New graduates of kinesiology programs are eligible to write the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario (COKO) Registered Kinesiologist examination but many students look for additional experience and training. As well, Registered Kinesiologists are required to have a self-directed learning plan (http://www.coko.ca/en/home/members/quality-assurance/cpd). The COKO offers a list of organizations providing opportunities to support professional development in these ways, however, it does not endorse. These organizations tend to offer courses and workshops which focus on a specific aspect of kinesiology practice, and for some organizations, learning opportunities are achieved via conferences and seminars.
Several universities in Ontario and beyond have recently developed programs to provide enhanced training that is relevant to kinesiology practice. The programs differ in level (graduate diploma, Master’s degree), duration (12 to 16 months), and focus. However, the common thread among the programs is theoretical competence in expanded areas related to practice as well as enhanced practical experience. For those entering the profession, the programs can provide advanced kinesiology training and structured experiences with clients. For those already practicing, they can provide new insights and experience with new client groups. Each program provides a different mix, but opportunities are available to enhance experience in kinesiology as it relates to the function, health and wellness in all populations and across the lifespan, including: children with disabilities; people with chronic disease (for example cardiovascular disease or cancer); those with musculoskeletal impairments (chronic or injury related); people with mental health concerns; athletes interested in improving performance; as well as working with employers and other stakeholders who can support the wellness of their specific population. The experiences are designed to educate about both common aspects of professional work such as client interactions, record keeping, communication, and specific content regarding how to assess and intervene for clients who have particular health limitations or performance goals – skills that are not often discussed in detail at the undergraduate level.
The course work provides opportunities for students to gain advanced understanding of the latest evidenced-based research, enhance knowledge and further develop skills in analysis and communication. The choice of particular topics and the relative emphasis does differ between programs and applicants are encouraged to match interests with program strengths, such as clinical, research, interprofessional collaboration, and/or business management. Many programs offer a mix of required courses, practicum courses, and electives.
As educators, we are convinced of the value continuing education and most health care professions regard it as a critical part of professionalism. Advanced training may re-kindle interest and may broaden the scope of one’s practice. We also believe advanced training opportunities, such as those described here, will enhance the caliber of the profession and promote the kinesiologist’s ability to positively affect the health and physical performance of Ontarians.
Additional information about some of the advanced training programs in Ontario in the following links:
- Brock University - Master of Professional Kinesiology
- Fanshawe College - Advanced Ergonomics Studies
- George Brown College - Clinical Methods in Orthotics/Prosthetics Postgraduate Program
- Humber College - Exercise Science and Lifestyle Management Graduate Certificate
- Lakehead University - Graduate Diploma Professional Kinesiology
- Niagara College - Exercise Science for Health and Performance Graduate Certificate
- UOIT-CMCC - Work Disability Prevention Graduate Diploma
- University of Toronto - Master of Professional Kinesiology