What Does It Take to Be Certified for Sport®
NSF International’s Certified for Sport® program helps athletes, dieticians, coaches and consumers make safer decisions when choosing sports supplements. Certified for Sport® is the only independent third-party certification program recognized by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the Canadian Football League. Certified for Sport® is also recommended by the NFL, NBA, PGA, LPGA, CCES, CPSDA, iNADO, Ironman, NASCAR, Taylor Hooton Foundation and many other organizations seeking to mitigate the risks of contaminated dietary supplements.
Manufacturers that pursue certification undergo product testing for 280 banned substances, label content confirmation, a formulation and label review, production facility and supplier inspections, and ongoing monitoring in line with prohibited substance lists of the NFL and MLB as well as NSF Annex C.
Steps to Certification
Companies that pursue certification to Certified for Sport® go through these steps:
Step 1 – GMP Registration
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) registration verifies that the product is manufactured, packaged and stored in a facility that is audited twice annually for quality and safety in compliance with federal regulations for dietary supplements GMPs.
GMP registration includes:
- Audits of all production facilities that manufacture, package, warehouse or distribute dietary supplements or functional foods
- Review of quality control testing procedures for raw materials and finished products
- Review of maintenance, housekeeping, cleaning and sanitization procedures
- Review of sourcing and traceability procedures
- Review of training and qualification programs
- Review of internal SOPs
- Review of product recall procedures
Step 2 – Contents Tested & Certified Certification
Once step 1 is complete, NSF experts evaluate the product contents. They then test the finished product to verify that it contains no unsafe levels of contaminants and meets the claims and contents shown on the product label.
Annual Laboratory Testing/Analysis
- Label content verification
- Microbiological and heavy metals
- Protein and caffeine verification
- Disintegration testing
- Ongoing monitoring
- Review of formulation/supplier changes by NSF experts, including documentation and tested if justified
- NSF auditor review and confirmation of formulation at future GMP audits
- Ongoing annual testing of product for compliance
Step 3 – Certified for Sport® Certification
Once steps 1 and 2 are completed, production lots are then tested to ensure they are free from 280 banned substances. NSF experts continue to integrate newly banned substances to ensure we are on the cutting edge of banned substance testing in the marketplace. Certified for Sport® is recognized and respected by many major sport organizations. At this point, the Certified for Sport® mark can be shown on the product label.
Banned substance testing includes:
- Drugs of abuse
- Anabolic agents
- Beta-2 agonists
- Masking agents
- Hormone antagonists
- Hormone and metabolic modulators
- Growth hormone-releasing peptides
- Beta blockers
Lots tested will be listed online at nsfsport.com and in the Certified for Sport® app.