The personal trainer certification issued through The National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT) is something I’ve been wanting to review for a long time. Thanks to Rodney Harris, a recent NCCPT personal trainer graduate, I am now able to do that. Rodney left a comment about the NCCPT certification in my review of Online Personal Trainer Certification Organizations. I reached out to Rodney and asked him to do this interview, which I think you will find helpful. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.
JC. Why did you choose NCCPT over other certs?
RH. I chose NCCPT over other certs because it was affordable. I purchased the program on Groupon while there was a promotion on there. The price was $160 at the time and the regular price for their program is $499.
JC. What is the name of the NCCPT textbook?
RH. I’m not sure the name of the textbook I never had anything shipped. All my studying was online and downloadable chapters.
JC. Did you use any other NCCPT study materials?
RH. Online videos and downloadable chapter materials. Videos and Downloadable chapters as well as a downloadable study guide that I had to fill out with the answer sheet.
RH. I downloaded chapters from the NCCPT website.
JC. How much was the test?
RH. Once you purchase the program, the first test is free and part of the package.
JC. How much were the books and other study materials you used?
RH. All study material was included with the price I paid.
JC. How long did you study before you took the test?
RH. I started studying in June off and on, so it took me 5 months. I didn't study everything in the beginning prior to taking my first test. if I did It would have taken me less time. I would say no more than 6 weeks of consistently studying the materials.
JC. What was the NCCPT personal trainer test like? How many questions? Was it multiple choice, T/F, essay etc?
RH. The test was fine and seemed like a simple test until I failed lol. You basically can take it from home. The test is 140 multiple choice questions that included true and false questions. No essay questions.
You have a proctor monitoring you so you cannot get up until your done so it’s important not to drink too much or eat heavy prior to the test because you can’t get up.
JC. Does the test cover special populations (how to work with arthritis, heart disease, etc)?
RH. Yes, it does.
JC. Was there an internship?
RH. No there isn’t.
JC. What was the hardest part of the test for you?
RH. Anatomy and exercise application. You really have to know your information on these two chapters. Exercise physiology also.
JC. Was the test open book?
RH. No, it wasn’t. You can only have scrap paper, a pencil and a calculator (not from a phone.)
JC. How long do you have to take the test? Is it timed?
RH. Yes. They give you 2 hours to complete the test.
JC. How much to retake the test if you fail it?
RH. $100 but they will usually give you a discount anywhere from 25%-50% to take it again.
JC. Did you take the test at home or did you have to travel to a testing center?
RH. I took the test from home.
JC. If you take it at home, how do they verify that it’s really you taking the test?
RH. There is a proctor who verifies that you have your photo id and your CPR/AED card. You can also obtain your CPR/AED card from an affiliate of theirs the American Safety Training Institute for a discount price.
JC. Did you find out immediately if you passed?
RH. You find out your score immediately after submitting your test.
JC. How long does the NCCPT cert last?
RH. The Cert last for 2 years.
JC. How do you get recertified with NCCPT (how many CEUs do you need?)?
RH. You need 2.0 CEUs which you can obtain through NCCPT or through other organizations.
JC. Does NCCPT help you find a job?
RH. Yes, they do have online services that help you find a job within 90 days that you have to pay for. If you don’t get a job within 90 days they have a money-back guaranteed policy.
JC. Does NCCPT offer any ongoing help after you get certified – newsletters, articles on their website, etc?
RH. Yes they have tons of information on their website. Most of it is you being proactive and searching for the information yourself. They do send you emails such as readiness quizzes that you can use to help you prepare for the exam and emails you get after you pass in order to obtain CEUs.
JC. Have you applied to gyms? Do gyms accept NCCPT?
RH. I applied to gyms prior to me obtaining my cert. Blink fitness accepts any cert to my knowledge so I applied there first. NCCPT has on their website. In the FAQs section of the NCCPT website, they state that that Equinox, LA Fitness and Gold’s accept the NCCPT certification.
JC. Have you found any gyms that did not accept NCCPT?
RH. Right now just New York Health and Racquet Club did not accept NCCPT. I haven't applied to many gyms yet. Richies Gym in Brooklyn also acknowledges the NCCPT cert. Any independent trainer must show proof of their certification before training in the gym for insurance reasons.
JC. Who do you think the NCCPT cert is best for?
RH. Anyone really but if you're looking for something affordable, at home, I would mostly recommend it to up and coming personal trainers but anyone would benefit from the program.
JC. Are you doing training now? Do you think NCCPT prepared you to be a personal trainer?
RH. I have been training since January 2014. Yes it has helped me and it still is, Now that I have passed I can really study each and every section and apply it to my training. An example is that I started studying a section on Multiple Sclerosis and a week later picked up a client with that condition. It prepared me to train her.
JC. I noticed that NCCPT is an affiliate of the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE). Was there anything about the NBFE on the NCCPT test?
RH. No, there wasn't anything on the test about the NBFE.
JC. Did any gyms give preference to NBFE certifications?
RH. I'm not sure of any gyms that have preferences on this. My certification does have the NBFE logo on it so I guess that's a plus.
JC. Does NCCPT offer other certs besides personal training?
RH. Yes, they have nutrition, Group instructor, Yoga instructor just to name a few.
Here is NCCPT on Groupon for those who want more information.
JC. Any advice for people thinking about the NCCPT certification?
RH. Read the chapters, fill in the study guide and watch the videos if you're not sure about something just from reading it which will give you more understanding. This will save you a lot of money and time. Also, take the practice quizzes so you have an idea of what's on the test.
JC. How can people contact you?
RH. I have a profile on TrainersVault.com where people can contact me. I’m also on Facebook too.