Coach Certification

Transition Phase

To enable practicing health and wellness coaches to earn the designation of National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) prior to the Permanent Phase, ICHWC has implemented a Transition Phase. The Transition Phase will continue until the Permanent Phase standards and approval procedures are implemented. Practicing coaches are encouraged to apply to complete the HWC Certifying Examination during the Transition Phase.

National Board Certification of Health & Wellness Coaches

To earn the designation of National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) during Transition Phase and the Permanent Phase, health and wellness coaches must meet the eligibility requirements summarized below for each phase, and then pass the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination.

The objective of the national certification is to provide a minimum standard and measure of foundational competencies: the knowledge, tasks and skills essential to the practice of health and wellness coaching. Eligible individuals can now apply to become a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC).

National Board Certification of Health & Wellness Coaches:

  • Please review the Bulletin of Information for details about the September 2017 exam.
  • The first examination is scheduled for September 2 – 16, 2017, and will be administered at over 340 Prometric sites throughout the United States.  The application period for the September 2017 exam is now closed.
  • We will begin to accept applications for the second exam on January 2, 2018 – March 15, 2018
  • The second examination is scheduled for June 15 – 30, 2018, and will be administered at over 340 Prometric sites throughout the United States.
  • In 2018 and beyond, applicants will be able to register for the examination twice a year.
Application Period Exam Dates
First Exam  February 1 – May 15, 2017 (Closed) September 1-16, 2017
Second Exam January 2 – March 15, 2018 June 15 – 30, 2018
Third Exam May 1 – June 30, 2018 November 1 – 15, 2018

To prepare for the examination:

To earn the designation of National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) during the Transition Phase, the following requirements must be met. A list of Approved Transition Programs is available below.  Visit the Credentials – Organizations page to learn more about Approved Transition Programs.

 

If you have completed an Approved Transition Program, and you would like to apply to sit for the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination, you will need to provide:

  1. Demographic information (e.g. education, work experience) for research purposes
  2. Documentation of an Associates degree or higher in any field.
    1. For those who do not have an Associates degree, exam candidates will need to provide documentation of 4,000 hours of work experience in any field. 
    2. If you have completed an associate degree or higher, please complete the HWC Education Declaration document
    3. If you have not completed an associate degree or higher, please complete the Work Experience Log.
    4. 10% of all exam applicants will be audited and asked to provide a transcript of their highest degree
  3. A certificate of completion from an Approved Transition Program. (If you do not have a certificate of completion, the ICHWC can contact your program directly for verification.) NOTE: If your program has an asterisk next to it, please include documentation of completion of the additional requirement. You must complete any additional requirement by May 15, 2017. If you do not have a certificate of completion from the program you attended, the ICHWC will contact your program for verification.
  4. A written log of 50 health and wellness coaching sessions of at least 20 minutes in duration, and of which at least 75% of each session is devoted to coaching facilitation and not education:.
    1. Please download and complete the log at ICHWC Coaching Log
    2. Coaching sessions may not be with friends, family or classmates.
    3. Coaching sessions can be either paid or pro bono.
    4. Coaching log to includes coded identity, date and time, session number (e.g. 1, 2, 3 etc.) and coaching topics.
    5. In lieu of providing a coaching log documenting 50 sessions, applicants who are limited by their employer’s regulations may submit a letter from their supervisor on company letterhead stating they have completed 50 health and wellness coaching sessions of at least 20 minutes in duration, and of which at least 75% of each session was devoted to coaching facilitation and not education. If you are no longer employed by the company where you completed your 50 health & wellness coaching sessions, please provide a letter stating the name of your previous employer, your job title, the name of your supervisor and a statement that validates you have completed 50 health and wellness coaching sessions of at least 20 minutes in duration, and of which at least 75% of each session was devoted to coaching facilitation and not education.
    6. If you completed the approved training program several years ago, coaching sessions can be retroactively listed up to 7 years prior to sitting for the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination. Note: Health & Wellness coaching sessions should not be recorded for purposes of the exam until completing an approved program or until the approved program has provided a practical skills assessment.

