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R.Kin vs. CSEP-CEP

registered kinesiologist

Differences: R.Kin (Registered Kinesiologist) vs CSEP-CEP (Certified Exercise Physiologist)

Differences between R.Kin (Registered Kinesiologist) and CSEP-CEP (Exercise Physiologist)

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R.Kin or Registered Kinesiologist is a Regulated Health Profession in Ontario.

CSEP-CEP or Certified Exercise Physiologist is a certification for Exercise Physiology in Canada.

R.Kin (Registered Kinesiologist)

R.Kin- Designation for Kinesiologists as a Regulated Health Profession in Ontario by the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario (COKO)

COKO defines: The scope of practice of kinesiology is defined as “the assessment of human movement and performance and its rehabilitation and management to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement and performance.” This scope is broad and includes many distinct areas of practice, which may be referred to differently, but are considered kinesiology services. Some examples include athletic therapy, ergonomics, exercise physiology, strength conditioning and rehabilitation therapy. At the same time, there are many types of therapies, competencies or practices that are not within scope, such as psychological counselling or vision testing.

Kinesiology incorporates the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology and neuroscience into an all-encompassing healthcare practice. Kinesiologists use the latest evidence-based research to treat and prevent injury and disease, and to improve movement and performance. Kinesiologists work with people of all ages and physical abilities in many settings to help them achieve their health and wellness goals, and improve quality of life. Some areas of kinesiology practice include:

  • health promotion
  • injury rehabilitation
  • pain and chronic disease management
  • ergonomics and workplace safety
  • fitness training and athletics
  • return to work planning and disability management
  • public health

To register with the College, an individual must:

  • have a degree in kinesiology that is at least four years in length, or a degree that is similar (e.g. physical education, human kinetics).
  • submit a criminal record check to the College.
  • pass the College’s entry-to-practice exam.

Once registered, they are permitted to use the titles “kinesiologist”, “registered kinesiologist” and the designation “R.Kin”. All kinesiologists have a registration number which they should provide on their invoices.

Kinesiology services are not covered by OHIP. However, some extended health plans cover kinesiology services and/or treatments and assessments under the scope of practice of kinesiology; check your individual plan. You may also submit out-of-pocket kinesiology expenses on your annual tax return.

 Kinesiologist’s in Canada (CKA)


CKA: Core Areas of Study — Applicant must have university credit in each of the following four Core Areas of Study:

  1. Human Anatomy: gross human anatomy of the neuromuscular system.
  2. Human Physiology: physiology and patho-physiology of the muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, gastrointestinal and neural systems.
  3. Biomechanics: anthropometric, neural and Newtonian mechanical considerations in the qualitative and quantitative analysis of human movement.
  4. Psychomotor Behaviour / Motor Control & Learning: information processing in human motor performance and the principles of learning and performing motor skills.

Services provided by Kins according to CKA:

  • Clinical/ Rehab
  • Health promotion
  • Ergonomics
  • Health and safety
  • Disability management

Members are registered with their respective PKA (Provincial Kinesiology Association) and CKA. In addition, for Kinesiologists practicing in Ontario, they also must be registered with the Ontario College of Kinesiologists (COKO).

CSEP- CEP (Certified Exercise Physiologist)

CSEP-CEP: Certification for Exercise Physiologist in Canada by the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CESP).

A CSEP-CEP works with individuals from diverse populations to meet their healthy lifestyle, performance and occupational goals by applying advanced education, skills, and experience

A CSEP Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CSEP-CEP) will have successfully completed a program of at least 4 years related to the basic skills areas of CSEP-CEP at a university or college. All applications are reviewed by the CSEP before the CSEP certification process begins. CSEP-CEP conducts various health and fitness assessments. They also prescribe and supervise exercise programs, provide advice and provide education on healthy lifestyles to general populations, including high performance athletes and people with chronic health conditions. , functional limitations or disabilities.

Pre-Requisite is 4 year Kinesiology degree including:

Core competency:

  • Foundations: Anatomy, biomechanics, and exercise physiology
  • Health and exercise psychology
  • Client screening and evaluation
  • Advance fitness assessment and exercise prescription
  • Clinical assessment and pharmacology
  • Special population: Children, older adults, pregnancy, disabilities, chronic conditions and injury
  • High performance athlete
  • Workplace and fitness
  • Lifestyle literacy
  • Professional Practice

The CSEP-CEP Candidates must show that they have graduated* from an appropriate Undergraduate program with successful completion of at least 120 credits at the post-secondary level.

