Compairing Associations CKA CSEP CATA ACE CAOT etc.


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 Kinesiology (with the CKA) and other professions.

In this document, the CKA attempts to explain the difference between being a Kinesiologist (with the CKA) and having a membership to 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):

The information in the grids is provided for comparison purposes only and was gathered from each organization website or documents. Should you wish more details, please contact each organization.

  1. CKA – Canadian Kinesiology Alliance -  Kinesiologists
  2. CSEP – Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology -  Exercise Physiologists
  3. CATA – Canadian Athletic Therapists Association – Athletic Therapists
    (Click here to see Grid no. 1: Comparing CKA / CSEP / CATA)
  1. ACE – Association of Canadian Ergonomists - Ergonomists
  2. CAOT - Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists – 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 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 to other organizations?
  • If I am a Kinesiologist with the CKA do I have to maintain my certifications with other associations? Do I have 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 you?
  • 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 to becoming a member of the CKA/PKA?

Here is a list of the difference between the scope of practice of a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and a Kinesiologist affliated with the CKA: acts that are performed by one and not the other, and by both. Consult this document - Difference CSEP-CEP vs Afiiliated Kin

Similarities between Kinesiologist and Exercise Physiologist 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


Kinesiologists are movement specialists that 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) that 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, coaching, healthy lifestyle education, and outcome evaluation for “apparently healthy” individuals and/or populations with medical conditions, functional limitations or 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) that 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 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), sideline care and acute injury management, 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.

As 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, Kinesiology services and to provide the best care to the Canadian public.



Kinesiology is a young profession, yet maturing quickly. The Canadian Kinesiology Alliance works to bring increased recognition and awareness to kinesiology and the sciences of human movement, to advocate on behalf of our partners and stakeholders, and to support 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 4,200 affiliated Kinesiologists

When joining CKA/PKAs, Kinesiologists benefit from:

  • 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, and 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), continued education opportunities (online seminars and printed resources) or home and auto insurance;
  • The right to issue receipts to clients for the purpose of reimbursement through their health benefit plans. The CKA/PKAs are committed to investing in the reimbursement of our services through insurance companies. It is important to specify that only the CKA/PKA Kinesiologists, that are members in good standing, can issue receipts to their clients for the purpose of reimbursing services;
  • In addition, in order to provide better customer service, the CKA/PKAs have enhanced their member management system and websites to provide online services for registration, to view their profile, view their subscription history, to independently manage their continuing education credits and make any changes to demographic information;
  • Be listed in an online directory “Find-a-Kin” for Canadians to be able to locate you and contact you thus increasing your clients.
  • Be represented in events to promote the profession to human resource managers of benefit health plans and to insurance companies to ensure kinesiology services are reimbursed to your clients.

Finally, your membership is a guarantee of professionalism towards your colleagues, other healthcare providers and law-makers, and especially for your clients. By renewing your membership each year and taking advantage of the many services, you collectively contribute to the success and recognition of your profession.

As kinesiology is now well represented in each province, the CKA is excited to work with all National Health Organizations (NHOs) and PKAs to raise awareness of the kinesiology profession, Kinesiology services and to the best care to the Canadian public.



Without prejudice               Updated : 2020-09-02
Disclosure: Currently 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 documents. 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