CEU Categories & Activities

Learn about the various categories of CEU opportunities the NSCA accepts and details about CEU activities.


There are specific categories of CEU activities the NSCA will accept. These categories exist to ensure individuals gain knowledge in a variety of ways. The table below will help you determine the number of CEUs required. For tips to help you navigate recertifcation view the Recertification Planning Tool >>

(Shown on certificate)
Before 2024 6.0 5.5 4.0 5.5 4.0
During 2024 4.0 3.5 3.0 3.5 3.0
During 2025 2.0 1.5 1.0 1.5 1.0
January 1, 2026 to June 30, 2026 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
July 1, 2026 to December 31, 2026 0 0 0 0 0


  • You must obtain CEUs from a minimum of two different categories.
  • Reporting more CEUs than the maximum listed above will not count toward recertification.
  • All CEUs must be earned between January 1, 2024 or your certification date and December 31, 2026.
    • If you took advantage of the late reporting period from the 2021-2023 recertification cycle and completed recertification during that time, your CEUs must be earned between February 1, 2024 and December 31, 2026.  

Category A | Attendance

Earn CEUs in Category A by attending a variety of educational events such as clinics, conferences, seminars, workshops, or live-streamed events. Your attendance can be in-person or virtual participation in a live (not a pre-recorded) event.

  • NSCA Events | 0.1 - 2.0 CEUs per event

    Advance your career and connections while earning CEUs by attending an NSCA Event.

     What Qualifies | Attending NSCA conferences, clinics, livestreams, or live webinars

    • Attend in-person or virtually
    • Attendance at NSCA events will be recorded for you by NSCA staff, with in 1-2 weeks of the event.
    • Applicable for recertifying with distinction (*D)


    >>> View NSCA Events

  • Non-NSCA Events| 0.1 - 2.0 CEUs per event

    Advance your career and connections while earning CEUs by attending an event hosted by another organization.

    What Qualifies | Attending an in-person or virtual (not pre-recorded) event, such as: conferences, clinics, livestreams, live webinars.

    • The sessions or content provided must be related to the scope of practice and/or be consistent with the DCO for the NSCA certification held.
    • Live attendance does not need to be pre-approved.
    • CEUs are calculated as 0.1 per applicable hour, (Ex: 8-hour clinic = 0.8 CEUs) with a maximum of 2.0 for any single event.
    • Attendance at exercise science-related exam preparation courses for NCCA-accredited certifications will be accepted.


    • For non-NSCA events, a certificate of attendance (or letter verifying participation date and number of hours), and an outline of the event will be requested if you are audited.

Category B | Share your expertise

Get CEUs for speaking at an event or on a panel, being published, or volunteering with the NSCA. 

  • NSCA Volunteer Work | 0.1-2.0 CEU's per year

    Help advance the strength and conditioning profession while earning CEUs by volunteering and contributing to the NSCA.

    What Qualifies | Participation in one of the following capacities:

    • State or Provincial Director - 0.5 CEUs per year
    • State Advisory Board Council – 0.5 CEUs per year
    • Member of an NSCA committee - 0.5 CEUs per year
    • SIG Executive Council, Board of Directors - 0.5 CEUs per year
    • Editorial and Grant Reviewer - 0.1 CEUs per review



    >>>Learn About Volunteering

  • Presentations| 1.0 - 2.0 CEUs per presentation

    Contribute to the advancement of the strength and conditioning profession, while earning CEUs when you share your knowledge and skills as a presenter.

    What Qualifies | Participation as a speaker or panelist at a clinic, conference, seminar, workshop, etc.

    • 1.0 CEU per hour of presentation with a maximum of 2.0 CEUs for one presentation.
    • Presentations at certification preparation courses must be for certifications offered by the NSCA to qualify for CEUs. 


    • To document your work, keep a photocopy of the event brochure or flyer showing your participation or a letter of verification from the event host. 
    • CEUs for Presentations at NSCA events are reported by NSCA staff within 1-2 weeks after the event.
    • NSCA Poster Presentation CEUs are applied by NSCA staff, once the abstract is published.


    >>>Present at an NSCA Event

  • Publications| 0.5 - 3.0 CEU per publicaiton

    Advance the strength and conditioning profession while earning CEUs when you share your knowledge in a publication.

     What Qualifies | Authoring or co-authoring published articles, abstracts, books, or chapters in books. 

    • 1.5 CEUs for articles in NSCA publications 
    • 1.0 CEU for articles in peer-reviewed journals 
    • 0.5 CEUs for articles in other publications 
    • 1.0 CEUs per published abstract 
    • 1.5 CEUs per published book chapter 
    • 3.0 CEUs per published book 



    • Your writing must be published during the current recertification cycle.
    • CEUs are not applied for articles that are published ahead of print.
    • Applicable for recertifying with distinction (*D), if published in an NSCA publication.
    • All topics must fall within the scope of practice or be consistent with the DCO for the NSCA certification held. 
    • NSCA publication CEUs are added during the month that the article is published.


    >>>How to Get Published

Category C | Educational Activities

Further your education and knowledge to gain CEUs through activities like First Aid, Internships, college courses, and more.

  • First Aid | 0.5 CEUs

    Be prepared to help adults and children during an emergency by participating in a first aid certification program.

