The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the only course of its kind. It teaches both the science of nutrition and the art of coaching. Most programs only teach the nutrition aspect. This teaches nutrition, but it really shines in teaching you how to be a good coach.
Precision Nutrition is very upfront that they are not a nutrition certification company – they are a nutrition company. And they have done so well and helped so many clients get results, that it only makes sense that they teach other coaches how to be successful, too.
The entire course can be completed online, and when you pass the exam, you’ll get a certificate mailed to you, and you’ll get listed in their online directory of certified coaches. As a successful Level 1 graduate, you may be eligible for the Level 2 Certification course, which involves real-life work with clients and personal mentoring from the expert coaches at PN.
The first half of the course is nutrition science, including a lot of biology and chemistry. This is the part that ensures you know the basics of nutrition and the human body.
If you have any sort of science, medical, or nutrition degree, you are likely to breeze through the nutrition part. Some of the sports nutrition stuff might be new to you, but you shouldn’t have any trouble. On the other hand, if you haven’t taken a science class since high school biology, you’ll need to spend some time in the textbook.
The second half of the course teaches change psychology – or in lay man’s terms, how to be a good coach. This is where you learn how to inspire and motivate people to actually change their behaviors and adopt healthy habits that last a lifetime.
It’s sort of an applied psychology course. This type of thing is NOT taught in any other health, fitness, or nutrition coaching certification courses that I’m aware of. (At least not in an in-depth manner.)
As part of the course, you’ll receive:
- A hardcover textbook to read and study. (Yes, a physical book for your bookshelf.)
- A workbook with questions so you can test yourself. (Writing your answers down helps improve retention, so I recommend this.)
- Online video lessons if you prefer audio or video to text. (These cover most – but not all – of what’s in the text.)
- Document templates for your coaching practice. (Client intake forms, etc.)
- Access to a private student forum. (There is an online forum and a private Facebook group, available only to enrolled students and certified graduates.)
At full price, the course costs $1428 if you pay upfront. There is also a monthly payment option of $119 per month for 12 months.
But Precision Nutrition offers a pre-sale special; if you are on the pre-sale list, the price is only $999 (save 30%). Or you can pay $99 monthly.
Once you have earned your certification, there are no ongoing costs to maintain your license.
You do have to re-certify every two years; however, you do not have to pay to re-certify. It’s free. You simply have to pass the exam again. When you pass, they’ll even send you a shiny new certificate in the mail (also free).
(How does it compare to other nutrition certifications? Compare them here.)
In true Precision Nutrition fashion, the exam prioritizes the best learning methods for students, rather than being an exam for exam’s sake.
Instead of one giant exam at the end, there are 18 short exams of 10 questions each. Each one corresponds with the chapter you just studied, and completing the exam unlocks the next chapter.
The exams are delivered online and can be accessed whenever you’re ready. They are totally open book.
In total, there are 180 multiple choice and true/false questions. You don’t have to write any essays. Some questions are very detailed and tricky.
A 75% score is required to pass. In other words, get at least 135 questions right of the 180 total.
You get five chances to pass the exam.
Along with your certificate of completion, you’ll receive a certificate stating your continuing education achievement.
This coursework counts as units/credits for:
- ACE (2.0 CECs)
- ACSM (20 credits/hours)
- CDR (16 sessions)
- CPTN (14 CPTN CECs)
- Fitness Australia (15 CECs)
- NASM (1.9 CEUs)
- PTA Global (24 CECs)
- REPs UK (16 credits)
What Sets This Certification Apart
While a lot of these nutrition certification programs are just there for necessary continuing education credits or to look good on a resume, the PN certification is for people who really want to learn how to be a better coach.
This program is one of just a few that teach you how to coach and get results. Most courses teach nutrition and then it’s up to you to turn your nutrition knowledge into results for your clients. Half this program is focused on change psychology, the same concepts which have been proven successful with over 100,000 of Precision Nutrition’s own clients.
Learning to be a good coach means happy clients, and happy clients are returning clients. That means more money for you, so it’s almost helping you from a business standpoint, too.
The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is best for someone with a nutrition background (or high interest in nutrition) that wants to start coaching people but doesn’t know where to start. Perhaps you’re a personal trainer who wants to also coach nutrition – this would be perfect for you.
Heck, this is excellent for a coach of any type at all who wants to get better at coaching!
That’s because this certificate program teaches you what really matters. You’re going to gain real-life skills and practical knowledge that will set you up for success. It’s great if you want to start your own business and be your own boss.
[This certificate is not for someone who is looking for advanced study of nutritional science. Other programs go more in-depth in the science. This one will not prepare you nor will it qualify you to sit for the R.D. exam.]
How to Get Started
While you can study at your own pace and take the exam on your schedule, they only open the enrollment twice per year (spring and fall). When is the next opening? September 22, 2021.
If you are even slightly interested, start doing your research now and sign-up for the pre-sale list. Joining the pre-sale list gets you the opportunity to sign-up a day early to make sure you get in before it fills up. (You also save $400, so it’s the obvious choice!)
Look it over, decide if it’s right for you.