Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists® (CSCS®) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. Recognizing that their area of expertise is separate and distinct, CSCSs consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.
Exams are administered at hundreds of Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide.
When you have finished studying and are ready to take the exam, you will need to register for the exam online. Within 20 minutes after registering, you will receive an Authorization to Test email from Pearson VUE with instructions on how to schedule your exam. At that time, you will be able to select the date, time and location you wish to take your exam. Candidates can view exam appointment availability after registering for the exam. To locate the nearest Pearson VUE testing center click the button below.
Exams must be taken within 120 days of registering.
Rescheduling an Exam
For more details on rescheduling exam appointments and the cancellation policy, refer to the NSCA Certification Handbook (PDF).
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Candidates must pass an exam that will test their knowledge, skills, and abilities in two areas of professional practice: Scientific Foundations and Practical/Applied. Click below to learn more.
Candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree or currently be enrolled as a college senior and have a current CPR/AED certification. Click below for more information and details on how to submit the required documentation.
Since candidates come from wide and varied backgrounds, we offer several different approaches to studying for the CSCS Exam. Click to learn more.
We offer a variety of study materials to help candidates prepare for the exam. Click below to see available materials.
NSCA policy limits the number of times a candidate may attempt a certification exam within a one-year timeframe and requires a wait period before retaking an exam.
The NSCA strongly believes in adhering to industry best practices and established accreditation standards in the administration of its certification programs. The CSCS, NSCA-CPT, and TSAC-F certification programs have earned accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The CSCS earned NCCA accreditation in 1993, and was the first nationally accredited strength training and conditioning certification program. In 1996, the NSCA-CPT became the first certified personal trainer program accredited by the NCCA. In 2014, the TSAC-F program was the first of its kind to earn NCCA accreditation. Through the accreditation process, the NSCA has demonstrated that the CSCS, NSCA-CPT, and TSAC-F programs meet or exceed NCCA Standards. The NSCA is currently in the process of earning NCCA accreditation for the CSPS program. For more information about NCCA accreditation please visit: www.credentialingexcellence.org/NCCA.
The NSCA’s Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach® (RSCC) designation signifies that CSCSs have demonstrated experience and knowledge in their field.
NSCA certification exams are provided at any authorized Pearson VUE test center in the world. The CSCS and NSCA-CPT exams are available in Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish