- Article I Corporate Division Information
- Article II Objectives of the NESTA Executive Certification Board (NESTA ECB) to Ensure Public Safety, Health, and Welfare
- Article III Executive Certification Board for NESTA PFT Certification
- Section 1. Naming of the Executive Certification Board
- Section 2. Number of Board Members
- Section 3. Board Composition
- Section 4. The Philosophy of the Executive Certification Board (ECB)
- Section 5. Executive Certification Board Member Rules and Regulations
- Article IV Composition of Committees
- Section 1. Division of ECB member responsibilities and their work on Committees
- Section 2. Composition of Committees – Objectives
- Section 3. Basic Structure of Committees
- Section 4. Initial Committee Assignments
- Section 5. Election, Appointment, and Term of Office of Executive Certification Board Members
- Section 6. Subsequent Committee Assignments
- Section 7. Responsibilities of Committee Chairpersons
- Article V Responsibilities of Committees
- Section 1. The Administrative Committee
- Section 2. Policies and Procedures Committee (PPC)
- Section 3. Job Task and Industry Analysis Committee
- Section 4. Exam Development and Recertification Committee
- Section 5. Meetings of the Executive Certification Board Members
- Section 6. Relations with Key PFT Personnel and Vendors
- Section 7. Procedural and Exam-Related Errors
- Article VI Amendments to Bylaws
- About the PFT Exam
- Job Analysis Research
- Item Writing for the Exam
- Exam Security
- Exam Forms
- Monitoring of Exam Locations
- Individuals with Disabilities and Special Accommodation Needs
- Disciplinary Action and Appeals Processes
- Appeals Policy
- Appeals Process
- Requests for correct and incorrect answers
- Confidentiality Policy
- Certification Grandfathering
- Records Retention Policy
- Recertification Policy Requirements
- Complete Applications and Recertification Granting
- Incomplete or Late Recertification Application Submissions
- What is a CEU?
- Continuing Education Coursework Petitions
- Petition Requests for Review of Non-NESTA ECB Approved Continuing Education Coursework
- Petition Denial Appeals
- Providership Application Requirements
- Performance Standards of Providership Coursework
- Awarding CEU Providership
- Denied Providership Appeals
NESTA Executive Certification Board Information
The National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association Executive Certification Board is dedicated to recognizing individuals who are exceptionally qualified to provide individualized personal fitness training through safe, efficient, and effective exercise programming for personal clientele and the public at large, while striving to pave a new path of unparalleled professional excellence in fitness practice.
The National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association Executive Certification Board (NESTA ECB) provides entry-level competency performance measures and standards of educational development for professional personal fitness trainers.
Bylaws of the NESTA Executive Certification Board
Article I Corporate Division Information
Section 1 Name
The name of the division shall be the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association Executive Certification Board (NESTA ECB).
Section 2 Location
The principal headquarters for the NESTA ECB shall be located in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. Board members may reside and perform their duties outside of California as determined and approved by the NESTA Executive Certification Board.
Article II Objectives of the NESTA Executive Certification Board (NESTA ECB) to Ensure Public Safety, Health, and Welfare
1) To establish standards and procedures for the development, implementation, and administration of certification programs.
2) To develop and administer examinations that assess the knowledge and skills underlying the performance of the tasks required of professional fitness practitioners.
3) To publicly recognize individuals who successfully pass the NESTA ECB Personal Fitness Trainer (PFT) Certification Exam and who fulfill recertification and continuing education requirements established by the Exam Development and Recertification Committee of the NESTA ECB.
4) To establish, implement and promote basic competency performance standards and an established code of ethics for certified individuals.
5) To establish, regulate and administer Policies and Procedures, which include handling and resolving ethical and professional concerns and violations as they pertain to NESTA ECB-certified individuals and exam candidates.
6) To create and administer programs that promote professional competence, public safety, and performance standards for NESTA ECB-certified individuals.
7) To develop a certification verification process that safeguards the identity and privacy of NESTA ECB-certified individuals.
8) To develop and manage the requirements of continuing education providers.
Article III Executive Certification Board for NESTA PFT Certification
Section 1. Naming of the Executive Certification Board
The Executive Certification Board for the NESTA PFT Certification Program shall be known as the Executive Certification Board.
Section 2. Number of Board Members
The size of the Executive Certification Board is determined by its members, but shall contain no less than (5) members and no more than (9) members.
Section 3. Board Composition
At least (1) member shall be a Public Member. At least (1) member shall be a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer through NESTA, referred to as a Certified Member. The remaining members shall be professionals within the fitness industry.
Section 4. The Philosophy of the Executive Certification Board (ECB)
The Executive Certification Board is the governing body of the Certified Personal Fitness Trainer (PFT) Program. The ECB is solely responsible for establishing, reviewing, and overseeing the implementation of the policies for the certification program. The ECB has the sole authority to establish certification program policies, including certification eligibility requirements; recertification requirements; grievance and disciplinary policies; examination development, content, administration, and scoring; the appointment and oversight of subject matter expert committees and panels; and the establishment of ECB meeting processes. The ECB is responsible for governance and oversight of the PFT certification program. The ECB is a completely autonomous entity, and neither the CEO of NESTA nor any of his officers have any authority over the essential certification roles of the ECB.
The Executive Certification Board is not responsible for the accreditation of educational or training programs leading to the certification. Education, marketing, staffing, and office location are determined by NESTA and are not under the domain of the ECB.
In accordance with the Executive Certification Board Policies and Procedures Manual, the Board will never financially benefit from revenues obtained from the PFT examination process, educational programs, test preparation, or training materials. The Board meets throughout the year to set and review policy, evaluate certification procedures, vote on issues that pertain to the PFT exam, and develop ways to promote the professionalism of certified individuals. The Executive Certification Board is an advisory body only, and has no fiduciary responsibilities.
Section 5. Executive Certification Board Member Rules and Regulations
1) Per NCCA accreditation requirements, an ECB member may not benefit from revenue generated by the exam, study manuals, or test preparation materials. ECB members may not endorse exam preparation materials nor participate in the development or delivery of said materials during their service on the ECB and for three years after their service has ended.
2) An ECB member may not serve as a director, board member, officer, employee, or consultant in any company that is a significant competitor during his/her service on the Executive Certification Board or for five years thereafter.
3) ECB members are required to retire at the conclusion of the calendar year, wherein they reach the age of 80 years. Each member’s term shall last five years from the initial installment on the calendar year of their first attendance at an ECB meeting. Public members shall be elected by a board majority vote and certified members by the highest number of votes from the entire body of NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers.
4) To ensure the retainment of effective members, allowing the time necessary to build knowledge and expertise as a member, but also to protect against undue influence, there is a limit of three terms an ECB member may serve. Should any concern be raised by certificants, stakeholders, or other ECB members that an individual on the board is holding undue influence, a motion can be called to review the matter and potentially remove the member by a 2/3 or greater majority vote. Upon conclusion of each public member’s five-year term, the board shall vote to approve or remove any member by a 2/3 or greater majority vote. If a public member seat is vacated, left by member choice, or the board determines a need for additional public members, such members will be appointed and approved by a majority vote of the board. If a certified member seat is vacated, left by member choice, at the conclusion of a five-year term, or the board determines a need for additional certified members, such member positions will be open to all NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers for candidacy, which shall be approved by the highest number of votes (the individual(s) with the highest number of votes shall gain the member seat) from all NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers through e-mail.
