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

Discuss the platform between yourself and your CPFT examiner. Online options are Zoom, Google meets, etc. You can also choose video and share via youtube, google docs, etc.
In person examinations are acceptable where AHS guidelines allow.

Space Requirements
You will need access to a space where you can:

  1. sit down and perform your client consultation, e.g., desk, table
  2. perform the Client Health Assessment Profile (CHAP) – see equipment requirements below
  3. easily access your equipment (mats, dumbbells, tubing, etc. - whatever equipment you have available to you)

The space you use for your practical assessment does not have to be in a formal fitness centre setting. It can be a studio, home office, etc. The space does need to accommodate setting up a portable device (camera, laptop, etc.) so the Examiner can get a clear view to assess your discussion, CHAP skills and exercise demonstration skills.

Equipment Requirements
Understanding what 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 your CPFT resource manual, and follow the equipment set up requirements as outlined.

Other Requirements
You need a volunteer that is willing to play the role of your client. They need to agree to video your demonstration (if you choose videotaping vs. zoom). . Ensure that you follow all AHS guidelines in place at the time of your assessment, e.g. masking, distance.


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. 

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

To help you prepare for your practical assessment, you can also purchase the CPFT resource manual. If you registered in Fitness Alberta's CPFT course, then you already have access to this online resource.

Process and timeline

Below is the process you can expect for your CPFT practical assessment. 

Expect your practical assessment to take from 1.5 to 2 hours. Make sure to pre-arrange the time with your CPFT examiner in advance, two to four weeks before your scheduled practical assessment date. This will
ensure that you can complete your practical assessment without interruption, and that you can complete your requirements for certification on time.

  • 1

    Client consultation

    Your examiner might 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, etc.) You’re expected to complete your client consultation using the counselling techniques outlined in the CPFT Resource manual (Motivational interviewing, Stages of behavour change, SMART goals).

  • 2

    Client Health Assessment Profile

    You’ll be expected to complete the CHAP on your client following the guidelines laid out through the assessment protocols in the CPFT resource manual.

  • 3

    Goal setting and program design

    Based on the information you obtain from your consultation with your client, and the results of your CHAP and goal-setting discussion you’ll be expected to create an initial exercise program design (warm up, cardiovascular exercise, muscle conditioning, stretches, etc.). 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. It must address the needs and requirements of your mock client, and take into consideration any information you’ve been given about their history.

  • 4

    Program demonstration and setup

    Demonstrate taking your client through the exercise program that you created in Step Three of the examination process. Include name of the exercise, purpose, demonstration and client set up.

Register for your practical assessment

Register for your practical assessment