Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)The NASM- CPT certification examination is accredited by The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (“NCCA”).1750 E. NorthropBlvd. Suite 200Chandler, AZ m.orgCopyright 2016 Assessment Technologies Institute, L.L.C. All rights reserved. Distributed by National Academy of Sports MedicineUpdated 8/2017

Table of ContentsAccommodationsRegistering for an ExamNASM’s MissionExam Check-inPersonal Trainers: Scope of PracticeRescheduling or Cancellation of an ExamAbout the OPT ModelLate Arrival or Failure to Appear for an ExamAbout NCCA AccreditationAbout the NASM Certification Governing BoardNASM’s Nondiscrimination PolicySecurity at Test Administration SitesConfidentialityEXAM CONDUCT22Exam OnlyPrograms with GuaranteesTesting Rules of ConductEnrollment PeriodDisciplinary Actions for MisconductCPT Free TrialMisrepresentation of Eligibility/FalseAttestationAdvanced SpecializationsSuspicion of Misconduct Arising At orDuring the ExaminationViolations of Certain Testing Rules ofConductCertification EligibilityEXAM RESULTS25Eligibility Exception RequestsPotential Practice Eligibility RequirementsScoringRetaking the ExamExam ChallengesExam BlueprintCERTIFICATION CREDENTIALSCut ScoresScoringAwarding CredentialsCredential UseRecertificationRestoring CertificationGetting StartedAttestations226

SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OFCREDENTIALS (DISCIPLINARY) ACTION30NASM’s Code of Professional ConductUnprofessional ConductNot in Good Standing StatusDue ProcessException RequestsEligibility Exception RequestsRecertification Exception RequestsPrecedent-based ExceptionExam Blueprint3

Getting certified is simple.Follow these steps:1. Read this Candidate Handbook2. Check your eligibility, including CPR/AED certification3. Prepare and study4. Register and schedule your exam5. Take and pass the certification exam6. Receive and maintain your credentials4

INTRODUCTIONThis Candidate Handbook provides information about th e NationalAcademy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the certification examination itoffers personal trainers and fitness professionals. This Handbook includesinformation concerning: NASM’s CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) certification program, thecertification examination Eligibility requirements Applying and sitting for the NASM-CPT Exam Exam administration and results Rules of conduct and disciplinary action Awarding of credentials Maintaining credentials through recertificationThis Handbook is written to provide essential information to candidates (those consideringor preparing to sit for the NASM-CPT examination) and Certified Professionals (those whohave successfully completed an NASM certification examination and have receivedNASM credentials). All CPT candidates and all Certified Professionals are required to readthis Candidate Handbook. The policies, procedures, rules and obligations set forth in thisHandbook and in NASM’s website-published Terms & Conditions, are binding on allcandidates and Certified Professionals.5

NASM’s MissionEmpower fitness professionals with the most respected solutions to set them apart as leadersin the industry.Personal Trainers: Scope of PracticePersonal Trainers are health and fitness professionals who perform individualized assessments,and design safe, effective and individualized exercise and conditioning programs. NASMCPTs are prepared to design exercise and conditioning programs that are scientifically validand based on clinical evidence. They provide the guidance to help clients achieve theirpersonal health, fitness and performance goals via the implementation of exercise programsand suggested lifestyle modifications. Personal Trainers do not diagnose or treat areas ofpain or disease and will always refer clients with such needs to health care professionals.About the OPT ModelThe NASM Certified Personal Trainer Certification and Specializations are developed withNASM’s exclusive Optimum Performance Training (OPT ) model, one of the industry’s firstcomprehensive training system based on scientific, evidence-based research. It takes theguesswork out of program design and helps you produce consistent and remarkableresults for your clients.The OPT model was developed to concurrently improve all functional abilities, includingflexibility, core stabilization, balance, strength, power, and cardiorespiratory endurance.6

About NCCA AccreditationThe NASM-CPT certification program is accredited by the National Commission forCertifying Agencies (“NCCA”), a division of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.NCCA accreditation provides impartial, third-party validation that a certification programhas met recognized national and international credentialing industry standards fordevelopment, implementation, and maintenance of its certification program. NASMprovides NCCA annual reports and is required to submit its CPT certification program forreaccreditation every five years.About the NASM Certification Governing BoardThe NASM Certification Governing Board (CGB) is an independent andautonomous board that is responsible for overseeing the NASM-CPT program. TheCertification Board sets policy over essential certification activities and overseescertification and recertification decisions, including governance, eligibility standards,disciplinary and appeals actions, and the development, administration, and scoring ofassessment examination.NASM’s Nondiscrimination PolicyNASM and its designated test vendor, PSI, does not discriminate against anyindividual because of age, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion,sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected class. NASM and PSIendorse and adhere to the principles of equal opportunity.NASM CPT Certification P r e p Program OptionsNASM’s Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification program includes, at a minimum, acertification examination developed pursuant to psychometric and NCCA standardsand an administration process that includes issuance of credentials, a recertificationprocess and a code of professional conduct. Because the subject matter covered bythe certification program is scientifically-based and challenging, NASM offers severaloptions to assist candidates prepare to challenge the certification examinations. Pleasesee the website for the most current preparation options available.Exam OnlyThe CPT Exam Only option allows the candidate to challenge the NCCA-accreditedCPT certification examination. Purchase of NASM certification preparation materials isnot required in order to become eligible to sit for the CPT exam, and does notguarantee a passing score on the exam. Candidates who pass the examination willbe awarded the CPT credential. This option is most appropriate for candidates thathave received formal education in related fields, such as athletic coaching or training,and have significant experience with exercise and fitness science.7

