NCCPT Review

This certification has been coming up a lot lately and I have been asked a couple times here on BPTC what I think about it. The most recent trainer at my gym just got hired and he holds the NCCPT certification. So I decided to dig in and do some research on it and let everyone know what I have discovered. I decided to call around to some local gyms as well as larger chain gyms such as 24 hour, IN-SHAPE and Bally’s total fitness. All of the larger corporate gyms stated that they accepted NCCPT but some of the smaller gyms sounded confused like they had never even heard of the certification. I decided to look around online to see what people were saying as well as check out the website. Let’s take a look at what I discovered.

NCCPT review

NCCPT personal trainer certification general information:

NCCPT stands for the national Council for certified personal trainers. The agency was established in 1995 in Southern California. The website says that this personal training system was developed from “years of training experience and over 34 personal training certifications”. I don’t know if this means that the owner obtained 34 certifications or is just referencing them. The curriculum provided in the NCCPT study package follows ACSM’s guidelines. It seems that the general focus of this certification is more on the corrective side similar to NASM and ACSM. They seem to have a strong focus on stabilization and proprioception.

This seems like a decent certification in my eyes because it is accredited by the NCCA. For another point that makes this certification the jet is that it has been approved by IDEA recognition system. It has also received notice from larger certifying agencies such as ISSA, AFAA and NASM. These three certifying agencies recognize NCCPT’s programs and curriculum as acceptable continuing education credit for their certifications.

Just like any other legitimate certification there are some prerequisites to be able to take the test and get certified. You must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid government issued photo identification. You must also currently be CPR certified at the time of enrollment in NCCPT. All you need to do to become certified is pass their 140 question exam. The test is closed book and you will need to score a 655(right around 73%) to pass the test. Immediately following the test you will know if you pass it or not. This certification will be sent to you through USPS mail within the next 30 days. Just like most certifications, you will be certified for 2 years. After that you will need to obtain continuing education credits to recertify.

This certifying agency is gaining a lot of popularity because of how cheap they are offering the certification. The guy that just got hired on my gym even mentioned a group on deal he got for NCCPT. There are 3 general packages. The first one contains only the exam and access to the personal trainer manual and videos online. It is only $299 which is by far the cheapest way to get certified. Option is called their “standard” option and costs $399. It holds everything that the 1st option did plus a hard copy of the personal training manual, access to an online sample test, access to an online study guide and a DVD box set that contains 11 DVDs. The “premium” option contains everything that the standard option does plus a 2 day live workshop. The premium package costs $675.

NCCPT Review Conclusion:

This seems like a legitimate certification especially for someone that is just starting out in the personal training industry. Their prices cannot be beat and they are NCCA accredited. It seems like they are making a name for themselves quite fast because I keep on hearing them pop up in conversation over last few months. We’ll see how things pan out for this company and the next few years. But for right now the gold standard in certification is still NASM. And right behind them I would put the ACE certification. Both of these agencies offer multiple specialization certifications such as NASM’s CES and ACE’s health coach certification. So they offer great option for continuing education as well as great specialization training. These certifications might be slightly more expensive(NASM prices, ACE prices) but they are hands-down recognized as the leaders in the health field in terms of innovation and exercise routine prescription. I look forward to seeing what NCCPT makes of itself and the coming years. I hope you enjoyed my NCCPT review! Shoot me a message down below if you have any questions or experience with this certification!

photo credit: coba via photopin cc


  1. Kareem says

    Just wondering how should I study for this exam I just finished the study guide last week just want to know how I should study for this so I can get this certification get a good job and get out of my parents house

    • Tyler Read says

      I would focus strongly on the anatomy section. That seems to be what trips a lot of people up. Also focus on program design and you should do fine. Good luck

  2. Daryus Pierce says

    Action certification is accredited by NCCA and is the least expensive choice as it can be studied for online and the only actual cost that MUST be incurred is the testing.

    • Tyler Read says

      Good to hear. I will be looking more into this certification. I do know some people that have taken the test and said it was quite easy as of right now.

  3. jay smith says

    I’ve recently taken the exam and failed… there any way to review the videos again? please help
    thank you

    • Tyler Read says

      I am not sure if you can get access to the videos again. What type of learner are you? Did you just read the textbook? You might want to try out different forms of studying. For me I needed to have hands-on training to be able to cement the material in my head.

