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CPTN Certified Older Adult Training Specialist (CPTN-COATS)

Requirements to be completed within 6 months of passing Online Exam

CPTN Certified Older Adult Training Specialist candidates must:

Note: Candidates will have up to 6 months to submit the requirements listed above (First Aid, CPR, Personal Trainer Certificate) after passing the online exam or complete retesting would be required.

Getting Started

To become an Older Adult Training Specialist follow these three simple steps below:

1. Ensure You Meet the Requirements

  1. Ensure that your Personal Trainer Certification, CPR and First Aid status are current.
  2. Register for and complete the Older Adult Training – Part 1 workshop.
  3. Register for and complete the Older Adult Training – Part 2 workshop.

2. Review for the examination

Review the material in the course text and notes taken from the workshops. All the theory exam questions originate from material covered in the course text and the workshops.

3. Write the Certification Theory Exam

When you feel confident of your acquired knowledge you can write the theory exam online on the Examinations page.

Note: The exam will begin right after completion of registration and payment. Your score will be shown at the end. If a passing mark was achieved, we will then e-mail instructions for the practical exam within 5 BUSINESS DAYS.

The sections below review the information covered in each of the workshops.

Participants Will Be Able To:

  • Articulate the physiological and psychological aspects of aging
  • Define common health conditions amongst the older adult i.e. stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, joint conditions, cardiovascular conditions, Parkinson’s
  • Identify medications and their exercise implications such as beta-blockers, anti-inflammatory drugs, laxatives, blood pressure medications, antidepressants
  • Gain awareness of different modes of training from on-land to aquatic environments
  • Describe modifications for various exercises to address the needs of the active to the frail older adult
  • Identify strategies and exercises to prevent falls and injuries amongst older adults
  • Gain awareness on appropriate consultation and communication skills for needs assessments, exercise planning, instruction, retention and promotions
  • Review current research at Baycrest Centre on Exercise and Brain Health
  • Apply exercises to maximize brain function

Older Adult Training - Part 1: Theory and Methodology (2 days)

  • Pre-exercise and Health Screening.
  • Interpersonal Communication/ Consulting Skills.
  • Specific Exercise Principles for Older Adults.
  • Physiological Aspects of Aging.
  • Psychological Aspects of Aging.
  • Exercise Considerations for Medical Conditions.
  • Adapted Aerobic Fitness Research.
  • Medication and Exercise.
  • Diabetes, Exercise & Brain Health Research.
  • Use of exercise equipment.

Older Adult Training - Part 2: Practical Applications (2 days)

  • Benefits of Water Exercise
  • Review Strength Training Principles Exercise Repetition Maximum & Stroke Circuit
  • Exercise Precautions: Exercise Repetition Maximum & Circuit
  • Client Case Study presentation i.e. program for stroke survivors
  • Water Exercise-Use of exercise props
  • Factors Related to Falls (Intrinsic/Extrinsic factors)
  • Fall Proof Strategies
  • Overview of CPTN Older Adult Specialist Certification

Theory Examination Guidelines

The theory exam will cover the following areas related to Older Adult training. The theory exam format is 120 multiple-choice questions. The theory exam is 180 minutes (3 hours) in length and the passing grade is 75% or 90/120.

  • Pre-exercise and Health Screening
  • Interpersonal Communication and Consulting Skills
  • Specific Exercise Principles for Older Adults
  • Physiological Aspects of Aging
  • Psychological Aspects of Aging: Physical Activity benefits
  • Exercise Considerations for Medical Conditions
  • Medication and Exercise
  • Diabetes, Exercise and Brain Health Research
  • Benefits of Water Exercise
  • Strength Training Principles
  • Falls
  • Balance and Mobility
  • Chair Exercise Classes
  • Physiological Aspects of Aging: Aerobic Capacity
  • Strength Training
  • 5 Case Studies

Note: The prerequisites are to be completed within 6 months of passing the theory exam for practical exam eligiblity.

Practical Assessment Guidelines

The practical assessment for the Older Adult Training Specialist distinction is based on a written assignment consisting of 2 case studies. Candidates will be assessed on presentation and coherence in knowledge of training principles, safety, acute training variables, and appropriateness of program design for clients.

Recommended Texts


  • Passing Grade: Theory Exam – 75% / Practical Exam – 75%


  • You will earn the designation CPTN-COATS.


Exams: Theory Exam – 180 minutes (3 hours) / Practical Exam (Information will be provided upon successful completion of the theory exam)

Fee (HST included): CPTN Member $204.75 CAD / Non-member $262.50 CAD. Fees include both theory and practical exams.