Programs with GuaranteesNASM offers two types of money back guarantees, the Exam Prep Guaranteeoffered exclusively as part of the Guided-Study and All Inclusive Programs, and theJob Guarantee, offered exclusively with the CPT Development Program. Therequirement for being eligible for a guarantee for each of these programs isdescribed below. NASM may, at any time and without prior notice, change the termsof, or discontinue its guarantee programs.Exam Prep GuaranteeTo be eligible for the Exam Prep Guarantee, you must meet all of thefollowing criteria: You must be a first time certification candidate; You must have purchased the Guided Study Program andcompleted the program prior to taking the exam. This includes:oCompletion of 100% of the assignments including themidterm exam, ando Score of 80% or higher on the Final Practice ExamYou must have taken the CPT certification exam within yourinitial enrollment period (180 days of initial enrollment). You must submit your request for a guarantee refund within 30days of your exam attempt.If you do not pass the CPT certification exam on your first attempt, we willrefund the amount you paid for the additional resources in the GuidedStudy program (excluding shipping fees). To redeem your refund, you mustsubmit a request via email to [email protected] Once reviewedand accepted, please allow 30 days for the refund to be issued. Allrefunds are issued in the same form as the original payment. For example,if a credit card was used for the original purchase, the refund will be madeback to that credit card.Job GuaranteeNASM offers a money-back Job Guarantee to candidates who havepurchased and completed one of the following programs -- CPT Self- Study,CPT Premium Self-Study or CPT Guided Study and who also purchased theCPT Development Program. To qualify for the money-back Job Guarantee: You must have purchased one of the following preparation programs:CPT Self- Study, CPT Premium Self-Study or CPT Guided Study;You must have purchased the CPT Development Upgrade;You must have completed 100% of the CPT Self- Study, CPT PremiumSelf-Study or CPT Guided Study program course requirements;You must be CPT certified;You must complete the CPT Development Program;You must have applied for a personal trainer position to at least three(3) employers within fifty (50) miles of your primary residence who hirepersonal trainers and who, at the time of application had openpositions available; andYou must submit a completed guarantee request form, including jobapplication details, within ninety (90) days of completing your CPTDevelopment Program.8

To redeem your refund, you must submit a request via email to [email protected] submitting a request for a money back guarantee refund, you consent to NASMcontacting the employers to whom you submitted applications to confirm submission of anapplication, criteria for the posted position and non-selection. Please allow 30 days for therefund to be issued. All refunds are issued in the same form as the original payment. Forexample, if a credit card was used for the original purchase, the refund will be made backto that credit card.Enrollment PeriodThe Enrollment Period for each of the CPT certification preparation programs typicallyis 180 days from the date of initial enrollment. In other words, candidates have 180days from the date of purchase to complete their preparation, obtain their CPR/AEDcertification and successfully challenge the CPT certification examination. You maypurchase a Program Extension of ninety (90) days by contacting NASM MemberServices. All fees, including the Program Extension Fee, are subject to change and youshould reference the NASM website to confirm the current fee structure. Please notethat if you enrolled through a program offered by a NASM academic partner, theenrollment period is aligned with the term of your school’s program.The Enrollment Period is not applicable to Advanced Specialties. Please see theAdvanced Specialties section for more information.CPT Free TrialNASM offers a one-time-only free trial of the CPT online self-study learning tools. Theonline self-study is an essential learning tool and the free trial should provide anycandidate with a good overview of the program and the types of knowledge aPersonal Trainer is expected to understand. Here’s how the free trial works: Contact NASM at 800-460-6276, Option1 or visit the website www.nasm.orgto request a free trial. You will receive an email with instructions on how toactivate and access the online self-study learning tool. Your free trial will allow you to explore full content from the first twomodules. The system will record the date on which you first activate the free trial. Atthe end of the trial, your access to the free trial will be deactivated. Workdone during the free trial is not retained and is not reflected as done in theCPT program you purchase. NASM reserves the right to discontinue the free trial offer, make anymodifications to the trial at any time or discontinue the free trial to you atany time and without prior notice.9

Advanced SpecializationsPlease note that NASM offers both Advanced Specializations and Specializations. Thissection concerns only the Advanced Specializations which are the PerformanceEnhancement Specialization (PES) and the Corrective Exercise Specialization (CES).For more information about other Specializations, please see our website, These programs are not certification programs. Unlike certification,there is no requirement to recertify or obtain continuing education.The Advanced Specializations complement the NASM-CPT.Prerequisites for an Advanced Specialization are: Candidate must hold a current NASM-CPT certification; or abachelor’s or higher degree in a health and fitness field.oCandidates who have a bachelor’s or higher degree in arelated field and also have extensive health and fitnessindustry experience, may seek an exception to thisprerequisite. Please see the Eligibility Exception Requestsection of this Handbook. Valid and current CPR/AED certification. Please see theCertification Eligibility section of this Handbook for approvedproviders and more information about this prerequisite. Must be current on all financial obligations to NASM and cannothave been in a Not in Good Standing status with NASM for a total ofninety (90) days at any time. Please see the Not in Good StandingStatus section of this Handbook for more information.As with the NASM-CPT, candidates for Advanced Specializations must pre-register foran examination date. Please review the Getting Started and Exam Registrationsection of this Handbook for more information.Please note that although most policies and procedures stated in this Handbookconcern the NASM-CPT, many policies, such as the Code of Professional Conduct,disciplinary actions, and the applicability of the NASM Terms and Condition, equallyapply to candidates for Advanced Specializations, the following policies are specificto Advan