Recertification Policy

Recertification

The BCNS supports the ongoing professional development of its certificants. The mandatory recertification process provides the opportunity to demonstrate the retention, reinforcement and expansion of knowledge and skills pertaining to new advances over the full spectrum of nutrition science and nutrition care.

Each CNS must recertify their credential every five years. This includes obtaining 75 Continuing Education (CE) credits and submitting them to the BCNS for review. Individuals may earn CEs in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Participating in professional and structured educational activity containing a minimum of 50% nutrition content. 
  • Teaching nutrition courses at a regionally accredited institution
  • Authoring or co-authoring books and articles in the field of nutrition
  • Editorship of a professional nutrition journal
  • Organizing and chairing or co-chairing a scientific session

See the information below for more details. Still have questions? Contact us.

Do you have an event that you’d like to offer to CNSs for Continuing Education credits? Please submit an application for CE Event Approval.

If you have feedback on events you attended, please share with us.

How to Earn Continuing Education Credits

1. Participation as a learner in a professional and structured educational activity that is related to nutrition and nutrition care

Such activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Attendance at teaching activities offering Continuing Medical Education (CME) or other Continuing Professional Education (CPE) that are recognized by professional organizations, e.g., medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dietetics or other health professions organizations and societies. The nutrition content of the activity must be equal to or greater than 50%. The number of Continuing Education (CE) credits is equal to that offered by the sponsor of the activity.
  • Nutrition courses at a US regionally accredited college or university. Each semester hour of a course taken for credit is eligible for 15 CE credits (e.g. a 3 credit course is 45 hours of classroom instruction, thus 45 CE credits.) Audited courses are eligible at 8 CE credits for each semester hour.
  • Other learning activities approved by the BCNS Credentials Council. The activity must be primarily educational in nature, the presentations of scientific quality, evidence-based, representative of a balanced discussion of the topic, with nutrition content equal to or greater than 50%.
  • The NEW: American Nutrition Association’s Ketogenic Nutrition Training Program The Advanced Ketogenic Nutrition course requires completion of all 6 modules and is intended for individuals who have a strong background in nutrition assessment, nutrition therapy and biochemistry. This course provides 3 Continuing Education Units (CEs) per module for a total of 18 CEs.

Please note the following:

  • Courses may be taken in person or online.
  • Training classes and activities with the primary purpose of the promotion of the sale of medical, nutritional or other products, or that promote certain aspects of nutrition but lack scientific quality (e.g., sound methodology and statistical analysis, lack of objectivity or balance) are not eligible for CE credits.
  • Examples of organizations which offer some accepted continuing education activities include but are not limited to the following: American College of NutritionBoard for Certification of Nutrition Specialists, Institute of Functional Medicine, Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH), American College for the Advancement of Medicine, Scripps Health, Functional Medicine University, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, National Association of Nutrition Practitioners, Integrative Healthcare Symposium, Food and Spirit Certification ProgramNutritionCME.org and NutritionandHealthConf.orgFree online CMEs by GrassrootsHealth now available through UCSD. Please be sure to check each activity to confirm it meets the BCNS recertification requirements.
  • Not all activities offered by these groups, and others, will automatically be eligible for CEs. Each activity will be vetted for approval based on the eligibility criteria listed in the BCNS policy. 
  • Documentation of CE will consist of the Record of Earned Continuing Education Credits form found on the website.  Certificates of attendance, transcripts, or other evidence of participation may be requested if you are audited or upon request of the Credentials Council.
2. Teaching nutrition courses at a US regionally accredited college or university or foreign equivalent institution
  • Such courses are eligible for 1 CE credit per lecture hour.

  • Documentation of eligible teaching will consist of a letter describing the course and the number of lecture hours taught by the submitting CNS.

  • A maximum of 50 CE credits can be awarded in this category.
3. Authoring or co-authoring books and articles in the field of nutrition


The following are eligible for CE credits at the listed equivalencies:

  • Advanced level professional book or textbook: 40 CE credits
  • Professional review article or book chapter that is published in a peer-reviewed journal or in an advanced professional book: 15 CE credits
  • Full original research article published in a peer-reviewed journal
    ---Primary author: 10 CE credits
    ---Contributing author:  5 CE credits
  • Abstract of a scientific work or case history published in a peer-reviewed journal
    ---Primary author: 2 CE credits
    ---Contributing author: 1 CE credit
  • Non-professional publication that is peer reviewed or reviewed by BCNS credentials council and based on rigorous scientific research
    ---Primary author: 10 CE credits.
    ---Contributing author: 5 CE credits
    ---A maximum of 50 CE credits can be awarded in this category

Please note the following:

  • Books and papers must be published within the 5-year recertification period to which they are applied.
  • Documentation of authorship will consist of the name and title of the publication. The Credentials Council may request a copy of the work in certain cases.
4. Editorship
  • Editor-in-chief of a professional nutrition journal: 25 CE credits per annum
  • Associate editor of a professional nutrition journal: 10 CE credits per annum
  • Member of editorial board of a nutrition-related journal: 2 CE credits per annum
  • Editor or co-editor of an advanced professional book or graduate level textbook in the field of nutrition: 15 CE credits
  • Documentation of CE will consist of a letter describing the editorial activity by the submitting CNS
  • A maximum of 50 CE credits can be awarded in this category
5. Organizing and chairing or co-chairing a scientific session
  • Organizing and chairing or co-chairing a scientific session at a professional meeting will be eligible for 2 CE credits, if the nutrition content of the activities is equal to or greater than 50%.
  • Documentation of Organizing and Chairing or Co-Chairing a scientific session will consist of a letter describing the activity, including the sponsor of the activity, subject content and number of CEs offered.
  • A maximum of 50 CE credits can be awarded in this category.