Health and wellness coaching is an evolving field for improving individuals’ overall health and well-being. At the forefront of this profession is the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching. According to nih.gov, NBHWC sets a “minimum standard of reliability and integrity of education and training through standardized and accredited training programs.” This ensures competence and elevates the status of health coaches.
“The Mission of the NBHWC is to lead the advancement of health & wellness coaching by establishing professional standards and collaborative partnerships.”
NBHWC wants to see a world where all individuals thrive physically and mentally. By setting rigorous standards, the NBHWC ensures that certified health and wellness coaches are well-equipped to support clients effectively and deliver high-quality services. This commitment to excellence helps shape the future of the profession, driving positive change and promoting optimal well-being for individuals and communities.
Becoming a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach.
Offered by NBHWC, this prestigious credential is the result of a joint program between the NBHWC and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). But the process of becoming board certified begins long before a coach sits for the certification exam. First, a coach must complete an NBHWC-approved health coaching certification program, such as the FMCA Health Coach Certification Program. Then a health coach must complete 50 health and wellness coaching sessions.
The board certification exam is designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities essential for safe and effective health and wellness coaching. Test items are carefully developed by experts in the field and undergo rigorous review for content and clarity. A passing score is established through a panel of health and wellness coaching experts. FMCA has a 94% passing rate on the board exam, showing that FMCA graduates learn the skills they need to work as a board-certified health coach.
Obtaining the NBC-HWC credential allows health coaches to showcase their expertise and quality. It serves as a mark of distinction, enabling healthcare professionals, patients, employers, and educators to identify practitioners who have demonstrated exemplary knowledge and skills for effective health coaching.
Benefits of Becoming Board Certified
Becoming a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach offers health coaches a wide range of benefits. Some of the key advantages include:
- Professional Recognition: The NBC-HWC credential distinguishes health coaches as professionals who have met the highest standards of competence and ethics in the field. It lends credibility and establishes trust with clients.
- Career Opportunities: Employers seeking qualified health and wellness coaches often prioritize those with the NBC-HWC credential. Certification can open doors to expanded job prospects, higher earning potential, and increased marketability.
- Advocacy and Professional Development: Certified coaches can actively advocate for their profession and contribute to establishing training and education standards. They can participate in shaping the growth and advancement of the health and wellness coaching field, making a lasting impact.
- Networking and Community: Certified health coaches become part of the NBC-HWC community, gaining access to a network of like-minded professionals. Networking events, educational resources, and shared experiences foster ongoing learning, collaboration, and professional support.
- Enhanced Credibility: The NBC-HWC logo signifies board certification and provides a visual representation of a coach’s commitment to excellence and professional standards. It is a recognizable mark of credibility, inspiring confidence in clients and other healthcare professionals.
- Continuing Education and Events: Certified coaches receive invitations to NBHWC Quarterly Connects and other sponsored events featuring industry experts. These opportunities offer complimentary continuing education credits and allow for further professional growth and development.
Exam Prep Resources
The NBHWC board exam is only offered three times per year, so exam prep is recommended. Here are a few exam prep resources recommended by NBHWC to help you study.
- The NBHWC Practice Exam: While this practice exam does cost $65, it offers you 50 practice questions as well as reasoning behind each correct answer to help you learn.
- The NBHWC Bulletin of Information: This helpful information packet tells you everything you need to know about sitting for the exam. This is a great resource to have long before you register for the exam.
- HIPAA Compliance: Both the HIPAA Privacy Rule and HIPAA Security Rule are vital for any health coach to know. Understanding these two rules is not only important for exam preparation but for health coaching practices in general.
Through its commitment to setting high standards, NBHWC plays a crucial role in empowering health coaches and advancing the industry. What’s more, health coaches who become board-certified gain many benefits, including events and network opportunities through NBHWC. Overall, NBHWC is helping make a positive impact on individuals’ lives and contributing to the growth and success of the health and wellness coaching field.