The CSEP-CEP Candidate must show that their course work meets all of the Core Competencies outlined for the CSEP-CEP. In some cases the CSEP-CEP Candidate may be required to provide course outlines to support their application.

Proof (for example, letter from Education Supervisor, or from Supervisor of work/volunteer experience, or logbook copy) of at least 100 hours of practical experience is REQUIRED.

CSEP-CEP Candidates must provide documentation confirming that the candidate has completed a co-op, work and/or volunteer experience in health-related fitness (healthy and chronic condition populations), and/or performance-related (work and/or sport) fitness.

In curriculum lab and peer-testing experience does not count for this requirement; however, experiential learning that includes working with individuals from the community that fall within the chronic condition, athlete or work populations, would qualify.

Once a candidate’s application is approved they are required to:

  • Successfully challenge the CSEP-CEP Theory and Practical Exams
  • Register with CSEP
  • Complete a course in emergency first-aid and hold a current/valid CPR level C

CSEP authorizes CSEP-CEP to:

  1. Perform pre-participation assessments, perform various health and fitness assessments, prescribe and supervise exercise programs and provide advice and education on healthy living habits to general populations, athletes high performance and people of all ages with chronic health conditions, functional limitations or disabilities.
  2. Using evidence-based tools, conduct pre-participation assessments within their jurisdictions that will lead to the establishment of personalized exercise and physical activity program recommendations.
  3. Accept clients referred by health professionals recognized as being trained and certified to diagnose and treat acute or chronic medical problems. PECs can allow clients with chronic conditions to work with a CPE. However, it is necessary to obtain the authorization of a doctor if the health problem is unstable.
  4. Use evidence-based behaviour modification models to facilitate participation in physical activity and exercise as well as lifestyle modification.
  5. Interpret the results of overall physical fitness assessment protocols to determine health status, physical functioning, job capacity or athletic performance.
  6. Monitor the influence of commonly used medications on the response to sub-maximal and maximal exercise during assessments or workouts.
  7. Use the results of objective health and fitness assessments to design and establish safe and effective exercise and physical activity prescriptions for healthy and unhealthy populations.
  8. Make general, evidence-based dietary recommendations, if such knowledge is within their jurisdiction, while being able to determine when the client should be referred to a dietitian for more specialized advice.
  9. Measure and monitor heart rate, electrical activity of the heart (using an ECG), and blood pressure (by auscultation, except in the presence of hearing loss) at rest, during exercise, and after exercise. These measurements can be used to identify, not diagnose, irregularities at rest and during sub-maximal and maximal exercise.
  10. Collect blood samples using a finger prick (capillary) or venous sample, provided that you comply with the requirements of the current CSEP blood collection policy.
  11. Conduct physical activity or group exercise sessions with participants who have undergone appropriate screening assessments. These sessions may include any aerobic, resistance, balance or flexibility exercise, alone or in combination, that falls within the scope of the CEP. Additional training and certification must be obtained to ensure that PECs have the skills necessary for different modalities of practice, if applicable.

CSEP-CEP are not authorized by CSEP to:

Diagnose pathologies based on any evaluation or observation.

Main Differences:

  • R.Kin is billable by insurance as a regulated health profession in Ontario; Exercise Physiologist services are not billable by insurance as a healthcare service.
  • All R.Kin’s can become a CEP, and every CEP can become an R.Kin (*If practicing in Ontario)
  • Both can be involved in healthcare or health & fitness.
  • R.Kin is a self-regulated profession. This means that the government has allowed the profession, through a college, to develop rules to regulate that profession. In exchange for this privilege, these rules must protect the public’s right to competent, safe and ethical care. CEP is governed by the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology.

We hope this article helped clarify the main differences between the two designations/certifications. Let us know in the comments below if we missed anything. I’d also like to hear your thoughts about this subject. Do you feel like there is a need to regulate Kinesiology or should we just leave it to the exercise physiologists to help us with our exercise? LET US KNOW!

Spencer at Kinformation

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