What is a Kinesiologist?
What is a Kinesiologist?
In the past, often physical rehabilitation and fitness industries used Kinesiologist within organizations broadly to include Personal Trainers, PTAs and other designated assistant roles. Things changed when Kinesiology became a protected title when Kinesiology Act was enacted in 2007, at the same time other Health Professions such as Acupuncture/TCM, Naturopathy and others.
Kinesiologists are trained as Movement Specialists by accredited programs offering Kinesiology degrees. While the scope of this is broadly defined, Kinesiologists are trained in the assessment, development and delivery of exercise programs, as well as providing advice and assistance with correction and remediation of movement dysfunction.
With the enactment of the 2007 Act, Kinesiologists became Regulated Health Professionals, with the corresponding training programs being required to meet accreditation standards, and in 2013 the Regulated Health Professions Act regulation came fully into effect. Even in roles of being designated tasks from other professions, Kins are now first and foremost responsible to their College (College of Kinesiologists of Ontario) above and beyond any delegating professional. ONLY those holding the RKin designation are now allowed to hold the title Kinesiologist.
Registered Kinesiologist must be registered with the College to use the title, and as with all other Colleges, the COKO can impose sanctions on any individual working under the title of Kin, even informally, if they are not, and support staff referred to as such could be in a position to be held accountable to the college for false representation and add to confuse the general public.
While Kinesiology had been used in the past as a general catch-all for Kin grads, PTAs and trainers, to add legitimacy in a clinical setting, it is imperative that only R.Kins hold that title to ensure properly trained and licensed individuals are delivering safe and appropriate care to clients. RKins receive 4 years of university training (substantially more than some other RHPs) contrasted with 3-6 months for PTAs and as little as a handful of weekends for personal training certificates. For over a decade (or 30, with the OKA’s efforts) the field of Kinesiology has worked to ensure a level of professional standard that is not reflected by others that have “borrowed” this title in the past, and assuring the general public that this standard can be relied upon. Use of the term outside of the now regulated realm exposes the general public to a high level of risk and organizations to increased scrutiny in their practices, and should not be used, even if considered acceptable in the past.
The very broad scope of practice of this Profession has lead to some lack of understanding of where and how RKins fit in with other Regulated Health Professions, with practitioners working in a wider breadth of area than most other Professions, however RKin should not be linked as akin to PTA as a designated assistant, as they are Regulated Health Professionals and not to be confused with the latter.