25.00 recertification fee.

Click here to submit an application

Click here to ask questions about the program

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