IFNCP™ Credential Q & A Handbook

Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner

Credential Q & A Handbook


The Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner Credential (IFNCP™) establishes a new standard of professional practice for qualified health care practitioners.   The educational prerequisites for the credential require that IFNA™ students matriculate through the entire training program that includes all 5 IFNA™ Tracks. For a description of each module within each Track, click here.  IFNA™ does not permit skipping or “testing out” of any Tracks. Upon passing the open-book quizzes at the end of each module, eligible students may apply for the IFNCP™ credential.

Testing Dates: Effective July 2017, the online IFNCP™ Credential Exam is now offered year round.

Review Course: An optional self-study based review course is offered which will include video presentation recordings, a study guide outline with key terms and concepts, and a practice exam using the same format as the actual exam.  An orientation video (worth 2.0 CPEUs) is also available to view in the Review Course course shell. Access to the review course will terminate upon successful completion of the IFNCP™ Credential Exam. Click here for registration:  https://www.ifnacademy.com/product/review-course/


Q – What are the requirements for the “IFN Certified Practitioner” (IFNCP™) Credential?

A – Credential applicants must:

  • complete all 5 IFNA tracks in 24 months or less (for a description of each module within the Tracks, click here).
  • pass all module quizzes
  • submit an application (upon completion of the entire program)
  • pass the IFNCP™ Credential Exam

Upon successful completion, the student will be awarded the IFN Certified Practitioner™ designation (IFNCP™) and placed in our directory of IFN certified practitioners.


Q – Is there an application fee for the IFNCP™ Credential Exam?

A – Yes, there is a one-time NON-REFUNDABLE $149 application fee. Once your application is received and approved,  you may register for the credential exam at https://www.ifnacademy.com/product/ifncp-application/. You will then be enrolled and can take the IFNCP Credential Exam at any time.


Q – Is there a separate IFNCP™ Credential Exam fee?

A – Yes, the cost of the exam fee is $299. If an applicant wishes to withdraw from the IFNCP™ Credential Exam but has already paid the IFNCP™ Credential Exam fee, a refund less $50 will be refunded to the applicant within 1 week of notification of withdrawal.


Q – How much time do IFNA™students have to complete the IFNCP™ Credential training program? 

A – IFNA™ students who would like to earn the IFNCP Advanced Practice Credential have a maximum of 24 months to complete all five Tracks from the time they first registered. After 24 months from the initial date of registration, students will then be unenrolled from IFNA Tracks. Most students complete the entire program in 12 months. If a student takes longer than the 24 months to complete all five IFNA™ Tracks, they will not be eligible to take the IFNCP Credential Exam unless they take the IFNCP Review Course. Immediately after the 24 month time limit, IFNA students then have an additional 12 months maximum to submit an IFNCP exam application and take the IFNCP Credential board exam. If a student is NOT interested in taking the IFNCP Credential Exam, there is a 36 month maximum time frame allowed to access the Tracks (time frames are based on the date of your initial Track registration with IFNA).


Q – After I complete all requirements for the IFNCP™ Credential, when am I eligible to take the IFNCP™ exam?

A – Once an application for the IFNCP™ exam is submitted, applicants have a maximum of 12 months to take the IFNCP™ Credential Exam. The date is set immediately after the 24 month time limit (see Q & A above). During the 12 month period, you may take the IFNCP™ Credential Exam at any time. It is available online year round.


Q –  Is there a Credential Board?

A – IFNA™ has a Credential Board that peer-reviews and assists the co-founders, Sheila Dean and Kathie Swift with the credential process. Our goal is that successful completion of the IFNA™ program and IFNCP™ Credential Exam reflects the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to be a competent Integrative and Functional Nutrition practitioner.   For more information regarding the Credential Board members and their background please visit: https://www.ifnacademy.com/meet-the-experts/credential-board/


Q – How does this differ from the requirements for the IFNA™ Certificate of Training (COT)?

A – Students are required to complete only Tracks 1-4 and quizzes to receive the IFNA Certificate of Training. The IFNCP™ Credential Exam is not required and there is a 36 month maximum time frame allowed to access the Tracks (time frames are based on the date of your initial Track registration with IFNA).


Q – Does the IFNA™ COT or the IFNCP™ Advanced Practice Credential allow me to practice, counsel and treat patients?

A – The IFNA COT and the IFNCP Advanced Practice Credential is not equivalent to and does not replace the RDN credential or a license. Only qualified licensed practitioners may practice medical nutrition therapy. Check with your state’s department of professional regulation for details.


Q – Who is eligible to submit an application for the IFNCP™ Credential?

