HRV Certification/Certificate Comparison

What Is Heart Rate Variability?

Heart rate variability (HRV) is the physiological phenomenon of variation in the time interval between heartbeats. It is measured by the variation in the beat-to-beat interval.

What is the difference between a certificate and full certification?

A Certificate of Completion demonstrates that an applicant has successfully completed an approved and standardized didactic workshop based on fundamental science that meets rigorous academic standards.  A certificate could increase the rigor of didactic programs teaching HRV biofeedback and enhance the expertise of academics, technicians, performance specialists, and licensed health care professionals who utilize HRV biofeedback.

The HRV Biofeedback Full Certification program is for health care professionals.  This program will include a human or neuroanatomy course, HRV didactics + biofeedback or neurofeedback didactics, mentoring, and a written certification exam.  Certificants will add BCB-HRV or BCN-HRV to their signature and their name will be listed on the Find a Practitioner area of the website.  ***A BCIA Certificate of Completion is not a designation and as such, certificate holders will not be listed on the website. Only those who have completed the full certification process are listed.***

Use this chart to compare/contrast the two programs:

Comparison Between HRV Certificate of Completion and the full HRV Biofeedback Certification


HRV Certificate of Completion

HRV Biofeedback Certification

Pre-requisite education

Not required

BA/BS minimum in a BCIA-approved health care or optimal performance field from a regionally accredited academic institution

License for Independent Practice

Not required

In the US & Canada:  License is required if you are using HRV to independently treat a diagnosed medical or psychology disorder.  

License is NOT required if:

- you work under legal supervision when working with a medical or psychological disorder or
- you use the modality for peak/optimal performance.   


License is required for all international applicants outside of the US and Canada.


Not required

A comprehensive course in human anatomy, human physiology, human biology covering the organization of the human body and all 11 systems 


a physiological psychology or a neuroanatomy/neuroscience course from a regionally accredited academic institution is required.

Candidates should complete a course that best supports their HRV biofeedback practice.


16-hour blueprint, taken from a BCIA-accredited course

16-hour HRV didactic course plus a certificate of completion from either a BCIA-accredited 42-hour biofeedback or a 36-hour neurofeedback didactic course.


Required and must be from the last 5 years

Included in the full bf or nf didactics


Not required

10 contact hours to review 10 sessions of personal HRVB, 20 sessions using HRVB on patients/clients, and 5 case studies


50 Item Multiple Choice

100 Item Multiple Choice


Not required

Required – 48 contact hours/4 years

Listing on Find a Practitioner


Yes, and will be listed as HRVB.


$50 + special exam

$450  Fees are reduced IF you are already BCB, BCN, or BCB-PMD.