Read the CI-CPT Renewal Guide for complete details on the renewal process. CI should receive your online CI-CPT Renewal Form by your expiration date. The following requirements must be met to renew your certification:
The renewal period for your certification begins eight weeks (two months) before the expiration date printed on your certification. Do not submit your online renewal form earlier than the renewal period or it will be returned to you unprocessed.
|CI-CPT Certification Month||CI-CPT Renewal Due*|
|*A grace period is available for 30 days after the renewal date. Additional fees apply.|
|January, February, March||By March 31 – every 3 years|
|April, May, June||By June 30 – every 3 years|
|July, August, September||By September 30 – every 3 years|
|October, November, December||By December 31 – every 3 years|
It is your responsibility to monitor your certification expiration date. Certifications expired for a period longer than 30 days are not renewable; the certification process will need to be repeated to earn a valid certification.
CI has two standards that must both be met for your education to count toward renewal:
1. The education must relate to at least one of the four performance domains covered by the examination:
2. The education must build upon or enhance the base-level knowledge that was covered by the exam (that is, simply repeating base knowledge every three years is not acceptable)
You may renew your certification online. Click here to renew.
As an added benefit of renewal, you will now receive a wallet card and a data upload of your information to the US Registry of Exercise Professionals, along with your new certificate.
Payment is due at the time of renewal, purchase orders may not be used as payment.
A 30-day extension is available for an additional fee of $100 and will give you a period of 30 days from your renewal date to complete your renewal requirements. If you complete all renewal requirements during the 30-day extension period, your certification will be renewed for an additional three years based on the original three-year cycle (not from the date you completed the online renewal).
If you are not able to complete all the requirements within the time frame, and still wish to hold the CI-CPT Credential, you will need to earn the CI-CPT again by taking the exam. No discounts are provided for retaking the examination.
Your certification status is classified as "not currently certified" if you do not renew by the certification expiration date. The CI-CPT certification will be re-instated once all renewal requirements are met and submitted to CI within the grace period.
Fill out the online renewal form and submit it with the renewal fee. Do not submit documentation other than what is requested. Please make sure you retain all contact hour documentation and a copy of your form for your records in case your application is selected for audit. One contact hour is defined as one clock hour of professional educational programming or hands-on application.
The Cooper Institute Certification Board (CICB) is committed to providing a program for its credentialed professionals to build upon and/or enhance expertise in Personal Trainer core competencies through a formal program of continuing education. The CI-CPT Renewal Program encourages certified professionals to stay up-to-date with research, health and medical guidelines, and to offer programs that are safe, effective, and motivational to their clients.
When you earn a CI-CPT certification, the three year valid period is printed on the certificate. You will need to accrue 30 contact hours over a three-year period. We will only accept contact hours that are earned between the date the certification was issued and renewal date. For example, if you received your original certification on June 1, 2008 we will only recognize continuing education credits earned between June 1, 2008 and your renewal date of June 30, 2011.
Current adult CPR certification is required to renew your certification. Only CPR courses including a hands-on component will be accepted. Correspondence and online CPR courses are not accepted for certification or certification renewal.
Certification renewal is available only to those CI-CPT certification holders classified as Currently Certified and in good standing with The Cooper Institute.
Yes. The Cooper Institute works with a number of organizations to ensure that continuing education is easily accessible. If you choose to attend an event that is not sponsored by The Cooper Institute, be sure to ask if they provide Cooper credits. If not, you should obtain a letter of verification from the course sponsor as proof of your attendance. Documentation supporting verification of contact hours is required in the case of audit.
Reprints for the CI-CPT certification and for all certificate programs are available to those who are currently certified and are in good standing. Each reprint costs $20. CI-CPT certifications within three months of expiring will not be reprinted unless renewal requirements are met.
Other certificates (i.e., Cooper certificate programs) may be reprinted at any time without an expiration date. Follow all instructions on the form and keep a copy of the completed form for your records.
Prior to 2006, The Cooper Institute (CI) offered the Physical Fitness Specialist course for those persons interested in personal training. Individuals passing an end-of-course test received a nationally recognized certificate.
In an effort to meet current fitness industry standards, beginning in January 2006 The Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer (CI-CPT) exam was first offered, replacing the Physical Fitness Specialist certification.
The Physical Fitness Specialist is a curriculum-based certificate. This means you had to attend and participate in the Physical Fitness Specialist course and pass the course test before earning the certificate. The exam measured how well you achieved the Physical Fitness Specialist course learning objectives.
The CI-CPT is a credentialing certification that verifies your knowledge, skills, and competencies according to the job analysis of personal training – independent of a specific course of study or education/course provider. The CI-CPT exam measures if you have the minimum level of knowledge, skills, and abilities to be able to successfully perform the job of an entry-level Personal Trainer.
