Frequently Asked Questions

You can find answers to the most frequently asked questions the NSCA receives here.

My Account

  • How do I create a new account?

    Create a new account with the NSCA today.

    Create an Account
  • Where can I find my NSCA ID?

    Log in at NSCA.com and then click on your username to find your NSCA ID.  If you are looking for the NSCA ID for exam scheduling, you must first register for the exam at NSCA.com.  If you have questions regarding scheduling or registering for an exam, email Exams@nsca.com.

  • How do I update My Account?

    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
  • How do I add or update my international address?

    When adding or updating an international address, select your country in the drop-down menu before entering any other iinformation and then click the button that says “üSelect Country.”  This should repopulate the field options and allow you to update your address successfully.

     If you are still unsuccessful, please email membership@nsca.com with your complete address and we will update it for you.

  • How do I update my password?

    Visit the Reset password page.

    Check out our How-To Videos

    Update Password
  • How to I retrieve my username?

    Retrieve your username today.

    Retrieve Username
  • What if I need to retrieve my username or password and no longer have access to the email on my NSCA 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 membership@nsca.com.  Don't forget to include your NSCA ID to assist us with your request.  If you do not know your NSCA ID, include as much previous contact information as possible (i.e. address, phone, email) so we can verify your account.

  • How do I change my name?

    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.

  • Where can I find a receipt?

    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

Certification

  • Where do I send my official transcripts and CPR/AED documentation?

    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 exams@nsca.com.

    NSCA Certification Department
    1885 Bob Johnson Drive
    Colorado Springs, CO 80906
    FAX: 719-632-6367 (copies of CPR/AED only)
    Email: exams@nsca.com (copies of CPR/AED only)

  • I just took my exam and passed, when will I receive my certificate?

    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.

  • Can I get a copy of my certificate?

    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.

  • When does my certification expire?

    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
  • What certification is best for me?

    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
  • How do I become certified? Do I need to attend a class?

    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
  • Can I use any other certification or prior experience in lieu of the degree requirement?

    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

     

  • Does my Bachelor’s degree need to be in a specific field?

    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.

  • How many CEU’s do I need to report?

    The CEU requirement is based on your certification date. Please refer to the chart on the Recertification and Continuing Education page for the amount required.

    Learn More
  • How many CEUs is an activity worth?

    You can find a list of CEU activities and values in the different Category sections Recertification & Continuing Education area of the website. 

    View Details
  • Who can I contact I have additional questions about becoming certified, exams or my certification?

    Please reach out to Exams@nsca.com.  Be sure to include your NSCA ID to assist us with your inquiry.

Certification Exam

  • How do I change the name on my account to meet Pearson VUE policies?

    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.  

  • What if I am unable to arrive on time for an exam appointment due to inclement weather or an emergency?

    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.

  • When are the exams offered in my area?

    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

  • Are the study materials included in the exam price?

    The study materials are not included in the exam registration fee. Study materials can be purchased from the NSCA Store.

    View Exam Prep Materials
  • Which study materials would you suggest for me?

    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
  • Where are the dates for the exam?

    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.

  • How long to I have to take my exam after I get registered?

    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.

  • How long do I have to complete all of the eligibility requirements after I pass my exam?

    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.

  • Can I see which questions I missed?

    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.

  • What is a scaled scoring system?

    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. 

Recertification

Conferences & Events

Educational Content

Insurance

Journals & Publications

NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)

  • How can I get certified as an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®)?

    All of the information you will need on preparing for and passing the exam can be found on the NSCA-CPT Certification page. 

    Learn More
  • What resources are available to help me get certified?

    The NSCA offers several options for preparing for the NSCA-CPT exam. Check out our study materials in the NSCA shop and look for an Exam Preparation Live Clinic in your area. 

    Learn More
  • What educational resources are available through the Personal Training Program?

    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
  • Where can I find the latest personal training job openings?

    Visit the NSCA Job Board for the latest job postings./professional-development/nsca-job-award/

    View Featured Jobs
  • Should I get the NSCA- CPT Certification or CSCS certification?

    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.

  • What tools and resources are available through the Personal Training Program?

    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 materials 

    Learn More
  • How do I submit an article to the Personal Training Quarterly?

    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 publications@nsca.com.

    Learn More

Tactical Strength & Conditioning (TSAC)

Membership

  • May I have access to current NSCA members and/or certified professionals for the purpose of conducting surveys/research?

    We currently do not grant permission nor grant access to NSCA members for the purposes of conducting research or participating in surveys.

  • What is the difference between Student and Professional Membership?

