T Nation

Attention NSCA Members - Important

There’s a degree to which I know most people don’t really care about what is going on in an organization. But once in a while, something that is happening has a direct impact on people who are not even affiliated with it. That’s the subject of this post. I’m a big believer in free choice, and I humbly present this issue to do with what you will.

A vote is coming up May 1st to put the NSCA Certifying commission back under the NSCA umbrella. You may have heard something about this over the past year. There are concerns among long-standing members of the NSCA that the certifying commission and its for-profit status has lead to inappropriate spending and unnecessary perks for its members.

These “perks” include flying members out for meetings in Hawaii, paying six-figure “consultation” contracts to retired members, and operating out of a highly overpriced facility.

Most of the money that you pay in membership dues goes to positive places. However, the money that we pay for our certification exams is, in my opinion, and in the opinion of some of the nominees, being poorly spent.

In the upcoming vote, there are several nominees who are interested in bringing the commission back under the non-profit status of the NSCA (it was moved in the early 90s.) The hope is that the funds will be reallocated to scholarships for students and other, more worthy purposes.

All members who agree can vote directly “yes” to both of the proposed amendments, which would bring the commission back under the NSCA.

Some of the nominees in support of this idea are Steve Fleck, who has been involved in the NSCA for longer than any of the other candidates; Mike Nitka, who wants to devote more money to research and grants; John McCarthy, a well-rounded PT with a strong background in strength and conditioning; and Jeff Stout, who has been an active member of the NSCA for years.

Obviously I encourage everyone to make up their own minds based on the information that you have on the particular candidates. However, again, I strongly encourage you to vote “yes” to the amendments. At the very least, I hope you find it interesting. The NSCA is the leader in the field of strength and conditioning and hopefully will be able to further its ability to do so, through research and grants, for a long time to come.

I am and have been an NSCA Member and PT for over a year…

I get the newsletters and S&C journals every now and then, and I have to tell you that I didn’t know it was a profit org. I’m actually surprised and kind of disappointed that spending like that (pork I believe) goes on in a non-profit enviorment which they have always claimed to be.

Send me the link to vote on the site please.

Just so you know-

It’s not the newsletters and journals they’re wasting money on. That’s money from your annual fee. That goes towards the not-for-profit mother organization.

It’s actually the certification money that’s being wasted, the money you pay to take exams and become certified. As you can imagine, people who started the NSCA are pissed that this money is going towards that type of thing.


Copy and paste this link from May 1st to July 11th, 2008. Voting is online, quick, and easy.



I’m not sure who is who at this point…

Please clarify…


My name is Dan Wathen. I have been a member of the NSCA since it began in 1978. I was president of the NSCA from 1998-2000 and have worked closely with the Certification Commission (CC) in a variety of capasities since it began as a committee in 1982. Many of my friends are at odds over the current situaton and we have all agreed to let the members decide the issue. Some points need clarification.

First the Certification Commission is not a for-profit organization. It is an arm of the NSCA and therefore is a not-for-profit entity.

Second the Certification Commission is governed by Article X of the NSCA By-laws. If you read the By-law you will see that the CC is empowered to run all aspects of certification as their Council deems appropriate. Their 5 member council is elected (with the exception of the public member who is appointed) by those individuals who hold credentials, either CSCS or NSCA-CPT. All council members are NSCA members. When this By-law was enacted in 1992 is was essential for accrediation from the NCCA.

Third the regulations for accrediation have been relaxed in the past decade such that the current By-law X modification can be entertained. This has been an on going point of dissention since my presidency. Should we restructure the CC in line with what ACSM has as a model or should we separately incorporate in line with what NATA has as a model. The majority of past presidents favored the latter the majority of the current NSCA BOD favors the former. I am happy for the members to decide.

Fourth allegations of financial mismanagement have been leveled against the CC. Given my level of involvement I can find little evidence to support these claims given the language of Article X of the By-laws. I can find no more mismanagement in the CC than the NSCA. The building in Lincoln is state of art as is the building in Colorado Springs. Employees are paid well across the board in both Lincoln and Colorado Springs. As with all non-profit organizations the books are open to members and the public. All volunteers who work for either the NSCA or the CC are well treated but not paid. The level of treatment is first class by the NSCA and the CC. This encourages volunteers.

Fifth while I am not opposed to change I fear the level of mistrust and animosity that has developed over the past years will result in few if any of the essential CC staff moving to Colorado Springs should the By-law be changed. This will have a negative impact the level of service in the short if not the long term. It would take some time to bring in new staff and none would have the level of expertise and experience we currently enjouy. The proposed savings would be blunted by loss of service and expertise that seems unnecessary given the financial status of the NSCA.

