CPTN Personal Trainer Certification Requirements 

“A CPTN Certified Personal Trainer is a qualified professional who acts in the capacity of an educator, coach, facilitator and mentor on a regular basis to empower individuals to reach their fitness, health and lifestyle goals.”

Benefits of CPTN Personal Trainer Certification 

The benefits of obtaining your status as a CPTN Certified Personal Trainer include:

  • National recognition of your theoretical and practical knowledge

  • Acknowledgement of your commitment to obtain high professional standards

  • Dedication to safe, effective exercise techniques for you and your clients

  • Enhanced opportunities for employment, financial gains and promotions

  • Ability to purchase personal liability insurance

  • Opportunity to be listed in the CPTN Personal Trainer referral directory

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Professional Recognition 

CPTN Certified Personal Trainer candidates must possess the following:

  • Be 18 years or older

  • Possess current CPR and First Aid

  • Pass the CPTN Theory Exam with 75% or higher

  • Pass the CPTN Practical Exam with 75% or higher

  • Provide documentation of 20 hours of practical experience (may include up to 5 hours of observation of a CPTN Certified Personal Trainer) OR a degree or diploma in the health sciences (Physical Education, Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology)

  • Complete the requirements to become certified within six months from the theory exam writing date.

Theory & Practical Exams

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What are the topic areas and format for the Theory Exam? 

The Theory Exam will cover the following areas related to personal training:

  • Health Screening & Health Conditions

  • Anatomy

  • Biomechanics

  • Musculoskeletal Injuries

  • Program Design

  • Communication & Consulting Skills

  • Legal Liability

  • Exercise Physiology

  • Nutrition

  • Resistance Training

  • Disability & Personal Training

Please refer to the CPTN Theory Examinations Guidelines for details of exam content. 

The exam format is 120 multiple choice questions. The exam is three (3) hours in length and the pass mark is 75% or 90/120. The Theory Exam is written online so that it is easily accessible to candidates from around the globe.

What does the Practical Exam entail? 

The Practical Exam is a demonstration of exercise technique, communication skills, needs assessments and program development and progression. The Practical Exam will be a minimum of 60 minutes in duration and include feedback from the Assessor. 

Practical Exams are arranged by appointment with an assessor. After passing the Theory Exam you will receive a CPTN-CPT Practical Assessment Information Package. This package will include all guidelines for completing your Practical Exam along with a list of Assessors located within or close to your region whom you can call to book your assessment appointment. 

You and your assessor will work together to determine a location, date and time for your Practical Exam. 

In the event that there are no assessors within or close to your region, you will have the option of completing a Distance Practical Exam. For a Distance Practical Exam, you will be assigned an Assessor and the two of you will work together to find the best means of completing the practical - this may mean videotaping certain components of the Practical Exam, phone communication with your Assessor, and mailing or emailing your written assignment and required documents to the Assessor. 

Please refer to the CPTN Practical Examinations Guidelines for details about the Practical Assessment.

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CPTN Specialty Certifications
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 More About Specialty Certifications


First established in 1993. Our organization integrates current research and practical applications for education, communication, professional development, and certification for Personal Trainers to maintain a leading edge on professional training developments.


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Toronto, ON, Canada

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