    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:

    • Electronic bimonthly subscription to the Strength and Conditioning Journal
    • Electronic monthly subscription to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
    • Electronic access to the NSCA CoachPersonal Training Quarterly, and TSAC Report
    • An online library of member-only educational content including articles, videos, interviews, etc.
    • Eligibility for grants and scholarships
    • Discounted registration to NSCA events, the NSCA store and certification exams.
    • NSCA involvement through volunteer opportunities
    • Ability to vote for Board of Directors positions
    • Eligibility for awards recognition
    • Become a Fellow of the NSCA
    View Verification Form
  • What is the difference between Professional and Professional with Insurance?

    Certified Professional with Liability Insurance (CPI) Membership has the same benefits as the Professional membership, plus liability insurance. 

    CPI Exclusive Benefits:

    • Enjoy substantial savings through an exclusive NSCA arrangement Professional liability coverage – total limit up to $5,000,000
    • Add additional insureds (facility – non-owned) at no additional cost
    • Complimentary sample waivers

    Additional Benefits:

    • Electronic bimonthly subscription to the Strength and Conditioning Journal
    • Electronic monthly subscription to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
    • Electronic access to the NSCA CoachPersonal Training Quarterly, and TSAC Report
    • An online library of member-only educational content including articles, videos, interviews, etc.
    • Eligibility for grants and scholarships
    • Discounted registration to NSCA events, the NSCA store and certification exams.
    • NSCA involvement through volunteer opportunities
    • Ability to vote for Board of Directors positions
    • Eligibility for awards recognition
    • Become a Fellow of the NSCA
  • Am I a member if I hold a current NSCA certification?

    No, the NSCA is required to keep membership as a separate option from certification in order to be compliant with The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

    Learn About Memberhsip
  • I just signed up for membership. Why am I still being charged the non-member price?

    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 membership@nsca.com.  Include your NSCA ID to expedite processing.

  • I purchased printed publications. When I will I start receiving them?

    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 membership@nsca.com.  Include your NSCA ID to assist us in verifying your account.

Products/Store

  • How do I access the online practice questions?

    Log in at NSCA.com.   Click on My Account or Your Name and then Courses & Practice Questions.  You will have links for all practice question bundles purchased.

    View "My Account"
  • How long do I have access to the online practice questions?

    You will have access for one year from date of purchase.

  • How many times can I go through the online practice questions?

    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.

  • My practice questions have expired. How do I request an extension?

    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.

  • Why wasn’t my certificate and/or window decal included with the rest of my order?

    Allow 7-10 days for processing member-only products.  Membership certificates and window decals process from a different warehouse so they ship out separately. 

  • How do I access digital content that I purchased?

    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"
  • Where do I find the Study Guide PDF that I downloaded?

    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.

  • Do I have to be certified to purchase a certified item?

    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.

  • What is the NSCA's shipping policy?

    Please follow the link below to review our current shipping policy.  If you have questions, send an email to Products@nsca.com.

    Shipping Policy
  • What is the NSCA's Return Policy?

    Our return policy and return instructions can be found by following the link below.

    Return Policy
  • I ordered the wrong study materials, how do I return them?

    Contact the NSCA for preauthorization at 800-815-6826 or 719-632-6722 ext 149, or send an email to products@nsca.com.   You may also review the return policy on the store home page or on the reverse side of your packing slip.

    View Return Policy
  • Do you accept purchase orders for items in the store?

    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.

  • How do I exchange products?

    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.

  • I received the incorrect items in my package. What do I do?

    Please contact us immediately at 800-815-6826 or 719-632-6722 ext 149, or send an email to products@nsca.com

  • I opened the sealed book(s), but need to return them.

    Essentials of Personal Training, Essentials of Strength Training, and Exercise Technique Manual are not returnable if unwrapped.

  • Has my order shipped?

    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 products@nsca.com to track the status of your order. 

  • Why haven’t I received my 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 products@nsca.com so that we may research the status of your order further. 

  • How do I change the shipping address on my order?

    Please contact us at 800-815-6826 or 719-632-6722 ext 149, or send an email to products@nsca.com immediately so that we may correct the address before it ships incorrectly.  Include your order number to expedite processing.

  • Do you offer military discounts?

    No.  Pricing is based on your membership status, but check out some government resources below.

    View Resources
  • Do you provide desk copies?

    Desk copies can be requested directly from our publisher, Human Kinetics, at https://us.humankinetics.com/.  Click on EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES and then ADOPTING A TEXTBOOK.

    View Form
  • What study materials should I buy?

    Study Materials for the CSCS Exam | CSPS ExamNSCA-CPT ExamTSAC-F Exam

    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. 

Professional Development

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