Site de démonstration de la plateforme memboGo avec l'application Site Web

How do I differentiate between the CKA and Other associations and certifications?

Comparing Associations

Updated: 2020-09-02

The Canadian Kinesiology Alliance (CKA) and the provincial kinesiology associations (PKAs) understand how confusing it is to try to differentiate between the CKA and other associations.

In this document, the CKA attempts to explain the difference between being a Kinesiologist (with the CKA) and having a membership in another exercise-based association. In the links below we have provided comparisons between associations (e.g., in job title, scope of practice, prerequisites and eligibility, membership and dues, certifications, training, insurance, and benefits).

This information is provided for comparison purposes only and was gathered from each organization's website or documents. Should you wish more details, please contact the individual organizations.

  1. CKA – Canadian Kinesiology Alliance
  2. CSEP – Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
  3. CATA – Canadian Athletic Therapists Association
    (Click here to see Grid no. 1: Comparing CKA / CSEP / CATA)
  1. ACE – Association of Canadian Ergonomists
  2. CAOT – Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
  3. NSCA – National Strength and Conditioning Association 
    (Click here to see Grid no. 2: Comparing ACE / CAOT / NSCA)


Other associations that represent professions similar to kinesiology include the ACSM, EIMC, and ACE. We invite you to read more by visiting their websites: ACSM – American College of Sports Medicine, EIMC – Exercise is Medicine Canada, ACE – American Council on Exercise.


In reading the different grids, you will find answers to frequently asked questions:

  • How does the CKA compare with other organizations?
  • If I am a Kinesiologist with the CKA, do I need to maintain my certifications with other associations? Do I need to pay two membership fees, insurance fees, etc.?
  • What is the difference in the scope of practice between the professions? Why does the scope of one association not cover the entire scope of kinesiology?
  • What is the difference in professional liability insurance (PLI) between associations? Does the CKA/PKA insurance fully cover me?
  • As a CKA Kinesiologist, can I work with the same clientele as members of other associations? Will my professional status be lost if I do not renew my certification?
  • What are the benefits of becoming a member of the CKA/PKA?

Similarities between Kinesiologists and exercise physiologists under CSEP as per recognition by EIMC: 
scope of practice and EIMC CEP designation

Differences between Professional Insurance Coverage offered by CKA/PROLINK, CSEP, CATA, and

In Summary

Kinesiologists are movement specialists who apply exercise and movement science to promote health and well-being; prevent, manage, and rehabilitate injuries; treat illness and chronic disease; restore function; and optimize human performance in the workplace, clinical settings, sport, and fitness. Kinesiologists are regulated in the province of Ontario and follow their local legislative guidelines in other provinces. Kinesiology is a profession that includes a wide range of practice including exercise physiology and athletic therapy. Kins work with clients of all ages, with or without health problems, in a variety of environments.

Exercise physiologists are movement specialists (like Kinesiologists) who have a certification in the specific field of practice called exercise physiology and thus have chosen to work primarily in that field. They perform assessments/evaluations, prescribe conditioning exercise, provide exercise supervision/monitoring, and perform coaching, healthy lifestyle education, and outcome evaluation for “apparently healthy” individuals and/or populations with medical conditions, functional limitations, and disabilities. They work with a variety of clients including (but not limited to) high-performance athletes and patients in research settings, hospitals, clinics, etc.

Athletic therapists are movement specialists (like Kinesiologists) who have a certification in the specific field of practice called athletic therapy and thus have chosen to work primarily with athletes. Athletic therapists have additional training in sideline care, acute injury management, and hands-on modalities (injury assessment, emergency life support, recognition and management of acute traumatic head and spinal injuries, first aid, and preparation for subsequent health care delivery); are recognized sport first responders; and are highly trained in clinical management of musculoskeletal injuries. They often work with sports teams.

Best practice would be that a client is first seen by a Kinesiologist who will, if necessary, refer to an exercise physiologist, athletic therapist, occupational therapist, or ergonomist.

Because kinesiology is now well represented in each province, the CKA is looking forward to working with all national health organizations (NHOs) and PKAs to raise awareness of the profession of kinesiology and kinesiology services and also provide the best care to the Canadian public.


What are the benefits of becoming a member of the CKA? What other services does the CKA offer me?

Kinesiology is a young profession, yet maturing quickly. The Canadian Kinesiology Alliance brings increased recognition and awareness to kinesiology and the sciences of human movement; advocates on behalf of our partners and stakeholders; and supports common standards and professionalism. Nationally, the Canadian Kinesiology Alliance is the strong and united voice of Kinesiologists. On a national level, the CKA / ACK represents ten (10) provincial kinesiology associations (PKAs) that are member associations and over 5,000 affiliated Kinesiologists.

When joining the CKA/PKAs, Kinesiologists benefit from the following:

  • Access to opportunities for networking and social capital
  • Access to promotional event material for the National Kin Week held annually in November and the National Health and Fitness Day held annually in June, as well as Bell Let’s Talk for mental health
  • Access to preferred rates from partners for industry-leading professional insurance products (including errors and omissions and commercial general liability), home and auto insurance, and continuing education opportunities (online seminars and printed resources)
  • The right to issue receipts to clients so they can be reimbursed through their health benefit plans; it is important to note that only CKA/PKA Kinesiologists who are members in good standing can issue receipts for the purpose of reimbursement
  • An enhanced member management system and website that allows you to register for services online, view your profile, view your subscription history, independently manage your continuing education credits, and make any changes to your demographic information
  • A listing in the online “Find-a-Kin” directory so Canadians can locate you and contact you, thus increasing your client base
  • Representation in events that promote the profession to human resource managers of health benefit plans and insurance companies to ensure kinesiology services are reimbursed to your clients

Finally, your membership demonstrates your professionalism to your colleagues, other health care providers and lawmakers, and especially your clients. By renewing your membership each year and taking advantage of our many services, you collectively contribute to the success and recognition of your profession.



Without prejudice               Updated : 2020-09-02
Disclosure: The practice of kinesiology varies from one province to another. The information in this document may differ and not correspond with the provincial legislation. The main purpose of this document is to present the current portrait of kinesiology (definitions, fields of practice, acts, etc.) across Canada, with information regarding resources in the various fields of kinesiology, practical tools, the extent of its scope of practice, and other potentially useful information. This document is in perpetual revision as per the evolution of the practice of kinesiology in Canada. The CKA / ACK will not be held responsible for any consequences or damages that may occur as a result of the use, misuse, misinterpretation, or abuse of the information found on its website. We emphasize that the aim of this document is to help guide you. Should anyone require guidance in interpreting any of the provided information, they should seek the advice of their provincial kinesiology association.