A – Eligible persons are:

  1. Health care practitioners (i.e. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, Registered Nurses, etc.)
  2. Masters or Doctorate level university students in the health science/nutrition field
  3. Health coaches, massage therapists, personal trainers and nutritionists who have:
    1. a minimum of a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition from an accredited university AND
    2. acquired a minimum of 1000 hours in clinical practice within a 5 year period.

Those with a high level of interest but no formal training are not eligible to apply for the IFNCP Credential. In cases where eligibility is uncertain, the Credential Board will determine on a case by case basis. If you have questions about eligibility, feel free to contact us at info@IFNAcademy.com.


Q – Does the IFNA™ Credential Exam encompass a foundational knowledge base and competencies for Level 1 IFN practice?  

A – Yes, the IFNA™ Credential Exam assesses if a candidate has the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to be a competent Integrative and Functional Nutrition practitioner.


Q – How long do I have to take the IFNCP™ Credential Exam?

A – At this time, approved IFNCP™ credential applicants will have 2.25 hours (135 minutes) to take the IFNCP™ online multiple choice credential exam.


Q – What is the format of the IFNCP™ Credential Exam?

A –  The IFNCP™ Credential Exam is online, non-proctored, open book and timed. There are 125 multiple choice questions. Some questions will be case scenarios and will have several multiple choice questions associated with the case. You will have the ability to go back and review your answers as often as you would like within the 2.25 hour time frame. A minimum score of 70% is required to pass.


Q – When can I expect my IFNCP™ Credential Exam results?

A – Results for the credential exam are not displayed immediately following exam submission. The turnaround time for the IFNCP™ Credential Exam results is approximately 2-4 weeks from the date the exam is submitted. Please note that all exam scores are final and may not be contested.


Q – What happens if I do not pass the IFNCP™ Credential exam?

A – If you do not pass the exam you may retake it, however, you must first resubmit an application located on the registration page of the website. The application fee is waived; however, credential exam fees apply.


Q – What are the requirements to maintain the IFNCP™ Credential?

A – 50 continuing professional education units (CPEUs) from ONLY those providers listed on the IFNA™ Preferred Provider list per 5 years and annual membership dues are required to maintain the IFNCP™ credential. CPEUs must be reported to info@IFNAcademy.com.  (Subject line: CPEU).  We recommend you report your hours annually.  Should certification status lapse for any reason, IFNA™ forbids the use of the IFNCP™ Seal and designation.


Q – How is the IFNA™ Preferred Provider listed on the IFN Academy website?

A – IFNA™ Preferred Providers can be found here: https://www.ifnacademy.com/learning-tracks/ifna-preferred-providers/.  The link to this list will also be provided to every IFNCP™ that needs to earn CPEUs to maintain their IFNCP™ credential.


Q – If CPEUs are not maintained, can a qualified student retake the IFNCP™ Credential Exam?

A – Yes, if CPEUs are not maintained, the IFNCP™ Credential Exam can be taken again. However, additional fees apply.


Q – Is there any access to unique resources as an IFNCP™ Credential holder?

A – Yes, you will have access to the IFNA™ Preferred Providers list available online at https://www.ifnacademy.com/learning-tracks/ifna-preferred-providers/. However, this list continues to expand and IFNA™ credential holders will be notified with any updates. You will also be eligible to enter your information in to the IFNCP Graduate Directory – https://www.ifnacademy.com/meet-the-experts/meet-our-grads/.


Q – How many IFNA™ students use IFNA™ to fulfill their CPEUs? Is this the CPEU required by IFNA™ and/or required for their RDN registration?

A – The CPEUs that IFNCP™ graduates earn via the IFNA™ Preferred Providers are to fulfill requirements for the IFNCP™ credential.  The CPEUs earned from the IFNA™ training modules are all preapproved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. All 233+ CPEUs IFNA™ offers can also be applied to fulfill a Registered Dietitian Nutritionists CPEU needs.


Q – Do IFNA™ students pay IFNA™ for the CPEUs or do they pay for the IFNA™ Preferred Provider directly?

A – IFNCP™ graduates do not pay IFNA™ for the CPEUs needed for their IFNCP™ credential. IFNA™ provides IFNCP™  graduates a list of “IFNA™ Preferred Providers” and they, in turn, pay the IFNA™ Preferred Provider directly for any CEUs earned or programs completed. IFNA™ Preferred Providers will also provide a Certificate of Completion to IFNCP™ graduates upon successful completion of any CEUs earned.


Q How long is an IFNA™ Preferred Provider a recognized CPEU provider of IFNA™?

A – Preferred Providers are recognized CPEU providers for one year from the date the application is approved.

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