5) ECB members will have no equity interest in the PFT program in its entirety.
6) If any Board Member feels that he/she or any other ECB member has a potential conflict of interest, it will be referred to corporate counsel. The full ECB will process these decisions on an individual basis, whereby, if necessary, the member may temporarily recuse themselves or relinquish their seat on the Board.
7) An ECB member who learns of an opportunity through their work as an ECB member that might be useful to the development of the NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer Certification Program must first offer it to NESTA for a period of 30 days before attempting to benefit from it personally, or before offering it elsewhere for a fee.
8) The ECB may seek input and appoint members of a Certification Advisory Board or committee composed of NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers for further advisement as necessary and as determined by the ECB.
9) Conflict of Interest Policy: All ECB members, subject matter experts, and NESTA staff are required to sign a conflict of interest agreement to ensure the security of exam contents and NESTA corporate information as well as to ensure there is no undo influence of the certifying body (ECB) on educational activities (NESTA) and vice versa. ECB members must sign at the beginning of their first term.
Article IV Composition of Committees
Section 1. Division of ECB member responsibilities and their work on Committees
The Board maintains committees that oversee and determine specific operations related to the certification program itself. There are four standing committees. Each committee shall have at least one chairperson and one other standing committee member. No ECB member may chair more than one committee, but may be on multiple committees without limit.
1) Administrative Committee
2) Job Task and Industry Analysis Committee
3) Exam Development & Recertification Committee
4) Policies and Procedures Committee
Section 2. Composition of Committees – Objectives
1) Use the experience and abilities of each ECB member for the greatest benefit of the Executive Certification Board (ECB).
2) Avoid giving a concentration of power to any ECB member for an extended period of time.
Section 3. Basic Structure of Committees
1) Each committee will have a chairperson and at least two other ECB members. No individual may serve as chairperson on more than one committee.
2) A NESTA representative who shall be present at all meetings is a nonvoting member of each committee by virtue of their position at NESTA.
3) An ECB member will not be a member of the same committee after leaving it as chairman unless there are no other requests, recommendations, or volunteers for this assignment.
4) All decisions will be made by a majority vote within each committee before being taken to the entire ECB. In the event of a tie, the chairman of the committee will make the final decision.
5) Each committee operates under the guidelines set forth by the ECB. The ECB receives administrative support from Continuing Education and Recertification Staff members associated with the Certified Personal Fitness Trainer (PFT) Program.
6) The administrative staff of the PFT facilitates communication between members, the company, the ECB, and the previously listed committees.
Section 4. Initial Committee Assignments
1) Board members will request the committee assignments they desire. The committee chairperson to the committee that the board member wishes to join must approve the request and assignment.
2) The Policies and Procedures Committee will make a selection among multiple requests if the requests exceed the number of individuals allowed/required for that committee as determined by the requested committee’s chairperson.
3) The Policies and Procedures Committee will allocate assignments among unassigned members if there are insufficient requests for any committee.
Section 5. Election, Appointment, and Term of Office of Executive Certification Board Members
1) Any individual 18 years or older and not NESTA PFT Certified is eligible for NESTA ECB Public Member appointment. A Public Member is intended to represent the interests of the public at large and specifically the consumers of Certified NESTA PFT services. Per NCCA guidelines, a Public Member should not be:
• A current or previous member of the profession, occupation, role, or specialty area encompassed by the certification program;
• A supervisor, manager, direct co-worker, or an employee or subordinate of individuals in the profession encompassed by the certification program;
• An employee of an individual certified by the certification program or of an employer of individuals in the profession encompassed by the certification program;
• A person who currently receives or within the last five years has received income from the profession encompassed by the certification program.
2) Any individual who is NESTA PFT Certified with at least a college degree in a related field is eligible for appointment as a NESTA ECB Certified Member (NOTE: while a college degree is not necessary to be a NESTA PFT, it is preferred here so as to ensure a member who has high-level communication and critical thinking skills).
3) All public member appointments must be approved by a majority vote of the entire ECB. All Certified Members must be approved by the highest number of votes by the entire body of NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers in an open election by e-mail.
4) No ECB member representative shall take the NESTA PFT exam in order to achieve a primary means of employment or have a supervisory or familial relationship with any NESTA staff involved with the educational department of the NESTA PFT program.
5) NESTA ECB members serve five-year appointments and positions. NESTA ECB public or certified member candidates who obtain a majority number of board member votes or the highest number of NESTA Certified Personal Trainer votes, respectively, consistent with the number of open ECB positions, shall be elected to the ECB. The number of open ECB positions shall be determined by the ECB chairperson, and not exceed nine and no less than five ECB members.
6) Newly elected NESTA PFT certified members and appointed public members shall be inaugurated and take office at the first business meeting following an election or appointment and will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement to maintain information confidentiality and avoid personal and professional conflicts of interest as determined by NESTA.
7) Any representative may be removed from the ECB by at least a 2/3 majority vote by the entire ECB.
Section 6. Subsequent Committee Assignments
1) ECB members may apply for assignment on any other committee, becoming its most junior member.
2) If more than one ECB member applies for the same assignment, the Policies and Procedures Committee will make the final selection.
3) If an ECB member leaves for any reason, his/her replacement will fill the remainder of his term on his/her committees, but as its most junior member. If the departing ECB member is a committee chairperson, requests will be made within that particular committee for the role of chairperson, which will then be voted upon or assigned by the Policies and Procedures Committee.
Section 7. Responsibilities of Committee Chairpersons
1) The chairperson of each standing committee is responsible for working with the lead representative from NESTA to prepare the responsibilities of his/her committee and review them at least once annually to bring them up to date.
2) The original draft of individual committee responsibilities and all subsequent changes will be approved by the entire ECB.
3) Each committee chairperson is to report the results of its meetings at the next meeting of the ECB. Minutes of the committee meetings will become part of the corporate record.
Article V Responsibilities of Committees
Section 1. The Administrative Committee
1) The Administrative Committee is empowered to act for the full ECB when the need for immediate action arises to deal with unforeseen problems or new opportunities in the period between ECB meetings. However, to the extent practical, the committee will solicit the opinion of all available ECB members before acting on these issues. Decisions by the Administrative Committee must be ratified by the entire ECB.
2) The Administrative Committee is responsible for the recruitment (via professional contacts and emailing of certified members), evaluation, and/or selection of suitable ECB Public Member appointments, and as the first determination of eligibility for NESTA PFT Certified Board Member candidates.
3) The Administrative Committee is responsible for all orientation and training of new Board members and NESTA staff with related certification duties.
Section 2. Policies and Procedures Committee (PPC)
The duties of the Policies & Procedures Committee shall be to:
1) Outline the duties of each ECB Committee.
2) Develop a process for determining the need for new board members and interviewing potential candidates for the ECB.
3) Develop and modify Board member policies and procedures as needed.
4) Create, evaluate, and modify all policies and procedures related to the PFT program. Any changes to the Policies and Procedures manual recommended by the PPC need full Board approval (by majority vote) before implementation. The Policies and Procedures Manual shall be reviewed and revised, as necessary, every two years.
5) Investigate and resolve concerns and violation complaints filed against NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers. Action will be taken in accordance with the disciplinary section of the policies and procedures set forth by this committee.
6) Oversee candidate confidentiality policies and procedures and determine how confidentiality will be kept and what information will be made public or disclosed.
7) Determine how employers’ and clients’ questions will be answered regarding the validity of PFT credentials.
