The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® program was created in 1985 to identify individuals who skillfully design and implement safe and effective strength and conditioning programs with the goal of improving athletic performance. Individuals who have attained the credentials of CSCS® utilize sport-specific testing methods in combination with guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. Practitioners from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, including physical therapists and athletic trainers, make up the more than 21,000 credentialed Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists® nationally.
The credentialing process, administered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, encourages a higher level of competency among practitioners and raises the quality of the programs administered by those who are CSCS® certified. In order to be eligible for certification as a CSCS®, individuals must have attained at minimum a bachelor’s degree (BS/BA) or a degree in chiropractic medicine from an accredited institution. Additionally, proof of current CPR/AED certification is required. After satisfactorily completing these prerequisites, candidates must pass a rigorous examination comprised of two sections: Scientific Foundations (designed to assess knowledge in the areas of exercise science and nutrition) and Practical/Applied (designed to assess program design, exercise techniques, testing, evaluation and organization/administration). After successful completion of all requirements, individuals are recognized as Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists® and may utilize the credentials CSCS®.