NSCA Certifications


The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an international nonprofit educational association founded in 1978. Evolving from a membership of 76, the association now serves nearly 30,000 members in 52 countries. Drawing upon its vast network of members, the NSCA develops and presents the most advanced information regarding strength training and conditioning practices, injury prevention, and research findings.

Unlike any other organization, the NSCA brings together a diverse group of professionals from the sports science, athletic, allied health, and fitness industries. These individuals are all in pursuit of achieving a common goal—the utilization of proper strength training and conditioning to improve athletic performance and fitness.

Central to its mission, the NSCA provides a bridge between the scientist in the laboratory and the practitioner in the field. By working to find practical applications for new research findings in the strength and conditioning field, the association fosters the development of strength training and conditioning as a discipline and as a profession.

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the NSCA serves as a valuable resource for its members, the fitness industry, the general public, and the media. The association provides a wide variety of resources and opportunities designed to strengthen, build, advance, and unify.

Become a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

  • What is the CSCS?

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, CSCSs consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate. Register for the CSCS Exam

  • Reschedule or Cancel

For more details on rescheduling exam appointments and the cancellation policy, refer to the NSCA Certification Handbook (PDF).

  • Prerequisites

Candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree or currently be enrolled as a college senior and have a current CPR/AED certification. Click below for more information and details on how to submit the required documentation. Prerequisite Details

  • Exam Re-take Policy

Candidates must wait 90 days to retake an exam from the most recent date the exam was taken. The waiting period is an industry-standard to ensure adequate preparation.

Candidates can register online to retake the exam during the 90-day waiting period (please wait 4-5 business days after a failed exam before registering for a retake).

There are no limits to the number of times a candidate may attempt an exam.

Candidates do not need to resubmit eligibility documentation unless their CPR/AED certification has lapsed.

Candidates that failed only one section of the CSCS exam, only need to retake the failed section. However, a passing score must be achieved within one-year or both sections will need to be taken again.

  • Schedule Your Exam

Exams are administered at hundreds of Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide. When you have finished studying and are ready to take the exam, you will need to register for the exam online. Within 2-3 business days after registering, you will receive an Authorization to Test email from Pearson VUE with instructions on how to schedule your exam. At that time, you will be able to select the date, time, and location you wish to take your exam. Candidates can view exam appointment availability after registering for the exam. To locate the nearest Pearson VUE testing center click the button below. Locate Testing Centers

  • Registration Fees

Member Rates:

Registration Fee $340 / Retake Fee for One Section $250

Non-Member Rates:

Registration Fee $475 / Retake Fee for One Section $385





Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach (RSCC)

  • What is the RSCC?

The NSCAs Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach® (RSCC) is a designation that signifies that a CSCS®  certified coach has demonstrated experience and knowledge in their field. RSCC coaches apply foundational knowledge to assess, motivate, educate, and train athletes for the primary goal of improving sports performance.

  • How to Apply / Renew

The RSCC designation tells me a coach is committed to the profession of strength and conditioning and they not only have the educational base to work with our athletes, but even more important they have at least two years’ experience working in a team environment. – Tom Myslinski, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

RSCC: The Badge of Credibility in Professional Sports

Learn how the RSCC is becoming a requirement for employment in some professional sports leagues. Read Article


  • Three Levels of RSCC
  1. Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach® (RSCC) – CSCS certified coaches who have two (2) years of experience or more in the field.
  2. Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach® with Distinction (RSCC*D)– CSCS certified coaches who have 10 years of experience or more in the field.
  3. Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach® Emeritus (RSCC*E)– CSCS certified coaches who have 20 years of experience or more in the field.

RSCC Registry

The NSCA RSCC Registry is a tool to help employers easily identify and verify that employees and potential candidates have earned the RSCC designation. View Registry

RCSS Frequently Asked Questions

Is the RSCC different from the CSCS?

