There are many certification options for personal trainers. The below details on this organization, the training program and its testing component can help you decide if this is the best path for your goals.
NCSF Personal Trainer Certification Overview
There is little information stating how long NCSF has been in operation.
Most reviews indicate that the “The National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF” is an agency accredited through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
They offer certifications for personal trainers. NCSF certification is the premier certification in the industry. You can access the website in English, Spanish, and Korean.
Study materials are also available in these languages for your convenience. NCSF has a 12 member board with 6 active committees to maintain the integrity and validity of the NCSF certification.
There are three primary options for you to choose from when pursuing your NCSF certification.
NCSF Personal Trainer Certification Program
NCSF does not require you to take any of the training or workshops to become certified. There are three study options available to prepare you for the examination.
There is a home study option as well as a workshop option. Both of these cost the same amount of money.
- Home study option – Allows you to work and prepare according to your own schedule.
- Workshop option – Includes a two-day hands-on course that gives you the benefit to review questions that will be on the exam. This is the better option of the two, if you are able to fit the workshop into your schedule.
- School option – There is a third option that allows you to take a 32-hour course through classes at a school or university. This is intended for those who feel more comfortable learning the material in a classroom setting.
NCSF offers these different study options so that students can choose the technique that works best for them. The price for the classroom is set by the school where you will be attending the classes. It is expected that this will cost more than the other two options.
It may be worth the extra time and money if you feel more comfortable learning in a classroom atmosphere.
While no NCSF training or workshops are required, it is recommended. Online reviews indicate that the comprehensive exam is difficult. This is why it is considered a premier certification in the personal training industry.
Three packages can be purchased to assist you with studying and preparation. These materials can also be purchased separately on the NCSF website.
NCSF Personal Trainer Certification Recertification
Like most personal training certifications, NCSF requires you to recertify every two years. You will need 10 continuing education credits per year. You can also recertify yourself by passing the certification exam again.
Qualifying courses for continuing education credits can be found by visiting the NCSF website. The form for recertification can also be found on the site.
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NCSF Personal Trainer Certification Exam
The exam includes 150 multiple choice questions. There are 9 content areas included on the exam. The areas that are more heavily included on the test are training instruction, exercise prescription and programming considerations. You will have three hours to complete the 150 questions.
The NCSF board developed this exam by taking input from gym facility owners, operators, and personal trainers. This ensures useful application of the knowledge that is being tested.
There are locations available for the exam located in all 50 states. Tests are conducted 6 days a week. The locations can be found by visiting the NCSF website. When you complete the exam, there will be immediate results of pass or fail.
These results are considered unofficial but should be valid results.
There is a short practice exam on the NCSF website that can be accessed for free. Since it is only 20 questions, it should not be considered as a comprehensive study resource. The cost of the exam and study materials is competitive with other certification agencies.
NCSF Personal Trainer Certification Reviews
Online reviews for the NCSF certification program are all positive. They have many resources and study options available for your disposal. Not having additional requirements for workshops is also a plus.
A practice exam can be purchased separately from the package options for considerably less than the workshop or home study packages. The certification is held in high regard within the personal training industry.
The reviews indicate that personal trainers with this certification have not had a problem with credentials when looking for jobs in the market.
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