No. Current industry standards define a Certified Personal Trainer as a person who has successfully completed a nationally accredited Certified Personal Trainer exam. The Physical Fitness Specialist course and test was in use prior to this industry standard and is an assessment of meeting course-based objectives. Thus, according to current fitness industry standards, the Physical Fitness Specialist course and test cannot transfer over to the CI-CPT.
The change reflects quality improvement efforts across the fitness industry that have taken place over the last few years. In 2005, the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) made a recommendation to its member fitness clubs that they hire personal trainers who held at least one certification from a certifying organization that had achieved independent third-party accreditation. The Personal Trainer profession is currently unregulated by the government. The attainment of third-party accreditation gives hiring managers help in identifying quality certification programs. The CI-CPT was first offered and accredited in 2006.
Each employer decides the hiring requirements for their company. The Physical Fitness Specialist is a valid certificate that shows you attended an education course and successfully passed a test based on the information presented. The Physical Fitness Specialist certificate is still accepted by some employers.
If your employer requires an accredited Certified Personal Trainer certification with an expiration date, the Physical Fitness Specialist certificate does not fulfill this requirement.
Earning the CI-CPT credential can be of benefit to you. The current industry standard is for Personal Trainers to hold a Certified Personal Trainer certification. If you earn the CI-CPT, you will show that you are current with industry standards and that you are eligible to use the initials CI-CPT after your name. For employers that require a nationally accredited certification, the CI-CPT meets this hiring requirement. Some employers base hourly wage rates on the number of certifications that the employee holds. Therefore, by attaining the CI-CPT you may be eligible for higher pay.
The exam covers four performance domains that were identified during the job analysis and CI-CPT development process. All potential exam candidates are encouraged to read the CI-CPT Candidate Guide for more information. You will need to know factual information for the exam, but in addition, a large portion of exam questions require you to be able to apply the knowledge to job-related situations.
No. The CI-CPT exam is available at professional testing centers across the United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, The Virgin Islands and U.S. military centers worldwide. To register, click here.
The following are two ways to verify a certification.
A Concern Form is available for two purposes:
A standardized process is followed for each Concern Form submission. The Cooper Institute Certification Board may take up to 60 days from the date of notification in which to provide a response.
Locate a certified professional with their current credential. This national registry identifies individuals who earn and maintain a NCCA-accredited certification, such as the CI-CPT. Learn More.
Join us for one of our networking sessions to meet with fitness clubs and gyms to find the right fit for you. Learn More.
This invitation-only group offers current CI-CPTs the opportunity to network, share industry information and resources, and keep up with what's happening at CI. Learn More.
This valuable resource connects certified professionals with potential employers. View available jobs with various companies and locations.
Do you have a job that you'd like us to consider posting? If so, let us know by filling out our online form.
Credentialing certifications offered through The Cooper Institute are governed by The Cooper Institute Certification Board (CICB). This group of professionals provides guidance and oversight of policies and procedures directly related to or having impact upon Cooper Institute credentialing certifications, certificants, and certification renewal activities. The CICB must review and approve all credentialing certification processes and policies.
The Cooper Institute Certification Board
c/o Credentialing Certification Department
The Cooper Institute
12330 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Cooper Institute identifies the following organizations as offering continuing education programs. CI grants Approved Provider status based on the developmental processes utilized by the education provider; course offerings are not individually reviewed.
It is your responsibility to review each program to decide if it meets CI renewal standards. CE programs must be linked to one or more of the four performance domains covered on the CI-CPT exam and must build upon or enhance base personal trainer knowledge. Read the CI-CPT Renewal Guide for more information on how to find contact hours that are right for you.
CI is pleased to offer an approved provider program for continuing education providers. Approved provider status helps CI certificants identify contact hour options for renewal.
CI grants approval for organizations as a whole, not individual continuing education opportunities. Participants should be notified that regardless of approved provider status, only those individual programs meeting CI's certification renewal guidelines will be accepted for Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer (CI-CPT) renewal. Learn More.
The Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer (CI-CPT) exam is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) – the gold standard of quality for fitness certifying organizations.
The Cooper Institute is a member of the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP), a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) corporation composed of organizations that offer NCCA-accredited exercise certifications. CREP is committed to advancing the exercise profession and providing a resource to help individuals achieve more active, healthy lifestyles.
CREP maintains the United States Registry of Exercise Professionals, an internationally recognized registry of exercise professionals who hold NCCA-accredited certifications in the United States, including the CI-CPT. The registry is available at www.usreps.org and makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to locate a certified professional.
The Cooper Institute is an organizational sponsor of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educations Programs (CAAHEP). CAAHEP is a programmatic postsecondary accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and carries out its accrediting activities in cooperation with 19 review committees (including the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences – CoAES). CAAHEP currently accredits over 2100 entry level education programs in 23 health science professions.
The CI-CPT exam is recognized by the Veterans Administration. Visit the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.va.gov for more information on education and benefits. CI also offers scholarships to assist individuals building their career in fitness.