Arthritis Foundation Certification and Recertification Requirements


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The AF provides a certification process to recognize qualified individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Satisfy the training pre-requisites and successfully complete an AF Self-Help (English and Spanish versions), AF Aquatic, AF Exercise or AF Tai Chi Program leader/instructor training workshop
  • Within six months of training, conduct at least six one-hour classes of an AF program (either one six-week series of the AF Self-Help Program or six one-hour sessions of either the AF Aquatic, AF Exercise Program or AF Tai Chi Program)
  • Submit to the chapter a completed and signed Certification Application Form. (A signed statement of understanding should also have been obtained prior to training and a signed letter of agreement obtained with the Certification Application Form)
  • After meeting the requirements, the certification is valid for up to three years from the date of training (two years for Tai Chi), after which recertification training is required. To maintain certification after the first year requires teaching at least six class sessions per year and submission of the participant data from these classes (see Recertification Requirements below).

* The Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi program certification is a two-year certification.




Recertification must be conducted once every three years from the date of training for leaders and instructors. To be eligible for recertification, leaders and instructors should have:

  • Remained in good standing with the AF.
  • Submitted class statistics on all courses taught.
  • Taught a minimum of six class sessions each year for the three-year period.
  • Maintained interest in being involved with the AF and a passion for helping people with arthritis.



To be eligible for trainer certification, individuals must have:

  • Completed their leader/instructor certification requirements (including successfully completing an AF Self-Help, AF Aquatic, AF Exercise or AF Tai Chi program training workshop and within six months of training, conducting at least six program classes).
  • Successfully completed an AF-sponsored Train-the-Trainer workshop.
  • Conducted a leader/instructor training workshop within one year and preferably within six months of training in collaboration with the AF.
  • Submitted to the AF a completed and signed Certification Application Form.



To maintain their certification, trainers must:

  • Teach at least one training workshop per year.
  • Submit workshop data.
  • Participate in manual/course updates as needed per course revision.

To maintain their certification, it is also strongly recommended that trainers:

  • Teach at least one class/course series per year and submit this course data.
  • Participate in other trainer recertification training and continuing education opportunities as they are made available through the AF.




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