Is the certification really free? What's the Catch?
The ACTION Personal Trainer Certification is absolutely free. You can download our 300 page textbook, study and pass the exam, and become a certified personal trainer without ever paying any money to ACTION Certification. However, we offer a bundle of extras including live instruction and teacher support for only $65 (currently on sale for $34.95). We think you will want to upgrade. (Please note that PSI/Lasergrade charges a $60 test center fee).
How can you offer so much for so little money?
It’s a numbers game really. We can either provide a high quality education and certification program to a few people or we can make the same program accessible to thousands of people. We want to be the largest certification provider for personal trainers. The only way to do that is to radically change the way our industry operates.
What are you trying to change about the industry?
We think the emphasis needs to be on education rather than just certification. We have seen too many certified personal trainers who have no idea what they are doing. This lack of quality control is devaluing our industry. So by making a quality education available at a reasonable price, we can produce highly qualified personal trainers and dramatically alter the way this industry operates.
Are you accredited by the NCCA?
We submitted our final application in September 2012. It was a two year effort. We expect to hear back from the NCCA in early 2013 (yes, it is a slow process). The exam that has been submitted for NCCA Accreditation is now available at over 250 testing centers across North America. If you pass the exam in a testing center, you do not need to do anything else once the NCCA grants full accreditation. Update: April 2013 - The NCCA asked us to submit a few more documents and provide some minor clarifications. Hope to have an answer by early summer 2013.
But will I be able to get a job?
We think so. We aggressively work with the major chains to educate the hiring managers on the benefits of ACTION Personal Trainer Certification. Our emphasis on education, live instruction, and practical knowledge are very attractive to gyms looking for personal trainers that can be effective from the first day. Our Pro Plan members get access to our private job board which has hundreds of personal training jobs available.
Do you offer Phone Support?
Not at this time. We currently offer email, chat and webinar (screen-sharing) support. We use these more efficient methods to keep our costs and prices down. Phone support is very inefficient. Our staff can answer about 60 emails an hour compared to 5-10 phone calls during the same time. However, we recognize that certain issues are better handled over the phone. In these circumstances our support staff and instructors can escalate to a phone call.
Are there any time limits to complete the course?
There are no time limits. You can attend online classes, get support and use all the tools as long as you like...even after you pass the exam.
What is the difference between the Basic Plan and the Pro Plan?
Let’s start with the similarities. Both the basic plan and the pro plan offer the exact same personal trainer certification, same textbook, same exam. The main difference is the level of support you receive. The Basic plan is free but offers little support or extras. The Pro Plan gives you access to valuable benefits like Live Instruction, video library of all recorded classes, flash cards and unlimited practice exams to help you study. Also thrown in is 24/7 email support from instructors, career guidance and a private job board, plus much more. Check out our comparison table for the full breakdown of the differences.
Do I have to give my credit card information to register for the Basic Plan?
No. A credit card is only required if you purchase something or if you start your optional free 10 week trial for the ACTION Personal Training System. When you star your free trial we do a $1 authorization on the card (not a charge, no money is transferred). Once this authorization is completed, we immediately void it so it has no effect on your account or available spending limit.
Can I upgrade to the Pro Plan after registering for the Basic plan?
How do I get access to the textbook?
Once you register for the certification, you can login and download the textbook. It is in PDF format and can be transferred to other computers, mobile devices, iphones and e-book readers. You can also print it out. There is also a Kindle version and a hard copy of the book available for an additional charge.
Will you ship the textbook to me?
The textbook is available for immediate download and printing. However, you can purchase a hard copy of the 314 page textbook for $29.95 and have it shipped to you (free shipping).
Can I Read the Textbook on my Mobile Device?
We have released a Kindle version of the textbook. You can download the free Kindle Reader App for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Mobile in your device's app store. Once the Kindle reader is installed, you can search the Kindle Library for "ACTION Certification" or just use this link to the Amazon Kindle Library.
You can also access the textbook on your Kindle device by searching the Kindle Library for "ACTION Certification" or just use this link to the Amazon Kindle Library.
