How to Apply for RCPT Designation

Fill out the online application, but first, please read the qualifications to ensure that you are eligible.There is a $100 application fee for all RCPT and RCPT*D applicants. There is no application or renewal fee for RCPT*E applicants. All requirements must be fulfilled by the application date.

Qualifications for Recognized NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (RCPT)

  •  Applicants must maintain a current NSCA Membership.

  • Applicants must achieve and maintain either the NSCA Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®) certification or the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®)certification.

  • Bachelor’s degree in exercise science or related field to strength and conditioning such as the "Scientific Foundations" domain of the CSCS® examination content description. Experience and certification may be considered in lieu of an exercise science (or related field) degree.

  • Applicants must have a current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) certification. 

  • Applicants must have employment as a full-time personal trainer for a minimum of two years* (20 hours or more per week training clients is considered full-time).

  • Applicants must submit an affirmation letter** detailing their personal training experience.

* The RCPT*D (Distinction) has the same requirements as RCPT, with the addition of 10 or more years of experience as a personal trainer. The RCPT*E (Emeritus) has the same requirements as RCPT, with the addition of 20 years or more of experience as a personal trainer. There is no application fee or renewal fee for the RCPT*E.

** This letter must be signed by a supervisor for each job position in consideration towards the RCPT, RCPT*D, or RCPT*E experience requirement. The NSCA will conduct a formalized assessment of the candidate’s practical and applied employment experience. By signing the RCPT application, the supervisor acknowledges that the candidate has demonstrated they are experienced personal trainers who apply practical, foundational knowledge to assess, motivate, educate, and train clients, and has the experience to be recognized with the Recognized Certified Personal Trainer® distinction.

QUESTIONS? Contact the NSCA about RCPT


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