Organizations that offer personal training certifications include the American Council on Exercise, the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American College on Sports Medicine, as of 2015. ACE and ACSM are both non-profit organizations, while NASM is a for-profit organization.
All three organizations require personal trainers to be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED and a CPR or AED certification. All three also offer exams that are proctored by a third party. The ACE exam has 150 questions and a time limit of three hours, and applicants can complete it on a computer or with a paper and pencil. The NASM exam has 120 questions and a two-hour time limit and must be completed on a computer. The ACSM exam has 150 questions, a two-and-a-half-hour time limit and also must be completed on a computer.
ACE has accreditations from the National Commission of Certifying Agencies and the European Health and Fitness Association. It's also a member of the Coalition of the Registration of Exercise Professionals. NASM has both accreditations but isn't a member of the CREP. ACSM is a member of the CREP, but is only accredited by the NCCA. The organizations all certify personal trainers and fitness professionals.