HRV Certification Entry Level


This program is for those with a health care degree in fields such as psychology, medicine, counseling, or nursing and in optimal performance such as sport or exercise physiology.  Degrees must be earned at a regionally accredited academic institution in accordance with BCIA's policies and procedures.  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 that you have accurately evaluated all costs and time commitments as well as the feasibility of adding HRV Biofeedback to your practice.

Candidates are required to hold a BA/BS degree or higher from a regionally accredited academic institution, in the fields below:

  • BCIA approved health care fields including: psychology; medicine; nursing (including two-year RNs); physical, occupational, recreational, and respiratory therapy; social work; counseling; marriage family therapy; rehabilitation; chiropractic; physician's assistant (with certification or license); speech pathology; and sports medicine. 
  • **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 optimal performance degrees include: sport psychology, exercise physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, and physical education, as well as Masters-educated health and life coaches certified by ICF, BCC, and ICCHWC.  Degrees in related fields other than those listed above must be submitted for special review.
  • The following fields require a masters degree:  music therapy and counseling education (MEd in counseling).

Candidates must demonstrate the completion of these three requirements and the written 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 or a Neuroanatomy/Physiological Psychology Course

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

2.  Didactic Education

3.  Mentoring - Practical Skills Training

The candidate is to work with a BCIA-approved mentor for 10 contact hours to review:

  • 10 sessions of personal HRV biofeedback training, demonstrating self-regulation,

  • 20 sessions of patient/client treatment, using HRV biofeedback, including BVP or ECG training and respirometer (respiratory biofeedback) training.  

  • Discussion of five case studies.

Each session is to be a minimum of 20 minutes. More than 1 mentor may be used.  Please carefully review the HRVB Mentoring Handbook.

Essential Skills List - This is a checklist to be completed by your mentor and submitted along with documentation of the 10 contact hours as described above.

4.  Filing an Application

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. You must request the student fee and provide proper documentation (current transcript or student ID) to receive the reduced rate.

  •  $300 certification fee prior to seating for 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 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 for Board Certification in HRV Biofeedback/Neurofeedback.

  • 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 HRV 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 neurofeedback.

  • 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. Additional information regarding the exam can be found here Exam FAQ.

  • 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 support 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 currently offered in English.

  • 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 with no travel required. 

  • 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**

All candidates must agree to abide by the Professional Standards and Ethical Principles of Biofeedback and follow the appropriate rules and regulations of their profession and their state.

Certification is valid for four years. To recertify, the candidate must demonstrate completion of 48 hours of blueprint-related continuing education, must attest that their license/credential has not been suspended, investigated, or revoked, and submit the recertification fee.

Click here to complete HRV Entry Level Certification Application