CPFT practical assessments

The Certified Personal Fitness Trainer practical exam assesses your ability to communicate with your client and support them through their behaviour change process. If you are ready, you can register for your practical assessment now. 

What to expect

In your CPFT practical assessment you will be asked to:

  1. Perform an initial client consultation
  2. Complete the client health assessment profile (CHAP), based on the initial consultation
  3. Design an exercise program design for your client based on the above (warm up, cardiovascular exercise, muscle conditioning, stretches, etc.)
  4. Demonstrate taking your client through the exercise program that you created. 

Specific criteria you will be assessed on: 

You can choose to complete your assessment with your examiner online, or in person. Discuss the best option between yourself and your CPFT examiner.

Your Assessment Process

Below is the process you can expect to follow for your CPFT practical assessment. Please note that:

  • Assessments typically take 1.5 to 2 hours. Book appropriate time in advance with your examiner, so you can complete your entire assessment without interruption.
  • You will need a volunteer to play the role of your mock client. If you are videotaping your demonstration, please remember to get their formal (written) agreement to be videotaped. 

  • You need appropriate space to: 
    • Perform a client consultation, e.g., desk, table
    • Complete the Client Health Assessment Profile (CHAP)
    • Easily access and demonstrate with your fitness equipment, e.g., mats, dumbbells, tubing, or whatever equipment you have available to you
  • 1

    Client consultation

    You’re expected to complete your client consultation using counselling techniques such as: 

    • Motivational interviewing, stages of behavour change, SMART goals 
    • These techniques are outlined in the CPFT resource manual

    Be prepared for your examiner to add lifestyle or physical challenges to your mock client’s profile, e.g., osteoporosis, busy mother of 3 with a full time job, previous knee injury. 

  • 2

    Client Health Assessment Profile

    After your mock consultation, you’ll be expected to complete the Client Health Assessment Profile, following the assessment protocols laid out in the CPFT resource manual.

  • 3

    Goal setting and program design

    In step 3 you’ll be expected to create an initial exercise program design (warm up, cardiovascular exercise, muscle conditioning, stretches, etc.). This program must be based on:

    • the information you obtain from your consultation with your client
    • the results of your CHAP and goal-setting discussion

    The program you design must:

    • be clear, and concise, e.g. FITT principle, appropriate number of reps, appropriate weight for the given repetition range; appropriately timed rest intervals.
    • address the needs and requirements of your mock client 
    • take into consideration any information you’ve been given about their history.

  • 4

    Program demonstration and setup

    In this step, you'll demonstrate taking your client through the exercise program that you created in step 3 of the examination process. It's important that you include the:

    • name and purpose of the exercise
    • demonstration and client set up

    Understanding what fitness equipment to use, how to set it up and use it is an important part of your Practical Assessment.

    • Refer to the assessment protocols in the CPFT resource manual, and follow the equipment set up requirements as outlined.

  • 5

    Resources to help you succeed

    These resources will also help you to successfully complete your practical assessment:  

  • 6

    Skills development virtual mentorship

    If you are new to personal training, we highly recommend that you take the skills development virtual mentorship. The mentorship highlights the skills you are expected to demonstrate during the practical exam. Candidates who complete the mentorship have a higher rate of success on examinations. 

Register for your practical assessment

Register for your practical assessment