Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

We build successful leaders in the health and fitness industry

Benefits of NAFC Certification

NAFC is an industry leader, as our certifications focus on teaching our members practical skills and how to excel in their fields. NAFC trains students on an individualized level by establishing long-term relationships with students. NAFC’s primary goal is to evaluate each student’s skills based on their current knowledge, especially in areas that may be identified as requiring skill improvement. NAFC will create an environment to build on this evaluation in optimizing each student’s skill sets.

NAFC certification specialists have access to health and wellness professionals and master trainers to offer assistance in answering your questions.

NAFC does certify students in countries outside the United States, however we recommend that you verify that the laws in your country recognize this type of certification. Additionally, we advise that you check with your potential place of employment to insure they recognize certifications provided by NAFC. We continue to reach out to fitness facilities, organizations and individuals to broaden the NAFC sphere of influence as a provider of continuing education in the health and fitness industry. We are dedicated to providing our students with the skills necessary to maximize their potential for job opportunities wherever they may reside.

maximize their potential for job opportunities wherever they may reside.

Our program is fully accredited, meeting educational guidelines. Registration does not indicate necessary educational markers or give credibility to the registrants Yoga program. RYTs® and RYs® denotes Yoga Alliance registration only. Yoga Alliance registration guidelines do not support educational guidelines or learning outcomes. 

A Yoga Alliance certificate does not denote the credential, accreditation, or credibility one may be led to believe. Being registered with Yoga Alliance does not constitute a genuine education credential.

Yoga Alliance does not conduct certification exams or independent assessments of any Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT®s). Rather, the RYT® credential is derivative of the Registered Yoga School (RYS®) or school registry, and is entirely voluntary.

NAFC is an accredited organization which also holds a career school license. NAFC’s is committed to providing substantive, proven fitness and health education to professionals in the industry, ensuring their credibility and value to clients, members, and even medical professionals. The Yoga 200™ certification course is part of this commitment. 

There are several published articles in which Yoga schools identify Yoga Alliance as having a negative impact on Yoga. This is due to very minimal guidelines and educational credibility. There are far too many Yoga classes that demonstrate and lead risky movements and poses taught by minimally educated teachers. Yoga practice has been documented to offer many profound benefits, but it’s also producing an enormous amount of injury. As excerpted in the New York Times, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer William Broad stated, “a growing body of medical evidence supports (the) contention that, for many people, a number of commonly taught Yoga poses are inherently risky. The problems can and have ranged from relatively mild injuries to permanent disabilities”. Surveys by the Consumer Product Safety Commission showed that the number of emergency room admissions related to yoga, after years of slow increases, was rising quickly due to no regulations. The populations that are being taught, for the most part, sit in chairs all day and rarely lift anything heavier than an iPad. After sitting all day, they then go to yoga classes, for an hour or more, they flow quickly through poses, bearing weight in an unfamiliar way on their wrists, spines, and knees. The irony is, yoga was developed to help heal.

The number of Americans doing yoga has risen which means that there is now an abundance of studios where many teachers lack the deeper training necessary to recognize when students are headed toward injury. Currently, there is no specific curriculum that is required to be taught, nor is there any required assessment of a registered teacher’s skill. Simply requiring that a certain number of hours be spent covering each of the five areas of study (practice, methodology, anatomy, philosophy, ethics, and hours of practice teaching) is not enough.

The content of Yoga training is left up to the schools that do register through Yoga Alliance. There has been an astonishing decline in the quality of classes over the past 20 years. What is needed is a lengthy set of specific objectives that a Yoga teacher training needs to meet, as is the standard for almost all other vocational training. There needs to be a body that ensures that all yoga teachers are appropriately educated, trained, and considered credible. It is NAFC’s intent to train/educate our students/teachers in a manner that honors science, functional movement, critical thinking skills, safe practices, integrity, compassion, and growth, all the while keeping the Yoga community intact.

NAFC is an accredited educational body. We are recognized as an application-based education organization both in the fitness and medical communities. With regard to the PHIT Act (Yoga Alliance is pro-PHIT Act) being pushed to the legislature, there is a chance the government will more than likely also take into consideration the credentials of the trainers/teachers leading these classes that will be considered a pre-tax deduction for medical expenses. Accreditations and long distance learning are recognized by the US Higher Education and it has established credibility. Accreditation has long been recognized in the domains of hospitals, rehabilitation, and higher education as the way to maintain higher standards of accountability and quality. There are concerns with lack of credibility in the fitness industry.

NAFC is dedicated to improving the quality, standards, and outcomes of preventative health care services while also educating the public on health fitness and wellness issues. Today’s fitness consumers are more sophisticated and knowledgeable than ever, and, they want more information about their fitness and wellness provider. Insurance companies are seeing more accountability and professionalism for their “after care health club memberships.” Medical practitioners are more concerned than ever about the professional qualifications of people they refer their patients to for exercise programs. Performance indicators are becoming more important than ever in medical rehabilitation services. We believe it would be in Yoga Alliances’ interest to also consider long distance learning schools and licensures to stay relevant in a changing industry where medical/fitness integration IS happening.