If I register for the Pro Plan, how will I get access to all the extras?
Once you register for the Pro Plan, you can login and access your personal portal page that contains links to many extra resources.
How do the online classes work?
We hold training classes using web conferencing technology. You can watch the instructors live presentation on your screen and participate in the classroom through your telephone or computer speakers. You can ask questions and share your insights with the class. Class schedules vary to allow as many people as possible to attend.
What if I can’t attend a class?
We record each of the online classes. So if you miss one, you can download the recording and watch it at your convenience.
What if I have a question for the teacher?
You can ask questions during the online classes. You can also submit questions to your instructor and other students through our discussion forums.
What are the differences between the two exams?
The online certificate exam offers a convenient way to earn a certificate in personal training.
Our certification exam which has been submitted for NCCA Accreditation enables you to earn full certification and the title of "Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)".
|Online Certificate Exam||Certification Exam submitted for NCCA Accreditation|
|Results in:||Certificate in Personal Training||Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)|
|Taken:||Online||at 250+ PSI/Lasergrade Testing Centers|
|Cost:||Free||$60 test center fee|
|Retest Fee:||$35||$60 test center fee|
Can I take both exams?
Yes. In any order you want. Many people will elect to use the online exam as a warm up for the full certification exam.
Which Exam is Better?
By far, the exam submitted for NCCA Accreditation and taken in secure testing centers is superior to the online certificate exam. We recommend taking it if you are in the United States. You can still take the online certificate exam as a warm up for the full certification exam.
How do I take the exam?
The Online Certificate exam can be taken directly from your portal after logging in to your account.
The ACTION Certification exam submitted for NCCA Accreditation must be taken at a PSI/Lasergrade Test Center.
Locating a Test Center Near You
You can locate the test center nearest you by going to the PSI/Lasergrade web site.
What if I fail the exam?
If you fail the exam, you can retake the exam. PSI/Lasergrade will charge you $60 each time you take the exam. You must wait one day before scheduling to take the exam again. The online certificate exam can be taken again by paying a $35 retest fee.
Why do you charge for exam retests?
We actually don't charge anything. But PSI/Lasergrade charges $60 each time you take the exam to cover their costs of operating the test center.
We charge the $35 online certificate exam retest fee to encourage people to be well prepared the first time they take the exam.
What is the exam like?
The ACTION Certification exam built to NCCA Accreditation standards is available at over 250 test centers across the United States and Canada.
There are 150 multiple choice questions.
You have 2.5 hours to complete the exam.
You must get 70% or more to pass the exam.
Upon completing the exam, your exam will be graded immediately and you will be issued a score report. Please keep this score report. PSI/Lasergrade will automatically send us your score within 2 business days. But in the event an error occurs, your score report is your proof of passing the exam.
If you fail the exam, there is no waiting period. You can reschedule to take the exam again. PSI/Lasergrade will charge you their $60 testing fee each time you take the exam so make sure you are prepared.
What is covered on the exam?
The exam covers all the subjects included in the textbook including anatomy, biomechanics, client assessment, program design, safety, legal and business topics. You should understand (not memorize) these concepts. Our Pro Plan gives you access to flash cards and practice exams that further emphasize the concepts that are included on the exam.
Can I pass the exam if I only register for the Basic plan?
Definitely. If you have prior experience in the fitness industry or have a background in exercise science, you can pass the exam. Also, if you are a good book learner, you can pass the exam. But if neither of those things apply to you, then we recommend taking advantage of all the instructions and educational extras that are available through the Pro plan.
What do I get once I pass the exam?
Upon passing the exam, you can download your personalized certificate you can use to help get your first job. If you are a Pro Plan member, you also have access to a personalized letter of recommendation, career counselors, and our private job board.
Do you require recertification?
Yes, you must recertify every two years. The cost is $65. This is hundreds of dollars less expensive than any of the other certifications.
Do you plan on adding specialty certifications that enable me to train special populations like the obese, children and seniors?
Our main certification program covers the principles required to train these populations. You don’t need to purchase additional certifications.