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
Please do not create a new account. Call the membership team at 800.815.6826 or 719.632.6722 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to include your NSCA ID to expedite processing.
Send your name change request to Certification@nsca.com. Include a copy of your ID or documentation of the name change and reference your NSCA ID. Allow up to 3 business days for processing. If you are scheduled for an exam, we will notify Pearson VUE of the name change. Be aware that it can take up to 3 business days for your Pearson VUE account to reflect the change. If you have a more urgent need, call 800-815-6826 or 719-632-6722 and select “certification and exam registration” to discuss your name change.
Receipts can be printed or printed to pdf and saved from your account. Log in at NSCA.com. Click on your username and then MY ACCOUNT. Select the Activity tab and then Purchase history. Click on each order to generate a checkout receipt that includes the payment method as well as the last 4 of the credit card if applicable.Find Receipt
The preferred method of submission for CPR/AED is email, but it can also be faxed or mailed. Be sure to include your NSCA ID to expedite processing. Official transcripts can be submitted to the mailing address below. If your university has an electronic delivery service (e.g., dDocs, e-scripts, etc.), they can be sent to email@example.com.
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)
It can take up to 10 business days for your scores to be processed. As long as you have completed all other requirements, you will receive access via email to your digital certificate and the 2021-2023 Recertification Policies & Procedures within 6 weeks of certification completion.
Yes. If your digital certificate is available, it can be accessed at NSCA Certificates. Find out more about digital badging and certificates here. If you are unable to retrieve your certificate, it may not be available yet or the email you entered may not match what we have on file. Please update your profile and then send an email to Certification@nsca.com so we can update your account. Be sure to include your NSCA ID to expedite processing.
All NSCA credentials run on the same 3-year cycle regardless of when they are obtained. The current recertification cycle ends on December 31, 2023. You must complete the recertification requirements on or before that date.Learn More
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
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.
Send your name change request to Certification@nsca.com. Include your NSCA ID as well as a copy of your ID or name change documentation. It can take up to 3 business days to process your request. If you have a more urgent need, call the NSCA Certification Department at 800-815-6826 or 719-632-6722.
Within one (1) business day (24 hrs) you must contact the NSCA at Exams@nsca.com to avoid being recorded as a no-show. Candidates may be asked to provide documentation to show that their failure to arrive on time was due to a bona fide emergency. The NSCA is closed on weekends and major holidays, but we will reply as soon as possible when we return on the following business day.
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.
Please visit the specific event page for details regarding cancellation.
All cancellation requests MUST be submitted in writing and should state the reason for cancellation. Email: email@example.com
NO REFUNDS WILL BE ACCEPTED VIA PHONE
Yes. You will receive a recording approximately 1-2 weeks after the event to review anything you may have missed. You will have access for one year.
No. You will receive a recording after the event to review anything you may have missed, therefore receiving the full Category A CEUs.
Yes. A certificate will be emailed to you approximately 2 weeks after the event.
The NSCA will automatically apply the CEUs to your NSCA Account. If you need to report CEUs elsewhere, you may use the Certificate of Attendance.
Yes. Anyone who is interested in an NSCA Event can register.
No. You only need an NSCA Account to register. If you do not have one, you can create one for free.
The policy runs from February 1st through February 1st.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Yes, we can name your LLC as the insured as well as you individually providing that you do not have any employees and that you don’t operate a studio.
If Yoga, Pilates and Spinning are a part of your personal training, and consistent with your CSCS or NSCA-CPT training, and considered complimentary to personal training, then they would be contemplated. If you are only doing Yoga or Pilates training, then you should consider another program. MAT training is not included.
The policy covers instructors for their direct/personal instruction or supervision of
the training activities taking place at training camps. Coverage however is not afforded when instructors conduct, organize or operate the camps. In this event, separate “camp” insurance must be placed which would provide more comprehensive coverage.
This activity is contemplated as long as the training is consistent with your certification
There are some notable exclusions including the sale of dietary supplements, herbs,
energy supplements or weight loss/gain substances. Additionally, coverage is excluded if you own/lease/rent a facility; if you have a facility, please consider “Studio Insurance”. We suggest you review a copy of the policy for any other additional exclusions.
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 email@example.com.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 Membership Specialist. You can also email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your NSCA ID to expedite processing.
Please allow up to 8 weeks to receive your first printed publication. If you have not received a journal by that time, contact us at email@example.com. Include your NSCA ID to assist us in verifying your account.
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.
A 6-month extension can be purchased for $50.00. Send a request to Products@nsca.com and include the original order number and NSCA ID. Within 3 business days a staff member will create the order and email instructions for submitting payment at NSCA.com.
If you have extenuating circumstances, we can provide a one-time complimentary extension, but you must email us your Pearson VUE confirmation. We will extend your access until the day after your exam.
Allow 7-10 days for processing member-only products. Membership certificates and window decals process from a different warehouse so they ship out separately.
Log in at NSCA.com. Click on your username and then "My Account". Under the Digital Content tab you will see any videos or study guides that you have purchased. If you select the "Courses & Practice Questions" tabs you will find any courses or practice questions you have purchased. All digital content expires 1 year from date of purchase.View "My Account"
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 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.
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 NSCA IDs for each provided. Purchase orders should be submitted to Products@nsca.com and must include the NSCA ID for both the recipient and the purchaser if different.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com so that we may research the status of your order further.
Please contact us at 800-815-6826 or 719-632-6722 ext 149, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately so that we may correct the address before it ships incorrectly. Include your order number to expedite processing.
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 w/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.