What is the Pilates Method Alliance?

Pilates Stretching
Pilates Stretching. Don Mason / Stockbyte / Getty Images

The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) is an international, not-for-profit, professional association and certifying agency. The PMA describes its mission thus: "to foster community, integrity, and respect for diversity; establish certification and continuing education standards; and promote the Pilates method of exercise."

What does the Pilates Method Alliance do, and how does PMA membership benefit Pilates professionals and students?

The PMA Certification Exam for Pilates Instructors

One of the most significant projects the PMA has undertaken is to establish the only third-party professional certification exam in the Pilates industry, which it did in 2005. The exam is meant to provide a standardized credential for teachers of the Pilates method and to help establish the teaching of Pilates as a profession.

The PMA certification program was launched in 2005 and accredited by the NCCA in 2012. The PMA Pilates Certification Program also participates in the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP). All PMA Pilates Certified Teachers are included in the United States Registry of Exercise Professionals (USREPS).

The Pilates Method Alliance Conference

The annual PMA International Educational Conference is a large Pilates event with classes and workshops on everything from Pilates exercises and equipment  to running a studio and working with medical concerns.

The conference traditionally features many well-known Pilates instructors, as well as Pilates Elders and influential members of the industry. It also hosts an extensive exhibit/vendor area.

Support and Promotion for Pilates Professionals

In addition to working to maintain high standards in the Pilates industry, the PMA supports members by listing them on their website studio and member finder feature, providing discounted pricing for the PMA conference and exam certification, offering affordable liability insurance, and offering a quarterly newsletter.

Members also have voting privileges and hold offices in the organization.

The American Council on Exercises (ACE) includes PMA certified teachers on their approved credentials list. These teachers can offer ACE CECs at their workshops and do not have to be ACE certified to get ACE CECs.

PMA Membership

Individual membership in the PMA is open to anyone for a yearly fee, with one of the most-desired benefits being discounted liability insurance. A PMA Certified Member has a lower fee and requires passing the PMA Pilates Certification Exam. Student membership is available for a lower fee for those who are in training to be a Pilates teacher, with a term of only one year.

PMA Projects

Two projects of the PMA that deserve special mention are the annual Pilates Day Celebration and the Pilates 4 Youth Program. Both enhance public awareness of the benefits of Pilates.

Inside the PMA

In an interview with executive director, Elizabeth Anderson, she had this to say about the benefits:

"I feel the major benefit for PMA members is an intangible one. It's about playing an active role in supporting the creation of a professional association that drives forward the development of the field, and most importantly, drives forward the professional identity of the Pilates teacher.

It's about supporting a vision for what is possible for your profession and being part of a community. Particularly when you begin to attend the PMA conferences, you have more opportunities to meet and get involved with your colleagues from the national to the international level."

Article source: The Pilates Method Alliance Website

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