NSCA Certification Exams | A Year In Review

The purpose of this article is to provide information about the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) certification exams that were administered during 2018.

The purpose of this article is to provide information about the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) certification exams that were administered during 2018. Providing this annual summary is one of the requirements stipulated by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the organization that accredits three of the NSCA certification exam programs—the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®), the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®), and the Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator® (TSAC-F®). The Certified Special Population Specialist® (CSPS®) certification program will undergo application for NCCA accreditation in 2019.

CSCS Exam

In 2018, the CSCS exam was administered to 6,196 candidates. The average number of first-time exam candidates who passed both sections of the CSCS exam and thus became certified was 56%. The average number of first-time candidates passing the Scientific Foundations section and the Practical/Applied section were (respectively) 62% and 70%. The mean reliability values for the Scientific Foundations section and the Practical/Applied section were (respectively) 0.86 and 0.85. From the beginning of the CSCS exam program in 1985, a total of 67,581 individuals have become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. On December 31, 2018, 35,803 professionals currently held the CSCS credential.

NSCA-CPT Exam

In 2018, the NSCA-CPT exam was administered to 1,401 candidates. The average number of candidates who became certified was 77%. The mean reliability value was 0.87. From the beginning of the NSCA-CPT exam program in 1994, a total of 30,616 individuals have become NSCA-CPT certified. On December 31, 2018, there were 11,031 professionals who currently held the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer credential. 

TSAC-F Exam

In 2018, the TSAC-F exam was administered to 322 candidates. The average number of candidates who became certified was 98%. The mean reliability value was 0.88.  From the beginning of the TSAC-F exam program in 2014, a total of 1,098 individuals have become TSAC-F certified. On December 31, 2018, there were 872 professionals who currently held the Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator credential.  

CSPS Exam

In 2018, the CSPS exam was administered to 44 candidates. The average number of candidates who became certified was 64%. The mean reliability value was 0.70. From the beginning of the CSPS exam program in 2014, a total of 125 individuals have become CSPS certified. On December 31, 2018, there were 116 professionals who currently held the Certified Special Population Specialist credential. 

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