Jun 17, 2024  
2019-2020 Professional and Continuing Education Catalog 
2019-2020 Professional and Continuing Education Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Personal Trainer Certificate

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Personal Trainer Certificate Program

Program Website: https://www.oakland.edu/pace/health-sciences/personal-trainer/

Oakland University PACE is proud to partner with World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) to offer a Personal Trainer Certificate Program. Through this program, students complete coursework that prepares them to pass the W.I.T.S. written and practical examinations that are necessary to obtain Certified Personal Trainer - Level 1 (CPT - Level 1) status. This course will give the candidate a solid reputation, credibility, and the confidence to do the job successfully. Our program provides both a practical component and optional internship that allows students real-world practice of course concepts. We look forward to helping you reach your goals and obtain your personal training certification!

W.I.T.S. is approved and recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the American Council on Education (ACE), the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

Course Information


  • 15 hours of lecture and 15 hours of experiential, gym-based training led by an OU fitness expert at OU’s on-campus Recreation Center.
  • Multiple choice and hands-on practical skill competency exam with mock client included ($350 value). OU will send testing materials to W.I.T.S. for scoring and validation of certification.
  • Detailed student workbook and other course materials (textbook separate).
  • The option to receive W.I.T.S. CPT - Level 2 status through the completion of a 30 hour (minimum) internship at a community fitness center; this is included with the cost of program tuition, and can thus be completed at no additional charge.

Tuition Cost

  • $700 for current OU Rec Center members (students and community).
  • $800 for non-members; access to OU’s Rec Center is necessary for program participation, and a 4-month complete membership is included in program tuition.


  • Students are required to purchase The Fitness Professional’s Handbook, 7th Edition by Edward T. Howley and Dixie L. Thompson (ISBN:1492523372). The cost on Amazon is $60, or the e-book can be purchased from various sources (Google Books, the W.I.T.S. website, etc.) for anywhere from $38-$53.

Certificate Scope
Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Achievement and a voucher to take the CPT - Level 1 written and practical examinations. Upon successful passage of the written and practical examinations, certification as a W.I.T.S. CPT - Level 1 demonstrates entry-level fitness specific competency and a commitment to consumer safety. Individuals with the certification help to improve overall health and fitness of clients ranging in age, health and fitness status through the development and implementation of fitness programs required for practice in the service industry in the United States. Individuals who earn the CPT - Level 1 designation are qualified to implement personalized exercise programs with clients that have no special medical conditions nor specialized physical limitations that would require advanced knowledge or skills.

The option to complete the CPT - Level 2 Internship is included with the price of tuition. Students will work with PACE to determine a host site and coordinate a plan of work for completion of the internship. 

Click here to view the W.I.T.S. Candidate Handbook (December 2017)

Benefits of Completing the Certification

By successfully passing the examinations after the completion of the course and becoming certified, individuals demonstrate to employers a commitment to their profession. They have challenged their knowledge against a national examination and against accepted national standards. By maintaining their certification year after year, they demonstrate that professional growth and development is important to their performance as professionals. Although certification is voluntary for the majority of professionals who hold it, many employers have come to expect it and make it a condition for employment. For consumers, certification provides a level of assurance that certificants are professionally qualified to do what they claim they can do.

Eligibility Criteria

All candidates for certification must meet all the eligibility requirements established by the W.I.T.S. Certification Council (“Council”), which was established in 2016 to promote the highest standards for fitness professionals through the development, implementation, coordination and evaluation of all aspects of the certification and certification renewal processes.

Each eligibility requirement has been established to ensure that entry-level individuals certified by W.I.T.S. have an acceptable level of knowledge and personal-training practical skill needed to demonstrate personal training-specific competency and a commitment to consumer safety in addressing health and fitness challenges and to assist people of all fitness levels reach their personal fitness goals. In establishing these requirements, the Certification Council acknowledges that a combination of work education, training and demonstrated knowledge are essential for individuals earning the CPT - Level 1 credential.

All candidates must meet the following criteria to earn the CPT-Level I Certification:

  • Age: Minimum of 18 years
  • Education: Minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED)
  • Training: Valid Adult CPR/AED Certification*
  • Ethics: Agree to adhere to the W.I.T.S. Code of Ethics
  • Written Examination: Passing score on the CPT - Level I multiple-choice examination
  • Practical Examination: Passing score on the CPT - Level I practical examination

Applicants who fail to demonstrate that they meet all of the eligibility requirements will not be permitted to take the CPT - Level I examination.

*A live, hands-on skills assessment verified by a qualified CPR instructor is required. CPR/AED courses are offered at OU. Courses can be scheduled at the students’ convenience (they are on demand) by contacting the instructor, Mary Anne Mikus at mikus@oakland.edu. Complete information can be found on the website: https://www.oakland.edu/pace/health-sciences/exs/

Exam Scheduling and Recertification

The $350 testing fee is included with your course tuition. All applications for testing must be received by W.I.T.S. a minimum of 35 days prior to the requested test date. W.I.T.S. certification staff will review and process all applications and supporting documentation within three to five business days. Applicants whose applications are completed and approved are scheduled for testing and receive, via email, a notification with instructions to download and print the authorization to test confirming the requested test date, location and exam day instructions. W.I.T.S. certification staff add eligible candidates to the test site’s official roster.

Register here to take the exam: witseducation.com/fit/certification/test-voucher-registration

CPT - Level I certificants are required to recertify every two years by earning 20 hours of continuing education credits, signing the Code of Ethics, and submitting a current copy of the Adult CPR/AED certification. Recertification includes submission of a completed recertification application and recertification fee ($75).

More information about recertification and options for obtaining continuing education credits can be found here: witseducation.com/fit/certification/continuing-education-credits-and-renewals


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