Professional Exams and Registration
Prior to enrollment with ACHS, students are solely responsible for confirming that the certificate, diploma or degree program in which they enroll will meet their personal and career objectives in the state they reside in. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the health and wellness industry, you should consult with the appropriate state board in your state to assure that your credentials will allow you to achieve your professional goals.
If you intend to move states upon graduation, check each state you plan to reside in. The health and wellness services allowed or prohibited in your state must be determined by careful review of the language of your state’s law, and we recommend seeking legal guidance from a law professional in your state. Also check if you reside in a Health Freedom state (https://nationalhealthfreedom.org/health-freedom-information).
Information about professional opportunities for ACHS graduates in the holistic health and wellness industry is listed below. Registration and licensing requirements vary by state. ACHS certificates, diplomas, and degrees are not a license to practice medicine and do not entitle graduates to licensure. Graduates must not represent themselves as licensed medical practitioners nor claim to treat, diagnose, cure, or prescribe unless otherwise so licensed and must comply with all state regulations that may apply to their practice, including any required state registration.
PLEASE NOTE: This information is provided for reference only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, ACHS makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information. Please contact the professional organizations directly for the latest information.
An aromatherapy certificate, diploma or degree provides graduates with useful skills that may enhance a current career path or offer opportunity to work in the holistic health and wellness community, however, graduation from an aromatherapy program does not convey any sort of license to practice.
Currently, there are no licensing requirements for aromatherapists in the United States. There are memberships and registration options in the industry, including:
- Registration with the Aromatherapy Registration Council
- Alliance of International Aromatherapists’ Professional Membership
- NAHA Professional Membership
Aromatherapists may not claim to treat, diagnose, or cure any illness, because doing so may be considered practicing medicine without a license and a violation of State Medical Practice Acts.
Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC)
ACHS graduates of qualifying programs are eligible to site for the ARC’s national aromatherapy registration exam. Successful exam candidates earn the trademarked designation R.A.
Qualifying ACHS programs as of November 2020 include:
- Certificate in Aromatherapy*
- Diploma in Aromatherapy
- Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine with Aromatherapy Specialization
- Graduate Certificate in Aromatherapy*
- Master of Science in Aromatherapy program
- Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine with Aromatherapy Electives**
Exam Eligibility Requirements as of January 25, 2018:
(Note this information is provided for reference and was retrieved from http://aromatherapycouncil.org/?s=of+equivalent+training+&Submit.x=0&Submit.y=0 on January 23, 2018. Please contact ARC directly for the latest requirements.)
- Completion of a minimum of a 200 hour Level 2 program in aromatherapy from a college or school that is in compliance with the current National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) and Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) Educational Guidelines, OR evidence of equivalent training (transcripts and/or syllabi must be enclosed with Application). A determination of equivalency shall be made by the ARC™ Board in its sole reasonable discretion.
- Current membership in either NAHA or AIA.
- Agreement to adhere to the ARC Disciplinary Policy.
- Completion and filing of Application for ARC Registration Examination in Aromatherapy.
- Payment of required fees.
RAs are required to recertify every five years. Information about continuing education and recertification is available online at http://aromatherapycouncil.org/?page_id=218.
Please visit http://aromatherapycouncil.org/ for more exam information and how to register.
ACHS Aromatherapy graduates have a five year (2015-2019) success rate of 100% on the Aromatherapy Registration Council National Exam leading to registration as a Registered Aromatherapist.
*Meets the aromatherapy education requirements for NAHA Level II and AIA Professional Level for existing health professionals such as Massage Therapists, Herbalists, Nurses, Physicians, etc per the NAHA requirements. Graduates that are not existing health professionals are also required to complete qualifying anatomy and physiology training.
**Requires students to complete AROMA 501, AROMA 503, AROMA 504, AROMA 505 and anatomy and physiology training for graduates that are not existing health professionals.
An herbal studies/herbal medicine certificate, diploma or degree provides graduates with useful skills that may enhance a current career path or offer opportunities to work in the holistic health community, however, graduation from an herbalism program does not convey any sort of license to practice.
Currently, there are no licensing requirements for herbalists in the United States.
There are membership and registration options in the industry including:
Herbalists may not claim to treat, diagnose, or cure any illness, because doing so may be considered practicing medicine without a license and a violation of State Medical Practice Acts. Prior to enrollment, students are solely responsible for confirming that the certificate, diploma or degree program in which they enroll will meet their personal and career objectives.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in the health and wellness industry, you should consult with the appropriate state board to assure that your credentials will allow you to achieve your professional goals.
American Herbalists Guild
Graduates of qualifying ACHS programs are eligible to apply for professional membership and to become a Registered Herbalist (RH, AHG) once they have met the AHG clinical hours requirement, available through the AHG mentorship program.
ACHS qualifying programs as of January 2018 include:
- Diploma in Herbal Studies Master Herbalist
- Diploma in Holistic Health Practice with Herbal Medicine electives
- Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine with Herbal Medicine Specialization
- Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine with Herbal Medicine electives
- Master of Science in Herbal Medicine
Information about applying to become a Registered Herbalist is available online at https://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/becoming-ahg-professional-member including information about AHG’s expedited and standard application processes.