8) Investigate PFT applicants and examinee complaints regarding the exam, exam process, or other PFT program functions.
Section 3. Job Task and Industry Analysis Committee
The duties of the Job Task & Industry Analysis Committee shall be to:
1) Determine the timing, process, implementation, and evaluation of job tasks and industry analyses, surveys, and research studies.
2) Work with NESTA staff and PSI psychometricians to develop a final report and distribution of the results of job tasks and industry analyses.
Section 4. Exam Development and Recertification Committee
The duties of the Exam Development & Recertification Committee shall be to:
1) Oversee the development and administration of the PFT Exam.
2) Determine and publish the requirements for candidates who want to take the PFT Exam with final approval from ECB. Any changes to the eligibility requirements recommended by the committee need full Board approval (by majority vote) before implementation.
3) Approve the assessment instrument and the subject matter experts for the cut score analyses.
4) Determine and publish the requirements for candidates who want to maintain their PFT certifications with final approval from ECB. Any changes to the recertification requirements recommended by the committee need full Board approval (by majority vote) before implementation.
5) Develop a tool for the public to use to verify the validity of a candidate’s certification and oversee secure, appropriate access to candidate records and exam items.
6) Develop and oversee a process to be used for updating and changing exam questions as needed.
Section 5. Meetings of the Executive Certification Board Members
1) The Chairperson of the Executive Certification Board (as voted upon through nominations and a 2/3 or more majority of the board, lasting no more than two terms) will act as Chairperson of all Board meetings. In his/her absence, the Chairperson of the Policies and Procedures Committee will act as Chairperson pro tem.
2) The Chairperson of the Board sets the agenda for the Board meetings. Any Board member or the NESTA ECB Liaison may add any appropriate items. The Chairperson will provide the Board members with the agenda and supporting information in advance of each Board meeting. The NESTA ECB Liaison will facilitate this communication.
3) At the last Board meeting of the calendar year, the PFT Program lead (ECB Liaison) from NESTA will submit to the Board an outline of the principal topics to be scheduled for each meeting in the coming year. Typical topics include strategic planning, the status of the PFT, trainer satisfaction, organizational structure, etc. Any Board member may propose additional items at any time for Board approval.
4) Key PFT personnel are expected to make presentations to the Board when appropriate. However, the Board may ask any or all nonmembers to leave during its deliberations.
5) The Board may request to invite outside counselors, such as auditors, consultants, and lawyers, when their direct presentations are required for the Board’s decisions.
6) With the Chairperson of the Executive Certification Board as Administrative Committee Chairperson, the Board in session will review the performance of all key PFT personnel, including the CEO, at least annually, preferably at the first meeting of the year. An executive session is defined as a formal meeting of the Board or a committee of the Board in which all key PFT personnel are asked to withdraw. The results of the evaluation will be conveyed to the CEO by the Chairperson of the Administrative Committee in the presence of the full Board to give the CEO an opportunity to respond.
7) Each ECB member will have one vote, which may be offered either in person at an ECB meeting, or through other means acceptable to a majority of ECB members, as long as the ECB Chairperson presides.
8) Veto power is not allowed by any NESTA representative over decisions made by the ECB.
9) Rules of order, as determined by Robert’s Rules of Order, shall guide the proceedings at each ECB meeting.
Section 6. Relations with Key PFT Personnel and Vendors
1) The NESTA ECB is supervised by the NESTA COO to ensure appropriate standards, guidelines, and policies are not subject to undue influence. A strategic plan that covers all aspects of the business will be prepared annually by the NESTA COO, showing the current state of the company and the industry at large. The Policies and Procedures Committee will review the plan and advise the NESTA COO in its continued preparation and implementation.
2) The NESTA COO or his/her designated representative is responsible for preparing and updating, at least annually, a plan for handling disasters and other emergencies but will otherwise have no responsibility or authority in determining standards, guidelines or policy regarding the attainment of NESTA PFT Certification. Emergency planning policies and procedures are to be reviewed by the Policies and Procedures Committee at least once a year.
3) The NESTA CEO or his/her appointed alternate is the only spokesperson for the company. The Board members will refer all inquiries from the media, investors, acquisition overtures, and so forth, to this person.
4) Board members have complete access to the CEO and his/her designated spokesperson. Permission for contact with other employees must be obtained from the CEO. Such permission will not be unreasonably withheld.
5) To fulfill its responsibility for oversight of Certification Governance, the Board may request an appropriate survey of any aspect of the business by an independent organization.
6) The board may delegate certain key functions of exam development and delivery to an outside vendor. Vendors that have direct contact with confidential certification information must sign a conflict of interest agreement and have work reviewed annually by the Administrative Committee. All vendors will communicate either directly to board members or via the NESTA liaison. Vendors must agree to monitoring of all contractual responsibilies by the ECB and/or the NESTA liaison.
Section 7. Procedural and Exam-Related Errors
1) If errors/mistakes in program activities/procedures are brought to the attention of NESTA staff, it is immediately reported to the PPC.
2) If an error is confirmed via further review of the PPC, the matter is brought to the entire ECB during their next meeting (unless the matter is deemed urgent by the PPC, in which case a special meeting is called). The ECB will determine the best course of action to rectify the situation.
3) If exam-related errors are reported, it is immediately reported to the Exam Development and Recertification Committee.
4) If an error is confirmed by the Exam Development and Recertification Committee, PSI is notified to make immediate changes. Should error have been a factor in a candidate passing the exam, they will be given the option to retake the exam at no charge.
Article VI Amendments to Bylaws
All amendments or changes to the ECB bylaws may be proposed by any ECB member and requires a two-thirds majority vote for approval of amendments or changes to the bylaws or any other rule, regulation, or procedure relating to NESTA PFT Certification. Depending upon the nature of the proposed amendment to the ECB bylaws, regulations, or procedures, such proposals may be voted on at any previously determined meeting or be deferred to the next ECB meeting for approval following a written proposal submitted by (the) interested member(s). Amendments to ECB bylaws must otherwise be proposed at least 15 days prior to the ECB meeting to be formally considered for approval and brought to a vote.
Organization of the NESTA ECB
The NESTA ECB is headed by the Chairperson, who presides over ECB meetings and the daily operations of the board. The NESTA ECB Chairperson will meet with NESTA support staff to ensure valid and meaningful exam development, certification policies, procedures, standards of professional conduct, and practice.
Job Descriptions – Roles and Responsibilities
Executive Certification Board Composition
- See ECB Bylaws Article IV, Sections 1-6
Executive Certification Board Job Roles and Responsibilities
- See ECB Bylaws Article V, Sections 1-6
Recertification Staff and Continuing Education Department
Manages initial application processing and recertification of NESTA-certified members. This is done through recertification deadline notification of current NESTA-certified members, recertification processing and application review, and all web and data management of available recertification information and processes. In addition, manages continuing education requirement information for NESTA-certified members. The continuing education staff handles continuing education providership application review and provider management.
Certification Exam Development Policies and Procedures
About the PFT Exam
Candidate Eligibility and Exam Process Overview
• In order to preserve item security and motivate candidates to pass, a candidate will be allowed five consecutive attempts to pass the exam per five-year period, after which they are excluded from taking the exam again in that period.
• As trainers will be working with the general public, CPR certification is mandatory for all NESTA personal fitness trainers and is required by many places of employment, and is a prerequisite for achieving NESTA certification.
• There are no educational prerequisites or requirements for taking the exam. All age-eligible applicants are encouraged to register.
