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Customer story

How The American Council on Exercise certifies 90,000+ professionals through LearnUpon

Ace fitness learnupon customer story

90k

health and exercise professionals around the world have access to training

4

leading professional certification programs available online, on-demand

1st

in industry to be delivering Equity, Diversity & Inclusion training programs

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has a simple mission: get people moving. 

As one of the largest health and fitness non-profit organizations in the world, ACE represents and certifies a massive 90,000+ health and fitness professionals across the US and around the globe. To do this, ACE is committed to providing exceptional educational resources that not only empowers these professionals to help others through physical activity, but also supports their career growth. 

With a big audience and an inspiring goal, the organization needed a reliable, user-friendly solution to deliver its large-scale education and certification programs. 

Choosing LearnUpon, ACE provides four high-demand certifications, as well as more than 100 online continuing education courses, including one of the industry’s first equity, diversity & inclusion courses. And most importantly, ACE is positively impacting people’s lives.

“LearnUpon enables us to effectively share ACE education to over 90,000 health and fitness professionals in an easy-to-access and engaging manner. In turn, our professionals apply their learning to positively impact millions of lives across the world. The domino effect is expansive!”

Jacque Crockford, DHSc.

Senior Product Manager at the American Council on Exercise

The challenge: Drained resources and limited technology

Education is vital to ACE, so the team knew they needed a great learning management system. However, Product Design Manager Devon Browning, and Senior Product Manager Jacque Crockford, saw an issue – their LMS wasn’t delivering. 

Requiring heavy customization, offering poor customer support, and with difficult user navigation, there was a laundry list of problems that made it unsuitable for the team.

“Sometimes it would take months for our vendor to respond to us. And when we tried to build one of our certifications, feedback from learners was that (the previous LMS) was overwhelming and confusing to use, so we just nixed the whole project. That’s when we realized we needed a new LMS. If we couldn’t put our core certification study programs in there - it wasn’t going to work.”

Devon Browning

Product Design Manager at the American Council on Exercise

So, Devon, Jacque, and the rest of the ACE team shifted focus and decided to invest in a new solution. Critically, it would have to take the burden away from their in-house tech team, provide a supportive partnership, and offer an intuitive, user-focused experience that made training easy for admins to deliver and user-friendly for learners to access and engage with.

The solution: Deliver industry-leading training to 90,000+ professionals – no tech team required

LearnUpon’s LMS had a big appeal for the ACE team members from the get-go. 

It enables them to create, manage, and deliver four core certification programs, which include instructor-led training, webinars, assignments, quizzes, and more, to the US and worldwide. And best of all, the team is doing it all themselves.

With a managed package of support and continuous deployment for product enhancements and new features, no technical resources are required for the team to maintain LearnUpon.

“A big reason we went for LearnUpon is its customer-centric model, plus the fact that we can just rely on LearnUpon to make updates in the background. This takes the lift off our own IT and development teams.”

Devon Browning

Product Design Manager at the American Council on Exercise

A seamless learner experience

Although the platform has helped the staff admins, for ACE, it’s the learners that come first. With LearnUpon, the team is confident that their learners’ experience is always top-of-mind.

“What’s most important to me is the user experience for customers. Having something look professional and feel on-brand is important and expected by our learners. LearnUpon is instrumental in ensuring our education is provided in an engaging and visually appealing way.”

Devon Browning

Product Design Manager at the American Council on Exercise

Features like xAPI/TinCan, a large part of the content created, work smoothly in LearnUpon, where learners have a simple, uninterrupted experience when launching a course.

“Our customers log in to acefitness.org, click the course they want and it drops them into LearnUpon where the TinCan is ready to go. People don’t realize they’re using multiple platforms. Even though there are a lot of parts, it’s a seamless experience. It’s all fluid. ”

Devon Browning

Product Design Manager at the American Council on Exercise

Not wanting to alienate any learners, it was also important for the ACE team that everyone can take their education training. Using LearnUpon’s Accessibility features, they ensure there are zero barriers to learning.

“With LearnUpon, we’re working to reach all learners, including customers who are hearing or visually impaired. LearnUpon supports the software our learning designers use for closed captioning, video transcripts and visuals that are appropriate for color blindness. A lot of thought has gone into our education to be sure people receive it in a way that fits their individual needs.”

Jacque Crockford, DHSc.

Senior Product Manager at the American Council on Exercise

An industry-first in equity, diversity & inclusion education 

With LearnUpon, the team at ACE was able to expand their educational offerings too, by building an ambitious equity, diversity & inclusion (ED&I) course. 

Led by Jacque, it’s one of the first of its kind in the industry and it’s free for all ACE-certified professionals. At the end of the course, each professional is awarded a certificate. This is done using LearnUpon course webhooks, which automatically trigger the ACE website user portal to generate a course completion certificate.

Working with internal and external subject matter experts, the program was thoughtfully built with a range of content types delivered smoothly in the LMS, including podcasts, videos, downloadable PDFs, and clickable infographics. 

“To encourage reflection on the topic of equity, diversity & inclusion, we conduct pre-assessments to understand how people feel before they take the course, and then a post-course survey to understand what people have learned at the end. This is so important for adult learners.”

Jacque Crockford, DHSc.

Senior Product Manager at the American Council on Exercise

Up Next: Blended experiences for a hybrid world

Not just a one and done – as Jacque says, “we can’t just put out a 3-hour course and leave it at that” – the ACE team plans to evolve and complement their ED&I educational offerings. They’ll  continue to evolve and expand their courses in this product category. Added to this is the focus on live learning. And by taking advantage of the out-of-the-box Zoom integration, it will all be managed, tracked, and delivered using LearnUpon.

“We’re moving more and more towards that blended model (of virtual and in-person learning experiences). We're launching courses with live Zoom sessions where learners will receive instant feedback. LearnUpon is enabling us to do that - and do that well.”

Devon Browning

Product Design Manager the American Council on Exercise