  4. says

    The NCCPT is a complete waste of time and money. I went through groupon. I studied the chapters and the study guide front and back. They never told me anything about the videos on the website and most of the study guide questions were not on the actual exam. I then called the supervisor and explained the situation to him. I asked if his employees are supposed to inform you of the videos and he said yes, which they did not. He then contradicted himself by saying you chose an “independent” program and then offered me 30% off to re-take the exam. That is just another way for them to get your money. If I were you and you’re reading this, I would pay the extra money to go through another company than having to deal with this scam.

    • Tyler Read says

      Hey Kyle,
      It is great to hear another person’s opinion on the certification. When I did my review is a very new certification and looked promising. I have heard a few things from different people saying that the material was very thin. Thanks for your input this what this website is all about

      • Andrew says

        I currently hold the NCCPT Certification and I got it mainly to go in conjunction with my certifications to coach football and wrestling. I thought the material was fine especially having had some similar training in the military it went hand in hand.

        We are self starters helping people become self starters in life. Giving a business a bad wrap because you didn’t pay attention to the packages isn’t fair. You sound like you are upset about having to know and study more than what was on the test? Your clients will benefit from that, it’s a good thing.

        The information is all there and the site is easy to navigate unlike some other sites. Who really doesn’t check out an entire website before and after they purchasing to make sure everything is right?

        One day you are going to be a trainer and you are going to have a business. Be the kind of customer you would like to have.

    • Sam says

      I am NCCPT certified and worked for a year or so as a personal trainer before going to grad school. I did the weekend course, taught at Gold’s at Venice Beach. Maybe it’s my college track experience or just weight training in general, but I skimmed the materials and passed pretty easily. The questions are mostly common sense along with some anatomical knowledge.

      Maybe your groupon program sucked, but the certification is pretty straight forward and got me work as a personal trainer for Body of Change, the outsourced training services for L.A. Fitness in LA (before LAF brought everything in-house).

      • Tyler Read says

        It is quite possible that your college experience and knowledge made that test extremely easy for you. But it is a certification that is coming up and I do not consider it a bad one.

  5. dan says

    Hi Tyler,
    This question may be similar to the previous but…
    Would it be worth it to do the nccpt cert and maybe start part time to ascertain wether this would be a good career change, or would I be better off going for the band and just go all out?
    Also, do you have any advise or experience as far as what liability insurance needed for this career ans whether or not that is provided by clubs and gyms?
    Any insight you have would be helpful.
    Thank you,

    • Tyler Read says

      Hey Dan,
      I think that the NCCPT certification would be a great starting point to test the waters in the fitness industry. The main reason I say this is because it is probably the cheapest certification you can get that is accredited by the NCCA. As far as liability insurance goes, most gyms and local studios provide it for you. I know that every large commercial gym like 24 hour fitness definitely does. As far as local private studios you should check with them case-by-case just to make sure.

  6. Kristian Crump says

    Hi Tyler,

    Thank you for all the information you have collated into this website. It is very impressive. I am interested in attaining a PT cert to increase my knowledge and help my current training jump to a higher level. I might or might not work as a PT in the future but wanted to keep my options open. I enjoy learning about physical conditioning and assisting new gym members. I have a college degree in Interpersonal Communications so I was thinking the CSCS Cert. But here is my plan and please chime in if you think it is a good idea or not.

    Group on has a deal for NCCPT for cheap. Would I get a solid base of knowledge by studying for this exam? If I enjoy the material and subject matter I could study for the CSCS later down the road. Would I be wasting the $150 on the NCCPT course and should I concentrate on the CSCS or is the NCCPT a good starting point to gain basic industry knowledge and understanding?

    Thank you,

    Kristian Crump

    • Tyler Read says

      Hey Kristian,
      I totally agree, keeping your options open is always a fantastic idea. I think that the NCCPT is a good certification for starting out. It is still not nearly as in depth as NASM for example. The study materials for the NCCPT are lacking and I have heard that the test is pretty easy. This is from people that are also certified by NASM, ACSM and ACE. But I still think it is a good starting point. The reason you might want to consider a more in-depth certification like NASM and ACE is that it will probably help prepare you for the CSCS more.

  7. Kristi Roberts says

    Can you tell me if is a good start if you do not have the funds and want to get into the business.

    Thank You

    • Tyler Read says

      Hey Kristi,
      I am in the middle of researching this specific certification and should have a post reviewing it sometime in the next month. At this current moment I cannot give you too much information on it though. You should check to see if they are accredited by the NCCA. That would give you a good indication of how legitimate it is.

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