• In the registration process, candidates will acknowledge they will abide by the NESTA Code of Ethics as well as meet the minimum age requirement. After acknowledgment and payment are received, exam candidates will receive a confirmation notice and a candidate number by email and/or phone. This candidate number is required in order to make an appointment to take the exam at a PSI testing center location of the candidate’s choice.
• PSI is our computer-based testing provider and has test facilities throughout Canada and all 50 states in the U.S., including Washington DC, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. See https://candidate.psiexams.com/catalog/displayagencylicenses.jsp?catalogID=334 for a complete list of Certified PFT test sites.
• Confirmation by email and/or phone will include a toll-free number to call for exam registration dates and times in your area. Candidates should schedule exams two or more weeks prior to the intended exam date to ensure exam date and time availability at the testing center location of choice.
• Exams must be taken within 90 days of purchase. Any exam not taken within 90 days from the date of exam purchase will become null and void.
• Upon successful completion of the exam, the applicant will be a NESTA “Certified Personal Fitness Trainer” for four years and may use the designation “PFT” after their name and the highest level of degree. NOTE: those found improperly using the PFT when not currently certified will be asked to remove the mark by the NESTA ECB. If the request is not followed, the ECB will seek legal action for trademark infringement.
Job Analysis Research
The job analysis research information defines the current expectation for basic level professional competency for certified personal fitness trainers. The knowledge base and scientific application skills and abilities of certified personal fitness trainers are defined by the job analysis research information according to frequency and importance of various job tasks, skills, and abilities. The results of this research provide the basis for the five domains of exam content for the NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer Exam as determined in June of 2022.
NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer Exam breakdown
In order to stay up to date with industry changes, the ECB has determined that job analysis research studies will be performed at least once every five years to ensure the proper job tasks, knowledge base, and scientific application skills and abilities are appropriately included within the content of the NESTA PFT exam. Each job analysis research study will undergo an extensive psychometric evaluation to eliminate improper or inadequate measurement of abilities and skill levels for exam candidates and to ensure statistical validation of exam items (questions). Following completion of the job analysis, subject matter experts (see following page) are recruited, and a standard setting study is to be held to determine an updated cut score for the exam.
Item Writing for the Exam
The Exam Development and Recertification Committee will meet to determine appropriate data for construction of exam items (questions). The executive chairperson of the Executive Certification Board may call for members of the NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer population to be utilized to help with content development and exam writing in conjunction with the Exam Development and Recertification Committee. This group of NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers will be known as the Certification Advisory Committee when called upon. The Certification Advisory Committee shall be composed of at least three members of the NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer community. Only NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers shall be eligible for nomination and appointment by the Executive Certification Board to play a part in determining exam content and items for final determination by the Exam Development and Recertification Committee and the entire Executive Certification Board.
Once the exam items are written, they are reviewed by subject matter experts recruited and vetted by the ECB and given final approval. Approved items are entered into the item bank of possible exam questions to be used in one of several randomly selected exam forms. If an exam item is not approved, it is returned to the Exam Development and Recertification Committee to make changes or discard the item. Items are also discarded or altered and reviewed for validity if they do not meet the appropriate statistical validation through psychometric evaluation by PSI Testing.
Clear communication of ideas and concepts is a high priority when writing items for the exam. Item (question and possible answers) writing rules used in the formation of the NESTA PFT exam include:
• Matching the exam item to the objective it is intended to measure.
• The creation of answer options that are clear, distinct, and plausible.
• Inclusion of all information needed to respond to the item.
• Verification of item correctness by the Exam Development and Recertification Committee.
• Ensuring that exam items are neither too hard nor too easy.
• Making relevant exam items to help distinguish between those who will pass and those who will not pass the exam.
• Testing of knowledge and the ability to apply learned objectives, not the test-taking skills of exam candidates, by avoiding hidden meanings within exam items.
• Avoidance of clues to the correct answer within the exam item itself.
• Statistical validation of exam items by ensuring the probability of guessing the correct answer is 25% or less likely (1 out of 4 answer choices per item).
• Focus on one problem or concept per exam item.
• Avoidance of words with multiple meanings or words with overly complex meanings.
• Avoidance of the word “NOT” in the stem (question or concept requiring a multiple-choice answer) to prevent confusion
• Keeping stems complete and the options specific so that an exam candidate may know the correct answer before they view the multiple-choice options.
• Elimination of questions that may be offensive to an individual of a particular race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or cultural group.
• Follow proper grammar rules for exam items.
• Visual formatting of exam items for readability (font size, placement of text, etc.).
• Graphics effectively used to provide clarity for an exam item, not confusion.
There are a total of 125 exam items on the NESTA PFT exam. The exam includes 100 items that are scored and used to determine whether a candidate passes or fails the PFT exam. In addition, the exam includes a total of 25 pilot test questions that have been added to the NESTA certification exam to help ensure that the administration and scoring of the PFT exam is conducted in a fair and valid manner. The pilot test questions are not scored, have no impact on a candidate’s outcome, and are used solely for research and development purposes.
The pilot test questions are primarily used to aid in the development of future exams. Specifically, pilot test questions provide an opportunity to determine the psychometric quality of the test questions before they are included in future exams. Pilot test questions can also help ensure that future exams are psychometrically equivalent to previous exams. Lastly, pilot questions can be used to identify group differences on the test items.
Exams are administered by PSI at testing centers throughout the United States and Canada and at select locations offered by NESTA and proctored by a NESTA ECB-approved proctor (See the Proctor Agreement Form at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/ for more information about NESTA approved proctor policy).
Exam candidates are strictly forbidden to carry any papers or materials with item data from the NESTA PFT exam into the exam area in order to ensure the validity, reliability, and professional meaningfulness of exam scoring.
Exam candidates should never discuss or review specific exam items other than with NESTA ECB members.
Exam items are kept in a secure, password-protected database. The NESTA ECB chairperson will have access to, as necessary.
All potential security breaches are brought to the attention of the Administrative Committee, who will determine the validity of the threat and the best course of action.
NOTE: Individuals with access to confidential exam information cannot be eligible to take the exam or develop/deliver preparatory materials (i.e. the certification course and associated materials) during their access to the information and for a period of 3 years after that access has ended.
This applies to everyone with access to exam content:
• NESTA staff
• Proctors (PSI and private)
• Test vendor/consultant employees with access – including those that conduct test development activities
FormCastTM, PSI’s linear on-the-fly testing (LOFT) algorithm, generates and administers exam forms. Several hundred exam items are distributed according to the content domains and breakdown delineated by the job task analysis research into the 100-item exams. PSI will create exam forms for students who are unable to travel to a PSI center and must use a private proctor. Forms will be uploaded into NESTA’s secure testing portal (ProProfs) and administered via guidelines as delineated in the NESTA Proctor Agreement.
The Exam Development and Recertification Committee of the NESTA Executive Certification Board meets at least annually to assess item content based on annual item analysis reports provided by PSI. They will approve new exam items or remove old exam items from each of the offered exam forms as necessary.
Quality Control of Exam Delivery
The NESTA PFT Exam is offered as a proctored, computer-based exam at PSI Centers. PSI Centers ensure their facilities are ADA compliant, and the NESTA ECB liaison facilitates ADA compliance of exam locations where live workshops are offered. Facilities for testing are ensured of ADA compliance by PSI and the NESTA ECB.
