Standards and Accredited Programs


National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)

HCANZA  primarily references a robust, Board Certification process for Health & Wellness Coaches that exists in the USA and is also accepted internationally.

The science-based core competencies and task analysis groundwork were developed by a consortium of international health coaching industry leaders from 2010 to 2016.

In 2016, this consortium formed a partnership with the USA National Board of Medical Examiners to enhance the rigour and validity of the standards.  This robust collaboration enabled the rollout in 2017 of the National Board Certification for Health and Wellness Coaches (NBHWC).

The NBHWC, in October 2019, announced the American Medical Association’s (AMA) approval of new Category III Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) Codes for health and well-being coaching effective January 1, 2020.

It is this partnership between NBHWC and NMEB  that have rigorously identified more than 50 Programs from international Health & Wellness Coaching education institutions and providers, that meet the standard.  Completion and graduation from any one of these programs will automatically make you eligible for Professional Membership with HCANZA.

The Approved Programs lists do not comprise the entire listing of institutions as they appear on the NBHWC website.  The entire lists can be accessed here

Previously, they had also accredited Transition Programs that partially met, or were in the process of upgrading to full compliance with NBHWC standard.  Completion of any one of these programs prior to October 2020 automatically made you eligible for Associate Membership with HCANZA. 

From January 2021 candidates that wish to progress from Associate Membership to a Professional Membership must complete any one of the bridging courses supplied by an approved program.

Other Standards and Programs Approved or in Development

The industry is developing rapidly and competitively. This is especially good news where those standards strengthen the credibility and confidence in Health & Wellness Coaches across global communities. One of HCANZA’s primary objectives is to collaboratively develop a standard for Australia and New Zealand that responds to and addresses the unique needs of the health care models within Australia & New Zealand.

Click here for the Quick Reference Guide Membership Levels and Eligibility, a summary of the ways of obtaining membership levels and making an application.

Equivalency Pathway

At the current date, we are willing to accept applications from specific program providers who do not fall into one of the categories listed above, for their graduates to have eligibility for Professional Membership.  If a provider can demonstrate that their program is of a standard equivalent to the level of NBHWC, it will be considered for inclusion in approved program providers under this Equivalency Pathway.

Relevant criteria:

  1. Number of training hours is a minimum of 75 hours with 40 being delivered as synchronous training
  2. Coaching competencies are fully covered in the curriculum (of which 60 hours must cover Coaching Structure, Coaching Process and Legal and Ethical competencies)
  3. The facilitators of the 60 hours above are qualified in health and wellness coaching from a program that also meets the above criteria, with a history of a minimum of two years’ (minimum 200 hours) experience in coaching clients themselves.
  4. The program includes information on current guidelines around healthy lifestyle and chronic lifestyle-related illness
  5. It has been recognised as being of a standard  accepted by a relevant and reputable professional external body which falls outside the coaching world but is concerned with standards around  health and wellness (e.g. professional medical associations such as the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners)
  6. Practical assessment  of coaching skills (pass/fail) by an experienced health and wellness coach faculty supervisor