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National Council on Strength & Fitness
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Setting Standards

Personal Trainer & Sport Nutrition Specialist Re-Certification


Re-certification is an integral part of a Board Certification Program. The decision to maintain a credential is equally as important as the decision to become certified in the first place. The field of Personal Training is in a state of perpetual change with new research and findings continuously being discovered and updated. To uphold the high standard of your achievement, and to ensure that all NCSF certified professionals stay abreast of the latest information, the NCSF Board for Certification requires that all certified professionals participate in the continuing education program to maintain certified status in lieu of retesting. Professionals who continue to expand their repertoire of skills and knowledge are best able to serve their clients’ needs as well as the needs of the general public.


Re-certification can be accomplished two ways through the NCSF Board for Certification (NCSFBC), 1) participating in continued education qualifying activities to earn the required continued education units or 2) re-taking the board examination. To re-take the exam a candidate simply submits an application for eligibility; pays the registration fee; and retest in accordance with the exam administration policies. To re-certify using continued education, a certified professional needs to accumulate the required continued education units/credits over the term of the certification or certificate. The CEU’s must be completed prior to the expiration date of the certification or certificate for renewal. The NCSF Board for Certification's Recertification Standards for Practice Committee determined the term for certification to be two-years.


Certified Personal Trainer:


The requirement for a role certification is ten (10) continued education units over the two year reporting cycle. The units must be derived from the qualifying categories and submitted before expiration of the credential. Seven of the units are required from the activities related to the content domains of the exam, as listed below. Two of the units are required and attained through basic CPR or higher and one (1) unit must come from ethics/professional practice.

Content CEU’s7 units
Ethics1 (Two Quizzes)

Sports Nutrition Specialist Only:


Certificate holders that do not maintain an NCSF-CPT credential are required to earn three (3) continued education units over the two-year reporting cycle. The qualifying criteria (NCCA credential, REPs, etc.) will be required for renewal of the credential. This means that along with the three (3) content specific CEUs (six contact hours) within the domain of Nutritional Science, an NCCA-accredited personal trainer credential or REPs authorization must be in good standing upon renewal of the Sport Nutrition Specialist.

Content CEU’s3 units (Nutritional Science)
Current NCCA CPT or REPs, Level 3 or Higher

Dual Credentialed Professionals:


If both credentials are maintained by a NCSF professional the requirements for recertification remains at ten (10) continued education units. The additional requirement to support the Sports Nutrition Specialist is that three (3) credits of the ten (10) must come from supportive content. This includes qualified subject matter from any area in the nutritional sciences, including weight management and dietary supplements.

Content CEU’s7 units (3-Nutritional Science)
Ethics1 (Two Quizzes)
Maximum Value from Category
A.NCSF CEU Library10 units
B.NCSF Approved Courses and Programs10 units
C.NCSF Article Quizzes10 units
D.NCSF Exam Preparation Courses7 units
E.Ethics (1 CEU required - two quizzes)3 units
F.College Courses10 units
G.Non-Approved Courses and Programs6 units
H.Personal Development5 units
I.CPR/First Aid/AED (CPR required)2 units
J.Authoring/Editing/Publishing7 units

For a complete explanation of the specific requirements of each category, or to review the qualifying criteria set forth by the NCSFBC, please review the Recertification Handbook. Reporting of continued education must comply with the submission policies contained in the Recertification Handbook. A submission for recertification must contain the Recertification Application and applicable recertification fee of $50. In the event a certified professional does not submit the appropriate documentation, or fails to comply with the recertification policy, they will be assigned a non-certified status. An appeal to re-establish certification revocation may be made to the NCSFBC. Appeals must comply with the appeals policy contained in the Recertification Handbook. For all questions concerning continued education or the recertification process please contact the NCSF at 800-772-6273, or by email at

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