Perspective on Professional Kinesiologist Qualification System in Asia

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Asian J Kinesiol. 2021;23(4):1-2
Publication date (electronic) : 2021 October 31
doi :
Department of Physical Education, College of Education, Seowon University, Republic of Korea
*Correspondence: Deogjo Jung, Department of Physical Education, Seowon University, Republic of Korea; E-mail:
Received 2021 October 15; Accepted 2021 October 15.

License and qualification systems are important factors related to employment. Therefore, universities need to have curriculums operated in close connection with these systems to foster professionals and thus considering job opportunities for students.

License systems are run by governments, but qualification systems are often managed by private organizations. Some of the world-famous private certifications in Kinesiology are administered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) [1], National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) [2], and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) [3]. These organizations operate systemic professional kinesiologist qualifications based on academic background and therefore have gained worldwide public credibility.

The American Kinesiology Association (AKA) defines Kinesiology as an academic discipline that involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society, and quality of life. According to the National Academy of Kinesiology (NKA), Kinesiology refers to the study of movement. Higher education in the United States defines Kinesiology as a multifaceted field of study in which movement or physical activity is the intellectual focus. In Asia, there are various names of college departments related to Kinesiology, but the intellectual focuses of them are unclear and their academic structures seem unorganized. In an effort to solve this problem, a Professional Kinesiologist Qualification System (PKOS) was proposed by the Asian Society of Kinesiology (ASK) when it was founded in 2016 [4].

While some students that majored in Kinesiology become researchers or professors, most work in the practical field of Kinesiology. We call them Professional Kinesiologists in the field. They need to have an ability to develop, apply, and evaluate exercise programs that can promote health while also enhancing the quality of life and individual social abilities for their clients. Furthermore, they are expected to describe, explain, and predict safe, effective, and efficient exercise phenomena.

Therefore, universities need to establish relevant educational goals to foster Professional Kinesiologists and to provide systematic, various, and practical educational content. In addition, they should offer practical education with experimental facilities and equipment. Students who received such education will be able to pass the qualifying examination for Professional Kinesiology and be successful graduates. Consequently, Professional Kinesiologist certificate holders will be recognized and respected, as well as having their socioeconomic status enhanced. ASK calls this process PKQS and intends to disseminate it pervasively in Asia.

People say that in the future, it will be the era of Asia. Since incomes are increasing and cultures are evolving in many Asian countries, there will be a growing tendency to pursue health promotion and enhancing the quality of life through physical activities. Nevertheless, as the lack of physical activity can still cause socio-pathological phenomena, there is a need to build a social support system that can naturally increase physical activities in their citizen’s daily lives.

With the connection to various fields, the range of Kinesiology’s applications has been gradually expanding. The specialty of Kinesiology is also increasing its presence throughout many physical activities, which includes exercising for improvement of health and fitness; learning movement skills; and engaging in activities of daily living, work, sport, dance, and play [5,6].

The curriculums to strengthen specialty in Kinesiology are an important factor for university students to gain competitiveness when seeking employment. Therefore, we expect that ASK will play a leading role in Asian universities identifying with and embracing PKQS.

The Certified Professional Kinesiologist (CPK) which ASK will develop in Asia through PKQS, is a single certification that combines the Clinical Exercise Physiologist of ACSM, the Athletic Trainer of NATA, and the Strength and Conditioning Specialist of NSCA. The reason for suggesting such a consolidated certification is due to the fact that the Asian Kinesiology market is not as wide as the United States yet. We require specialists with one single combined qualification which proves diverse skills that can meet the demands of various exercises rather than being qualified in different subdivided fields from the beginning.

CPK as an exercise professional certification which started being issued in Korea in 1999. So far, there are more than 5,000 CPK certificate holders who are qualified as members of the Korea Association of Certified Exercise Professionals (KACEP) [7]. In 2009, the Korean Academy of Kinesiology (KAK) was established to build an academic background for CPK qualification and to strengthen its profession [8]. In 2010, they started holding the Northeast Asia Conference on Kinesiology in cooperation with neighboring countries and then played a leading role in establishing ASK in 2016.

Going forward, ASK is going to help Kinesiologyrelated societies in Asia which will in turn introduce PKQS and nurture specialists with CPK in cooperation with universities, thus supporting specialists in establishing their own association in each country. Furthermore, it is hoped that many papers submitted by them will be published in the Asian Journal of Kinesiology (AJK), and the number of abstracts presented by them at the annual meeting of Asia Conference on Kinesiology (ACK) will increase. All of this will ultimately lead to the development of PKQS into a globally accepted CPK.


1. American College of Sports Medicine. Certification. (Accessed October 20, 2021).
2. Jung DJ, Kim KH, Oak JS. New Instructional Objectives of Physical Education Leader in Korea. Kinesiology 2009;11(3):107–116.
3. Korean Academy of Kinesiology; (Accessed October 21, 2021).
4. Korean Association of Certified Exercise Professionals; (Accessed October 20, 2021).
5. Korean Society of Exercise Physiology; (Accessed October 21, 2021).
6. National Athletic Trainer Association. About/Obtain Certification. (Accessed October 21, 2021).
7. National Strength and Conditioning Association. Certification. (Accessed October 21, 2021).
8. Oak JS. Strategies to promote the integrated kinesiologist qualification system in Asia. The Journal of Kinesiology 2017;19(1):71–77.

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