As you may know I'm currently preparing to sit for the NBHWC Exam.
For those of you who aren't familiar, the NBHWC is the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching, who's mission it is to lead the advancement of health & wellness coaching by establishing professional standards and collaborative partnerships.
They do this by offering health coaches the opportunity to sit for an exam to receive The National Board Certification credential of (NBC-HWC).
The exam is 4.5 hours long and is delivered in collaboration with the National Board of Medical Examiners (the organization that board certifies physicians). The certification is the gold standard in our industry.
Some of the benefits of becoming board certified:
- Enhances credibility
- Differentiates us from others calling themselves health coaches
- Increases job opportunities especially in hospitals, organizations and with physicians
The requirements to apply for the exam are:
- complete an NBHWC approved training program
- complete 50 health & wellness coaching sessions
- have an associate’s degree or higher or 4,000 hours work experience (any field)
I'm personally doing it for my own growth and learning. As a mentor to new health coaches, I want to be able to demonstrate our field’s standards and competencies.
Many health coaches call themselves "certified" when they graduate from a health coach training. But receiving a "certificate" is different from sitting for an exam and becoming "certified." So just be clear on the title you received from your program.
Also know, it's not necessary to have this credential in order to practice health coaching. Becoming board certified is not for everyone.
So where am I in the process?
I submitted my application documents at the end of October. They have all been approved and I now have a date. On Saturday, Feb 13th, I'll be taking the exam!
Now the real work begins. It's study time!
I'm taking an exam prep course which recommends between 7-10 hours a week studying over 4 months. I've printed the 1,200 pages of study notes (which is in addition to the list of 10 text books under the bibliography!)
I developed a study plan and have been progressing nicely. I'm finding it really enjoyable to go through the materials. There's much of it I know really well and I'm learning lots of great new info.
You know where I'll be evenings and weekends for the next six weeks!
Let me know if you have any questions about this process. If this is a path you might want to consider, I'd be happy to chat.