We understand Yoga Alliance is against licensure and regulation(s), as are many organizations in the fitness industry. However, our industry continues to evolve and is headed in the direction of licensure. Due to the increase of injuries and the correlation with metabolic diseases, an industry that is non-regulated and self-governed according to a loose set of standards, it is clear that what will be required going forward is what is expected from most other industries – standardized education markers and credentials recognized throughout the healthcare industry. NAFC is ahead of the game.


US Department of education data from 2016 (Distance Education is a Key Component of Higher Education in the United States):

Report Link:

  • 2002: 1.6 million students taking at least one Long Distance Learning Course
  • 2008: 4.6 million students taking at least one Long Distance Learning Course
  • 2014: 5.8 million students taking at least one Long Distance Learning Course

And this continues to rise – One-in-seven (14%) of all higher education students took all of their courses “exclusively” at a distance.

More than one in four students (28%) enrolled in at least one of their courses at a distance in the fall of 2014.

Certificate Information

There are no college credit requirements for any NAFC certification.

The NAFC sets no minimum age requirement for candidates who wish to purchase and complete an NAFC certification. However NAFC cannot issue a Final Certificate until a candidate reaches 18 years of age. Our educational trainings, including CEC’s and completed certification courses may be used toward gaining credit from other schools as well.

Each program includes an online textbook, review questions, and vocabulary. Some programs include videos available online. Your online testing is included in our pricing.

You are welcome to take an individual program. However, if you want to be certified by NAFC, you must take all of the programs within a certification curriculum. 

Yes. If you decide to take multiple programs, you can either complete the program material and tests concurrently, or in your desired order.

We recommend that you finish each individual certification program within a six month period. All NAFC programs must be completed within 18 months from date of purchase. The majority of students complete our Trainer and Group Fitness certification programs within 2-3 months. On average, a dual certification takes about 4 to 6 months to complete. The length of time required to complete a specific NAFC certification largely depends on the student’s dedication and available study time.

Provide proof of your relevant CEC’s, provide proof of current CPR certification, and pay the re-certification fee.

Online theory exams are self-assigned via your My NAFC page. When you are ready to test, click the “Request” button next to the test you wish to take. A unique test code will be emailed to you along with instructions on how to access the testing site.

Once you successfully finish your online course assignments, online written theory and practical exams, and provide proof of CPR Certification, we will issue your certificate within 7-14 business days.

All NAFC Certifications are valid for 24 months. You will need to renew your certification by the end of each 24 month period in order to remain actively certified.  Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor require 27 hours/2.7 NAFC CECs for certification renewal. All other NAFC Certifications require 15 hours/1.5 NAFC CECs for certification renewal. 

Yes. The NAFC accepts a wide variety of continuing education courses from most accredited organizations and colleges.

No. However, instructors are expected to keep their CPR cards up to date. A current CPR status is required for certification renewals.

There is no annual fee, just a re-certification fee of $75.00 ($65.00 each for more than one certification renewed at the same time) when you submit your continuing education credits. The renewal fee is the same for all certifications.

Assignments and Exams

NAFC certification textbooks are written at college freshman level, however, NAFC also offers advanced levels of continuing education through our CEC ongoing courses and workshops.

Wellness consultants must know how to take complete Health Histories and conduct body composition analysis, which are covered in the Fitness Assessment course. Even if a Wellness Consultant does not lead exercise sessions, he or she must understand how fitness directly relates to a healthy lifestyle.

Online theory exams are self-assigned via your My NAFC page. When you are ready to test, click the “Request” button next to the test you wish to take. A unique test code will be emailed to you along with instructions on how to access the testing site.

The online exams take place in your browser and consist of a series of multiple choice questions. You must be using a computer (laptop or desktop) with a webcam in order to begin the test so that we may authenticate you. If you do not have a webcam, you may purchase one at little cost (here for example). You may also use public facilities such as a library where you have access to a webcam. You will have a certain time limit to complete the exam before it is automatically submitted. Upon completion, your exam is immediately graded and your results are emailed to you. Once all tests are passed, congratulations! Your NAFC representative will contact you with your next steps.

Written exams are administered by an NAFC qualified proctor. All proctors are required to submit a complete Curriculum Vitae to be reviewed and approved by the NAFC. You may select a proctor who is willing to monitor and follow the established NAFC exam procedures, however, any candidate selected proctor must submit to the NAFC guidelines and be pre-qualified six weeks prior to the commencement of the examination. The proctor must also return the completed exam in a sealed, pre-addressed, stamped envelope.

The final results will be available immediately following completion of your online examination. If you choose to take a written exam administered by a proctor, results will be issued within one week of exam completion.

If you receive a no pass on the exam, a retake will be necessary. The retake cost is $25.00.