There are two primary reasons to pursue your accredited Certified Wellness Coach (CWC) designation: competence and credibility. Regardless of your background, you significantly enhance your competence as a wellness coach through the process of earning your CWC. We incorporate a comprehensive approach to your training that not only includes traditional lecture but also practical application and collaboration with a mentor coach.

In addition, your credibility is also greatly enhanced. You are not required to earn your certification to be a wellness coach, and there are individuals who are attempting to build their business without the certification. However, your certification provides you the additional credibility needed to effectively compete in the industry. It provides your clients and potential clients with an immediate indication that you know your stuff – and that an outside organization has acknowledged and rewarded that competency with an official designation.

Becoming a certified wellness coach involves an investment of both your time and money. You want to take your time in choosing a program that is the best fit for what you are wanting. We recommend that you do your research! Call and talk with a trainer from the programs you are considering. Each program has a style and personality. What is the focus of the training? Who are the instructors – what are their backgrounds? What is the schedule, length of training, flexibility of coursework?

Whether or not you choose to pursue national board certification, a good place to find a list of approved programs is at www.nbhwc.org . All of these programs meet a minimum standard of training and allow you the option to move towards national board certification if desired in the future.

At Catalyst, our focus is on teaching coaching skills from a holistic view of overall health and wellbeing. Each of you brings your own background, expertise and passion to the training. Our goal is to help you learn and practice the guiding style of coaching, so that you may take your new or enhanced coaching skills into any area of practice and come alongside your clients to help them move forward in their thinking and healthy behaviors.

Your instructors are practicing wellness coaches! Our team of instructors and mentors bring years of experience in coaching to the training and enjoy sharing examples from their own coaching sessions. They know what it is like to be a coach and are happy to answer your questions as you interact with them during practice sessions. Our head trainer, Suzanna Cooper, is a National-Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Occupational Therapist and part of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).  At Catalyst, we place value in providing you with a learning experience filled with different voices and experiences. You will have the opportunity to learn and train with coaches from various backgrounds and with different personalities and coaching styles.

We keep our class sizes small so that you have the opportunity to get to know us and to benefit from interacting with others receiving their certification through Catalyst. We also know that you are busy, so we have set up the programs to work well with busy schedules!

There are a number of things to take into account when choosing your training format: What is your ultimate goal? Are you wanting to become National Board Certified? What is your budget? Timeframe? Ability to travel? Learning style? We would love to connect with you on the phone to hear your situation and help you think through the best route to pursue.

Both programs will provide solid training in wellness coaching – the content and price are the same. Both programs may be started at any time and have many elements which are self-paced. Both programs include choosing 10 wellness webinars – each webinar is 1.5 hours in length, available to watch 24/7, and will stay in your library so that you may refer to it later. We offer a large variety of courses and are constantly adding new options. You will choose the 10 topics that best fit your interests, clients and background. (Additional webinars may be purchased at a discount for CCI students).

Fast Track (In person) program benefits: Nothing can replace the value of interacting in a small group (12-26 participants) and being immersed in wellness coaching for 2 days! We find that participants learn so much from each other! The training is fun and interactive in a supportive environment. On day 2, we bring in mentor coaches from the community to work with you in pairs to provide support and personalized feedback when you are trying out your new skills. We learn about and practice Motivational Interviewing skills and how temperament and personality influence our coaching. During our group lunches, we take time to talk about the business of coaching and will answer any and all questions you might have on how to get started with pricing, marketing, corporate coaching opportunities, etc. Once registered for an upcoming Fast Track training weekend, you will have access to start your 10 online wellness webinars. Your practice coaching sessions and testing will take place after the training weekend. The Fast Track program is the first of two steps in the pathway towards applying for the National Wellness Exam through NBHWC.

Distance Learning Track program benefits: Sometimes travel does not fit with your budget or schedule. The Distance Learning option is a combination of 24/7 online webinars and scheduled Small Group Discussion Forums and Practice Coaching Sessions. We offer a variety of times (daytime/evenings/weekends) for the scheduled sessions. If you begin with the Distance Learning track, but later have the opportunity to join us for a live 2 day training session – you are welcome to attend at no additional charge (beyond your travel expenses). Many of our Distance Learners have taken advantage of this option – it is a great way to review the course material, benefit from the in person interaction and meet the step 1 requirement for applying to take the National Wellness Exam.

Both the Fast Track and the Distance Learning programs allow you to move through the programs at your own pace. Some people finish in as little as 3 months, while others prefer to spread the training out over a longer period of time. Refer to the program details to see the portions of each program that are scheduled. Once registered, the online portions of the program are available for access.

In 2017, the first ever National Board Certification exam was conducted by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) in partnership with the National Board for Medical Examiners (NBME). For the first time in the wellness industry, we have some unification in standards of training programs. We are proud to be an approved provider!

Currently, the wellness industry is a cash pay industry with little oversight in who calls themselves a “health and wellness coach”. The move towards national board certification is the first step in moving towards a future option of insurance coverage of services. We are also finding an increased credibility associated with being a National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach by others in the healthcare, corporate and fitness industries.

Refer to www.nbhwc.org for details and timelines. We are currently completing the Transition phase, which will allow you to apply for the national exam at the current requirements, by October 2020 for the final Transition Phase February 2021 exam. After this time, you will still have the option to become national board certified, but the permanent phase requirements will include an additional 25 hours of training – which will be an additional cost and time commitment. Contact us to talk through this timeline and understand the requirements so that you can make an informed decision of whether or not this is the right choice for you.

There are two parts to completing the training requirements to apply for the national board certification exam:

  1. Complete the Fast Track CWC program: ($1992)
  2. Complete the Master Certified Wellness Coach training (MCWC): (($500)

If you complete the Distance Learning program, you may attend a 2 day Fast Track training weekend at no charge (beyond travel expenses), to meet item 1 in this pathway.