Exam Form and Item Validity
Each exam form and each exam item is analyzed for statistical validity between individuals and populations by our consultant psychometricians to ensure fairness and content-appropriate material that is consistent with job task analysis research. Exam forms and items will be sampled and statistically validated by our psychometricians to ensure scoring fairness and content-specific reliability. Psychometric evaluations will occur after at least 100 candidates have taken the exam following the refresh of the publication pool. Rather than the creation of fixed forms, which was done in the past with the PFT program, LOFT consists of the selection of a pool of items sufficient for the FormCast algorithm to assemble a unique set of items per administration.
Monitoring of Exam Locations
PSI testing (exam) centers and proctored locations are monitored closely by NESTA to ensure safety, comfort, and ease of examination on an intermittent basis. Non-PSI testing (e.g. for those candidates with scheduling hardship – see below) centers must meet all NESTA ECB requirements and be pre-approved by the NESTA ECB through the successful submission of the External (non-PSI) Proctor Information/Application found here: https://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/
The exam room environment must be consistent, comfortable, and well-ventilated, with adequate lighting for exam takers to effectively read computer screens.
Rooms will be large enough to comfortably accommodate exam takers with adequate seating room and workspace.
Rooms will be in quiet locations to avoid external disturbances and interruptions.
Exams will be offered in a separate room behind closed doors. A locker or secure area will be provided for personal belongings which are not allowed in the exam room. A video surveillance system may be in place to supervise exam takers. Exam takers will be allowed to use the restroom only with permission from the exam supervisor at appropriate times. All exam materials must be secure and out of reach/contact with other exam takers when not actively taking exam.
PSI and the NESTA ECB provide quality control checks at least annually.
Non-PSI Proctors (for those with scheduling hardships as described below) must be approved by the NESTA ECB. He or she must sign a Non-disclosure Agreement and the Proctor Agreement acknowledging that he or she understands all the responsibilities and requirements of being a NESTA Proctor, as well as submit forms of ID. The Proctors must show proof that they fulfill the minimum requirements as stated in the Proctor Agreement. All proctor applications will first be vetted by the NESTA ECB Liaison and then forwarded to the NESTA ECB for approval.
In the event an exam candidate is unable to take their exam at a PSI testing center (within the United States or Canada) due to travel distances greater than 2 ½ hours driving time or 100+ miles, the candidate may apply to have their exam privately proctored by a NESTA approved proctor. Such proctors include teachers, professors, librarians, fitness managers, or other acceptable professionals who have neither a business nor personal relationship with the exam candidate. It is the responsibility of the exam candidate to find a proctor that is acceptable to NESTA by filling out and submitting the Proctor Agreement Form at least 30 days prior to the preferred exam date or exam deadline. Failure to submit a completed proctor agreement 30 days prior to the exam schedule date or exam deadline, may result in a loss of examination opportunity and forfeiture of exam fees. The Proctor Agreement Form is available at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/.
Upon NESTA ECB approval, non-PSI proctors will be emailed specific instructions on how to access the exam at the pre-arranged time. There is a 2-step process to access the exam. First, the candidate will securely log in to the pft.nestaonline.com dashboard. Upon choosing the PFT Exam – Offsite Proctor link, a new window will open with exam instructions. After reading the instructions, the candidate will click the link to begin the exam. A new window will open whereby the approved proctor will verbally tell the candidate to enter the password given to them by NESTA. The exam will be administered by proprofs.com, which will collect all testing data and notify NESTA when the exam is complete. The candidate will be notified of their grade upon completion of the exam.
Should a candidate be caught cheating by a proctor, they forfeit their right to ever become certified by NESTA. Should they wish to appeal this decision, the candidate may follow the appeals procedures as described below.
Individuals with Disabilities and Special Accommodation Needs
Individuals having a disability requiring special accommodations must fill out the “Request for Special Accommodations” form. Supporting evidence (e.g. letter from a licensed physician or another applicable professional, on letterhead, addressing the stated disability and need for the requested accommodation) must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the desired test date. Reasonable accommodations provide candidates with documented disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (or the Canadian/Australian equivalent), a fair and equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skill in the essential knowledge being measured by the examination.
Reasonable accommodations are determined based on:
- the individual’s specific request
- the individual’s specific disability
- documentation submitted
- the appropriateness of the request
Requests are decided on an individual basis by the NESTA ECB liaison. Approved accommodations will be provided by the testing vendor or the approved proctor by email. Accommodations usually include an allowance for increased examination time. Accommodation requests will be acknowledged through email and/or phone notification within 7-10 business days of the initial request.
For individuals who require a reader, separate accommodations, or other requirements, please state your needs and requirements in detail on the Request for Special Accommodations Form available at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/. Requests will be considered, and a response will be delivered within 10 business days.
Disciplinary Action and Appeals Processes
Disciplinary Process Overview
The purpose of the NESTA ECB disciplinary process is to promote the standards of practice and ethics outlined in the NESTA ECB Code of Ethics (see section VII below) and to provide a fair and effective means for resolving situations in which a PFT exam candidate or PFT certified individual is alleged to have performed a conduct violation against the standards and policies of the NESTA ECB. A conduct violation is defined as any action or behavior performed by a NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer or exam candidate that is not consistent with the standards of conduct as defined by the NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer Code of Ethics and policies and procedures of the ECB as described within this Policies and Procedures Manual. In addition, certificants who are accused of practicing beyond the stated scope of practice of a NESTA PFT may be subject to disciplinary action and revocation of their PFT certification.
All misconduct or unethical behavior complaints may be filed with the NESTA ECB using the Conduct Violation Form available at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/. The ECB’s Policies and Procedures Committee (PPC) will determine the most appropriate means by which to handle any complaint of conduct violation. The Policies and Procedures Committee shall oversee all disciplinary processes and conduct violations within the ECB.
Hearing Officials are members of the PPC designated to resolve disciplinary matters by the PPC itself.
Members of the PPC or other individuals designated by the PPC are available to assist individuals through the disciplinary process.
The PPC reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to ensure the safety and welfare of public members served by NESTA Certified PFT individuals and to maintain the professional integrity of the NESTA PFT designation. Such action may include pursuing any violation of ECB standards, guidelines and policies, and/or violations of local, state, or federal law that constitutes a direct or indirect threat to the public community. Certificants who are found guilty of conduct violation may be subject to denial, suspension, or revocation of NESTA PFT certification.
The PPC will gather information regarding individual conduct violations to determine the appropriate resolution means. Individual cases may be referred to the entire ECB at any point for further investigation. In such situations, the ECB chairperson will serve as the principal investigator.
Investigations may include a review of pertinent documentation, transcripted phone or personal interviews, or written statements from any person involved in the incidence of conduct violation. All individuals or groups involved are encouraged to be forthright and as specific as possible when offering information for an investigation, but may choose the extent to which they share information.
Individual cases may be dropped due to insufficient information or referred to the entire ECB for further resolution needs. In order for a case to be referred for disciplinary action, there must be sufficient information to believe that a conduct violation has occurred and that the alleged individual may be responsible.
Referral for disciplinary action
If an individual is referred for disciplinary action, the individual will be notified of the incident in question and the policy or procedural violation under consideration and will be given an opportunity to respond. The PPC will determine which avenue is most appropriate to pursue. Disciplinary hearings (proceedings where evidence is taken for purposes of determining an issue of fact and reaching a decision based on that evidence) are not trials and are not bound by the rules of procedure and evidence used in a court of law. The PPC and the entire board itself operate under a standard of fair and ethical practice which includes an opportunity for each individual or group to be notified of the alleged conduct violation under consideration and an opportunity to be heard in person, through written means, or any other means necessary. Individuals involved in alleged conduct violations need not be physically present to be heard.
