Recertification Policy


Here is the link to the Recertification Application and the Confidentiality Agreement.

Information on 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 credential must be recertified every every five years. This includes obtaining 75 Continuing Education (CE) credits and submitting documentation to the BCNS for review. If a CNS earns more than 75 CEs during the 5-year certification period, they may not be carried over. The intent is to consistently participate in current educational activities. CEs earned for the CNS recertification may NOT be used for other BCNS recertification requirements (CKNS, CNGS).

Information on Submitting the Recertification Application

The Recertification Application may be submitted at any time during your 5 year certification period, but it should only be submitted when all 75 CEs have been completed. Please submit the application by uploading it via the CNS Portal. You are required to pay the $200 Recertification Fee at the same time you submit the application.

Some CE providers of events have applied for approval by BCNS. The sponsors of these events have indicated in their marketing that their activities have been approved for CE for CNS. If you wish to attend an activity that has not been pre-approved for CEs for CNS, please review the guidelines provided below to make a determination if the events meet the requirements. Please refrain from submitting inquiries for the BCNS to review individual events for CE approval. The BCNS cannot review individual events in advance. The policy below provides the guidelines necessary for CNSs to determine if an activity meets CE requirements.

Documentation of CE activity will consist of the Recertification Application. All activities must be listed on the BCNS Record of Earning CE (pages 3-6 of the Recertification Application) and not on any other form. If you need extra pages, please use the Record of Earning Continuing Education credits. Certificates of attendance, transcripts, or other evidence of participation are not necessary to submit, but they may be requested by the Credentials Council upon review of your application. If CE is documented and submitted on other forms (ie. MedPage Today CME/CE Tracker and others), it will not be reviewed or approved.

Individuals may earn CEs in the following ways
1. Participation as a learner in a professional and structured educational activity containing a minimum of 50% nutrition content

Such activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Attendance at in-person or virtual learning activities offering Continuing Medical Education (CME) or other Continuing Education (CE) that are recognized by the ANA and other professional organizations (e.g. nutrition, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dietetics or other health professions' organizations and societies.) These activities contain a minimum of 50% nutrition content that is primarily educational in nature, is of scientific quality, evidence-based, and representative of a balanced discussion of the topic.

  • Taking 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.)

  • ANA webinars, annual science and practice summit, and specialty training courses are eligible for the number of CE credits listed on the website and within each program.

  • Other learning activities which have been approved by the BCNS Credentials Council for CE credit for CNSs. These activities are primarily educational in nature, are of scientific quality, evidence-based, representative of a balanced discussion of the topic, and contain nutrition content equal to or greater than 50%.

Please note the following:

  • Courses may be taken in person or online.

  • The number of Continuing Education (CE) credits is equal to that offered by the sponsor of the activity.

  • Courses do not need to be BCNS-approved to meet these requirements. Typically 1 hour of instruction = 1 CE.

  • Here is a list of organizations that provide CE activity for CNSs. This is meant as a resource and not a complete list.

  • If you have an event or learning activity that you'd like to offer to CNSs for Continuing Education, credits, please submit an Application for CE Approval. Examples including teaching webinars or workshops.

Appropriate learning activities DO NOT include:

  • Lifestyle content (e.g. stress, sleep, exercise, meditation, yoga, etc.)
  • Reading professional and/or peer-reviewed journals
  • Audited courses
  • Training classes and activities for which the primary purpose is promotion of medical or nutritional products or services or activities which contain content that lacks scientific evidence (e.g. sound methodology statistical analysis objectivity and balance)
2. Teaching nutrition courses
  • Teaching nutrition courses at a US regionally accredited college or university or foreign equivalent as part of a degree or certificate program. Documentation of eligible teaching will consist of a letter describing the course and the number of lecture hours taught (1 CE credit per lecture hour the first time the course is taught during each 5-year certification period.) CE in this category does not apply to Teaching Assistants.

  • Participating as faculty at a BCNS-approved CE program, including ANA specialty training programs (or other training programs for which professional CE credits are offered) (1 CE credit per lecture hour)

  • Presenting at a scientific conference which offers CME or BCNS-approved CE (1 CE credit per lecture hour)

  • If you have an event or learning activity that you'd like to offer to CNSs for Continuing Education, credits, please submit an Application for CE Approval. Examples including teaching webinars or workshops.

  • Participating on the BCNS Exam Development Council (appointments are approved by the BCNS Board and CE is awarded as arranged) 

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:

  • Authoring an advanced level professional book or textbook in the field of nutrition: 40 CE credits

  • Authoring or co-authoring a professional review article or book chapter that is published in a peer-reviewed journal or in an advanced professional book: 10 CE credits

  • Authoring a full original research article (e.g. literature review, RCTs, observational study, etc.) published in a peer-reviewed journal
    ---Primary author: 10 CE credits
    ---Contributing author:  5 CE credits

  • Authoring an abstract of a scientific work or case history, case report or case series published in a peer-reviewed journal
    ---Primary author: 2 CE credits
    ---Contributing author: 1 CE credit

  • Authoring a non-professional publication such as a book that is peer-reviewed or reviewed by BCNS Credentials Council and based on rigorous scientific research on a topic related to nutrition. This might include books marketed to the general public as well as to professionals.
    ---Primary author: 10 CE credits
    ---Contributing author: 5 CE credit

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 certification 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

4. Editorship of a professional nutrition journal
  • Editor-in-chief of a professional nutrition journal: 25 CE credits per annum

  • Editing an advanced level professional book or textbook: 15 CEs 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 will consist of a letter describing the editorial activity by the submitting CNS

A maximum of 30 CE credits can be awarded in this category

How to submit the Recertification Application via the CNS Portal:

1. Download, fill out and save the Recertification Application

2. Go to the Portal and enter UN (email) and PW to log in

3. Go to Memberships, Certifications & Trainings

4. In the middle section, Certifications, click on Forms

5. On the left pull-down menu, select Recertification Application

6. On the right side, click the blue button Upload Files

7. Select your application from your computer and click Submit

NOTE: You will not get an automated response that your application was submitted, but you will see it listed (with the submission date) at the top of the Forms page in your portal.

How to pay the Recertification fee:

1. Log into the Portal

2. Click on Memberships, Certifications & Trainings

3. In the middle section, Certifications, click on Payments

4. Click the 1st blue bar called CNS Annual Fees & Recertification Fees

5. Select CNS Recertification (year) Fee ($200) and follow payment instructions

NOTE: You will get an automated payment receipt email

Please see this short tutorial on using the portal

If you have questions on the Recertification process, please contact

Do you have an event or learning activity 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.