Two Credentials to Choose From

Becoming Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition

The educational standards, code of ethics, and scope of practice set by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) and the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (HNCB), are essential to the integrity, credibility and protection of the holistic nutrition profession; they are also demanded by the sophisticated health consumer of today. National board certification is a responsible first step toward building consumer confidence and gaining wider acceptance among other credentialed health professionals.

Upon successful passage of the Exam, you will be given a certificate officially recognizing you as, “Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®.” Please use this in conjunction with the certification or degree granted to you by your school of nutrition study.

Example, a graduate of a program granting certification as a “Nutrition Consultant”, who also has a Master’s degree, would use their designations as such:

Holly Berry, MS, Nutrition Consultant
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®

or

Holly Berry, MS, NC, BCHNTM

NOTE: Before using any title, please check the laws in your state. Use of the titles “nutritionist” and “nutrition counselor” are legislated in some states. To prevent misusing the title, please check your state laws governing the practice of nutrition.

It is also important that you become familiar with your state’s health freedom legislation. An increasing number of states have laws that protect the rights of consumers to choose their health providers and provide guidelines for the legal practice of complementary and alternative health professionals.

Exception for New Graduates

New graduates 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. Upon passing the exam and until such time that the documentation requirement is satisfied the candidate may use the title, "Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (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.

Maintaining Board Certification

Once you pass, you will not need to sit for the exam again. However, you will be required to document the following every two (2) years to renew and maintain your board certification:

  • Must be a Professional member in good standing with the NANP.
  • Provide evidence that you have earned the required thirty (30) continuing education units (CEUs) for the past two (2) year term.
    Note: NANP requires that you provide evidence of earning at least ten (10) continuing education units per calendar year to maintain your professional membership. So, this means, if you have provided NANP with 20 units to renew your membership in the past two years, you only need to provide ten (10) more in order to update your Board certification.
  • Provide a copy of your current resume or Curriculum Vitae.
  • Provide proof of current liability insurance (if in clinical practice; NOT required if working in an educational or research setting and are not providing consulting services).
  • Completion of the Board Re-Certification Form (provided via email when your re-credentialing time nears).
  • If you are a BCHNTM “Candidate”, you must submit evidence of your 500 Contact Hours (see Contact Hours Form for the required materials)

Certified Nutrition Professional

NOTE: Only applicable to those with Bachelor's degrees and above. Must pass the Board Exam to qualify.

The NANP also offers the following additional level of certification titled, "Certified Nutrition Professional" or "CNP." To qualify, the following criteria must be met:

  • All requirements of Board Certification; AND
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in nutrition or a nutrition-related field of study from a NANP approved holistic nutrition program, OR a college or university regionally or nationally accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; AND
  • 1,200 Supervised Practice Hours.
Supervisor Credentials must consist of one or more of the following with a minimum of three full-time years of clinical experience in nutrition care:
  • Certified Nutrition Professional; or
  • Masters of Science or Doctoral Degree in nutrition or nutrition-related field of study (state licensed or certified); or
  • Other licensed healthcare professional whose scope of practice legally includes the dispensation of nutrition education/counseling services.

Supervisor(s) must be approved by the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (HNCB). A signed Practice Supervisor Approval Form must be submitted to the HNCB.

Exception for New Graduates

New graduates may apply to sit for the exam without providing documentation of 1,200 Supervised Practice Hours. The candidate will be allowed three (3) years from the date of his/her exam in which to provide this documentation. Upon passing the exam and until such time that the documentation requirement is satisfied the candidate may use the title, "Certified Nutrition Professional (Candidate)."

A new graduate is an individual who graduated with a bachelor's degree or higher in Nutrition or related field of study from a NANP-approved program or accredited college or university within the twelve (12) month period prior to receipt of his/her application to sit for the board exam.

Those who meet the requirements above will have the ability to use both titles, "Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®" and "Certified Nutrition Professional."

Veteran Practitioners

"Grandfathering" parameters for veteran practitioners. A practitioner may avoid the supervised practice hours if he/she is able to document the following:

  • 1,500 combined Direct & Indirect Contact Hours (may exclusively be Direct contact hours; must be a minimum of 750 Direct contact hours) Note: Use form found in the Contact Hours Form to document these hours.
  • Minimum of five (5) years in nutrition practice
  • Two (2) additional professional letters of reference
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