General FAQs

Please explain the Levels of the Youth Fitness Specialist.

The IYCA Educational System was not developed as a basic or single-serving look at the complex topic of youth fitness and sport development.

Our children and teenagers deserve much more than professionals who receive their credentials in a weekend course – with the crisis of youth obesity and lack of appropriate developmental protocols in sport, our youngest generation merit the highest quality in professional care offered by the most well educated individuals possible.

The IYCA Educational System is sub-divided into separate certifications that are constantly evolving. These Certifications will allow you to acquire the information needed to become a Youth Fitness Specialist today.

The entire system covers the following information:

  1. Motor Skill Development
  2. IYCA Developmental System of Training (ages 6 – 18)
  3. Pedagogy and the Art of Coaching
  4. Communication and Learning Styles
  5. Practical Concepts in Programming
  6. Strength, Speed, Agility and Power Development for Young Athletes
  7. Mobility, Flexibility and Sensitive Period Development
  8. Coordination Enhancement and Breakdown
  9. Nutrition for Young Athletes
  10. Endocrine Development
  11. Overtraining Concerns and Programming

Our 4-tiered educational system is broken down as follows:

Level 1 – Youth Fitness Specialist
Home Study and/or Attend Live IYCA Event (refer to the ‘IYCA Events’ page for upcoming seminars)

  1. Topics Covered –
    1. Motor Skill Development (birth through adolescents)
    2. Program Design and Implementation
    3. Practicality of Training
    4. Working with Large Groups or Teams
    5. Art of Coaching
    6. Communication and Learning Styles
  2. Materials –
    1. 5-Hour DVD set
    2. Youth Fitness Specialist Level 1 Manual
  3. Completion Procedure –
    1. Multiple choice exam based on the information presented in the course materials
      (click here for more information on exam submission)

Level 2 – Youth Fitness Specialist
Home Study 
Topics Covered –

  1. Athletic Development Internationally
  2. Motor Skill Development (science)
  3. Coaching Science
  4. Nutrition for Young Athletes
  5. Endocrine Development
  6. Speed and Agility Training
  7. Strength and Power Training
  8. Postural Assessment and Structural Development
  1. Materials –
    1. Developmental Essentials – The Foundations of Youth Conditioning textbook
    2. Audio Study Aid with interviews from textbook authors
  2. Completion Procedure –
    1. Exam consisting of multiple choice, true/false and essay style questions based on the information presented in the course materials (click herefor more information on exam submission)

Level 3 – Youth Fitness Specialist
Home Study – LIVE EVENT (Coming Soon)
Topics Covered –

  1. Coordination Development
  2. Principles of Movement – Speed and Agility
  3. Strength Development – Pre-Teen through High School
  4. Art of Coaching (practical)
  5. Sample Programs
  6. ‘Plug and Play’ Training Templates
  7. Corrective Exercise for Young Athletes
  1. Materials –
    1. 5-Hour DVD set
    2. Level 3 Textbook (including sample programs and exercise depictions)
  2. Completion Procedure –
    1. TBD

What are the prerequisites for the Youth Fitness Specialist Certification?

You must be a high school graduate and have a clean criminal background check. A clean background check means no felony or misdemeanor crimes in the last 7 years, and no child related offenses at any period. If you should have a misdemeanor on your screening results, you are allowed to make an appeal to the IYCA Standards Board.

Do I have to attend a live seminar to get Level 1 certified?

You are certainly welcome to attend one of our certification seminars in order to get your Youth Fitness Level 1 Certification. However, the course is designed for home study, so seminar attendance is not mandatory. In certain instances, our seminars are privately conducted, or are not a certifying seminar. If you do plan to attend an event, please make absolutely certain that the event is appropriate for your interests.

Where can I purchase the Youth Fitness Specialist Level 1?

The YFS1 certificatin is available here:


Where can I purchase the Youth Fitness Specialist Level 2?

The YFS Level 2 certification is available here:


Please note that Level 2 is only available to those who have already passed the YFS Level 1 certification and have a current background screening on file.

Where can I purchase the Youth Fitness Specialist Level 3?

The YFS Level 3 certification is currently being updated. Coming soon.

Where can I find instructions for taking or submitting my exam(s)?

Instructions for exam submission can be found on the Submit Your Exam page

How long before I should expect my results for each level of certification?

For Level 1, when we receive your exam and background check we will send you email confirmation. From the time you receive your confirmation, you should receive your results by the end of the following business week. However, because we rely on a third party to process background checks, it is possible there could be a delay. You may always check the status of your information by emailing Support@IYCASupport.com.

For Level 2 you will also receive email confirmation of our receipt of your exam. Your results should be returned in 4-6 weeks, and will be delivered via email.

What events does the IYCA have coming up in the future?

You can access our upcoming events by going to the IYCA Events Page. Be sure and check our calendar often, as we are constantly updating the events.

How does the IYCA system apply to older athletes, such as those aged 18-21?

Obviously most athletes at that age will have already trained somewhat, but are still at risk of injury (mostly overuse), and are always looking for an edge or advantage that will take them to the next level.

Our system certainly applies to athletes of this age. Most athletes aged 18-21 are terribly weak in critical areas and generally lacking basic, fundamental skills associated with force production/absorption, lift technique and movement adequacy.

