American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

Here at ACE, we’re committed to ensuring our education and exams evolve with the health coaching industry. We’ve made some changes to our Health Coach Certification exam content outline and pre-requisites so you get the relevant, science-based education you need to be competitive in the industry and become a catalyst for healthy change once you start your career.

How has the exam content outline changed?

The domain names and percentage breakdowns; and the associated task, knowledge and skill statements have been updated to reflect the current role of a Health Coach.


Previous Exam Content Outline Domain Breakdown

New Exam Content Outline Domain Breakdown

Domain 1   

Building Rapport and Facilitating Behavior Change – 26%

Coaching Behavior Change – 33%

Domain 2

Program Design and Implementation – 27%

Conducting Assessments and Developing Plans – 26%

Domain 3

Program Progression and Adjustments – 32%

Implementing and Adjusting Individualized Plans – 25%

Domain 4

Professional Conduct and Competency – 15%

Professional Conduct and Legal Responsibility – 16%

How have the pre-requisites changed?

  • A degree in fitness, exercise science, nutrition, healthcare or wellness will still be accepted; a degree in human resources will no longer be accepted.
  • The type of work experience required to sit for the exam will be specific to coaching, leading, designing, implementing or facilitating one or more of the following: behavior or lifestyle change, exercise, wellness, nutrition or physical activity.
  • You can now be pre-approved to sit for the exam by completing a health coach training and education program approved by the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaches (ICHWC).

Prior to registering for the ACE Health Coach exam, you must submit supporting documentation for these pre-requisites. Please use the pre-approval tool to upload your documents for review. Upon approval from ACE, you will receive an email confirming that you may now register for your exam.

You can still prepare for and have success on the ACE Health Coach Certification exam using the ACE Health Coach Manual and associated materials. