Pre-Activity Screening


The contents of this blog are not to be construed in any manner as legal advice nor is there any intent to establish an attorney-client relationship through use of this blog. Any legal situation is heavily dependent upon the particular facts presented and if you as a reader believe you are in need of advice please contact an attorney for a confidential consultation.


This publication is written and published to provide accurate and authoritative information relevant to the subject matter presented. It is published with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering legal, medical or other professional services by reason of the authorship or publication of this work. If legal, medical or other expert assistance is required, the services of such competent professional persons should be sought. Moreover, in the field of personal fitness training, the services of such competent professionals must be obtained.

Adapted from a Declaration of Principles of the American Bar Association and Committee of Publishers and Associations

In the last bog, information about how personal trainers should screen their clients before their exercise activity was discussed. The use of PAR-Q type forms for screening purposes was suggested. Then certain questions were put forth asking what should be done if a client refuses to complete the form or if thereafter a client refuses to secure healthcare provider clearance before their participation in activity.

Well, the question remains about what personal trainers should do if their clients won’t participate in pre-activity screening or if they do so, what will happen if they don’t follow the PAR-Q advice to secure healthcare provider clearance before participation.

Personal trainers should always encourage client completion of pre-participation clearance forms. However, if clients won’t cooperate in the process or if clients refuse to secure clearance from their healthcare providers when indicated, then such clients must agree to waive or relinquish their right to institute suit against the personal trainer arising out of their participation in activity. In fact, the client’s execution of a prospectively executed release/waiver of liability will be essential to entry into any personal training program of activity whether the client completes the clearance form or not except where the use of such documents is not permitted.

While the use of such waiver/release documents is essential for every program, the use of these forms becomes even more important when screening is refused, when a screening form is not completed or when a participant won’t seek and obtain clearance from their own healthcare provider where indicated.

If a personal trainer is in a jurisdiction where such releases are not legally recognized, which is only in a small minority of states in the United States, personal trainers should have their clients execute an assumption of risk document instead.

In the next blog, more information about releases and then assumption of risk forms will be discussed.

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