CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist® Certification Updates - October 2016

To align with CSEP's mission and vision and to continue to be the Gold Standard in Exercise Science and Physical Activity, the CSEP-CEP Technical Sub-Committee, as part of the CSEP Professional Standards Program™, undertook a review of the CSEP-CEP certification over the last year.

Below you will find more information on the recent changes to the CSEP-CEP certification and how they may affect you as you pursue your CSEP-CEP certification, including:

  1. CSEP-CEP Core Competency Realignment
  2. CSEP-CEP Certification Guide & Resources
  3. CSEP-CEP Theory Exam - New Edition
  4. CSEP-CEP Practical (OSPE) Exam - New Layout

If you would like to learn more about the New CSEP Exam Attempt & Failure Policy click here

*IMPORTANT - The CSEP-CEP Scope of Practice has NOT changed*


1. CSEP-CEP Core Competency Realignment

The review highlighted an overlap of the required knowledge and skills within the 16 CSEP-CEP Core Competencies. To address this overlap the 16 CSEP-CEP Core Competencies have been realigned to a more focused 10 CSEP-CEP Core Competencies. 

It is important to note that no new skills or knowledge have been added and conversely no skills or knowledge requirements have been removed. In addition, the CSEP-CEP Scope of Practice has not changed.

To view the complete list of the new CSEP-CEP 10 Core Competencies and how they align with the old 16 Core Competencies click here

Note: If you are an approved CSEP-CEP Candidate this does not impact your candidate status nor affect your approval in any way. 


2. CSEP-CEP Certification Guide & Resources

The new CSEP-CEP Candidate's Certification Guide is for purchase on the CSEP Store in both English and French. The new Guide is laid out much the same as the 2014 version. It provides:

  • a breakdown of the required knowledge and skills under each Core Competency,
  • details about the CSEP-CEP Scope of Practice,
  • information on the process and policies governing the CSEP-CEP Certification process,
  • sample CSEP-CEP Theory Exam Questions,
  • sample CSEP-CEP Practical Exam Scenarios, and
  • an additional resource list.

The Guide, is not mandatory and you are not required to purchase it. However, we highly recommend it as a study resource. 

You may have the 2nd Edition (2014) of the Guide already and while the information within it is not incorrect, purchasing the 3rd Edition is recommended. The 3rd Edition (2016) clarifies and better breaks down the required knowledge of the CSEP-CEP better enabling the CSEP-CEP Candidate to develop their directed self-study in preparation for the exams.

To view a Draft Table of Contents for the 3rd Edition of the CSEP-CEP Candidate's Certification Guide, click here

3. CSEP-CEP Theory Exam - New Edition Release Date

The CSEP-CEP Theory Exam has been updated to realign with the new CSEP-CEP 10 Core Competency areas. New questions and case studies have been added, but no new knowledge or skills are tested in the new edition of the CSEP-CEP Theory Exam. 

Exam Format & Breakdown:

  • Now: 120 Questions (previously 130 questions)
  • 3 hours long (no change)
  • 75% required to pass (no change)
  • Still done through Pearson VUE testing centres
  • Still the same process for purchasing and booking your exam

The CSEP-CEP Theory Exam will test you on CSEP-CEP Core Competencies 1-6, 9, and 10. Core Competencies 7 & 8 are focused on practical skills and therefore tested on the CSEP-CEP Practical (OSPE) Exam. Each question is of equal value and any information, i.e. formulas, required to complete the questions are provided during the exam.

The new CSEP-CEP Theory Exam is live at Pearson VUE test centres in English and French.


4.  CSEP-CEP Practical (OSPE) Exam - New Layout

The new layout provides a more dynamic and concise exam that still tests the CSEP-CEP Candidate on all of the necessary practical skills.

The new CSEP-CEP Practical (OSPE) Exam has been piloted over the last year and has now rolled out to all regions across Canada.

The new CSEP-CEP OSPE uses Scenarios, much like the previous version, to test candidates on their practical skills and knowledge. Neither the purpose nor the essence of the CSEP-CEP OSPE have been changed as a result of this update.

Breakdown of the new layout:

  • The new CSEP-CEP OSPE is made up of 3 scenarios, each 40 minutes long, instead of the previous 9. 
  • Each candidate will be tested on 19 Required Practical Skills that fall under the CSEP-CEP Core Competencies and each candidate will be given a Clinical, Athlete, and Work Population Scenario.
  • These 3 Scenarios will be created by the CSEP-CEP Instructor-Examiner and will assess all of the 19 Required Practical Skills required.
  • Each of the 19 Required Practical Skills will be covered only once between all 3 Scenarios. i.e. if a candidate successfully obtained resting and exercise BP in their first scenario, these skills will not be reassessed in subsequent scenarios.

The CSEP-CEP Candidate will not be provided with the 3 scenarios until they arrive at the CSEP-CEP OSPE. When the Candidate arrives at the exam the Scenarios will be provided to them and they will be given approximately 5 minutes to prepare for each Scenario. The CSEP-CEP Candidate is expected to come prepared for the CSEP-CEP OSPE as if they were meeting a client, i.e. they should bring paperwork, forms, etc that they would require when working with the three populations covered by the 3 Scenarios.


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