Resolution through a disciplinary hearing
Any individual case of alleged conduct violation may be forwarded to a disciplinary hearing if there is sufficient information to believe that a conduct or policy violation may have occurred and that the alleged individual may be responsible.
Individuals who either accept or deny responsibility or involvement for alleged conduct violations of NESTA ECB policies or procedures and who face possible denial, suspension, or revocation of certification have the right to request a hearing before a three-person panel of the ECB designated by the ECB chairperson.
If an individual accepts responsibility or involvement for alleged conduct violations, the presiding hearing committee chairperson (designated by the ECB chairperson) may propose an appropriate action of denial, suspension, or revocation of certification based on the specific circumstances of the alleged conduct violation.
If an individual accepts responsibility or involvement and agrees to the proposed sanction (either denial, suspension, or revocation of certification or referral to a court of law in cases of violation of local, state, or federal law) for alleged conduct violations, the individual waives their right to a hearing and/or appeal, and the resolution outcome is final. If an individual accepts responsibility but is unable to agree to the proposed sanction, the case will be forwarded to a three-person hearing committee (who have not yet gathered together in entirety for previous committee hearings to hear the same case and designated by the ECB chairperson) to determine appropriate sanctions.
If an individual denies responsibility or involvement for alleged conduct violations, the case will be forwarded to the PPC to determine responsibility and suitable sanctions as appropriate.
An individual who is found responsible through the disciplinary hearing process or who wishes to appeal a specific situation involving policy or procedure of the Executive Certification Board (ECB), may appeal the outcome of the hearing or situation. The appeal is not a rehearing of the case, and requires completion of the Appeals Form to the ECB specifically stating grounds for desired appeal and any supporting documentation or pertinent information.
The only situations in which an appeal may be sought are as follows:
- Where new information has become available following the hearing or situational outcome that would likely change the disciplinary sanction or action decision.
- Where procedure errors within the hearing or certification process are alleged which substantially affect the fairness of the hearing or situational outcome.
- Where the determination of responsibility is inconsistent with the weight of the information/evidence available.
- Where an individual believes there may have been an error or mistake in exam grading (hand scoring of an exam may be requested; however, payment of a separate hand scoring fee is required). Appeals will neither be heard on the basis of age eligibility (only applicants 18 years or older may sit for the PFT exam) nor in question involving specific examination questions for purposes of changing exam scores. Individuals less than 18 years of age may not sit for the PFT exam. Individuals found to have falsified documentation regarding their age will not be allowed to sit for future PFT exams for a period of 5 years. Determination by the ECB that age documentation has been falsified is not subject to appeal. As exams are offered continuously throughout the year, exam questions are reviewed at least annually by the ECB and are only subject to alteration or removal for future exams. The accuracy, validity, reliability, or efficacy of exam questions is not reviewable as pertaining to past exams.
The Policies and Procedures Committee (PPC) will review the appeal, hearing documentation, and any other information or evidence included in the hearing or specific situation. In cases of certification denial, suspension, or revocation as a result of a disciplinary hearing, the accused individual(s) may make a written request (on the Appeal Form) to meet with the PPC in person or by means determined between the PPC chairperson and the accused (phone, internet chatroom, etc.). If granted, the accused individual(s) will meet privately in a predetermined communication format with the PPC or committee designated by the ECB chairperson (of at least three people). This appeals committee may then consult with other ECB members or involved parties in order to substantiate appropriate grounds for the appeal and seek further information, evidence, or clarification.
If the grounds for appeal are substantiated, the committee substantiating the appeal may determine a final resolution to the case or refer the case to the ECB chairperson for further review and/or determination of a new hearing. If the case is referred for a new hearing, the committee hearing and substantiating the appeal may recommend that alternative actions be considered (denial, suspension, or revocation of certification). A written decision will be delivered to the certificant and ECB chairperson within 10 business days from the reception of the appeal unless the individual submitting the appeal is otherwise notified by an ECB representative.
Appeals will not be considered beyond appeals submission more than 90 days from an Executive Board Decision to revoke or deny certification or beyond 90 days from the exam date for exam score appeals.
NESTA will not discuss or respond to questions or concerns regarding the exam without a written appeal. Appeals will not be considered for rescoring or for adjustments of completed exams. Appeals and concerns will be considered for future examination content only.
Requests for correct and incorrect answers
In order to preserve the integrity and validity of the PFT exam, exam candidates will not be informed of questions answered correctly or incorrectly. Only overall scores will be made known. Exam candidates can request a hand-scored answer sheet for $25 (specific exam questions and correct answers will not be given) to view the correctness of exam scoring. Such requests can be made by completing and submitting the Hand Scored Exam Request Form available at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/
All confidential NESTA member and candidate information (phone number, address, e-mail, application status, and exam scores) are secure and not shared with other entities or organizations without specific written consent from the individual member or candidate. Individuals who wish to release their information to outside parties must fill out the Consent for Information Release Form available at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/. NESTA collects and holds information which may include: Name, address, phone number, company of ownership or employment, e-mail, certification information, educational background, and exam results.
Only the necessary NESTA staff involved with customer service and certification processes will have access to personal information in determining eligibility, certification and examination status, compliance with NESTA and NESTA ECB standards of conduct and behavior, and for purposes of identity verification when confidential information is requested and to ensure that information is accurate and complete.
Changes made to existing personal information should be made by filling out the Address/Information Change Form available at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/
Information for each NESTA member or certificant that is available to the public includes certification status (certified members only will be listed, scores will not be disclosed to the public), certificate number/identification (where applicable), and NESTA certification and continuing education program completion status.
Confidential information may be disclosed by order of a court of law or in situations involving misconduct or behavioral violations as deemed by the NESTA ECB.
Individual information is available only on secure database access at NESTA headquarters, where hard copies are also located and filed in locked cabinets. PSI also maintains encrypted, password-protected secure databases of exam candidate information.
Records are maintained and kept on a continuous and ongoing basis as long as an individual maintains NESTA ECB certification and recertification standards. Individual records for which certification and recertification standards are not maintained will be held for a period of no less than three years.
Exam candidates are expressly forbidden to request or discuss exam item information with individuals who have already taken the NESTA PFT exam. Such conduct may result in denial, suspension, or revocation of NESTA PFT Certification for all parties involved. The disciplinary process in such situations is outlined in the Exam Candidate Handbook and course of action will be determined by the ECB. Exam candidates or non-related parties aware of exam information sharing between exam candidates are encouraged to notify the NESTA ECB in order to preserve the integrity, validity, and professional meaningfulness of the NESTA PFT exam for ensuring basic level competency measures to ultimately protect public members from harm.
Exam candidates must pass the NESTA PFT exam on the basis of their own knowledge, skills, and preparation. By registering and taking the NESTA PFT exam, exam candidates assume this responsibility for themselves. Any other action is considered ethical and professional misconduct and may result in denial, suspension, or revocation of NESTA PFT certification.
NESTA preparation materials in the form of the NESTA PFT manual, audio, videos, and other resource and reference information are available for those who require or desire such study and exam preparation materials to improve their base knowledge and professional skills. A listing of these study preparation resources and research materials are listed in the Exam Candidate Handbook available at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/.
All exam forms and items are the exclusive property of NESTA and the NESTA ECB. They are, therefore, not allowed for usage in any form outside of the actual examination process for each individual exam candidate.
