What is a Certified Performance and Sport Scientist (CPSS)?

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The Certified Performance and Sport Scientist ™ (CPSS™) specializes in the application of scientific processes to improve individual and team athletic performance and decrease injury risk. The CPSS may be either a generalist, working across the breadth of scientific disciplines, or a specialist practitioner, who has training and/or applied experiences predominantly within one or more specific scientific discipline area(s) relevant to sport science and sports performance.

What is expected of a Certified Performance and Sport Scientist?

Those who hold a CPSS certification demonstrate leadership qualities, with the ability to apply foundational knowledge and skill across multiple sport-related scientific disciplines, instill best practices for the assessment and use of performance technology, and suggest evidence-based training practices through the process and application of scientific research. The Certified Performance and Sport Scientist maintains productive relationships with sport coaches, athletic performance staff, medical staff, and other key stakeholders, to enhance communication and decision-making in sport and athletic performance settings.

NSCA’s Essentials of Sport Science Textbook

NSCA’s Essentials of Sport Science features 52 globally-recognized industry leaders and presents a holistic overview of the scientific principles, knowledge, and expertise to support athletic and team performance as a modern-day sport scientist. Click below for more information and excerpts from the textbook.

Textbook Details

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must meet both the formal education AND specific applied experience requirements in one of three routes listed for eligibility and have a current CPR/AED certification. Click below to learn more about the requirements.

Eligibility Requirement Details

                                             

                                                                                 

                            

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the difference between the CPSS and the CSCS certifications?

    The CSCS is two-section exam that assesses both the scientific foundations and practical / applied areas of strength and conditioning. The scientific foundations section requires an understanding of exercise science, sport psychology, and nutrition. The practical / applied section requires knowledge of exercise techniques, program design, testing and evaluation, and strength and conditioning program organization / administration. The focus of the CSCS exam is to demonstrate foundational knowledge to safely and effectively perform duties as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (or Coach).

    The CPSS is a one-section exam that demonstrates an advanced level of knowledge across multiple athletic performance disciplines. The CPSS exam expands upon foundational scientific underpinnings of sport, and requires knowledge of how to implement scientific research methods and monitoring technology in athlete performance environments. The CPSS exam emphasizes a collaborative and holistic approach towards performance and injury prevention, and assesses foundational knowledge to appropriately apply scientific research processes as a Performance and Sport Scientist.

  • What exam prep materials are available?

    The primary preparation resource for NSCA’s Certified Performance and Sport Scientist (CPSS) certification exam is the NSCA’s Essentials of Sport Science Textbook. Additional study materials including a study guide, case study examples, and practice exam questions are in development.

  • When will exam registrations begin?

    The NSCA Staff and Exam Development Committee are working hard to deliver an industry-defining textbook and certification exam in support of emerging sport science professions. The target date range to release the CPSS certification exam is mid-2021. The exact dates for registrations and exam launch are be determined and communicated in future updates.

  • Where will the exam be offered?

    The CPSS exam will be offered in the English language at approved Pearson VUE test centers around the world. Please click to see a list of approved Pearson VUE test centers.

  • What are the eligibility requirements to sit for the CPSS exam?

    Candidates must meet both the formal education AND specific applied experience requirements in one of three routes listed for eligibility and have a current CPR/AED certification. Click below to learn more about the requirements.

    Eligibility Requirement Details
  • Will the new CPSS certification become NCCA accredited?

    It is the goal of the NSCA that all of our certifying exams meet the NCCA standards of accreditation. We will continue to keep this information updated as the requirements for NCCA accreditation are met.

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