    What Qualifies | Obtain or renew your first aid certification

    Popular providers include:  

    • American Heart Association  
    • Red Cross  
    • EMS Safety Services, Inc.  
    • National Safety Council  



    CPR and AED certification renewals are a requirement for certification and do not qualify for CEUs.
     BLS (Basic Life Support) courses requires documentation that first aid is included.
     Keep a copy of First Aid your certificates in case of audit

  • College Course Work| 0.3-2.0 CEUs per course

    Continue to expand your knowledge and earn CEUs by passing post-certification college coursework.

    What Qualifies | Successfully complete post-certification college-level courses that fall within the scope of practice or is consistent with the DCO for the NSCA certification held. Courses must be completed during the current recertification cycle. The maximum per course is 2.0 CEUs.

    • 0.3 CEU per quarter credit hour
    • 0.4 CEU per trimester credit hour
    • 0.5 CEU per semester credit hour

    The scope of practice will include areas that are covered on the NSCA exam, depending on which certification you hold for example; Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics, Kinesiology, Health/Wellness, Sport Psychology, Client Consultation and Assessment, Program Planning, Techniques of Exercise, Safety, Emergency Procedures and Legal Issues, Basic Nutrition, Special Populations, Statistics, etc.

    Areas of study that DO NOT count include, but are not limited to, Surgery, Diagnosing, Radiology/Imaging, Business, Marketing, Finance, etc.   


    • Teaching academic courses does not qualify for CEUs.  
    • Unofficial transcripts would be required if audited.
  • Internships | 2.0 CEUs per Internship

    Get hands-on professional experience through internships and earn CEUs at the same time.

    What Qualifies | Complete a 150-hour non-academic credit-granting internship relevant to strength and conditioning or personal training.  


    • Internships must fall within the scope of practice for the NSCA certification held. 
    • Keep documentation with a photocopy of verification of internship completion, in case of audit. 


    The NSCA offers internships in its state-of-the-art performance center located at the NSCA headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. This is a great prospect for young professionals who want a better understanding of strength and conditioning while being exposed to a wide variety of athletes, clients, and coaches. 


    >>>NSCA Internships

  • Additional NSCA Certification| 2.0 CEUs

    Elevate your credibility even further with another NSCA certification.

    What Qualifies | Get an additional NSCA Certification that you do not currently hold.

    • You must already hold at least one NSCA certification
    • Additional certifications count as 2.0 CEUs toward your first certification.
    • Recertification of additional NSCA Certifications does not qualify for CEUs.


    • CEUs for obtaining other NSCA certifications will be automatically reported. 
    • Applicable for recertifying with distinction (*D), if an NSCA certification.


    >>>Learn about NSCA Certifications

  • NCCA-Accredited Certification | 2.0 CEUs

    Expand your credentials with other accredited certifications.

    What Qualifies | Pass a certification exam offered by a fitness, sport, or exercise nutrition organization currently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

    • Required coursework completed in the process of earning a non-NCCA-accredited certification may be reported according to usual recertification guidelines. For example, if you earn a USAW certification and attend a live event to get the certification, you could report attendance CEUs in Category A. You would not report earning the actual certificate.
    • CEUs will be awarded at the time of the original certification only. Recertifying the NCCA-accredited certification do not qualify for CEUs. 


    • A photocopy of the NCCA-accredited certificate would be required if selected for audit.

    >>>View NCCA Accredited Certifications

  • Pre-Approved Home Study Course | 0.1-2.0 CEUs

    Increase your knowledge and skills by taking home study courses offered by third-party organizations.

    What Qualifies | Successfully completing a pre-approved home study course through another organization



    • File your Certificate of Completion for each pre-approved course, as it would be required if selected for audit.


    >>>View Home Study Courses

  • Personal Development | 0.5 CEUs per year

    Keep yourself up-to-date on strength and conditioning knowledge and industry research

    What Qualifies | Any activity undertaken to stay current with your NSCA certification that does not fit into another category.

    • Receive 0.5 CEUs for completing at least 5 hours of activities. Examples of approved activities include:
      • Reading journals, magazines, and books  
      • Listening to podcasts that are related to your certification
      • Participating in self-improvement seminars
      • Completing home studies that are not pre-approved



    • Only continuing education content that directly relates to the scope of practice and detailed content outline (DCO) of an NSCA certification exam will be accepted.
    • 0.5 CEUs per year are the maximum amount of CEUs available for this activity (1.5 CEUs allowed for 3 year cycle)
    • If audited, you would need to provide a statement of the nature of activities completed.

Category D | Quizzes & Assessments

Test your knowledge and gain CEUs when you take an NSCA Quiz or assessment. 

  • NSCA Quizzes | 0.2 - 1.0 CEU per Quiz

    Test your knowledge and gain CEUs by passing a quiz from the NSCA.

    What Qualifies |Earn a passing score on any NSCA or USADA Quiz

    • NSCA Strength & Conditioning Journal (SCJ) Quizzes
    • NSCA Video Quizzes
    • NSCA Conference Quizzes
    • USADA Coaching Advantage Quiz


    • If you scored lower than 70 on a quiz, you will have to purchase and take the quiz again.
    • Quizzes completed through the NSCA website will be recorded automatically upon successful completion.
    • Applicable for recertifying with distinction (*D).


    >>>View Quizzes

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