You can find answers to the most frequently asked questions the NSCA receives here.
To update your account, log in to NSCA.com and visit your "My Account" page. From this page, you can also access all of the other items that can be updated for your account and view your membership status. Also, these items can be accessed from the drop down window on any primary navigation link on the site.Login to My Account
The NSCA certifications are geared towards working with different audience types, so it will depend on who you want to work with and/or where you want to work. View the section on choosing the right certification on the exam preparation page.Learn More
To qualify for an NSCA certification, candidates must meet all of the eligibility requirements for the certification program and pass the exam(s). Our certification exams are self-study, however we recommend attending an Exam Prep Live Clinic but it is not a requirement to sit for the exam. Visit the How to prepare page for each certification to get more information. /certification/exam-preparation/Learn How to Prepare
Please mail your supporting documentation to:
NSCA Certification Department
1885 Bob Johnson Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
FAX: 719-632-6367 (copies of CPR/AED only)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (copies of CPR/AED only)
CSCS - Having the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree demonstrates that candidates have obtained the basic knowledge and skills required of someone in the strength & conditioning field. Earning the CSCS credential says that the individual has (1) earned an undergraduate degree and (2) demonstrated an acceptable level of knowledge in strength training and conditioning by passing the CSCS certification exam. The NSCA has never granted an exception to the BS/BA requirement regardless of the individual’s level of experience and/or expertise for the CSCS exam.
CSPS – If candidates do not have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Exercise Science (or a related field, e.g. physical therapy, chiropractic medicine), then the candidate must have either a current NSCA certification (e.g., CSCS, NSCA-CPT, etc.) or NCCA-accredited personal trainer certification or a current license as a physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, athletic trainer, or registered dietician
CSCS – No, candidates must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree but there is not a field requirement.
CSPS – Yes, NSCA recognizes the following fields of study as relating to exercise science for the purpose of fulfilling the degree requirement for CSPS: Athletic Training, Biology, Biomechanics, Chiropractic, Community Health, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Science, Health Science, Human Movement Science, Kinesiology, Medicine (e.g., MD, DO), Nursing, Nutrition, Physical Education, Physical Therapy, and Sport Science.
You must call the NSCA Certification Department at 800-815-6826 to make any name updates.
As long as you have completed all other requirements, you will receive your certification packet within 6-8 weeks.
We do not have electronic certificates available at this time.
Exams are administered on computers year-round at Pearson VUE test centers worldwide. Please note that certain test centers, such as those located on military bases, may not be accessible to the general public. You can view exam locations at www.pearsonvue.com/nsca.
The Exam is offered in 7 Languages - Learn More.
NSCA offers several optional resources to help candidates prepare. These resources can be combined into a preparation plan that is tailored to the specific needs of a candidate based on their academic background and practical experience.Learn More
Exams are administered year-round at Pearson VUE computer based test centers worldwide. After successfully registering with NSCA, candidates will receive an exam authorization email from Pearson VUE within 2-3 business days. This authorization notice will contain instructions on how to schedule your exam. Candidates have 120 days from the registration date to sit for their exam. Candidates who are unable to take the exam within the 120-day period must withdraw or extend their registration to avoid forfeiting their registration fees.
Candidates have 120 days from the registration date to sit for their exam. Candidates who are unable to take the exam within the 120-day period must withdraw or extend their registration to avoid forfeiting their registration fees.
You must fulfill all eligibility requirements within one (1) year to become certified. Exam scores are valid one year from the date the exam was taken, the NSCA must receive all supporting documentation BEFORE the one year mark has passed. After that date, exam scores are considered NULL and VOID and the exam must be retaken.
Unfortunately, the questions are not available for review. The NSCA does not permit access to the exams other than during the time of the actual exam. Our policy is consistent with other nationally recognized certifying and licensing bodies. The NSCA Exam Development Committees have devoted a significant effort to develop valid and reliable examinations. Allowing candidates to review examinations would compromise the security of the examinations and likely compromise their reliability.