ACHS is happy to provide a letter of recommendation for graduates in good standing to support your application. This can be ordered online at https://contact.achs.edu/request-a-letter-of-recommendation.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in nutrition or dietetics, you should consult with the appropriate state board to assure that your credentials will allow you to achieve your professional goals. Many states have enacted laws that regulate the practice of dietetics and nutrition services.
In some states, it is a violation of state law to practice “dietetics” without a license; while in other states, it is illegal only if an unlicensed practitioner calls him/herself a “dietitian” or “nutritionist.” The nutrition-related services allowed or prohibited in your state must be determined by careful review of the language of your state’s law, and we recommend seeking legal guidance from a law professional in your state.
Download ACHS’s Nutrition Disclosures White Paper online here for additional information.
Following is more information about industry exams and registration in holistic nutrition. This information is provided for reference only. Please contact the professional organizations directly for the latest information.
National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) Exam - Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition
Exam Eligibility Requirements
This information is provided for reference and was retrieved from https://www.nanp.org/board-exam-eligibility on January 23, 2018. Please contact NANP directly for the latest requirements.
Individuals wishing to become “Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®” 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 (ACHS’s approved programs are listed below) OR providing documentation of an occupational certification, degree or diploma that meets the NANP’s educational standards (requires independent review and a $150 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.
Once you pass the exam, you will not need to sit for the exam again. However, you will be required to renew your board certification every two years. Additional information is available online at https://nanp.memberclicks.net/two-credentials-to-choose-from.
Exception for New Graduates*
NANP defers the 500-hour practical experience required to be eligible for the board exam for candidates who are graduates of NANP-approved programs when they sit the exam within 12 months of graduation. Following are ACHS’s approved programs as of January 25, 2018:
- Diploma in Holistic Health Practice
- Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine
- Associate of Applied Science in Health & Wellness
- Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition
- Master of Science in Health and Wellness
- Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine.
Per the NANP website at https://www.nanp.org/board-exam-eligibility (January 23, 2018):
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® (Cand.).”
* 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.
For detailed information regarding exam eligibility criteria including the requirements for direct and indirect hours, please visit https://www.nanp.org/board-exam-eligibility. If you have any questions about ACHS can help you achieve the required hours, please contact Tracey Abell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 487-8839.
NANP - Certified Nutrition Professional
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 credential requirements apply.
New graduate and veteran practitioner exceptions are also available. Please visit https://nanp.memberclicks.net/two-credentials-to-choose-from for more information.
Fitness Training and Sports Nutrition
International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN)
The ISSN offers two professional exams: the ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialist (SNS) exam and the Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) exam.
What is the main difference between the CISSN and ISSN-SNS Certifications?
This information is provided for reference only and was retrieved from http://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/ on January 30, 2018. Please contact ISSN for the latest information.
“The CISSN is more advanced; it is the preferred certification for those who wish to provide more detailed sports nutrition information to their clients.
The SNS focuses more on the applied aspects of sports nutrition and is meant for those who do not have a 4-year degree or do not have a formal educational background in exercise science and/or sports nutrition. Individuals who wish to attain the SNS are likely to be personal trainers who work in the fitness industry; however, the certification is open to all individuals. The SNS provides working knowledge for personal trainers and fitness advocates to offer information on sports nutrition and supplement strategies. This certification will not provide the expertise or education necessary to work with patients who require medical nutrition therapy.”
Sports Nutrition Specialist (SNS) exam
Who should take the ISSN-SNS exam?
Personal Trainers or Other Fitness Professionals who do not hold a 4-year University/College degree.
Qualifying ACHS courses and programs as of January 30, 2018, include:
Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN)
Who should take CISSN?
- Exercise Physiologists
- Fitness Professionals
- Nurse Practitioners
- Personal Trainers
- Sport Dietitians
- Sports Nutritionists
- Strength and Conditioning Professionals
Qualifying ACHS courses and programs as of January 30, 2018, include:
- NUT 304 Sports Nutrition (undergraduate course) – For students who already hold a Bachelors degree only. Visit http://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/CISSN.html for information about exemptions.
- NUT 504 Advanced Sports Nutrition (graduate course)
- Other graduate programs where students also complete the NUT 304 or NUT 504 courses.
National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
ACHS’s PFT 101 Personal Fitness Training course is based on the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) training model. Students in this course study a systematic approach to program design with exercise program guidelines and variables; protocols for building stabilization, strength, and power programs.
The PFT 101 course is designed to prepare students to sit for the NASM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam.
NOTE: The CPT exam requires that students also have a CPR/AED certification. CPR/AED certifications are accepted from the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, American Safety and Health Institute, St. John Ambulance, Emergency Care & Safety Institute or Emergency Medical Technician. Before taking the CPR/AED from another provider, please contact NASM to confirm acceptance. Learn more online at https://www.nasm.org/certified-personal-trainer/personal-trainer-exam.
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