 

Portfolio Pathway – If you are a practicing health and wellness coach but you have NOT completed an Approved Transition Program, to complete the HWC Certification Examination you will need to provide:

  1. Documentation of an Associates degree or higher in any field.
    1. If you have completed an associate degree or higher, please complete the HWC Education Declaration document
    2. For those who do not have an Associate’s degree, exam candidates will need to provide documentation of 4,000 hours of work experience in any field. 
    3. If you have completed an associate degree or higher, please complete the HWC Education Declaration document 
    4. If you have not completed an associate degree or higher, please complete the Work Experience Log
    5. 10% of all exam applicants will be audited and asked to provide a transcript of their highest degree
  2. 1,000 hours of health and wellness coaching experience (in lieu of completing an approved transition program). Please complete the 1,000-Hours of HWC Experience Documentation form.
  3. Complete three private mentor coaching sessions, which will include feedback on your skill level.
    1. To schedule mentor coaching sessions, it is your responsibility to contact a qualified mentor coach from the following list of Approved Mentor Coaches
    2. All sessions must be completed prior to applying to complete the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination. (The application period closes May 15, 2017.)
    3. To review the Mentor Coaching Process for the Portfolio Pathway, download the Mentor Process for the Portfolio Pathway.  To learn about the personal traits and competencies of a mentor coach, please refer to the Personal Traits & Competencies of Mentor Coaches document.
  4. A written log of 50 health and wellness coaching sessions of at least 20 minutes in duration, and of which at least 75% of each session is devoted to coaching facilitation and not education:
    1. Please download and complete the log at ICHWC Coaching Log
    2. Coaching sessions may not be with friends, family or classmates.
    3. Coaching sessions can be either paid or pro bono.
    4. Coaching log includes coded identity, date and time, session number (e.g. 1, 2, 3 etc.) and coaching topics.
    5. In lieu of providing a coaching log documenting 50 sessions, applicants who are limited by their employer’s regulations may submit a letter from their supervisor on company letterhead stating they have completed 50 health and wellness coaching sessions of at least 20 minutes in duration, and of which at least 75% of each session was devoted to coaching facilitation and not education. If you are no longer employed by the company where you completed your 50 health & wellness coaching sessions, please provide a letter stating the name of your previous employer, your job title, the name of your supervisor and a statement that validates you have completed 50 health and wellness coaching sessions of at least 20 minutes in duration, and of which at least 75% of each session was devoted to coaching facilitation and not education.
    6. If you completed the approved training program several years ago, coaching sessions can be retroactively listed up to 7 years prior to sitting for the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination. Note: Health & Wellness coaching sessions should not be recorded for purposes of the exam until completing an approved program or until the approved program has provided a practical skills assessment.
Approved Transition Programs

The following health and wellness coach training and education programs are ICHWC-Approved Transition Programs (formerly known as NCCHWC-Approved Transition Programs).

Those programs with an asterisk require the completion of an ICHWC-Approved additional training requirement  for graduates to be eligible to sit for the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination. Please contact your program directly to find out your status. All additional training requirements are offered directly through the health & wellness coach training programs. Additional training requirements must be completed prior to May 15, 2017.

A certificate of additional training requirement completion, as well as a certificate of program completion will be required when applying for the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination. These certificates and other required documentation can be uploaded during the application process.

Academic Credit Programs
  1. Documentation of an Associates degree or higher in any field.
    1. For those who do not have an Associates degree, exam candidates will need to provide documentation of 4,000 hours of work experience in any field. 
    2. If you have completed an associate degree or higher, please complete the HWC Education Declaration document
    3. If you have not completed an associate degree or higher, please complete the Work Experience Log.
    4. 10% of all exam applicants will be audited and asked to provide a transcript of their highest degree.
  2. A certificate of completion of an ICHWC-Approved Health & Wellness Coach Education & Training Program (formally referred to as an NCCHWC-Approved Program). More information is on the Credentials-Organizations page.
  3. A written log of 50 health and wellness coaching sessions of at least 20 minutes in duration, and of which at least 75% of each session is devoted to coaching facilitation and not education:
    1. Please download and complete the log at ICHWC Coaching Log
    2. Coaching sessions may not be with friends, family or classmates.
    3. Coaching sessions can be either paid or pro bono.
    4. Coaching log includes coded identity, date and time, session number (e.g. 1, 2, 3 etc.) and coaching topics.
    5. In lieu of providing a coaching log documenting 50 sessions, applicants who are limited by their employer’s regulations may submit a letter from their supervisor on company letterhead stating they have completed 50 health and wellness coaching sessions of at least 20 minutes in duration, and of which at least 75% of each session was devoted to coaching facilitation and not education. If you are no longer employed by the company where you completed your 50 health & wellness coaching sessions, please provide a letter stating the name of your previous employer, your job title, the name of your supervisor and a statement that validates you have completed 50 health and wellness coaching sessions of at least 20 minutes in duration, and of which at least 75% of each session was devoted to coaching facilitation and not education.
    6. Coaching sessions can be retroactively listed up to 7 years prior to sitting for the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination.

RECERTIFICATION

ICHWC-certified health and wellness coaches will renew their certifications every three years by providing evidence of:

•  45 hours of continuing coaching education.
•  A written log of 100 coaching sessions, of at least 20 minutes in duration, and at least 75% devoted to coaching facilitation and not education.
•  Recertification application fee, to be determined.