About NFPT

1. What is a “CPT”?

Certified Personal Trainer, CPT, is the title and accompanying acronym used in the personal fitness training industry for an individual who has been appropriately assessed by a national certifying organization, successfully demonstrating the understanding of fundamental concepts of various fitness components, functional exercise and basic nutrition; knowledge that is necessary for the certified personal trainer to apply for safe and effective fitness program design. This general title is specified by an organizational distinction with respect to the certification organization that you achieved your certification through. For example, after becoming certified by NFPT, you will use the acronym “NFPT-CPT” as your distinct title for recognition of achievement and skill set competency.

2. How long has NFPT been certifying personal trainers?

Since 1988 NFPT has been educating and certifying fitness professionals.

3. Is NFPT recognized?

Yes, NFPT is nationally and internationally recognized. NFPT has certified trainers for over 30 years and is therefore included as a pre-req to employment or within other existing employment pre-reqs. Though health clubs and wellness facilities will establish their own independent approved provider lists (meaning that NFPT can make no guarantee of being included on the list for every club/facility), NFPT does maintain prominent industry position and is widely recognized and accepted as one of the leading CPT providers. For most health clubs, the requirement for trainers is the they receive a certification from an accredited certification program – we have you covered there!

4. Why is being certified with a company who has their program accredited so important for a trainer?

Having your CPT through an organization who has achieved accreditation of its personal trainer certification program means that you have proven industry accepted minimal competencies which have been established via accreditation standards that are specifically adhered to by organizations with accredited programs. For example, test development is a strictly executed, legally defensible process which assures that the NFPT – CPT has been assessed appropriately and certified in accordance with industry-wide standards for minimal competency. Most gyms and insurance companies will insist that trainers be certified by an organization that has had their CPT program accredited by a regulatory third party.

5. Who accredits certifying companies?

Many accrediting bodies exist in and outside the fitness industry. The main accrediting organization for the personal fitness training industry is the NCCA, National Commission for Certifying Agencies. This agency operates under the auspices of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). The NFPT – CPT program is accredited by the NCCA and therefore adheres to standards which pertain to certification business and test development practices

Application Requirements

1. Am I eligible to apply?

You must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school degree or equivalent, and comply with NFPT codes of conduct.

2. Where can I find NFPT codes of conduct?

Click Here for a complete list of professional standards for codes of conduct. During the NFPT – CPT application process, you will be required to indicate your understanding and compliance with these standards.

3. Do I have to be CPR certified for NFPT?

No, though this is highly recommended before, or shortly after, obtaining your certification. Generally, CPR certification will be required for employment and liability insurance, therefore finding a local American Red Cross/American Heart Association will be necessary if you wish to take full advantage of the resources available to further your PT career.

Certification Cost

1. How much does personal trainer certification cost?

NFPT offers certification packages for you to choose from. Visit NFPT Certification for details. Application pricing ranges from $199 (for exam only) to $449 (for exam + education + additional services).

2. Do you have a payment plan?

Yes, we do offer financing for both the Standard and Premier Certification Package options. You make a down payment of half of the course fee and then you have up to one year to pay the remaining half. There are no additional charges or interest fees for this payment option. You can pay any amount that you want, at any time that you want, just note to try and time your final payment with your exam readiness, so that as soon as you pay your last payment you can schedule to take your exam for certification.

3. Are there any discounts available?

Yes. NFPT provides discounted application rates to health club staff members as well as military and civil servant personnel.

4. How do I apply?

Visit NFPT Certification and choose your certification package.

5. What is your refund policy?

The NFPT has adopted a simple refund policy that allows a full refund minus a $50 processing fee within the first 30 days of the original date of Standard Certification Package or Exam Voucher application; and $80 non-refundable fee is retained for the Premier Certification packages as the hardcopy education materials are non-returnable. After 30 days from the original application date, no refund is provided.


1. How long do I have before taking the test?

Though average prep and test completion time is 60-90 days, you’ll have one year from the time that you applied to successfully complete the NFPT – CPT exam.

2. What’s on the test?

5 Exam Categories

Principles of Human Anatomy 20%
Principles of Human Physiology 19%
Fitness Components 23%
Training Program Development, Implementation and Modification 33%
Professional and Communication Skills 5%


A detailed content outline, which breaks these categories down into much more detail (it’s like a checklist for exam prep) is found in your NFPT account. NFPT recommends a thorough review of this information prior to testing. Learn More about taking the NFPT test here.

3. How is the NFPT – CPT exam created?

The exam has been created using a group of qualified and diverse Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who use industry collected data to determine appropriate Personal Trainer KSAs which are then used to formulate exam questions. The NFPT exam is developed and maintained according to strict accreditation standards, adherence to these standards is a requirement of all accredited certification programs. For more information regarding exam development, review the NFPT Certification Handbook.