The IYCA system has been used to train countless professional, collegiate and Olympic athletes and the system doesn’t change for that demographic. It has taken years to identify ‘leaks’ in an athlete’s physicality (generally speaking) and these are seen across a wide spectrum of sports and ages.

I would like to add the IYCA Logo to my website and/or marketing materials. How can I do this?

The IYCA has designed IYCA – Youth Fitness Specialist logos for you to add to your marketing materials as you progress through the certification levels. Contact our Support Team at support@iycasupport.com and we will send the appropriate material to you.

In addition to the IYCA, are there other organizations from which I should seek credentials?

We have a tremendous amount of respect for all other educational entities within our industry. Your choice of certification will depend largely on the demographic you will be looking to serve once you enter this field.

Each certification body is different in terms of preparing professionals to work with different segments or populations. We pride ourselves on being the ‘Gold Standard’ with respect to training and working with children, youth and teenage participants and athletes.

If you would like more information on organizations that we partner with, please refer to our CEU Provider list.

Will my IYCA credentials be recognized or accepted by other nationally known and recognized certification programs/organizations even though IYCA certifications are not offered through those programs?

Unfortunately, we cannot determine whether or not other certification organizations recognize the IYCA credentials. We can say, however, that the IYCA is the only educational outfit in the entire fitness and sport training industry that works exclusively with the youth demographic.

We have taken great lengths to be sure that the IYCA has been branded and recognized as the ‘Gold Standard’ of educational entities within the youth and adolescent niche.

Our Advisory Committee members represent some of the most well-known, credible and respected members of the fitness, sport, medical, therapeutic and research communities and include professionals such as Dr. John Berardi, Dr. Cynthia LaBella, Dr. Kwame Brown, Stephen Holt, Lee Taft, Dr. Darrell Burnett, Dr. Haley Perlus, Dave Gleason, Wil Fleming, Jim Kielbaso and Dr. Chris Mohr.

Additionally, the IYCA has created international partnerships and affiliations with several organizations within this industry in order to enhance our service offerings and extend our brand worldwide. These partnerships and affiliations include:

Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital
Men’s Health
Sports in Action – Zambia
Millennium Institute of Sport and Health – New Zealand
Perform Better
Club Industry

Why are your fax and phone numbers the same?

Our call center is designed to accept both phone calls and faxes simultaneously. So even if you try to send a fax and you hear the voicemail greeting, if you will let it continue to ring, the call center will recognize the fax tone and switch into fax mode.


What is a CEU?

CEU’s are contact hours of education. 1 CEU of IYCA Programming=1 Contact hour ; 0.5 CEU of Non-IYCA Programming=1 Contact Hour

Why do I need CEUs now?

The IYCA has instituted a continuing education policy to ensure that all our certified members stay current with the changing landscape of youth fitness and performance enhancement. By instituting a requirement that all certified members remain in good standing and actively pursue further knowledge in the field, we can ensure that all credential holders are active in the field, thereby increasing the perceived value of your IYCA credential in the field.

How long is my certification valid? How do I obtain CEUs

Your IYCA Certification is valid for two years (24 months). In order to stay current and not lose standing as an IYCA Certified Professional. You may review our CEU policy here.

The quickest and most efficient way of doing so is to complete another IYCA certification.

How many CEUs do I need to get to remain in good standing?

That depends on how many credentials you hold through the IYCA. If you hold just one credential (or two in the same credential; i.e. YFS Level I and II), then you need 12 CEUs during the two-year report period. If you hold more than one IYCA credential in different certifications, then that total required is increased to 16 CEUs per two-year reporting period.

What IYCA Products qualify for CEUs and how many CEUs do I get for each?

All IYCA products that have an associated CEU value will be designated as such. Usually, IYCA Certifications are worth 12 CEUs, IYCA Instructor Courses are worth 6 CEUs, IYCA Crash Courses are worth 3 CEUs, and other items vary depending upon requirements.

Can I obtain CEUs Through other organizations? If yes, How do I do that?

Yes, for recording purposes, non-IYCA programming is considered Category 2 and is worth 0.5 CEUs per contact hour.

What is a category 1 CEU?

Category 1 CEUs are IYCA programming or IYCA-related professional activity. There is no limit to the total of Category 1 CEU credit that may be applied and 1 contact hour of Category 1 programming is worth 1 CEU of credit.

What is a category 2 CEU?

Category 2 CEU credit involves fitness and conditioning-related programming that is not provided directly through or by the IYCA but has been submitted and approved by the IYCA prior to the event date and presented by an IYCA Approved CEU Provider (Listed at http://iyca.org/ceu-policy/). This may involve workshops, presentations, home studies, and other resources and is worth 0.5 CEUs per contact hour. Additionally, not all CEU requirements (12 hours for one credential and 16 for two+) can be satisfied using Category 2 credit exclusively (a maximum of 10 hours for one credential and 12 hours for two+).

Who do I contact if I have additional Questions?

Refer to the IYCA Continuing Education Policy

When is the Bi Annual Certification Maintenance Fee Due?

Upon submission of your CEUs during the Reporting Period

Do I have to turn in my CPR certificate?

Documentation of any requirements is only mandatory if you have been selected for a random audit.

If you need help, please contact ceu@iyca.org.