Guidelines for Certification in 2015 and before

Follow these guidelines if you successfully finished the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program in 2015 or earlier, and are still within your two-year eligible window to apply. You may apply for, and be granted Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Certification if you:

  • Successfully complete the 12-week Wellness Coach Training Program
  • Pay all associated certification fees
  • Pass the certification examination within two years
  • Complete 50 hours of coaching according to the Client interaction guidelines within two years

The following forms (PDFs) will assist you in completing the Wellness Coaching Application:

The Comprehensive Coaching Case form may be completed before or after the wellness certification exam. Wellness coach certification will be submitted for approval when all components are received, including the Signed Statement of Requirements.

Wellness coach certification is valid for three years. 


After completing the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program, the following criteria must also be documented.


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

Client interactions should emphasize coaching skills and strategies taught in the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program. These skills include, but are not limited to, 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
  • Completing coaching interactions with a minimum of four different clients

Coaching skills must be utilized in one-on-one sessions. Group coaching will not be considered. 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). Each session should take place weekly, with all six completed within 16 weeks. The Comprehensive Coaching Case form shows how to document a session. This form must be completed and submitted to the certification committee for one of your clients. Illegible or incomplete forms will not be accepted.

Examples of client interaction

  • Sally is a wellness coach in private practice. She spent one hour today on a telephone coaching call with a client. Time that counts toward practice hour requirement: one hour.
  • 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 client a film and teaching her about diabetes. He spent about 15 minutes assessing her motivation and discussing her compliance to the plan that her physician gave her. He spent an additional 15 minutes working with her on her goals. Time that counts toward practice hour requirement: 30 minutes.

Volunteer clients are eligible for practice hour submission. However, time coaching significant others (for example, a spouse or partner) and first-degree relatives — a parent, sibling or child — will not be considered for practice hours. All clients considered for practice hours must be 18 years or older.

Certification examination

The exam consists of multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank and short essay questions. A passing score is 80 percent or higher. When the certification application and fee are received, access to the online exam is granted via Blackboard Learn.


Within six weeks of completing the exam, participants who do not pass will receive a letter with options for retesting. Participants may retest up to two more times within two years of completing the Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program.

Certification fees

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

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 and a passing score on the certification exam.

Certificates will remain active for three years.  

Certification renewal requirements

During the three-year period that participants are certified, documentation (certificates of attendance) will be required showing 30 hours of continuing education.

Fifteen of the 30 hours must be continuing education courses. Facilitating a course does not count. The additional 15 hours may be coaching hours with a client. Continuing education hours include completed coursework and workshops relating to counseling, psychology, coaching or health behavior change. Education that is specific to a "specialty" area, such as sleep, nutrition, weight management or diabetes, also is acceptable.

Participants may be asked to provide goals, objectives and information about the facilitator or speaker for any educational event submitted. Coursework on topics unrelated to coaching or health, such as animal sciences, engineering, math, statistics or chemistry, are not accepted.

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.


  • 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. This meets renewal criteria.
  • John has certificates of attendance for 30 hours of continuing education. This meets renewal criteria. There is no need to also fulfill a practice hour requirement.
  • 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 does not meet renewal criteria because a minimum of 15 hours must be actual attendance at an educational event.


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