4. Will test questions come from the NFPT Study and Reference Manual?

No. Test questions are not derived from one book or other resource. Your knowledge as a certified personal trainer cannot come from one book or one specific resource, as this would be simply studying to pass a test that is specific to one book as opposed to passing a test that is specific to the tasks of performing the job on an industry wide scale – which is the requirement of the practicing CPT. A certified personal trainer’s skill set, and hence the assessment by which it is measured, is an all-encompassing knowledge, skills and abilities assessment – not a measurement of your ability to recall or memorize text/concepts from one book or other resource. Though the fundamental exercise science concepts which are expressed in the NFPT Study and Reference Manual are viable to the certified personal trainer skill set and job performance, it is only a part of the bigger skill set picture. Learn More about the NFPT Personal Trainer Manual.

5. Where can I take the test?

NFPT has over 500 computer based test (CBT) sites to choose from. Test dates are set by appointment around your schedule. If CBT sites are too far away, or, for any reason, if the travel to a CBT site creates undue stress to you, then you have the option for remote testing in your home. Remote testing is a convenient and secure way for you to test online without leaving the comfort of your home; however, there are requirements of your computer system as well as your home environment that you will need to pre-check before choosing this method.  If you do not have a computer, or if you are more than 50 miles away from a CBT testing site, then you can make arrangements for a local proctor to administer a paper/pencil exam to you. Note: exams may not be administered in your (or another’s) home via home computer or paper/pencil. Paper/pencil examinations require pre-approval by NFPT Certification staff. All NFPT – CPT exams are/mist be proctored by a trained exam administrator. Review the Certification Handbook, Chapter 3 “Taking the Exam” for details.

6. What’s the format of the test?

There are 120, 4-option, multiple choice questions. 20 of these questions are pre-test questions and are not graded. These pre-test questions are written strictly for statistical purposes, therefore they will not affect your score.

7. Is there a time limit?

Yes. You will have two hours to complete your exam.

8. Should I bring anything for the test?

No. You will not be allowed to use books, calculators, notes, or other items which may assist you during the exam. CBT locations will offer secure storage areas for you to store these items during test administration. I need material other than the NFPT manual to prepare?

9. Is there an additional fee for testing?

No. Your NFPT – CPT certification package includes the exam voucher. You may also decide to purchase the exam voucher separately without purchasing a package.

10. When will I get my test results?

If you take your exam at a NFPT CBT test location, you will know how you did on the test on-site – a print-out with your test score will be provided (a detailed score report will arrive by mail in approximately 2-3 weeks following). If taking the test via paper/pencil, you will receive your test scores by mail within approximately 2-3 weeks.

11. What do I get if I pass?

You will receive your professional certificate for display and your wallet-sized membership card for certification status verification. These items will arrive by mail in approximately 2-3 weeks following successful exam completion.

12. What if I fail the test?

You are allowed 2 total opportunities to take and pass the NFPT- CPT exam (that means 1 retake is allowed within your test eligibility period, one year). The re-take cost is $119. If you are unable to pass the exam on the second attempt, you will be required to wait 18 months from the date of your first exam attempt before you are eligible to re-apply to the program.


1. Does my certification expire?

Yes. Your certification will expire one year following successful exam completion. An expiration date will be identified on your certificate and membership card. Learn More about Recertification Requirements.

2. What do I need to do to renew?

Obtain CECs and submit an $85 membership renewal fee each certification year. You will be notified approximately 90 days prior to your certification expiration date that you must submit your fee and your CECs (if you haven’t done so already.) Click Here to Get Recertified and Pay your Renewal Fee.

3. What are CECs?

Continuing Education Credits (or CECs) are units of measure that are awarded based on your participation in learning activities that are applicable to your professional development as a certified personal trainer. CECs are required through all agencies that offer an accredited personal trainer certification program. Learn More about CECs.

4. When do I start maintaining CECs?

After your first year of NFPT-CPT certification status.

5. How many CECs do I need?

You will need 2.0 CECs per certification year to maintain your status (after your first certification year, starting in year 2).

6. How do I get CECs?

Visit NFPT Continuing Education for approved CEC providers and other credit award submission details.

7. How much do CECs cost?

NFPT offers a free self-test method for obtaining CECs that will total 1.2 CECs of the total 2.0 credits that you need per year. Therefore, you can take these self-tests at no cost and then get the additional 0.8 CECs that you need for recertification through NFPT’s monthly ‘Fit or Flop?‘ quizzes (also free) or by taking a CE course or other fitness/fitness business learning activity. Even CPR/AED will get you credits! Simply submit what you have done or participated in within the respective year and we will give you the credits for it! (Note: it’s okay if your provider is not on the NFPT pre-approved list, you may still submit your proof of participation for review and approval of a credit award).

8. Can I renew if my certification is expired?

Yes, but only up to two years past your certification expiration date. You will still be required to submit your past due annual renewal fee/s/ as well as CECs for the duration of time that your certification was expired. If your certification expiration is past two years, you must re-apply and re-take the NFPT – CPT exam.

9. How do I renew and submit my CECs?

From your personal, secure NFPT Account. You may also call 800-729-6378 to make your renewal fee payment and/or for further instructions. CECs can be submitted via your NFPT Account, by fax to 765-471-7369, or by email at info@nfpt.com.

Additional Information

1. Can I call with my questions?

Yes. Please call NFPT Headquarters at 800-729-6378 between the hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm EST, Monday – Friday. We are happy to help with any questions that you have! Contact Us today!