Board Exam Eligibility

Exam Eligibility Requirements

Individuals wishing to become “Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®” or "BCHN®" must provide documentation of the following qualifying criteria:

  • Meet the NANP’s educational standards. This means successful completion of studies in holistic nutrition from a NANP approved holistic nutrition program OR providing documentation of occupational certification, degree or diploma that meets the NANP’s educational standards (requires independent review and a $200 fee).
  • Professional membership in the NANP.
  • Provide documentation of 500 hours (includes a minimum of 250 direct contact hours and up to 250 indirect contact hours) of professional experience in holistic nutrition.

Direct Contact Hours

Definition: Working directly with customers, clients, or students providing nutrition education and/or consulting services.

  • Internship or externship approved by either the NANP/HNCB or your school of study.
  • Required documentation: a letter from supervisor validating successful completion of intern/externship.
  • Independent (self) employment providing nutritional consulting services.
  • Required documentation (please provide all of the following): 1) business license; 2) three (3) case studies (500-word summaries); 3) two (2) letters of support from mentors or peers who are aware of your active private practice and can attest to your professionalism; and 4) a log that includes a list of client names (to protect confidentiality, client initials may be used in lieu of name), date(s) of sessions and start/end times, to document reported direct contact hours. 
  • Employment as a Nutrition Consultant or Teacher of holistic nutrition.
  • Required documentation: a letter from employer verifying employment, including the number of hours worked per month, and a copy of your job description.

Indirect Contact Hours

Definition: Research, writing, or developing educational materials or programs (in holistic nutrition) to be conducted in a community, business, academic or clinical environment.

  • Acting as a research intern.
  • Required documentation: a letter from supervisor validating successful completion of internship and a copy of the internship (job) description.
  • Performing independent research (e.g., interviews, reading, internet and literature searches) for a publication or educational presentation.
  • Required documentation: a copy of the article, report or another format (e.g., PowerPoint presentation) providing the results of your research.
  • Non-research preparation for the creation of a publication or educational presentation, be it public, recorded, or both (e.g., actual writing and other types of material preparation, locating and creating a dialogue with key individuals, venues, consultants, assistants, publishers, printers, and publication representatives).
  • Required documentation: a copy of the article, report or another format (e.g., PowerPoint presentation) providing the actual publication or educational presentation.

Activities conducted as a required part of an educational program, with the explicit exception of internships and externships, do not qualify toward the 500 hour requirement. The Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board will make a determination of applicability of unusual experience in individual cases.

Exception for New Graduates*

Those who have newly graduated from a NANP-approved program may apply to sit for the exam without providing documentation of 500 contact hours. The candidate will be allowed two (2) years from the date of his/her exam in which to provide this documentation. Until such time, the candidate will be able to use the title, “Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Candidate)" or "BCHN® (Candidate).”

* A new graduate is an individual who graduated from a NANP-approved program within the twelve (12) month period in which they apply to sit for the exam.

I'm Ready to Download My Study Guide