BF Entry Level


Please be sure to read this information carefully and consider the expense of each item and exactly how you will be able to document completion.  This will assure you that you have accurately evaluated all costs and time commitments. 

This certification is open to professionals who can document a minimum of a BA/BS degree in a BCIA approved health care field completed at a regionally accredited academic institution (an Accredited Institution of Post-secondary Education as determined by the American Council on Education).  **All International applicants for BCIA certification programs, outside of the US and Canada, must carry a valid government-issued license/credential that regulates clinical health care practice. For additional information, please see our International Welcome tab.**

BCIA-approved health care fields include psychology; nursing (including 2-year registered nurses with license); physical, respiratory, occupational, and recreational therapy; social work; counseling; rehabilitation; chiropractic; dental hygiene; physician's assistant (with certification or license); exercise physiology; speech pathology; marriage family therapy; and sports medicine. The following fields require a master's degree: music therapy and counseling education (MEd in counseling). Appropriately credentialed Doctor of Medicine and Dentistry are also accepted. 

When using biofeedback to treat a medical or psychological disorder, you are required to hold a current license/credential issued by the state in which you practice in a BCIA-approved health care field. Without this license/credential, you must agree to work under the legal supervision of an appropriately credentialed health care professional when working with a medical or psychological disorder.  This supervisor should have training and experience with biofeedback and clinical experience with the populations and disorders being treated. This does not apply to those who work only in peak/optimal performance.  For further clarification, please read this document.

This brochure will provide a quick review of the certification program.

If you do not have a health care degree that fits the stated requirements, you may wish to consider the Technician Level Certification which requires that you are currently working under the legal supervision of a licensed and BCIA Certified provider.

Candidates must demonstrate completion of the following requirements including the certification exam.  Should you believe you have completed a requirement in a legitimate way different than described below, you may request a Special Review to look for equivalency.

1.  Human Anatomy/Physiology Course

A comprehensive course in human anatomy, human physiology, or human biology covering the organization of the human body and all 11 systems, taken from a regionally accredited academic institution or a BCIA-approved provider is required. Candidates should complete a course that best supports their biofeedback practice.

2.  Didactic Education – to learn the science, history, and theory of biofeedback

A 42-hour didactic education program specifically covering all topics as listed in the Blueprint of Knowledge is required and must be taken from a BCIA Accredited Training Programs. 

3.  Mentoring - Practical Skills Training

Mentoring can begin when the candidate can demonstrate some basic competence with equipment and is only the time spent reviewing the actual work as outlined by BCIA.  Primarily working on equipment issues or technical support is not mentoring and should not be included.  BCIA does not stipulate when this mentoring can begin and in fact one may have completed the process prior to applying for certification.

Remember - if you are unlicensed and have no equipment, it may be that you are requesting an internship which is very different than merely learning the application of practical skills inside your own workplace environment.

You are required to spend 20 contact hours (2 must be face to face) with a BCIA-approved mentor or mentors learning to apply hands-on biofeedback skills through the review of the following:

  • 10 Sessions of Self-Regulation where you are the patient/client.

  • 50 Patient/client sessions as follows:  10 sessions each of Thermal, EMG, and HRV.  The remaining 20 sessions are to include any combination of EMG, Thermal, GSR, HRV, and respiration training.

  • 10 Case Studies which are full detailed patient/client stories from intake and protocol selection/adjustment, through discharge.  These cases may be presented to you by your mentor, or they may be a client you have not yet reviewed with your mentor. This is the only mentoring that can easily be done in an online group setting.

The Essential Skills List, as found in the Biofeedback Mentoring Handbook, is to be used as a way to test your knowledge.   This document must be completed and submitted to BCIA by your mentor.

4.  Filing an Application

Candidates must file an application and pay all fees prior to considering the exam.  The signature are includes your agreement to abide by the BCIA Professional Standards and Ethical Principles for Biofeedback and follow the appropriate rules and regulations of your profession and state/region.

Fees include:

  • $150 filing fee which must be paid at the time the application is submitted.  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.

  • $300 certification fee prior to scheduling the exam.  If this is your second BCIA certification (in addition to either BCIA Neurofeedback, HRV or PMDB), the filing fee is the same, but certification fee is reduced to $100).

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

5. Certification Exam


The certification exam may be taken at any time after approval of your application and payment of all fees; however, we recommend it as the last requirement in the certification process. The certification exam may only be taken using our online proctoring service which allows you to test on your own computer with no travel required.  This service employs cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor exam security. 

  • Language:  The examination is offered in English only and is based on the Blueprint of Knowledge Statements.

  • Exam Construction:  The exam consists of approximately 100 multiple-choice items with only one correct answer.  No penalty for guessing.  The 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.  For more information, please refer to Biofeedback Exam 101.

  • How Much time Will It Take?  There is a 3-hour time limit for the exam.  If you need more time due to identified special needs or English is not your first language, please write to BCIA at [email protected] to request consideration.

  • How to Study:  Please use the Core Reading List to aid in preparation for the exam and to reinforce the learning of the science, history, and theory of biofeedback. Additional information regarding taking the exam can be found here Exam FAQ.

  • A Practice Exam:  BCIA now offers an online practice exam for biofeedback to give you a sample of multiple-choice questions. CLICK HERE to take practice exam.

  • 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 $50 cancellation fee. 

  • When is the Exam Available?  The exam may be available 24/7; however, keep in mind that the exam is specifically opened for each client with a start time and a stop time that is approximately 3 hours later. That is why it is imperative to communicate any schedule changes.

  • Our proctoring service can provide assistance in different languages to aid you during the exam.  When you register, please ask if they have proctors available who speak your language. The exam is in English only.

  • Exam Security: 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 may 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.  The exam must be administered by BCIA-approved staff or proctoring service.

 To schedule the exam, you must:

  • 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. 

  • Pay your fees: $300 certification exam fee. In addition, there is a $20 fee paid directly to the proctor.

BF Entry Level Certification Application