The following exam information is confidential and maintained in a secure manner, and not released to any person or agency. This includes:
- exam development documentation (including role delineation study reports, technical reports, and cut score studies)
- exam items and answers
- exam forms
The following confidentiality/NDA agreements are signed by individuals/organizations who perform work for the PFT certification program:
- NESTA Staff
- Executive Certification Board
- PSI: NESTA PSI Contract, Confidentiality, p4-5
- PSI CBT Proctors: At the time of employment, all employees are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement in which the employee agrees not to disclose trade secrets, proprietary data, or other restricted information belonging to or licensed to PSI. This agreement remains in effect indefinitely, even when employment with the company terminates. (PSI Test Center Operations Manual, Confidentiality, p 46)
- ECB CBT Approved Proctors: Proctor Agreement and Manual Private Proctor, Steps, p5; Proctor Application and Agreement, p6-8
The NESTA ECB Liaison will oversee the administration and annual renewal of all NDAs .
Grandfathering is a procedure that allows professionals currently working in a field to be certified without having to take the exam as long as they meet all of the established criteria set up by the certifying body. NESTA utilizes objective, established, and statistically valid information to ensure basic level competency through the passing of the NESTA PFT exam, which shall serve as the sole measure of such competency and certification.
This policy of grandfathering is unacceptable and not approved by NESTA or the NESTA ECB. All individuals who wish to be NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers must adequately complete and pass the NESTA PFT certification exam. All currently certified NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers must complete recertification requirements as outlined in the NESTA ECB Recertification Guide in order to maintain their certification and remain in good standing with NESTA.
NESTA PFT Certification will not be granted by the NESTA ECB based upon any one or combinations of the following:
- Prior work experience in the field of personal training
- Academic performance or background in kinesiology, physical education, or a related field
- Clinical research in an academic or non-academic setting
Records Retention Policy
Information for each NESTA member or certificant that is available to the public includes certification status (scores will not be disclosed to the public), certificate number/identification (where applicable), and NESTA certification and continuing educational program completion status.
Confidential information may be disclosed by order of a court of law or in situations involving misconduct or behavioral violations as deemed by the NESTA ECB.
Individual information is available only on secure database access at NESTA headquarters, where hard copies are also located and filed in locked cabinets. PSI also maintains encrypted, password-protected secure databases of exam candidate information.
Records are maintained and kept on a continuous and ongoing basis as long as an individual maintains NESTA ECB certification and recertification standards. Candidate applications are kept for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. Individual records for which certification and recertification standards are not maintained will be held for a period of no less than three years, after which all hard copy records are professionally destroyed and all electronic records securely deleted from the system. Exam data, scores, testing, and psychometric reports are kept indefinitely.
All formal agreements (e.g. NDAs) will be maintained in the same manner and updated annually.
Recertification Policies and Procedures
Recertification Policy Requirements
Current NESTA Certified PFTs may apply for recertification at any time. Application submissions are preferred within the final 90 days prior to the expiration of PFT Certification.
The NESTA ECB requires, and will review, the following prior to approving recertification:
- Payment of Recertification Fees
- Completed Application
- Petition materials if coursework is not specifically listed as a NESTA ECB Approved Provider
The NESTA ECB may and/or NESTA support staff may randomly perform an individual audit to verify the authenticity of certification or recertification coursework completion.
Complete Applications and Recertification Granting
If an application is submitted on time and complete, and the individual applicant is granted recertification, a new certificate will be awarded and mailed within 30 days of the individual recertification deadline.
Incomplete or Late Recertification Application Submissions
Incomplete applications may be subject to resubmission of recertification application materials and payment of a late fee if materials are not submitted on or before the recertification date. Submitting late or incomplete may result in additional delays in recertification granting, as applicants who submit on time will be given priority in processing. Applications submitted between 1 and 90 days later than the date of required recertification will be required to pay late fees. Applications submitted after a 90-day period beyond the required date of recertification will not be granted recertification. They will be required to retake the PFT exam in order to obtain official and valid NESTA ECB awarded PFT Certification.
In order to maintain NESTA PFT certification and become recertified, NESTA PFTs are required to complete 4.0 CEUs within the four-year certification period.
This four-year period of NESTA PFT certification has been approved by the NESTA ECB. NESTA PFTs are required to recertify with the NESTA ECB in order to ensure sufficient development of knowledge and application skills while allowing sufficient time to perform the necessary coursework to maintain certification and professional competency.
Work and anecdotal (personal) experiences alone are not adequate determinants of professional ability or competency and are, therefore, not acceptable means for recertification.
What is a CEU?
A CEU or Continuing Education Unit is the accepted basic unit of measurement for credit hours of study within the fitness industry. A CEU is expressed as 0.1 CEUs and is roughly equivalent to either one hour of live workshop or seminar attendance or its rough equivalent in a home study or self-learning program hours.
How many CEUs must I complete to maintain NESTA PFT certification?
- 4.0 CEUs
How long do I have to complete my required CEUs?
- 4 years
How can I determine how many CEUs a live workshop, seminar, college, or home study course is worth?
- An approved listing of NESTA ECB Approved CEU Providers is provided on the NESTA PFT webpage. If your coursework is not specifically listed as a NESTA Approved Provider, you will need to complete the petition process if you want to receive CEU credit for your work.
What is the cost of recertification with NESTA?
- $149 if the recertification application is submitted complete and on time.
Are there late fees, and how late is too late?
- If recertification materials are not received by the NESTA ECB on or before the individual’s recertification deadline, a $25 late fee will be assessed for each 30 days of delayed submission ($25 for 0-30 days late, $50 for 31-60 days late, and $95 for 61-90 days late). If recertification materials and payment are not received within 90 days, recertification applicants will be required to pay initial exam fees, retake and pass the PFT exam.
Continuing Education Coursework Petitions
Any coursework that is not expressly listed as a CEU provider on the NESTA ECB Approved Provider List will require the completion of a petition to the NESTA ECB for approval of completed coursework. Payment of a petition fee is required to review petitioned coursework for approval.
The following information must be included in the petition:
- Copy of the lecture/seminar course materials or a Table of Contents for home study materials
- Resume and/or specific educational and experiential biography of course instructors or program writers/presenters (all non-approved CEU providers by the NESTA ECB must either be NESTA PFT certified and/or have an advanced degree (masters or higher) in a field of study specific to the content of coursework submitted for CEU approval)
- Certificate of the workshop, live training, or program completion
This petition must be submitted by online submission, mail, or fax to the NESTA ECB.
Petition Requests for Review of Non-NESTA ECB Approved Continuing Education Coursework
After the reception of completed petition materials, the petition process may take up to 10-15 business days (2-3 weeks) for review. In the event of an incomplete petition, candidates for recertification will be required to complete the petition in a timely manner to avoid late fees. If completed petition materials are incomplete within 90 days of the recertification deadline, recertification will not be granted, and individual PFT certification will no longer be valid.
Petitioners will be notified by phone or e-mail within 10-15 business days (2-3 weeks) of petition status granting or refusal. Petitioners must take the petition processing time into account in order to avoid late fees if additional materials are required, or the petition is incomplete.
Petition Denial Appeals
In the event, a petition is denied and petitioned coursework is not acceptable for NESTA CEUs and recertification, the petitioner will have 30 days to appeal the decision. The petitioner must provide additional documentation as requested by NESTA recertification support staff and a written explanation by the petitioner to appeal the denial of acceptable coursework.
