Entries in PMA (8)
Pilates-Pro.com was unable to attend the Pilates Method Alliance’s Teacher Training Summit in Dallas on November 7-8, and we’ve been eager for information about the event. This week the PMA released a report on the meeting that’s now available here. We also spoke to PMA Executive Director Elizabeth Anderson and summit attendees for a closer look at the outcome.
The summit, which drew nearly 80 teacher trainers and program administrators from a range of Pilates backgrounds, was organized to “try to build consensus about how to move forward as an industry in terms of professionalizing,” Anderson said. At issue, according to the PMA, is the use of the word “certification” and the need to differentiate between the completion of a comprehensive teacher-training program and an industry-wide third-party credential. Currently, the word “certification” is used to denote both.
After many hours of group discussion, all but a handful of attendees left the summit agreeing to cease usage of the word “certification” to signify completion of their training programs, and signed a public commitment to change the terminology they’re using by July 1, 2010. Several well-known Pilates brands signed on, including Balanced Body, BASI Pilates, Fletcher Pilates, Polestar Pilates Education, Power Pilates and The Pilates Center of Boulder. Read the full list here, on the PMA report.
In 2005, the PMA launched an industry-wide third-party comprehensive Pilates certification exam (which, to date, is the only industry-wide exam). As a third party, the PMA has no commercial relationship to the exam candidate or the training provider. This independence distinguishes a third-party credentialed certification from a “diploma” or a “certificate” earned at the end of a teacher training program, much like passing a state bar exam is different than graduating from a law school. Many people believe that adopting a third-party credentialing process is important for the Pilates industry as it professionalizes, and believe that professionalization is important because of the level of growth Pilates has experienced in recent years.
The PMA suggests in the report that schools replace the word “certification” with either “diploma,” “assessment-based certificate” (ABC) or “graduate.” “We recommend people do it in the name of self-regulation, so that the Pilates industry can get in line with ways that other professions behave and operate that are much more established than us,” Anderson said.
The Pilates Method Alliance announced plans earlier this week to create regional and local chapters, a response to member requests in recent years. A new PMA Chapters Committee has been established, headed up by PMA member and certified teacher Andrea Jeanfreau, who brings 17 years of corporate organizational experience to the initiative.
PMA Executive Director Elizabeth Anderson said that regional chapters will create a better communication vehicle for the PMA and its membership, and an opportunity for board members to visit and have direct contact with the Pilates community. “We want to feel that there’s a lot of back and forth. We’re interested in getting direct and accurate feedback from membership about what they want from the PMA and how they’d like to contribute and what they’d like the organization to do,” she said.
The announcement was made in an e-mail blast that went out on Tuesday (which, in an uncanny coincidence, was released just about the same time we published a story on The Growth of Pilates Collectives). At the moment, Anderson says, they’re still working on structure and documentation for regional use, and putting together the affiliate agreement.
“We’ve had over 100 emails since Tuesday, from all over the country and all over the world,” Anderson told us yesterday. Internationally, Anderson said, the PMA has received inquiries from Italy, the U.K., Germany and Mexico, among other countries.
Jeanfreau, who is based in New Orleans, will be launching the pilot PMA regional chapter. She’s considering forming a Gulf Coast chapter encompassing in Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia.
This is a big week for the PMA, which is also convening a Teacher Training Summit in Dallas on Nov. 7-8 in lieu of its regular annual conference.
The full text of the announcement, including contact information, is after the jump.
Our semi-regular rundown of Pilates news from around the Web. Enjoy!
• Heads up, PMA members: The agenda for November’s Teacher Training Summit has been released.
• Kudos to Aida Zorilla, owner of Studio A: Pilates in San Antonio, for raising $26,000 for cancer research and being named Woman of the Year by her local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society chapter.
• This Washington, D.C. Pilates studio inside Mint Fitness maximized space and amped up its clients’ workouts with Pilates circuit-training.
• Here’s an excellent five-minute workout for happy feet, Pilates-style, from Elizabeth Larkam and the Chicago Tribune
• The South Korean military utilizes Pilates in its special-command training. Check out this great photo. Why, we wonder, are they all screaming?
• Here’s a post from About.com’s sex channel, called Pilates for Sex. It highlights the role of the pelvic floor, specifically the pubococcygeus muscle.
In lieu of its cancelled 2009 conference, the Pilates Method Alliance is planning to hold a meeting of community members to discuss the terminology surrounding Pilates certifications and credentials. The meeting, or “Pilates Teacher Training Summit,” will be held Nov. 7-8 in Dallas.