The reason for scaled scores is that different forms (or versions) of the test may vary in difficulty. As new forms of the test are introduced, a certain number of questions in each content area are replaced by new questions. These changes may cause one form of the test to be slightly easier or harder than another form. To adjust for these differences in difficulty, a procedure called “equating” is used. The goal of equating is to ensure fairness to all candidates.
The scaled score is statistically derived from your raw score. The passing score reflects the amount of knowledge that a committee of experts has determined to be appropriate for credentialing. A criterion-referenced standard setting procedure and expert judgment were used to evaluate each item on the entire examination in order to identify the passing point. Therefore, your score is not based on a curve; it is determined independently of all other exam candidates.
The equating system used and the manner in which the passing point is established follows psychometric protocols and nationally-recognized standards.
You must be certified with the NSCA, including Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS), Certified Personal Trainers (NSCA-CPT), Tactical Strength and Conditioning-Facilitators (TSAC-F) or Certified Special Populations Specialists (CSPS).
The policy runs from February 1st through January 31st.
Your certificate of Certified Professional with Insurance is for your purposes only and is issued by the NSCA. A replacement can be issued at any time. Certificates for Additional Insured’s will be issued and emailed. Replacements can be issued at any time by contacting the membership department at 800-815-6826 ext 202, or email email@example.com.
An Additional Insured, such as a gym, school or other facility, provides insurance coverage for that gym, school or other facility for your activities as an NSCA-certified professional. If the gym, school or other facility is named as a defendant in an action involving your training activities, the insurance will provide defense and/or indemnification.
Yes. You must have a current CPI membership or be signing up for a CPI membership.
No, coverage is not extended to employees. Coverage only applies to your activities. Employees need to carry their own general liability insurance.
No, coverage is for you as an individual only.
If at any time your NSCA certification lapses, your liability insurance is null and void. You must hold at least one active NSCA certification for NSCA’s CPI to be valid.
NSCA certification is required to be insured through the NSCA. You may contact the Certification Department for further details at 800-815-6826.
The NSCA offers the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR) and Strength and Conditioning Journal (SCJ), and several quarterly, peer-reviewed publications, including the Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ). We also suggest you check out our articles and videos.Learn More
NSCA-Certified Personal Trainers (NSCA-CPT®) are health/fitness professionals who, using an individualized approach, assess, motivate, educate and train clients regarding their personal health and fitness needs. Certified personal trainers design safe and effective exercise programs, provide the guidance to help clients achieve their personal health/fitness goals, and respond appropriately in emergency situations. Recognizing their own area of expertise, a personal trainer will refer clients to other health care professionals when appropriate.
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, CSCS® consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.
The NSCA offers a number of tools and resources for personal trainers, including standard forms and templates, position statements, client handouts (Trainer Tips), and other educational materialsLearn More
To submit an article to the Personal Training Quarterly, please refer to Personal Trainer Quarterly Author's Guidelines which are found on the Personal Training Quarterly page or email the NSCA Publicathttps://epi-manage.nsca.com/education/journals/personal-training-quarterly/ions Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.Learn More
The program is geared towards those who are actively administrating exercise programming to those in the military, law enforcement, fire and rescue, protective services, first responders, and other emergency personnel. The TSAC Program conducts education and certification activities in all countries except those listed on the U.S. Department of State's trade embargo list. A current list of these countries can be found here.
The TSAC Practitioner’s Course is designed to introduce the tactical practitioner to the basics of strength and conditioning through hands-on repetitions and scientific principles of strength and conditioning to help decrease injuries and workman compensation claims and increase performance, readiness, and longevity of the tactical operator’s career. The practitioner will spend time in lecture settings learning about strength and conditioning concepts before receiving hands-on training in execution and correction of movement and exercise.Learn More
The TSAC Annual Training is intended to present new research and training concepts to those in the tactical field (both facilitators and operators), whereas the TSAC Practitioners Course is designed to educate an individual on the basics of tactical strength and conditioning in a "train the trainer" format.
