How Long Does the CSCS Certificate Last?

  • November 3, 2014
  • / By Tom

You can’t just pass the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist test and expect it to last forever. So how long does the NSCA CSCS certificate last?

The NSCA requires continuing education to make sure only those with the latest scientific and practical knowledge can use the credential. Generally speaking, you can use the cert for up to 3 years before you need to complete continuing education, but that largely depends on when in the reporting period you passed. For instance, if you became certified in the first half of 2017, you need to complete a pro-rated amount of continuing ed by the end of 2017.

Your certificate lasts for a time period, with the current period being 2015-2017. Everyone must have completed and reported the required CEUs by December 31, 2017. If you have passed the exam on or after July 1, 2017, you are exempt from this, but will need to complete CEUs in the next reporting period.

Below is the chart for the 2015-2017 reporting period. Beware of a few things before taking part in continuing education:

  • Does the event/DVD/CD/class/video/online course qualify?
  • Categories – you can’t take all of your CE from the some category, as noted by the NSCA.
  • Total amount of units needed to maintain certification
  • Added membership fee to join

*This chart is adapted from NSCA recertification documents. To find this and all updated CEU requirements for your situation, visit

To see the qualified continuing education providers in PDF format, click here.

The CEU reporting form can be found in PDF format here.

Another option to consider is obtaining another certification that may be able to contribute part of your units necessary for renewal. For instance, obtaining some personal training certs may count for some of your credits needed during the period.

Also, if you have multiple certifications with the NSCA, the same CE may count for each designation. You will still have  an extra fee for each cert you have, though.

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