HRV Certification by Prior Experience


Overview of Requirements - Certification at a Glance

This opportunity is reserved for a select group of licensed health care professionals who can demonstrate extensive education and experience in biofeedback and have served as leaders through their various contributions to the field. We recognize that these professionals have gone beyond the basics and should be expected to fulfill requirements that exceed our traditional entry-level certification process.



Applications for BCIA Certification in Biofeedback by Prior Experience are only for those who can demonstrate all the following:

  • License/Credential for independent practice - A current license, issued by the state/region in which you practice, is required and must be from one of the following clinical health care fields: psychology; medicine; dentistry; nursing (RN); physical, respiratory, recreational, and occupational therapy; social work; counseling; rehabilitation; chiropractic; dental hygiene; physician's assistant; speech pathology; or sports medicine.  It is up to each professional to understand how HRV biofeedback may be legally included as part of their professional work.

  • Accredited post-professional education - A minimum of 100 hours is required with courses that completely cover the 16-hours of the BCIA HRV Biofeedback Blueprint of Knowledge statements, taken by a BCIA Accredited Didactic Training Program. Additionally, this work must include either the 42-hour biofeedback didactic or the 36-hour didactic course. The remaining CE hours may be completed by taking courses at an accredited continuing education venue related to any blueprint area(s). We require that the majority of these hours be within the past 10 years. Accredited continuing education refers to: courses taken from regionally accredited academic institutions, courses accredited by the national body of a BCIA-accepted health care profession (e.g., APA, AMA), or workshops given at the following recognized organization’s annual meetings: AAPB, BFE, ANSA, and ISNR.

  • Statement of Clinical Practice - 2,000 patient hours over at least 5 years - This requirement is to document relevant experience over at least 5 years using HRV Biofeedback to treat pre-diagnosed medical o psychological disorders.  This experience must be substantiated by your written statement of clinical practice and two letters of recommendation that support the summary of your work. Please refer to the samples of a written statement of practice and recommendation letter It is required that the majority of this work be done within the past 10 years.  Your statement of clinical practice should include timeframe using HRV biofeedback in your practice, the diagnoses/symptoms you treat or performance goals, setting (private hospital, etc.), and the approximate number of patient/clients in that time frame.   

  • Human anatomy/physiology or Neuroanatomy coursework or other submission that demonstrates formally learning the relation and function of bodily systems or brain function used in your specific HRV biofeedback applications.

  • Mentoring with another professional for at least 15 contact hours that demonstrates a formal guidance in learning the application of clinical skills.  This was to be accomplished when you were first learning to add this modality to your clinical work. Additional information regarding mentoring can be found in our HRV Mentoring Handbook.

  • Validation Exam must be completed once your application has been accepted and approved.  There is no expected pass score.  We will use the information gathered on a "per item" basis to provide psychometric data.  You will need to take this exam through our special exam process using our online proctoring service.


Filing an HRV Biofeedback Application 

Candidates may file an application at any time during the certification process.  The signature area includes your agreement to abide by the BCIA Professional Standards and Ethical Principles of Biofeedback and follow the appropriate rules and regulations of your profession and state.  To be accepted, applications must include: the signature, proof of current license to practice in a health care field in accordance with BCIA standards, and payment of the $150 filing fee.


Fees include $150 filing fee which must be paid at the time the application is submitted, plus a $300 certification fee, a total of $450.  The filing fee will be reduced to $50 if an applicant can document current enrollment in an advanced degree program at a regionally accredited academic institution in a BCIA-approved health care field. Total fees for current students in this category amount to $350. If this is your second BCIA certification (in addition to either BCIA Biofeedback, Neurofeedback, or PMDB), the total fees for dual certification are $250 ($150 filing fee + $100 certification fee).

All fees are non-refundable and must be in US funds and paid by check, money order, or credit card.

The HRV Biofeedback Validation Exam for CPE Applicants


The examination is offered in English only and is based on the HRV Biofeedback Blueprint of Knowledge Statements. The exam consists of approximately 100 multiple-choice items sourced from the Core Reading ListThe number of exam items from a blueprint area correspond to the number of hours in that rubric; the smaller the rubric, the fewer questions will be in the exam from that content area.  There is a 3 -hour time limit for the exam.  For more information, please refer to HRV Biofeedback Exam 101

You must complete the exam; however, because you are considered to be an expert, we are not asking you to take the exam with an anticipated passing score.  You are considered a validator and we are using your expertise to validate current and new exam items.

  • File your Exam Registration Form and we will connect you with our online proctor to register in their system. This service allows you to take your exam from anywhere, including your own computer with no travel required.
  • Currently, the certification exam may be taken only using the online proctoring service who employs cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor exam security.  For more information on how to plan for a special exam, please refer to Exam FAQ.
  • Should you need additional time or special accommodation due to language or other circumstance, please contact the office at[email protected].
  • Upon confirmation of observed cheating behavior, the candidate will be disqualified. The disqualified candidate will be so notified, and the respective score(s) disregarded. Readmission for examination will be considered after a period of two years when the candidate will have to reapply, pay all fees, and acceptance will be contingent upon review of credentials and requirements using criteria for admission applicable at the time of review. 
  • What if I need to reschedule? You are required to contact both the proctoring service and BCIA to let us know of your change of plans. Once your situation is resolved, you must reconnect with the proctoring service to find a new date and send that information to BCIA to ensure that we will have the exam open on that date and time. Should cancellation become habitual, we will charge a $25 cancellation fee.
  •  Pay your fees: $300 certification exam fee. In addition, there is a $20 fee paid directly to the proctor.  **APPLICATION FOR EXAM AND ALL FEES MUST BE PAID AT LEAST 1 WEEK PRIOR TO PREFERRED EXAM DATE**
HRV Certification by Prior Experience Application