Finally the law-suit was over a disagreement in the interpretation of the language of Article X. I would encourage all NSCA members to read Article X carefully and then read the pro and con of changing it. I am confident you will make the right decision.

As a member of the NSCA for over 15 years, I share your sadness of the recent events in the NSCA. I agree that many people do not care about the legal goings on between the NSCA and Certification Commission. That apathy is disappointing as the passing of the proposed bylaw changes affecting the Commission will not create more unity, passing the changes will NOT save money; in fact, passing the proposed changes may actually revoke the NCCA accredited status of our certifications. If that happens, NCCA-accredited certifications from other organizations will have more value than the CSCS and NSCA-CPT. So, I agree that the issues are important. With that introduction, I will reply to the points in your original post to the best of my ability.

The Certification Commission is NOT (and NEVER has been) for profit. This is simply not true.

The Certification Commission does not pay six figure consultation fees to retired �??members.�?? This is simply not true.

Concerning Hawaii . . . while I suppose it is possible, I am unaware of any Hawaii meetings for either Commission staff or volunteers. I am aware that the former Executive Director (and co-founder of the NSCA) was given a retirement vacation to Hawaii. However, that trip was given by the NSCA, NOT the Certification Commission.

The building in which the Certification Commission operates has been completely paid for; neither the NSCA nor the Certification Commission EVER owed money on it. To suggest that the Commission operates out of an overpriced facility is simply not true.

It is also misleading to contend that moving the Certification Commission�??s operations to Colorado Springs will save the NSCA (or Certification Commission) money. Such a contention makes untenable assumptions and avoids the reality of the situation. This is simply not true.

While I am quite certain of what I have stated above, I do not have all the answers. Instead, I would encourage ALL members to review statements released by both the Certification Commission and the NSCA (http://www.nsca-cc.org/vote/) and then contact the Executive Council (executivecouncil@nsca-cc.org) and/or office staff (888-746-2378) with questions. They are quite well-versed and I would imagine they would be happy to discuss this (and any other) situation with you.

Hi, my name is Joel Cramer, and I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the University of Oklahoma. I am also the Chair of the NSCA Research Committee.

First, if you are a member of the NSCA, I would encourage you to please vote NOW and vote YES on the NSCA Bylaw amendments! Please visit this link to cast your votes to support the NSCA Board of Directors.


Please visit the following blogs for more information as to why I am encouraging members to vote YES on the Bylaw amendments:



Second, thanks to Dan Wathen (earlier post) for providing a well-written and thought-provoking post. Dan is a tremendous individual and has helped the NSCA as a Past-President and on countless Committees. I envy his abilities and efforts to unify friends and colleagues over what has become a very partisan issue within the NSCA. I also envy his wisdom and experience in these matters, which we could all learn from.

This is an important issue for the membership of the NSCA. I believe that a vote of YES will unify this organization. Right now the certifying body of the NSCA (i.e., offering the CSCS and NSCA-CPT credentials) is housed in Lincoln, Nebraska, whereas the NSCA National Headquarters is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Over the years (since 1992), the certification branch of the NSCA has broken away from the NSCA Headquarters physically and financially. In my opinion, the certification group has also strayed from the spirit of the NSCA mission. Nevertheless, legally the NSCA Board of Directors is still fiscally responsible for the expenditures of the certification branch.

However, the way the NSCA Bylaws are currently written, the NSCA Board of Directors has no say over how the certification branch spends its money. The purpose of the current election is to give the NSCA members an opportunity to change this so that the NSCA Board of Directors can provide checks-and-balances on the spending and allocation of resources by the certification branch.

To address the incorrect information provided by David Potach (aka, ptmscscs) in an earlier post (above), the certifications offered by the NSCA (CSCS and CPT) are at NO risk of losing NCCA/NOCA accreditation by a vote of YES to change the NSCA Bylaws. David makes it sound as if the quality of the credentials would suffer if the Bylaw amendments pass, but this is not accurate. Actually, the NSCA Board of Directors has received a letter from NCCA/NOCA, which clearly states that there is NO risk of losing accreditation. I have a copy of this letter, and anyone who is interested can request a copy from the NSCA National Headquarters. In fact, there are many documents that are publicly available upon request that suggest that a vote of YES to amend the Bylaws will indeed unify the NSCA in a positive way. In other words, this is not just my opinion, there are documents to support this position.

In short, if you are a member of the NSCA, please vote now, and I would encourage you to vote YES on the Bylaw amendments.


Joel T. Cramer, PhD; CSCS,*D; NSCA-CPT,*D; FNSCA
Assistant Professor, Chair of the NSCA Research Committee
Department of Health and Exercise Science
University of Oklahoma