Certified Special Population Specialists® (CSPS®) are fitness professionals who, using an individualized approach, assess, motivate, educate, and train special population clients of all ages regarding their health and fitness needs, preventively, and in collaboration with healthcare professionals. They design safe and effective exercise programs, provide the guidance to help clients achieve their personal health/fitness goals, and recognize and respond to emergency situations. Recognizing their own areas of expertise, CSPS receive referrals from and refer clients to other healthcare providers as appropriate. Learn more - What is a Special Population?
**Due to COVID-19, your exam experience may be impacted. Information on how your exam may be affected can be found on the COVID-19 NSCA Exam FAQ page.**
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 2-3 business days 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 four domains: Basic Pathophysiology and Science of Health Status, Condition, Disorder or Disease; Client Consultation; Program Planning; and Safety, Emergency Procedures and Legal Issues. Click to learn more.
Candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree, or a license in one of a number of occupations and have a current CPR/AED certification. Click below for more information and details on how to submit the required documentation. Click to learn more about the prerequisites.
Since candidates come from wide and varied backgrounds, we offer several different approaches to studying for the 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.