Membership Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Certified

Why should I certify with CSEP?

Good question – there are a lot of certifications out there, and the decision of which one to choose can be a confusing one.

What sets CSEP aside, however, is our ceaseless commitment to maintaining only the very highest standards in research and certification development in Canada.

Great, but what does that mean?

What that means, is that all of CSEP’s standards and guidelines and certifications have been born out of the most extensive scientific research, and extensively peer reviewed by the top researchers in their field. From there, all of our standards are reviewed by the AGREE II guideline, which is an independent, internationally recognized tool for reviewing and assessing guidelines.

What is the difference between the CSEP-CPT and CSEP-CEP?

In brief, the CSEP-CEP Scope of Practice is broader than that of the CSEP-CPT. A CSEP-CPT can work with apparently healthy clients or those with a stable health condition who are able to exercise independently.

The CSEP-CEP Scope of Practice encompasses general populations, in addition to high performance athletes, and those with chronic health conditions, functional limitations, or disabilities.

In some cases, the CSEP-CPT or CSEP-CEP may require written clearance for physical activity participation from a licensed healthcare professional.

Please refer to for a complete description of each Scope of Practise.

If I have a personal training certification from another organization, will CSEP accept that as equivalency to the CSEP-CPT?

CSEP is unique in its quality of standards and requirements in the health & fitness industry in Canada, so it is not possible to accept any other agency's certification for equivalency at the present time.

If I have a CATA (Athletic Therapy) certification, is that equivalent to the CSEP-CPT certification?

No. CATA professionals, like many other professions, are prepared for a specialized career in their area of expertise. Not all CATA professionals have completed the appropriate coursework and certification exit criteria required to be a CSEP‑CPT (e.g. fitness applications, motivational strategies to increase client adherence, etc.)

How do I begin the CSEP-CPT/CSEP-CEP certification process?

Step 1:  GET READY 5 Steps to Becoming CSEP Certified

Step 2: APPLY

  • Submit and pay for your application online to begin the CSEP-CPT or CSEP-CEP certification process 
Wait for CSEP to approve your application (2 to 3 weeks). While you're waiting follow @CSEPdotCA on Twitter to stay informed. 



  • It is recommended that you take a workshop or practical skills review session to help prepare for your exams. Choose the workshop that is best for you. Please note: Workshops are schedule on an as needed basis based on demand from applications. 
Step 4: EXAMS 
  • Take your Practical Exam and Theory Exam. You choose the order you take the exams. 
  • !! You have 6 months from the date you pass your first exam to pass your second exam and register! 
Wait for final results on your exams. While you await make sure you have First Aid & that your CPR-C has been updated in the last 12 months. 

  • Register to be a CSEP Certified Member & begin enjoying all the member benefits including CSEP Professional Liability Insurance. (Note: you will receive the form to link directly from the CSEP certifications team)
  • It can take up to 3 weeks to process you registration & receive your member package in the mail. 

View graphic. 

What is the cost of certification?

To become a CSEP Certified member, the fees vary depending on your certification process.

  • The application fee is $35
  • Theory exam
    • CSEP-CPT theory exam – $155
    • CSEP-CEP theory exam – $200
  • IF you take a workshop (which is optional for most candidates)
    • CSEP-CPT range $150-500
    • CSEP-CEP range $300-600
      • Fees vary due to the differences in workshop length, content, attendance and resources used during that workshop
  • Practical exam
    • CSEP-CPT range $150-250
    • CSEP-CEP range $300-600
  • Registration Fee1:

$260 (includes tax) + optional insurance add-ons*

$290 (includes tax) + optional insurance add-on*

*these fees represent the 2015-16 membership year only; CSEP reserves the righ to change these fees each renewal year.

Do I need to have a CPR certification prior to participating in a CSEP-CPT or CSEP-CEP workshop?

No. CPR certification is not required to participate in a workshop. When submitting your registration form following successful completion of the theory and practical exams for your CSEP-CPT/CSEP-CEP, you must submit documentation of current CPR level C (or equivalent) certification. The CPR level C course must have been completed within 12 months of the date of registration.

How can I find out when the next CSEP-CPT/CSEP-CEP examination or workshop is?

Exams and workshops are scheduled based on geographical demand. CSEP approved candidates regularly receive emails regarding all upcoming workshop and exam opportunities. Please complete and submit a CSEP-CPT Application Form or a CSEP-CEP Application Form to become an approved candidate.

All upcoming workshop and practical exam opportunities are also advertised at: CSEP CPT exam and workshop dates and sites, and CSEP CEP exam and workshop dates and sites on the CSEP website.

There are no workshops and exams presently in my region. What can I do?

Once you are an approved candidate (you have submitted a CSEP-CPT or CSEP-CEP application form and have been approved by CSEP) you will regularly receive emails regarding all upcoming workshop and exam opportunities. As workshops are scheduled per geo-graphical demand, should no workshop be offered in your area at this time, and you are under duress to complete your certification, you may want to consider traveling to the next closest workshop being offered. If you do not require a workshop, and wish to move directly to challenging a practical exam as soon as possible, please contact

Where can I take the theory exams?

