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New NWI Certification and Professional Certificate Structure

Tuesday, March 1, 2016  
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March 1, 2016--For more than 40 years, the National Wellness Institute (NWI) has provided comprehensive resources and educational programming that serve wellness professionals and support the wellness profession. Wellness and health promotion professionals worldwide look to NWI to enhance their knowledge and skills and to build their professional networks.


NWI also works to advance the wellness profession as a whole, ensuring high standards in wellness promotion and education. As a result, organizations and individuals can be assured that wellness professionals who have been recognized by NWI have the competencies, knowledge, and skills to apply wellness promotion concepts in the various settings in which they work.


As NWI continues in its efforts to set standards within the wellness profession, we have restructured our certification and professional certificate process. We hope you will be as pleased as we are about these changes. NWI is now applying the following definitions (derived from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies’ Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs, to differentiate between a Certification Program and a Professional Certificate Program:


Certification Program:
A voluntary process that grants a time-limited credential to individuals meeting predetermined standards for knowledge, skills, or competencies. The assessment of the individual applicant is independent of a specific class, course, or other education/training program. Certificants must complete continuing education requirements to retain the credential.


Professional Certificate Program:
A non-credential granting program that:

  • provides instruction and training to aid participants in acquiring specific knowledge, skills, and/or competencies associated with intended learning outcomes;
  • evaluates participants’ achievement of the intended learning outcomes; and
  • awards a certificate only to those participants who meet the performance, proficiency, or passing standard for the assessment(s).

Using these definitions, NWI’s Certified Wellness Practitioner (CWP) designation will be its sole certification program at this time, with NWI’s Council on Wellness Continuing Education (CWCE) serving as the decision-making body. NWI Certified Wellness Practitioners will continue to carry the CWP credential and will be required to earn continuing education credits to re-certify the credential every five years.


The NWI Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist (CWWS), Certified Worksite Wellness Program Manager (CWWPM), and Wellness in Clinical Practice (WCP) programs will now be defined as professional certificate programs. Individuals who successfully complete these programs after July 1, 2016, will be awarded a professional certificate but will not carry credentials.


The National Wellness Institute is committed to providing unmatched professional development opportunities in wellness. We welcome your feedback and invite you to connect with us at or 715-342-2969 if we can assist in any way.


Have you completed a CWWS, CWWPM, or WCP training? Click here to learn what these changes mean for you.