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NCAA Acknowledges NSCA's Effort for Raised Certification Standards

Source: National Strength and Conditioning Association

On April 24, 2014, the NCAA passed legislation requiring Division 1 colleges and universities to employ strength and conditioning coaches who possess a nationally accredited strength and conditioning certification. This regulation is significant in raising certification standards in college athletics.

NCAA council members voted to require the strength and conditioning certification effective August 1, 2015. This allows current strength coaches who do not have a nationally accredited credential sufficient time to obtain their certification without jeopardizing current employment. The NCAA realizes that retaining an accredited certification requires a continuing education component. This allows coaches to stay on top of the latest, effective and safest training standards for student athletes.

In response to more than twenty deaths during conditioning since 2000, there is a heightened concern about student-athlete safety around the country. “Having a certification that is accredited guarantees that the strength coach has demonstrated a certain set of skills and abilities to meet the performance needs of their sport teams and athletes,” says Boyd Epley, NSCA Founder. “The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) certification is the longest standing accredited strength and conditioning certification with more than 21 years of credibility and recognition as the leading standard in the industry.”

The NSCA set the standard in the strength and conditioning industry in the U.S. and around the world when the CSCS credential was established in 1985 and again in 1993 when the credential became the first to be accredited. The NSCA has a rigorous examination and the most comprehensive process for creating certification exams in the industry.

  • The comprehensive and detailed question sets covered within NSCA exams requires persons to have an intimate and robust knowledge of the coaching profession.
  • This ensures that those who pass the exam have truly developed the educational knowledge and practical expertise to be leaders in the field of strength coaching.
  • The CSCS credential is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
  • Major League Baseball (MLB) at the MLB, AAA and AA levels requires all of their strength and conditioning coaches to hold the CSCS credential and the Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC) distinction.

Details can be found in the Certification Handbook available online at


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