CSCS Recertification Process Explained

Oct 11, 2023

Edited by: Danielle Abel

If you landed on this page, you might be feeling like the National Strength and Conditioning (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) CEU process is a bit confusing. We've felt that way before too, but in this article, we will break down the contact hours and categories to help you figure it out what you need to do to renew your CSCS. 

What do you need to recertify?

If this is your first time renewing your certification, you might be wondering when you need to recertify. Keep in mind, the CSCS renewal process works on a 3-year renewal basis. So everyone renews at the same time. This might be different than other certifications or licenses that you have where you recertify before your certification or license expires, so everyone renews on different timelines. 

Upcoming recertification years:

  • 2023
  • 2026
  • 2029

How many CEUS do you need to recertify?

It depends on how long you've had your CSCS as far as how many CEUs you will need to recertify. 

If you've been certified the whole time, then you'll need to show the full 6 CEUS. However, if you just recently got certified, then you won't need to show as many. For example, for anyone who would have got their certification between January 1, 2023 and June 30th 2023, these people will only need to show 1.0 CEUs. 

What are contact units and what do they mean?

Contact units are essentially equivalent to 10 hours of education. So for example, if you've been certified the whole time during the 3 year period, you'll need 60 hours (6.0 CEUs x 10 hours each). 

What are categories?

There are 4 different categories which you can earn CEUs from. However, you must obtain your CEUs from at least 2 categories. 

  • Category A: Attend an Event
  • Category B: Share Your Expertise
  • Category C: Advanced Your Education
  • Category D: Pass an NSCA Quiz/Assessment

Category A

Category A includes Live events that you would attend. This could be an NSCA event or a non-NSCA event that is approved for NSCA CEU credits. 

Category B

Category B includes volunteer work or sharing an educational presentation at an NSCA conference. 

Category C

Category C includes things like first aid, college course work, internships, or courses preapproved for NSCA credit. 

Category D

Category D includes education like NSCA quizzes or assessments.

CEU Category Maximums

The reason the NSCA has multiple categories for CEUs is because they want you to diversify where and how you get your education. The chart looks a bit confusing, but you really just need to get your CEUs from at least 2 different categories. 

If you've been certified since 2021, you could get 5.5 Category A CEUs, and then you would just need 0.5 CEUs from at least one other category. 

Where do you find CEUs?

First off, if you're not on our email list, you should be, click here to join. From time to time we offer new courses and webinars, in which typically all of these have been approved by the NSCA. 

We have 2 online self-paced courses, both of which have NSCA approved CEUs attached to them.

  • Program Design 101 - teaches you how to write effective strength & conditioning programs for your clients and athletes, includes power, strength, hypertrophy, and endurance examples and templates for you to use - click here to learn more. 
  • Movement Assessment 101 - learn how to assess movement for your clients, identify movement limitations, and approach pain, includes a full flow sheet that will allow you to assess each major joint and select a quick hitter and longer term fitness strategy to improve deficits - click here to learn more. 

The free CEUs through the NSCA are a really easy way to rack up CEUs. Once you're a member of the NSCA they'll email you with free quiz opportunities, or you can even find them through the NSCA website. 

CPR/AED Recertification 

At the time of recertification, you must be able to show that you have an active CPR/AED certification. We would recommend checking out available classes through Red Cross offers in-person and virtual classes. Keep in  mind CPR/AED education does not count towards your overall CEU requirements, it is simply a requirement to be able to recertify. 

Recertification Payment & Timeline 

After you submit your CEUs to meet the recertification requirements, you'll simply click recertify and make your payment to renew your certification. Keep in mind that you want to do this before the recertification deadline of December 31st otherwise, you will have to sit for the CSCS exam again, which you probably don't want to do!

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