BCIA has four certification programs:
- Biofeedback - this program includes all peripheral modalities such as EMG, Thermal, and GSR. Individuals certified in Biofeedback may utilize all biofeedback modalities including EMG, temperature, skin conductance, and HRV.
- Neurofeedback - this program is strictly for brain wave feedback, sometimes called EEG biofeedback. Individuals exclusively certified in Neurofeedback, commonly called EEG Biofeedback, are certified to utilize only that specialty modality.
- Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction - this program is for those medical professionals who use SEMG biofeedback to treat elimination disorders and chronic pelvic pain. The Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction Biofeedback Certification is only for licensed providers wishing to use biofeedback and behavioral interventions to treat elimination disorders and pelvic pain within their scope of practice.
- HRV Biofeedback - this program is for appropriately trained health care or sports/performance professionals. Individuals certified in HRVB may also have additional training in biofeedback orneurofeedback; however this certification is specific to only HRV Biofeedback.
BCIA also offers a certificate of completion in HRV Biofeedback.
There are different levels of each certification program based on one's health care background, experience, or how the different modalities are used in one's professional practice.
- Basic certification is available for individuals with appropriate health care backgrounds who are allowed to use the modality to treat medical and/or psychological disorders, either independently under their own license, or under appropriate legal supervision. Those with a health care degree, but no license, may also use the techniques for peak or optimal performance with their clients.
- Technician certification is available for Biofeedback, Neurofeedback, and Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction; however, only within the United States and Canada. This program is intended for individuals with no specific health care education who use the modalities under a BCIA Certified supervisor’s license.
- Certification by Prior Experience (CPE) is available for both the clinical and the technician level certifications. This program also includes completing the certification exam.
All certification programs include a requirement of strict adherence to the Professional Standards and Ethical Principles of Biofeedback.
Certification programs are based on:
- prerequisite educational degrees, except for the Technician certification
- proof of human anatomy or neuroanatomy course work
- didactic course work that is based on the Blueprint of Knowledge statements covering the fundamental science, history, and theory of biofeedback specific to that certification program
- clinical training or mentoring to learn the application of skills
- successful completion of the written certification exam
Certification is no substitute for a state-issued health care license. BCIA’s certificants must carry an appropriate license/credential valid in the state of practice in a BCIA-approved health care field when independently treating a medical or psychological disorder. If unlicensed, the certificant must work under appropriate legal supervision and the licensing body of their their supervisor has legal jurisdiction over any work with patients diagnosed with medical or psychological disorders.
Recertification: Certifications are valid for a set time period: Four years for Biofeedback, HRV Biofeedback, and Neurofeedback and three years for Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction Biofeedback. Recertification is granted upon application, payment of fees, documentation of accredited continuing education specific to the Blueprint, and adherence to the Professional Standards and Ethical Principles of Biofeedback.