Recognized Certified Personal Trainer Program
  • Recognized Certified Personal Trainer Program
    The NSCA’s Recognized Certified Personal Trainer (RCPT) Program is a registry of individuals who have demonstrated experience and knowledge in the field of personal training. RCPT’s apply practical, foundational knowledge to assess, motivate, educate, and train clients. The RCPT Program encourages high standards of professional practice and responsibility.
  • The intent of the RCPT Program is to recognize professionals who are employed full-time as personal trainers in either a corporate gym setting, personal training studio, or privately owned facility. These personal trainers have a minimum of two years of experience in the practical application of assessing, motivating, educating, and training clients to achieve their health and fitness goals.

    There are three levels of Recognized Certified Personal Trainers:

    1. Recognized Certified Personal Trainer (RCPT) – RCPTs have two (2) years of experience or more in their field.

    2. Recognized Certified Personal Trainer with Distinction (RCPT*D) - individuals designated RCPT*D have 10 years of experience or more in their field.

    3. Recognized Certified Personal Trainer Emeritus (RCPT*E) – individuals designated RCPT*E have 20 years of experience or more in their field.


     Looking for more information? Check out our FAQs.

    Qualifications and Requirements
    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.

    Online Application

    Applicants must fulfill all the following requirements:

    checkmark  Applicants must maintain a current NSCA Membership.

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

    checkmark  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.

    checkmark  Applicants must have a current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification.

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

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

    * The RCPT*D (Distinction) has the same requirements as RCPT, except 10 or more years of experience as a personal trainer. The RCPT*E (Emeritus) has the same requirements as RCPT, except 20 years or more of experience as a personal trainer. There is no application 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 Liana Tobin at liana.tobin@nsca.com

    FAQs

    Is the RCPT different from the NSCA-CPT®?

    Experts in the personal training, strength and conditioning, medical, dietetic, athletic training, and sport coaching fields are all encouraged to have the NSCA-CPT® or CSCS® certification. The intent of the RCPT Program is to recognize professionals who are employed full-time as personal trainers in either a corporate gym setting, personal training studio, or privately owned facility. These personal trainers have a minimum of two years of experience in the practical application of assessing, motivating, educating, and training clients to achieve their health and fitness goals. The RCPT conducts goal-specific testing sessions, designs and implements safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs, provides guidance (or advice) for their clients regarding nutrition, injury prevention, or reconditioning.
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    Does a Recognized Certified Personal Trainer (RCPT) need to work at a corporate fitness facility or can an RCPT work at a privately owned facility?

    Professionals who are employed full-time as personal trainers in either a corporate gym setting, personal training studio, or privately owned facility are eligible for the RCPT Program and distinction.
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    What is I am unable to get an affirmation letter from a former employer?

    If your current supervisor can vouch for your previous employment they must vouch for it in the letter of affirmation, however please reach out to Liana Tobin (liana.tobin@nsca.com) directly for this special consideration.
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    What if I own my own personal training business?

    For business owners, please submit a letter of affirmation and be aware that you may be asked to provide articles of incorporation or other documents verifying business ownership.
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