All Pilates teacher-training providers are invited, from international companies to small studios, regardless of PMA membership. “Our goal is to solve the terminology issue that has caused major confusion and upset over the past few years within our profession,” said Deborah Lessen, Chair of the PMA Certification Steering Committee, in a press release. “This summit will be a proactive and productive process, aimed at agreeing how we can differentiate between completion of a comprehensive teacher-training program and a third-party credential. The goal is to promote education and standards that will simultaneously address everyone’s needs and benefit the industry as a whole.”
The keynote speaker will be James Henderson, PhD, Psychometrician for the National Commission for Certifiying Agencies (NCCA) and leader of the development of NCCA’s accreditation standards for professional certification programs. He’s also executive vice president of CASTLE Worldwide, Inc., the PMA’s test administration company.
Henderson will provide the basis for an open discussion among teacher training providers about the value of a professional credential and the differences between “certificate” and “certification.” Other issues, yet to be announced, will also be addressed. The venue hasn’t been set yet. If you plan to attend, you can rsvp to Maly De Jesus at the PMA (firstname.lastname@example.org, 305-573-4946, ext. 201).
The Pilates Method Alliance released news today that its board members have made the tough decision to cancel its 2009 International Education Conference. In March, they noticed that sales patterns were down compared to years past, and an online survey conducted in April showed that many regular conference attendees weren’t planning to come this year. Overall, sales were down 70 percent, according to the PMA, which they credit to the global economic downturn. “We decided that we couldn’t go forward with the conference without destabilizing the organization,” said PMA Executive Director Elizabeth Anderson.
In an announcement on its Web site, the PMA board—which voted on the decision just two business days ago—said, “As a not-for-profit organization, we must be responsible to our alliance members, certificants, delegates, sponsors and exhibitors, to ensure that we do not operate the conference at a loss, as this would draw away funds that are needed to continue other essential functions of the PMA.” For those who have already paid for the 2009 conference, the PMA is offering a refund or an open credit, which can be applied to the 2010 conference, membership, merchandise or any of its other offerings.
The 2010 PMA conference is still in the works, and Anderson is confident it will be a success. Its location—Long Beach, CA—is one reason: she says PMA delegates love visiting California. It will also be the event’s 10th anniversary, and she thinks that after two years off, attendees will be more than ready to learn and connect with colleagues. As for the economy, she’s also hopeful it will be in better shape.
In the meantime, Anderson says the PMA is looking into offering Webinars, especially on business topics. The organization will also have more time to “focus on internal things that can strengthen what we’re doing for members,” said Anderson, including health, vision and dental benefits and help for members who need Websites. The lack of conference revenue this year will be challenging, said Anderson, but she’s confident the organization can compensate in other areas.
For attendees who were planning on fulfilling their CECs at the conference, the PMA is recommending other conferences and workshops, including the Pilates Round Table, Inner IDEA, Pilates on Tour and Power Pilates offerings.
The 2010 PMA conference will take place Nov. 4-7, 2010, in Long Beach, CA.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been edited from its original version.]
In January, we reported on a bill under review by the New Jersey legislature, which would establish a State Board of Fitness Professionals and charge them with issuing licenses to fitness professionals, including Pilates instructors.
An update on this issue just came in from the Pilates Method Alliance. They have confirmed that the lawmakers have removed mentions of Pilates from the bill.
New Jersey Bill Proposes Licensure for Pllates Instructors
The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) recently announced plans for its annual Pilates Day® activities, scheduled for May 2, 2009. Instead of focusing on a national event as it has in the past, this year the organization is providing more support and resources to help its members host their own grassroots Pilates Day events locally.
Held each year on the first Saturday in May, Pilates Day was created by the PMA to create awareness about Pilates, its health benefits and its history. It’s an opportunity for PMA members to educate their communities about Pilates and attract valuable local media attention to their businesses.
So, now is the time to get creative about your Pilates Day plans. You could hold a free workshop, host a day-long open house, teach a mat class in a park or community center, partner with other studios or health professionals for a bigger event, get kids involved—the sky’s the limit—as long as it’s accessible and fun.
To host a Pilates Day event, you must be a member of the PMA and submit an online application. The PMA will then send you an official event kit, a helpful electronic package which includes event ideas, planning tips and a sample time line and budget. To help members promote their events, the kit also includes advertising and PR tips, a sample media alert and press release, production-ready Pilates Day 2009 logos and customizable posters, postcards and business cards. Your event will also be listed on the Pilates Day website.
We can’t wait to see what kinds creative events people come up with. If you’re hosting a Pilates Day event, be sure to take pictures and email us a few. We’ll choose the best ones and post them on Pilates-Pro.com. You can also post them to the Pilates-Pro.com Flickr pool or our Facebook page.