In order to remain certified, the NSCA requires that each certified individual maintain current CPR/AED certification, complete Continuing Education Units (CEU), and pay a recertification fee every three years. A two- to three- year recertification cycle is common practice among certification organizations in the fitness industry. A three-year recertification period was chosen for NSCA certification programs to ensure that certificants keep their knowledge of industry trends, technology, and laws/regulations up-to-date.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At this time, there are no plans to make any changes to the recertification process or requirements. But we are closely monitoring the situation and will update the website in the future should there be any change.

Confused about where and how to report CEUs? Check out our new series of how-to videos.

2018 - 2020 Reporting Period

We are currently in the 2018-2020 recertification period, and the deadline for CEU reporting for all certified individuals is December 31, 2020. All CEU activities must be completed between January 1, 2018 (or certification date, whichever is later) and December 31, 2020. Below is a table to determine how many CEU's you are required to report based on certification date. Recertify before July 31, 2020, and save $15 on your recertification fee.  


Cover of Recert Policies and Procedures


Original Certification Date

Total CEUs Required Category A 
Category B 
Category C
Category D 

Member Recertification Fee (per credential)

Non-Member Recertificaiton Fee (per credential)

Before 2018* 6.0 5.5 4.0 5.5 3.5 $65 $90
During 2018* 4.0 3.5 2.5 3.5 1.5 $55 $80
During 2019* 2.0 1.5 1.0 1.5 1.0 $45 $70
1/1/20 to 6/30/20 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 $35 $60
7/1/20 to 12/31/20 0.0 - - - - - -

*CEUs must be earned from at least two categories.
†Only CEUs earned after 1/1/18 qualify.
‡Only CEUs earned after the date of certification qualify.

Page 5 of Recert Policies and Procedures

Category A

Attendance at clinics, conferences, seminars, workshops, symposia, and live streamed events, provided that the information falls within the scope and/or is consistent with the DCO for the NSCA certification held.

Category B

Category B includes NSCA Committee Work, NSCA Quizzes, Presentations and Publications.

Category C

CEUs that fall under Category C include renewing your First Aid certification, Internships, and Exercise Science-related college coursework.

Category D

Earn CEUs in Category D by completing preapproved home studies, completing Personal Development, earning NCCA-accredited certifications, and earning additional NSCA certification(s).

Other options for becoming recertified:

Retake The Exam (In Lieu of Reporting CEUs)

You may choose to retake and pass the appropriate certification exam, before the December 31, 2020 deadline. (Please contact the NSCA if you are choosing this option -

Please note that this option is for individuals who are currently certified, and will not be reporting CEUs before the December 31, 2020 deadline.



Individuals with expired certifications may petition NSCA for reinstatement of their certifications at any time. Reinstatement will be granted upon fulfillment of the following conditions:

  • All CEUs must have been earned within each missed reporting period(s). CEUs cannot be "made up" after the missed reporting period has passed.
  • Presentation of documentation that all required CEUs were earned sine the last successful recertification, and earned in accordance with the requirements of the recertification policy in effect at that time. 
  • Verification of current CPR/AED certification
  • Payment of reinstatement and all related recertification fees of previous recertification period(s).

If reinstatement is granted, certificants will maintain their initial certification date. Certificants who are denied reinstatement may appeal to the Certification Committee. The Certification Committee will review appeals at the Committee’s next scheduled meeting and render a final decision. 

Recertification FAQs

  • What if I have more than one certification?

    If you hold multiple certifications, the same policies and procedures apply. You do not, however, need to submit 6.0 CEUs separately for each certification. For example, if you became CSCS and NSCA-CPT certified before January 1, 2018, you are only required to submit a total of 6.0 CEUs for the 2018-2020 reporting period. A more complex scenario exists if you became CSCS and NSCA-CPT certified at different times during the 2018-2020 reporting period. Special attention must be paid to the dates on your certificates to assure that the required CEUs are completed after those dates. Certificants are encouraged to contact NSCA if there is confusion regarding recertification requirements.

  • What CEU documentation do I need, and where do I send it?

    It is the responsibility of each certified individual to maintain a record of all documentation for completed activities; see the table on page 5 for documentation requirements. Documentation does not need to be submitted to the NSCA, for standard recertification, unless requested and/or in conjunction with the random recertification audit conducted at the conclusion of a recertification cycle. Note: Documentation is required when requesting an appeal or reinstatement.

  • When will I get my new certificate?

    Recertification packets will start being mailed out February 2021.

  • What is Recertified with Distinction (*D)?

    Recertified with Distinction is a program that honors certified professionals who have met a high standard for continuing education, and are acknowledged for their significant role and participation with the NSCA. The Recertified with Distinction program benefits those who qualify, by enhancing their professional status and by providing public recognition including: • A specially designed certificate honoring the accomplishment • The right to use the trademark protected “*D” as an extension of their CSCS, CSPS, NSCA-CPT, and/or TSAC-F credential(s) • Special notation on NSCA conference badges To qualify for Recertified with Distinction status, certificants must: 1. Meet the standard recertification requirements established by the NSCA for the current recertification period. 2. Acquire a total of 10.0 CEUs from NSCA activities in a recertification period. (the requirements are not prorated for those certified after January 2018 and CEU category maximum rules do not apply) 3. Select the option to recertify *D on the recertification payment section of the NSCA website (Non-members will pay a $25 fee; Members have no fee but must select the box) Holders of multiple NSCA certifications must earn an additional 2.0 CEUs in order for the *D to count toward all certifications held (Example: 12.0 CEUs for two certifications, 14.0 CEUs for three or more). The “*D” must be displayed following the appropriate NSCA certification credential(s), separated by a comma, with no space in between, example: “CSCS,*D.”

  • What if i fail to report CEUs?

    Once certified, each certified individual continues to be certified as long as he/she fulfills the minimum CEU requirements and pays the recertification fee by the deadline of December 31, 2020. The NSCA Certification Committee will be notified of the names of those failing to meet all CEU requirements so that the appropriate action may be taken. Those who fail to meet the recertification requirements will be sent a Notice of Certification Revocation. Those wishing to appeal the revocation can do so by submitting an appeal in writing, including all relevant supporting education documentation, to the Certification Committee.

  • Why is there an audit?

    The NSCA will conduct a random audit of certified individuals that complete the recertification process. Those individuals selected for the audit will be required to submit their CEU documentation and current CPR/AED to the NSCA for verification. Those chosen randomly for the audit will be notified by mail no later than March 2021. Once contacted, certified individuals have 45 days to submit the documentation that supports the information previously submitted online or on the CEU Reporting Form. If supporting documentation is not provided within the time allotted (45 days), does not substantiate the activities reported, or is found to not meet CEU requirements (i.e., activity falls outside the scope of practice for the NSCA certification held) the conditions for recertification will have not been met, and those individuals will not be recertified.

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