The ACSM's Committee on Certification and Registry Board (CCRB) regularly performs job task analyses (JTAs) of its exams every five to seven years. The JTAs essentially are a detailed job survey of currently practicing professionals -i.e., what you are expected to know and be able to perform as part of a job. In addition, the JTA identifies any important changes that have happened to the field since the last JTA.
CCRB completed its JTAs for ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT) and ACSM Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP) exams in 2017. Generally speaking, the number of exam questions dedicated to content areas have changed and certain topics have been removed. As a result, new versions of the ACSM-CPT and ACSM-EP exams will be released December 18, 2017.
When preparing for the upcoming changes to the exams, a good place to start is to review the exam crosswalk document. The crosswalk provides an overview of the changes of the content areas from a 10,000 ft view and provides a side-by-side comparison of the 2012 and 2017 JTAs.
Next, you should review the exam content outlines. This is a much deeper dive into the JTAs and include specific knowledge and skill statements for each content area.
ACSM-CPT content outline
ACSM-EP content outline
One of the best resources candidates should get familiar with is the Guideline of Exercise Testing and Prescription, 10th Edition (GETP 10). This is a wonderful resource that captures current industry standards and practice. It is also strongly recommended that candidates are familiar with current ACSM position stands, consensus statements, and related industry white papers.
- A free, recorded webinar discusses major changes to GETP 10 is available here.
- Overview of the updated exercise preparticipation health screening can be found here.
- Application of ACSM's Updated Exercise Preparticipation Health Screening Algorithm can be found here.