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The ISSN-SNS - Sports Nutrition Specialist Certification
The ISSN-SNS is our 'introductory' sports nutrition certification. For information on our advanced certification (the CISSN), click here: https://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/CISSN.html
Although no formal post-secondary course work is required, candidates are expected to have a working knowledge of basic exercise training, general nutrition, sports supplements, and familiarity with the ISSN's current position papers. To qualify to register for the ISSN-SNS exam, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Summary of how to study for and then take the ISSN-SNS exam
1A. Buy this book. Read it from cover to cover. Memorize all of the salient facts and concepts. http://linusbooks.com/?wpsc-product=sports-nutrition-performance-enhancing-supplements
1B. The CISSN and ISSN-SNS Study Guide by Jose Antonio PhD is primarily based on the textbook above. https://www.amazon.com/CISSN-ISSN-SNS-Study-Guide-Antonio/dp/1537616609/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1478533793&sr=8-3&keywords=CISSN
2. Answer all of the questions in this study guide. Memorize the answers. http://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/CERTBrochures/cissnandsnsstud.pdf
3. Read all of the ISSN Position Stands. Memorize all of the salient facts and concepts. http://www.jissn.com/series/ISSNPosP
4. Read all of the latest articles (within the last 2 years) published in the JISSN. http://www.jissn.com/content
5. After several weeks of studying, you are then ready to take the ISSN-SNS exam. https://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/CertificationsDetails.php?IDcert=69 (Note: the best way to maintain your CEUs for the CISSN is to 1) maintain your membership and 2) attend an the ISSN National Meeting held every June at least every other year).
6. Please note that all exams are given in English.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does ISSN-SNS stand for?
Sports Nutrition Specialist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Where can I register to take the ISSN-SNS exam online?
Go to this page: https://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/CertificationsDetails.php?IDcert=69
Who should take the ISSN-SNS exam?
Personal Trainers or Other Fitness Professionals who do not hold a 4-year University/College degree.
Do I have to be a member of the ISSN to take the ISSN-SNS Exam?
No. However, it is mandatory that you are an ISSN member in order to maintain your SNS credential.
Why should you earn the ISSN-SNS?
It is critical for all health/fitness/medical professionals who work with athletes or active individuals to have a fundamental understanding of the adaptive response to exercise and the role that nutrition plays in the acute and chronic response to exercise. Furthermore, for those who do not attain a 4-year college degree, the SNS provides an avenue in which he or she can maintain the knowledge base needed to provide sound information on sports nutrition and supplementation.
What are the requirements to be eligible to take the ISSN-SNS examination?
Although no formal post-secondary course work is required, candidates are expected to have a working knowledge of basic exercise training, general nutrition, sports supplements, and are familiar with the ISSN's current position papers. To qualify to register for the SNS exam, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Are there any state-by-state (United States) regulations regarding Sports Nutrition?
There are no state-by-state regulations for becoming either a CISSN (Certified Sports Nutritionist) or ISSN-SNS (Sports Nutrition Specialist). Legally, personal trainers can and do provide sports nutrition information or general education to clients for the purpose of enhancing physical performance as well as body composition.
With regards to MNT or medical nutrition therapy, in addition to RDs, many non-RD professionals are indeed official MNT providers for Medicare. Also, MNT is in many state licensing statutes, where many non-RDs are licensed, and legally can and do perform MNT. Before providing any fee for service nutrition guidance or counseling that might involve medical nutrition therapy (i.e., nutritional plans, assessment for diabetics, people with high blood pressure or heart disease, etc), please check with your particular state laws and guidelines. For non USA residents, please check the laws in your country.
Do you have to score 100% on the test to pass it?
If you pass the 100-question (multiple choice, true or false format) examination with a score of 70% or higher, you will be awarded the ISSN-SNS. You will have 85 minutes to complete the ISSN-SNS exam.
How do you prepare for the ISSN-SNS?
The focus of the ISSN-SNS exam is on the practical aspects of sports nutrition. Reviewing the ISSN position stands and current supplement research will be beneficial, as well as specific aspects of the Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements textbook. Exercise physiology, metabolism and bioenergetics are minor components of the SNS exam and should not be the center focus of preparation. There is NOT a formal course that you must take. Most prepare for this exam via self-study.
Study the following scientific papers published in JISSN. This link has ALL of the Position Papers you'll need to know for the exam: http://www.jissn.com/series/ISSNPosP
What book and/or study guide will help you prepare for the ISSN-SNS?
Sports Nutrition and Performance Enhancing Supplements Eds. Abbie Smith-Ryan and Jose Antonio. ISBN: 1-60797-339-1 (Publisher: Linus - http://www.linusbooks.com/more_details.php?id=543 )
Where and when can I take the ISSN-SNS examination?
Please go to this link: http://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/certifications.html
Is there an ISSN-SNS Practice Exam?
Yes. Go to this link if you want to take a practice exam first. http://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/Online-Tests.html
Can I take the ISSN-SNS without having to go to an officially scheduled examination site?
You can take it online at ANY time. However, if you take it with a group (6 individuals who are non-students but are Professional members) setting proctored by a fitness/gym owner, you will receive a 50% off discount coupon code. If you are a student member and take it with a group of at least 6 total students proctored in a unversity setting, then you will receive a 50% off discount coupon code. https://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/Online-Tests.html Discounts do not apply to paper and pencil exams
What is a passing score?
70% or higher. If you do pass, in order to receive the certificate, you must be a paid member of the ISSN.
Will you receive a numerical score or a pass/fail grading?
You will receive a notification of passing or failing.
How long does the certification remain valid if I do not maintain an active membership?
Do you offer group discounts?
Yes. If you can take the exam with at least 6 other ISSN members, the cost will be cut by 50%.
How do I maintain CEUs?
ISSN will randomly select individuals with the ISSN-SNS credential and request evidence that they have met the CEU requirements. Please keep any and all proof of registration and accomplishment as it applies to Continuing Education Units. Some ways to maintain CEUs are listed below. It is mandatory that you have an active paid membership. NOTE: Certificates for CEUs are handed out at the end of the ISSN Conference each year. If you do not pick it up at the conference, you will be charged a processing fee of $49 dollars if you contact the ISSN office at a later date. It is a total fee of $49 per event. Thus, if you need proof of attendance for 2 events, the total cost is $98. Also, only certificates dating 2006 to present can be provided.
What are CEUs?
You need to earn 6 CEU per year to maintain the ISSN-SNS or 30 CEUs every five years. It is mandatory that you are a member of the ISSN to maintain your certification. The EASIEST way to maintain CEUs is by attending the national conference or by completing the online quiz available at this link: http://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/Online-Tests.html
- Present at the national or regional ISSN Conference - 6 CEU
- Serve as President, VP, Secretary or Student Representative or ISSN Volunteer - 6 CEU
- Publish in the JISSN - 6 CEU
- Attend the United States National ISSN conference - 15 CEU
- Attend any of the International ISSN conferences (e.g., Brasil, UK, Ireland, etc) - 6 CEU
- Attend a regional ISSN workshop - 6 CEU
- Attend an approved non-ISSN event (e.g., NSCA) - 3 (these are on a case by case basis and must be approved by the ISSN prior to applying for these continuing education credits).
- Complete an online CEU Quiz - 6 CEU - this is a popular choice among non-USA residents. One every year is enough to satisfy the CEU requirements. http://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/Online-Tests.html However, due to the limited number of online CEU quizzes, it is imperative that you attend at least one national conference every 4 years.
If you have further questions about the CISSN or SNS Exams, please contact Douglas Kalman, PhD, RD, FISSN at Dougkalman@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org