Once your CSEP-CPT or CSEP-CEP exam application is approved you will be able to pay for your theory exam-sitting fee, register online, and arrange to take the test at a Pearson VUE test centre. CSEP-CPTs require a CSEP-PATH manual registration code in order to complete their purchase order for the CSEP-CPT theory exam-sitting fee. 

If I am not successful on either my theory or practical exam, how soon can I re-take it?

If you fail either exam an appropriate period of time should elapse to allow for further study (minimum 1 month recommended) to ensure your success on your next attempt.

How many times can I retake the CSEP-CPT/CSEP-CEP theory and practical exam?

Within the certification period a CSEP certification candidate is allowed a maximum of two attempts at each of the CSEP Theory and Practical Exams.  An individual who is not successful after their second exam attempt, of either exam, must apply for an extension in order to receive a third attempt, regardless of where they are in the certification period, i.e. if their 6 month deadline has started or not. If at the end of the 6 month extension period and third exam attempt the individual was still unsuccessful they are required to undergo a 6 month waiting period.

In summary:

  • Candidate has 2 attempts, at each exam, to successfully pass both
  • If unsuccessful at 2nd attempt, candidate can apply for a 3rd attempt
  • If unsuccessful at 3rd attempt, a waiting period is imposed and the candidate can apply to keep their file open.
Note that once a candidate has already successfully completed one exam they are also still bound by the 6 month deadline in which to complete both exams successfully and register with CSEP as a certified member.


Can I get a refund on workshops/exams that I register for?

There is a no refund policy for workshops and exams.

Maintaining My Certification

What do I have to do to keep my CSEP-CPT/CSEP-CEP membership current?

You are required to renew your CSEP-CPT/CSEP-CEP certification every year on or before March 31st. You can renew online straight from your membership profile on the community site.

The following is required for renewal:

  • Collection of CSEP- Professional Development Credits (every two years).
  • Documentation proving current CPR level C or equivalent certification (Certification must not be more than a year old).
  • Completion of the annual renewal survey.

How much does it cost to renew my membership each year?

$260 (includes tax) + optional insurance add-ons

$290 (includes tax) + optional insurance add-ons

For information on Leave of Absence requests and forms please contact 

How do I submit for a Leave of Absence?

CSEP-CEPs and CSEP-CPTs may apply for a Leave of Absence (LOA). This LOA must be approved by CSEP and is effective for CSEP's current membership year (April 1 to March 31 annually) only.

For more information and to apply for LOA please visit: or email 

Are my membership fees tax-deductible?

Yes, if you declare self-employment income, your CSEP membership dues are 100% tax-deductible. 

Why do I need to re-certify my CPR annually when the expiry says 2 or 3 years from date of issue?

In order to ensure that our members are maintaining the most current and up to date certification, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology requires an annual renewal of your CPR certification, regardless of the length of time your CPR-certifying agency has indicated.

My employer requires me to take Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification every two years, and this includes components on both CPR and First Aid. Why do I need to complete CPR re-certification annually?

As mentioned above, annual CPR recertification is required as part of the CSEP insurance policy. The insurance will not cover any incident that occurs if your most recent CPR recertification was over one year ago at the time of the incident.

How many Professional Development Credits (PDCs) will I receive for attending my upcoming workshop, conference, lecture, etc?

Please consult the Professional Development Credits chart on the CSEP website.

Where can I find information about Professional Liability Insurance for CSEP certified members?

Professional Liability insurance is included in the certification fees for the CSEP Certified Personal Trainer® and CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist certifications®, and this covers you for acts carried out within the respective Scope of Practice.

Can I work in other provinces with my CSEP-CPT/CSEP-CEP?

Yes. CSEP is a national organization and its certifications are recognized nationwide. Once certified with CSEP, as a member your professional certification and insurance policy are valid in any Canadian province.

Are the CSEP-CPT/CSEP-CEP certifications recognized in any other countries?

No, they are not transferable abroad. Equivalency among international certifications is not straightforward. The real challenge is to obtain an insurance policy in the country in which you wish to practice. In these circumstances you may also require certification from that country.

Where can I find a CSEP-CPT/CSEP-CEP near me?

You can search the CSEP Online Member Directory for a CSEP Certified Personal Trainer® or CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist®.

  • From the CSEP home page, click on "find a member". 
  • Select "CSEP-CPT" and/or in the "Category" box, and narrow down the search by selecting your province/territory/state, or type the name of your town in the Keywords box.
  • Click the "Search" button, and the search results will appear at the bottom of the page. Click on the last name of the CSEP member to see his or her profile, including contact information (Note: some members have elected not to display all of their contact information.)

If you are a CSEP member, log in and click on "Member Directory" at the top to see additional search results for members who have elected to display information to members only.

I have a question that is not covered in this FAQ.

If you have an insurance-related question, be sure to check the Professional Liability Insurance FAQs (member login required).

For any other questions, please contact

1 All fees noted are for the 2015-16 membership year. Fees are subject to change.



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