AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification

Obtaining AEA Certification is the Gold Standard in the Industry

Please see the links at the bottom of this page for important documents pertaining to obtaining AEA Certification.

The Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification (AFPC) is an intermediate level certification designed to test a standard level of theoretical and practical competence and skill. The AEA Certified Professional is qualified to teach Aquatic Fitness to general populations where participants are approved by their physician for independent exercise. Thus, selecting an instructor, or trainer, who holds the AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification helps ensure that participants will meet their health and fitness objectives through safe, effective and enjoyable water exercise.

The AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification (AFPC) is based upon the Aquatic Fitness Professional Manual. The AFP Manual, published by Human Kinetics, features some of the most recent research in aquatic fitness, in addition to recently revised industry standards and guidelines.

AEA examination procedures follow guidelines set forth by CLEAR (The Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation). The Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification provides a higher level of service to the community by establishing a standard level of competency for the aquatic fitness professional.  


  • Candidates must be 18 years of age or older. Candidates under the age of 18 must contact AEA for registration information and requirements.
  • Candidates must have current CPR and AED certifications


  • Exam locations can be found on the AEA website under the “Calendar” menu.
  • Candidates must complete the AFPC questionnaire when registering for the exam.
  • It is recommended to register at least 30 days prior to the exam date.
  • Candidates must bring their registration confirmation to the exam site.

Statement of Nondiscrimination

AEA does not discriminate among examination candidates on the basis of gender, age, religion, race, national origin, marital status or disability.

Special Assistance

AEA will assist with special arrangements for Candidates who have a medical and/or learning disability that may prevent taking the examination under standard conditions. Candidates requiring special assistance must request and complete the AFPC Examination Assistance Form.

During the examination registration process, you will be prompted to select AFPC Examination Assistance and the form will then be emailed to you separately for completion. The form and requested documents must be received no later than 30 days prior to the examination date. In accordance with the ADA, documentation of the disability from a qualified health care provider must be provided. AEA will make every effort to provide the requested accommodations or provide acceptable alternatives to assist the Candidate. 

Examination Day & Scoring Procedures

  • The Exam Administrator will facilitate candidate admittance to the examination. Absolutely no walk-in candidates will be admitted!
  • Candidates must bring No.2 pencils to complete the examination.
  • On-site exam registration area will begin at 3:30. Candidates arriving late may be denied admittance.
  • All candidates taking the exam must show government issued photo identification.
  • If CPR/AED was not provided with registration, this should be verified at check in.
  • Candidates will only be permitted to have the examination booklet and bubble sheet to record answers, non-programmable calculator, pencils and erasers, and water/snacks with them during the examination.
  • Candidates are not permitted to leave the examination room while taking the exam.
  • No copying of examination questions is permitted. 
  • Any Candidate found removing, or attempting to remove, test materials or notes from the exam room, communicating with other candidates, or participating in any form of misconduct, will be denied certification.
  • Candidates will have 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the 100 question multiple-choice exam.
  • There is only one correct answer for each question. Indicating more than one response for any question will result in that question being incorrect.
  • Candidates MAY NOT ask the Exam Administrator for help with any questions or discuss the examination for any reason during or after the examination.  

Cancellation/Refund Policy

All AFPC Examination cancellations or transfers must be submitted in writing and received 14 days prior to the scheduled examination. The cancellation fee is $50.00. The Examination transfer fee is $25.00. NOTE: Only one (1) transfer is permitted within 18 months of original examination date.

Should it be necessary for AEA to cancel an examination, all candidates will be notified by email or phone. Candidates will be given the opportunity to transfer to another location at no additional cost or issued a full refund for examination registration fees paid.

Candidates who “no show” to take the examination at their confirmed date and location and have not cancelled in writing as required, will forfeit their registration fee.

Certification Oversight Committee & Testing Company

The Certification Oversight Committee (COC) is a voluntary committee comprised of professionals from the aquatic fitness industry and other industry related professions to represent public health and safety and the individual seeking Certification. The committee is responsible for overseeing the affairs and matters regarding Certification and acts and votes independently of the AEA Board of Directors.

Independent Testing & Scoring Agency

Fitness Learning Systems (FLS) is the independent testing company contracted by AEA to develop, administer, score and analyze the AFPC Examination based upon criteria approved by the AEA COC.

Certification Candidate Cut Score:

For the Aquatic Fitness Professional Examination (circa 2009), AEA uses a 68% cut score.   This means that all candidates who take the exam and earn a score of 68% or higher pass the test.  The cut score has been determined to be the level at which approximately 78% of candidates pass the exam.  This is equivalent to other certifying groups in the fitness industry.

Certification Candidate Pass Rate:

Aquatic Fitness Professional Examination Combined Statistics


% Pass

% Fail

Test Reliability

Standard Error of Measurement











Retake Certification

Please refer to the below listed AEA Certification Handbook for details on retaking the AEA Certification Exam.

For complete details on the Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification purpose, the development of the certification examination, and general certification procedures, please refer to the Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification Candidate Handbook listed below.  For unanswered queastions, you may request the AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification Policies and Procedures.

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