The MCWC training is a series of 5 interactive webinars that you will complete from your home office. We align the MCWC training with the NBHWC application windows. You must be present for 4 of the 5 webinars. You may participate in the MCWC if you are still completing your CWC – we will simply hold your certificate until completion of the full program.

The NBHWC also requires completion of 50 coaching sessions to apply for the national exam and details are listed at www.nbhwc.org . You qualify to begin those 50 sessions after completion/testing for your CWC training. The NBHWC also offers participants the option of applying for an extension to the deadline for the 50 coaching sessions. Please contact CCI directly to clarify any questions you have about your planned timeline. We are here to help!

In addition to the training, we are here to help you study and pass the national exam! At no charge, we offer a series of 7 recorded webinars that review the Study Guide. We also provide tips and training on how to take a scenario-based exam by offering 2 interactive webinars led by our mentor coaches who are trained in exam writing. They will walk you through sample exam questions and discuss why you might consider one answer over another. We get great participation in these group sessions and it is really nice to feel supported as you prepare for the exam.

The cost of either the Fast Track or the Distance Learning program is $1992. In addition, there is an option to set up a “6 Months No Interest” option at registration that will spread this amount out on your end if that’s beneficial. This applies to both the FAST TRACK and the DISTANCE LEARNING options.

No. The Catalyst certification testing (both Written and Practical Skills Assessment (PSA) are included in the total investment for the CWC health and wellness coach certification.  

As part of your training, you will each complete 2 practice coaching sessions with a mentor coach present to provide feedback and support. These sessions are “real plays”, so you have the opportunity to be coached on something real in your own life. We offer sessions with a mentor coach at a variety of times each week so that you may choose a time that works for you. We know that you are learning! These sessions are set up to gradually move you towards meeting the required standards for your Practical Skills Assessment.


What if you don’t pass the first time – is there an additional charge to test again? No. Our goal is for you to leave the program feeling confident in your coaching abilities. We all learn at a different pace and we are committed to your own learning process. If you do not pass the PSA the first time, we will talk with you to set up a plan of how to move forward that might include additional practice sessions or review of material.


For those of you who learn by listening, we also allow unlimited options to listen to other mentor coaching sessions. As long as the coaching options are filled for a scheduled session, you may sign up to be a listener – both before and after your complete your training.

An accredited wellness coach certification (or health coach certification) indicates the training program has been reviewed by outside organizations to insure quality. For example, the Catalyst Coaching Institute’s program has been reviewed and approved by four organizations: the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). All four have reviewed the Catalyst program and given it their seal of approval.

Absolutely! Starting your own business is a big undertaking that might feel a bit overwhelming. We are here to help in a variety of ways. For those of you attending our Fast Track program, we spend focused time during our lunch breaks, answering any question you have about starting your own business or how to move into corporate/employee wellness opportunities. We also demonstrate features of our web portal tool in case you are interested in utilizing this service once you start your business.

If you would like more in depth information, our self-paced Coaching C-MBA program takes you through the practical aspects of launching and building your business. Whether you’re a business rookie or veteran, this program can help get your business off the ground.

For more detailed information, visit www.c-mba.comIn addition, our website’s Special Reports section features information that can help build and grow a successful business. Some of those resources include:

Some of our tools will overlap with the various trackers available elsewhere. Other resources might work just fine for you, depending on the level you choose to coach. Our portal allows you to make them your tools, including linking you to your clients. Any information your clients enter is confidential. You’ll be the only person who can view their wellness journal, goals, progress, nutrition or fitness tracker, etc. Plus, you can tag specific resources (from our extensive wellness library of 1,500+ articles) so clients can learn from them. They can access the tagged articles via their wellness journal.

The high-end Health Risk Assessment is also an extremely valuable tool. It allows you and your clients to create an initial snapshot of their overall health and wellness status. It provides you with a great deal of credibility from the beginning and allows the two of you to design an action plan. From your administrative portal, you’re able to view clients’ results as they enter their progress into the system.

Possibly the most important benefit is helping you to better leverage your time, thus grow your business more rapidly and effectively. If you build your business around the hourly rate model, you hit a ceiling very quickly. However, if you’re offering a package rate that includes the portal’s tracking, goal measurement, individual competitions, HRA and coaching, you provide additional value to your clients and can increase your overall revenues.

You do not. The Catalyst Coaching Institute and the Catalyst Coaching Services are separate. You are welcome to become one of our professional member coaches even if you have not completed your certification through us.

The Catalyst Web Portal Tools help set you up for success as an independent wellness coach. Fees include:

  • One-time registration and set-up fee = $99
  • Monthly professional membership = $49/month + $5/client

The set-up fee includes immediate access to your customized email, the web portal and the Health Risk Assessment tool. This allows you to access these tools before launching your business.

Absolutely not. You pay a one-time set-up fee of just $99 plus the monthly membership charge. From then on, you can choose to pay month-to-month or discontinue at any time.

Yes, our programs are approved by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for continuing education units (CEUs) and related credentialing.

Yes. The Catalyst Coaching Institute is the only URAC accredited wellness coaching certification approved by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) for 34 CEU’s, the largest CEU-approved organization in the country. While it doesn’t cover every state, it does cover the majority. For those states that do not yet officially utilize FSBPT, they often accept FSBPT-approved CEUs. Check with your state to be sure.

Yes. The Nutritional Therapy Association awarded the Catalyst Coaching Institute their highest possible award of 10 business continuing education units (CEUs) for those who complete the CWC (Certified Wellness Coach) certification through Catalyst. This applies to both the Fast Track and the Distance Learning programs.

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