Yes. You will receive 2.0 CEUs for attending the TSAC Annual Training or 2.0 CEUs for attending the TSAC Practitioners Course. This is consistent with the current NSCA CEU structure of 0.1 CEU per hour of attendance, or 1.0 CEU per presentation hour if you are a presenter who holds an NSCA certification. Additionally in the registration for the Practitioners Course you will receive TSAC-F Online Exam Prep worth 1.5 CEUs and you will have your TSAC-F Certification registration fee taken care of, if you pass the TSAC-F Certification test you will receive 3 CEUs.
Yes. The CEUs can be used towards NATA/BOC. You will need to request a certificate of attendance through the Conference Department to use to petition the CEUs towards anything else other than that.
Yes, we will supply a certificate of completion for the TSAC Practitioners Course.
We currently do not grant permission nor grant access to NSCA members for the purposes of conducting research or participating in surveys.
The Student and Professional Memberships have the same benefits, the only difference is the cost to make membership affordable for students. Student members must submit a verification of their student status.
Student Member Benefits:
Certified Professional with Liability Insurance (CPI) Membership has the same benefits as the Professional membership, plus liability insurance.
CPI Exclusive Benefits:
Please allow up to 24 hours to receive member pricing. If your order is urgent, please call 800-815-6826 and select Option 3 to speak to a Customer Service Representative.
You must have an active certification number on file that corresponds with the certified purchase you are requesting. If you are CSCS certified, you may purchase CSCS merchandise, but not NSCA-CPT and vice versa. This restriction does not apply to study materials.
Since candidates with diverse backgrounds take the exams, it is difficult to recommend a single approach when preparing to take the exam. An academic background in an exercise science/physiology, strength training and conditioning, physical therapy or athletic training related curriculum provides the ideal foundation from which a candidate may begin to prepare for the exam. However, there are candidates without an exercise science-related degree, but with a significant amount of professional experience who want to take the exam. Therefore, candidates should follow the portion of this document that best reflects their academic background.
For candidates with an academic background, we suggest the essential package and for those without an academic background the essential plus package with online study course. They should not be considered as the only method to prepare for the exam. Ultimately, it will be each candidate’s academic, experiential and test-taking abilities that dictate how effective the preparation materials are. Also, while understanding the information presented in the preparation materials should certainly increase the likelihood of passing the exam, it does not guarantee a successful performance.
Allow 7-10 days for processing member-only products. Membership certificates and window decals process from a different warehouse so they ship out separately.
We accept purchase orders on a case-by-case basis. The customer(s) (purchaser and/or recipient if different) must be registered on our website and purchase orders are submitted directly to accounting for approval.
As a membership-based organization, we only offer discounts based on your membership status.
Exchanges are processed as a return and new purchase. Call us at 800-815-6826 or 719-632-6722 ext 149 to submit your new order and obtain return authorization. We will waive the shipping on the new order and match any special pricing that you received on the initial purchase.
Essentials of Personal Training, Essentials of Strength Training, and Exercise Technique Manual are not returnable if unwrapped.
You will receive tracking information via email when your order is fulfilled. You may want to check your junk email to see if it filtered incorrectly. You may also contact us at email@example.com to track the status of your order.
Please login at NSCA.com to review your order history and confirm that the order is active. Orders can take up to 3 business days to process and ship. Allow an additional 3-5 business days for ground delivery, 2 business days for express delivery, and 6-10 business days for international delivery. After the allowed time, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may research the status of your order further.
The download process happens very quickly. As soon as you click on the link, it is downloading. Please check the download section of your computer or on your browser to locate the file and save it. You will encounter an error if you attempt to download the pdf to your phone.
You will have access for one year from date of purchase.
ou have unlimited access to the practice questions for one year from date of purchase; however, the questions do not change and you want to ensure you are getting a good gauge of knowledge rather than memorizing the answers.
Instructor copies may be requested through our publisher at humankinetics.com > EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES > Adopting a Textbook > Exam/Desk Copy Requesthttp://www.humankinetics.com/exam-desk-copy-feedback-form Form.View Form