The CSCS is the credential that signifies you have the CSCS certification. The RSCC is a designation given to strength and conditioning coaches who have the CSCS and a minimum of two years of experience in the practical application of assessing, motivating, educating, and training athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. The designations help inform employers and others that the coach has the educational base and experience needed to work with athletes in a team environment.

Does a Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC) need to work at a school or with a professional team or can a Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC) work in the private sector?

If a strength and conditioning coach has trained sport teams for the purpose of athletic performance for two or more years in the NCAA, MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, USOC, or if he/she oversees a high school strength and conditioning program, they qualify. The NSCA will assess each candidate’s status using these criteria. Each candidate is subject to an on-site visit by an NSCA representative to assure the candidate meets the RSCC qualifications.

Is the RSCC available to athletic trainers?

The Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach program is limited to full-time, designated strength and conditioning coaches. ATCs, Physical Therapists, or other medical professionals who are the designated strength and conditioning coach at their school may apply for consideration.

Is the RSCC available to personal trainers?

This program is limited to full-time, designated strength, and conditioning coaches. Personal trainers or other fitness professionals who work one on one with clients are not eligible for this designation. Personal trainers may qualify for the Recognized Certified Personal Trainer program.


Graduate Education Recognition Program

What are the areas of liability for a Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach?

Specific areas of liability for anyone that supervises a strength and conditioning program are 1. Pre-participation screening and clearance; 2. Personnel qualifications; 3. Program supervision and instruction; 4. Facility and equipment setup, inspection, maintenance, repair, and signage; 5. Emergency planning and response; 6. Records and record keeping; 7. Equal opportunity and access; 8. Participation in strength and conditioning activities by children; and 9. Supplements, ergogenic aids, and drugs.

What if I am unable to get an affirmation letter from a former employer?

Previous work experience must be documented and verified, this may be possible by your current supervisor in special circumstances. Please contact the RSCC program representative to apply for special consideration. [email protected]

Does my graduate assistantship or internship count towards the required years of experience?

Individuals serving for two (2) years as a graduate assistant at a strength and conditioning institute recognized by the NSCA as a& Graduate Education Recognition Program are eligible for recognition. Graduate Education Recognition Program

When do I need to complete the RSCC Renewal Course?

You have from December 1st to December 31st each year to complete the Renewal Course.

How much time will the RSCC Renewal Course take to complete?

A PowerPoint document is provided at the beginning of each section to help you complete each five-question section of the course. Reading the PowerPoint document and answering the questions should take less than one hour to complete; however, there is no time limit to complete all 25 questions. You will be able to have the questions and power points open at the same time on your screen. Once you are confident in your answers, submit the questions for grading.

Can I refer to the Renewal Course PowerPoint Chapters when taking the quiz?

Yes. This practice is encouraged.

Is there a time limit? What happens if my computer shuts down while taking the quiz?

There is no time limit. Your quiz is not “official” until you hit the Submit button. If you start the quiz and cannot finish it, you may return later to take it again. NOTE: Your answers will not be saved until you hit the Submit button. If you start the quiz and do not finish, you will have to start over from question #1.

Are there any CEUs available for completing the RSCC Renewal Course?

Completion of the Renewal Course will provide 0.5 CEUs annually towards your CSCS®.

How much does the RSCC Renewal Course cost?

A $25 renewal fee serves to renew your RSCC status until December of the year you renew and covers the cost to print an updated certificate. Except for the RSCC*E, you must take the Renewal Course annually.

What is the passing score for the RSCC Renewal Course?

Failure to score 70% or higher will require a second attempt. Please note, each attempt requires a $25 fee.

What happens if I do not pass the RSCC Renewal Course before 12:00 AM on December 31?

Failure to complete the RSCC Renewal Course before December 31st will result in removal from the RSCC Registry. A late option is available for a $15 fee per attempt after December 31st.

What happens once I complete the RSCC Renewal Course?

Your new certificate will be emailed in January. The RSCC Registry will be updated on the website.