IFNCP™ Credential Q & A Handbook

Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner (IFNCP™)

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: The IFNCP™ Credential Exam is offered year round.

Review Course: An optional self-study based review course is offered which will include powerpoint presentations, an indexed 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 Tracks within 24 months (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 – Students who would like to earn the IFNCP Advanced Practice Credential have 24 months to complete all 5 Tracks. After 24 months from their initial date of registration, students will then be unenrolled from all Tracks.  If a student takes longer than the 24 months to complete all 5 Tracks, they will not be eligible to take the IFNCP Credential exam unless they take the IFNCP Review Course. Students have an additional 3 months, from their 24 month deadline date, to take their exam online. Remember, your 24 month time frame is based on the date of your initial Track registration. Most students complete the entire program in 12-18 months.


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

A – Once you’ve completed all 5 Tracks within your 24 month time frame, you can submit your exam application and pay the $149 application fee. Once your application is approved, we will notify you by email and then you may register for the IFNCP™ Credential exam. You will have an additional 3 months, from your 24 month deadline date, to take your exam online. Remember, your 24 month time frame is based on the date of your initial Track registration with IFNA.


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 – To earn the COT students are required to complete only Tracks 1-4 and the associated quizzes. There is no board exam required. The time frame to access and complete the required Tracks is 24 months for both the IFNCP™ Credential and the COT (time frames are based on the date of your initial Track registration).


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.

Here’s one map of the U.S. with the various state requirements. Click on the state for a summary of the laws and a link to each state’s specific rules https://www.nutritioned.org/state-requirements.html


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. Dietetic interns
  3. Masters or Doctorate level university students in the health science/nutrition field
  4. 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 IFNCP™ Credential Exam encompass a foundational knowledge base and competencies for Level 1 IFN practice?  

A – Yes, the IFNCP™ 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 IFNCP™ Credential holders will be notified with any updates. You will also be eligible to enter your information in to the IFNA’s Graduate Directory – https://www.ifnacademy.com/meet-the-experts/meet-our-grads/.


Q – Do 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 220+ CPEUs that 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.