Deep down you know that a balanced diet, regular exercise and smart lifestyle choices make you a healthier person, and reduce your insurance and health care costs. Also, as a woman, you understand it’s important to get regular checkups, like pap smears and mammograms. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to stay motivated or know where to start. In steps a wellness coordinator, who assists you in making healthy choices by coordinating various diet, exercise and lifestyle programs. While nearly anyone can be a wellness coordinator, those with certification gain a leg-up in the industry.
Who Offers Certification?
Several organizations and groups sponsor wellness coordinator certification, including businesses that specialize in health and wellness certifications, like Battle Works, Inc., and companies that concentrate on workplace training programs, such as the Chapman Institute. Other providers of certification include industry associations like the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators and the National Wellness Institute. Some programs also offer several levels of certification; the Chapman Institute, for example, sponsors five progressive levels you can strive to attain.
Learning the Ropes
Most providers will require you to take part in certification courses, so you can earn additional knowledge and training, along with the designation. Courses cover topics like current wellness trends, health promotion, program implementation, measuring outcomes, health risk assessments and cost-benefit analysis. Some courses take place online, so you can earn certification on your own time, while some providers offer on-site courses. Most courses come with workbooks and manuals to guide you through the course, and some even offer mentors to help you navigate the certification process, as well as guide you in entering the career field.
Passing the Test
Depending on the provider, you may have to take a certification test along with the certification courses, or you may just take an exam. For example, the NAHUC requires you to take a 120-question multiple-choice test, while the Chapman Institute certification requires you to take 12 online learning modules and pass a short true or false quiz at the end of each. Along with courses and tests, you may have to fulfill other requirements to earn certification, such as paying course and exam fees or applying for the certification.
Once you earn certification, you may have to take certain steps to maintain it. Most providers want you to renew your certification every one to three years by reapplying for certification, paying a renewal fee and, sometimes, earning a certain number of continuing education credits. The Chapman Institute asks you to complete three online learning modules every year, while NAHUC wants 36 CE hours every three years, and also makes candidates retake the certification exam. Depending on which certification you choose, you may be able to apply the course hours to another certification’s continuing education credits. For example, the Battle Works’ Health Promotion Coordinator Certification program counts as CE credits for certifications from the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and the National Exercise Trainers Association.
- O*Net Online: Fitness and Wellness Coordinator
- Battle Works, Inc.: Health Promotion Coordinator Certification
- Chapman Institute: Certified Wellness Program Coordinator
- National Association of Health Unit Coordinators: Certification Candidate Handbook
- National Wellness Institute: Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist Certification
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