NESTA PFT-certified individuals are expected to complete coursework that is clearly and expressly consistent with the knowledge and skill base required for professional competency as a professional personal fitness trainer. Any concerns over the validity or acceptability of coursework demands the initiative of the NESTA PFT applying for recertification to obtain clearance for desired coursework with NESTA recertification and continuing education support staff prior to undertaking a course which may not be acceptable for NESTA CEUs.
Continuing Education Providership Policies and Procedures
The NESTA ECB will accept applications for providership throughout the year.
Accepted Providership Applications will begin NESTA CEU Providership on the following dates (allowing up to 30 days for program or course review):
• January 1st when submitted between May 1st and November 30th
• June 1st when submitted between December 1st and April 30th
Providership is valid for one year from January 1st or June 1st depending upon submission dates as described above.
Providership Application Requirements
- Complete lesson plan and course materials including exam or evaluation process for completion of coursework
- Resume and brief bio of instructor(s) and/or writer(s) of coursework
- Providership Payment Fee
Review of continuing education providership applications requires up to 30 days for review.
Performance Standards of Providership Coursework
In order for coursework or programs to be accepted as a NESTA ECB Continuing Education Provider, it must deliver the following:
- Specifically address content listed within the PFT Exam content domains as described in the Exam Candidate Handbook
- Provide intermediate to advanced-level educational and/or professional development content
- Instructors or program writers must either be NESTA PFT certified and/or have an advanced degree in a content area specific to the PFT exam content domains
- Scientifically referenced coursework or program materials
- Content reflecting research and/or professional development information updated within the last five years
- Practical applications within the scope and standard of practice for personal fitness trainers
Awarding CEU Providership
Once performance standards of providership coursework are found to be acceptable, CEU providership will be official when a course provider number has been assigned and delivered to the providership applicant. This providership is valid for one year from the date listed on the providership acceptance letter (either June 1st or January 1st, as described above).
Please review the Approved Provider Guide for further guidelines.
Approved providers will be listed on the NESTA PFT webpage, and information will be updated on a monthly basis for changes or requested information updates as necessary and deemed acceptable by NESTA continuing education support staff.
Denied Providership Appeals
Providership applicants will have 30 days to appeal a denial for providership. Applicants may be required to submit further documentation for approval at the request of the NESTA ECB and the Exam Development and Recertification Committee. If providership is denied or refused a second time, applicants will be required to repay providership fees and resubmit a new providership application. The same course description will not be accepted for review after a second denial of providership application.
The Exam Development and Recertification Committee will review all appeals for providership. Once the committee has accepted the providership application, it will be taken to the entire Executive Certification Board (ECB) for approval.
In order to ensure proper compliance of policies and procedures as well as accuracy of records and soundness of financial practices, the NESTA ECB has determined that annual audits of the NESTA PFT program will starting in 2019. The Executive Chairperson will work with the NESTA Liason to identify areas for improvement and document compliance in the following areas:
- Application processing
- Candidate eligibility requirements (e.g. high school diploma, CPR)
- Exam development
- Preparation of exam forms
- Financial Management
- Document and record retention
- Confidentiality and conflict of interest
- Periodic review of all policies and procedures.
- Regular staff training
- Board orientation and training
- SME training
Certificant Scope of Practice
Proper usage of PFT credential (e.g. improper usage of PFT title by past certificants after expiration or after being revoked or those who have not earned the credential using PFT designation)
The Executive Chairperson and NESTA Liaison will work to develop the protocols of the audit, with NESTA staff performing the audit in the first quarter of 2019 and reporting back to the ECB.
Professional Code of Ethics and Reporting of Conduct Violations
NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer Code of Ethics
When you order any NESTA (or NESTA affiliate) educational or business program, you accept and agree to adhere to the NESTA Code of Ethics. You hereby certify that the information given to NESTA is true, complete, and correct. You further understand if any of this information is later determined to be false, NESTA reserves the right to revoke any certification (or certificate) that has been granted on the basis hereof. You further understand that NESTA certification does not certify or in any way guarantee the quality of your work as a NESTA-certified professional. You, therefore, agree to indemnify and hold harmless NESTA, its officers, directors, and staff from any claims due to negligence, omission, or faulty advice that you may give to clients as a NESTA certified professional. You further recognize that NESTA is not responsible for any actions or damages incurred or taken by any person arising out of your work, intentions, or actions as a NESTA certified professional.
As a NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, you must recognize the importance of a set standard and scope of professional and ethical conduct in providing personal training services to clientele and the general public.
Professional and ethical concerns or issues arise when professionalism and ethics are either not known or not fully understood. The NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer Code of Ethics represents a professional standard that must be upheld at all times when performing the duties of a professional personal fitness trainer.
Certified Personal Fitness Trainers must:
- Provide the highest level of professional fitness training services on the basis of objective and unbiased research and scientific information in accordance with local, state, and federal laws.
- Respect the rights, opinions, and decisions of other certified personal fitness trainers and members of the general public.
- Provide a safe and enjoyable training environment through meaningful and appropriately challenging programming. Never create an environment whereby a client might feel threatened, intimidated, or fearful.
- Establish and maintain clear professional boundaries, refraining from any discussion of a sexual nature.
- Distinguish between personal convictions and professional duties and responsibilities by not allowing personal beliefs and biases to interfere with the greater goals of health, fitness, and performance.
- Pursue efforts that serve the needs of clientele, fellow professionals, and public members, not those which merely advance private and personal interest or gain.
- Accept responsibility for their own actions in success and in failure.
- Refer clients to appropriately qualified professionals when a client’s need is greater than the trainer’s abilities.
- Seek to research and learn on a daily and continuous basis in professional development and fitness practice applications.
- Maintain the confidentiality of personal client information and written records.
- Strive to provide fair and equitable treatment to all individuals and groups, both personally and professionally.
Reporting of Conduct Violations
In order to ensure the validity and professional meaningfulness of the NESTA PFT Certification and processes, certified and non-related or non-certified individuals are asked to report concerns of ethical or professional misconduct by NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers to the Executive Certification Board’s Policies and Procedures Committee for consideration. This will help to ensure the professional fitness practice of NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers and fair treatment for public members, employers, and clientele.
Report conduct violations and concerns by completing and submitting the Report of Conduct Violations Form available at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/.
All involved parties, either reporting ethical or professional misconduct or accused of such misconduct, will remain private and undisclosed to any other individual or entity unless legal ramifications require such disclosure. Factual evidence must be discovered and revealed in order for any disciplinary action to be mandated by the Executive Certification Board.
All responses to the Policies and Procedures Committee regarding professional and ethical misconduct must be in writing. Correspondences from the ECB will also be provided in writing.
In the event a disciplinary action is determined necessary, the accused individual or party will have 30 days to file an appeal to the Policies and Procedures Committee for consideration.
The Policies and Procedures Committee aims to ensure ethical and professional practice and conduct by setting forth fair and reasonable expectations for NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainers and creating an avenue for enforcement of these expectations.
It is the policy of the NESTA Executive Certification Board that no exam candidate for personal fitness trainer certification is discriminated against based on race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, ancestry, sexual orientation, military discharge status, source of income, ethnicity, or any other status protected by law.
Please view all necessary documentation and forms at http://pft.nestacertified.com/nesta-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-forms/ for pertinent information regarding NESTA and NESTA ECB standards, guidelines, policies, procedures, and necessary forms.