Wellness Coaching Program

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Wellness Coach Training

The Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training is a Master's level course and is comprised of 11 sessions to prepare students to work as Wellness Coaches within diverse settings. It is a combination of online and onsite learning. All sessions are offered online, with the exception of Session 3, which is a 2.5-day workshop at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Wellness Coach Certification

Candidates may apply for, and be granted, a Wellness Coach Certification if they:

  • Successfully complete the 11-session Wellness Coach Training
  • Pay all associated Certification Fees
  • Pass the Certification Examination within 2 years
  • Complete 50 hours of coaching according to the Client Interaction Guidelines within 2 years

Within 2 years of successfully completing the Wellness Coach Training Course offered by Mayo Clinic, participants will submit a Wellness Certification Application along with the nonrefundable Application Fee of $400. You will receive exam information after the application and fees are received. The Comprehensive Coaching Case Form may be completed before or after the Wellness Certification Exam.

Wellness Certification will be submitted for approval when all components are received, including the Signed Statement of Requirements.

Participants who fail the certification exam may retest up to two more times within 2 years of completing the Wellness Coach Training. Once the 2-year period has passed, participants must repeat the Wellness Coach Training to be considered for certification.

Wellness Coach Certification is valid for three years. At that point, and every three years thereafter, renewal of the certificate is required. Please see the Certification Renewal Requirements Detail below.

Successful completion of the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training offered through Mayo School of Health Sciences is the first step for participants who are interested in becoming a Mayo Clinic Certified Wellness Coach. The following criteria must also be documented:

Complete 50 hours of client interactions (practice hours) utilizing Wellness Coach skills taught in the Wellness Coach Training Course. Up to 30 of these hours may be acquired during initial sessions with clients. At least 20 of these 50 hours must be utilized in follow-up sessions.

Client Interaction Guidelines
Client interactions should emphasize specific coaching skills and strategies taught in the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training course. These skills include, but are not limited to, establishing the coaching relationship by discussing roles, expectations, and logistics of meetings, and can also include:

  • Assessing or enhancing motivation for health behavior change
  • Assessing strengths, barriers, coping skills
  • Forming a vision statement
  • Collaborating in goal setting, with goals linked to client values and desires
  • Discussing goal progress and refining goals

Example 1: Sally is a Wellness Coach in Private Practice. She spent one hour today on a telephonic coaching call with a client.

Amount of time that Sally can count toward practice hour requirement: One hour

Example 2: Mitch is a nurse working as a Diabetes Educator at a local health clinic. He spent 1.5 hours today with one of his clients, assisting with a treatment plan. Most of the time was spent showing the patient a film and teaching her about diabetes. He spent about 15 minutes assessing her motivation and utilizing skills to enhance her motivation for compliance to the plan that her physician gave her earlier in the day. He spent an additional 15 minutes utilizing coaching skills as they worked together on her goals.

Amount of time that Mitch can count toward practice hour requirement: 30 minutes

Complete coaching interactions with a minimum of four different clients. Coaching skills must be utilized in one-on-one sessions. Utilizing coaching skills in a group setting will not be considered for certification purposes.

A total of four clients must be seen. At least two of your clients must be seen for a total of six sessions (initial consultation plus five follow-up sessions with the same client). Ideally, each of the six sessions will take place weekly, but all six must be completed within a 16-week span. A Comprehensive Coaching Case Form guides you in documenting your sessions. This form must be completed and submitted to the certification committee for one of your clients. Illegible or incomplete forms will not be accepted.

Volunteer clients are acceptable for practice hour submission. However, significant others (e.g., spouse/partner) and first-degree relatives (as clients) will not be considered for practice hours. In addition, all clients considered for practice hours must be 18 years or older.

Certification Examination
A passing score on the certification exam is a requirement for certification as a Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach. The exam can only be taken after successfully completing the Wellness Coach Training Course and consists of multiple choice, true and false, fill-in-the-blank and short essay questions. A score of at least 80% is needed to be eligible for certification. Once we receive the $400 fee and the certification application, we will provide access to the exam online via Blackboard Learn.

Within six weeks of completing the exam, participants who do not pass will receive a letter informing them of their options for retesting. Participants may retest up to two more times within 2 years of completing the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training course. Once the 2-year period has passed, participants must repeat the Wellness Coach Training to be considered for certification.

Certification Requirements Timeline
To be considered "certified," participants must complete the practice hour requirement and the testing component within 2 years of successfully completing the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training course. (It is your personal choice whether to first complete the certification test or the practice hour requirement, but neither can be completed prior to passing the Wellness Coach Training course.) If an individual has not successfully met all criteria (practice hours and completion of exam) within 2 years after completion of the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training, they will be ineligible for certification.

Certification Time Period
Participants who pass the certification exam and meet the practice hour requirement will be certified for a three-year period beginning on the first day of the month following the completion of all paperwork by Mayo Clinic staff. Completion of all criteria includes:

  • Processing of all paperwork by Mayo Clinic
  • Scoring of the Certification Exam (with a passing score)

Certification Renewal Requirements
During the three-year period that participants are certified, they will be required to provide documentation showing 30 hours of continuing education. Documentation (certificates of attendance) will be required.

Up to 30 (but at least 15) of these hours must be for actual continuing education that you attended (facilitating a course does not count). The other 15 hours may be practice hour related. In other words, for renewal purposes only, each hour of coaching interaction you have with a client will count as one hour of continuing education. Up to 15 of these hours may be used to fulfill the 30-hour continuing education requirement.

Continuing education hours include completed coursework/workshops relating to counseling, psychology, coaching, or health behavior change. Education that is specific to a "specialty" area, such as sleep, nutrition, weight management, diabetes, etc., is also acceptable.

Participants may also be asked to provide goals, objectives and information about the facilitator/speaker for any educational event that they submit for consideration. Coursework that would not be accepted includes topics unrelated to coaching and/or health, such as animal sciences, engineering, math, statistics, chemistry, etc.

Questions about whether a course will be accepted can be directed to the Nicotine Dependence Center by emailing ndep@mayo.edu or calling 507-266-1093.

Acceptable scenarios:
Mary has certificate of attendance records for 15 hours of continuing education. She has also provided a signed statement that she has worked for 15 hours as a Wellness Coach during the three-year certification period.

John has certificates of attendance for 30 hours of continuing education. (John does not need to also fulfill a practice hour requirement since he has already met his 30 hours of continuing education.)

Unacceptable scenario:
Jill has signed a statement that she has well over 30 hours of coaching. She would like these practice hours to count toward her 30 hours of required continuing education. (This will not fulfill the requirement because a minimum of 15 hours must be actual attendance at an educational event.)

Certification Fees

  • Initial certification fee: $400
  • Retesting fee (in the event of exam failure): $100
  • Renewal certification fee: $100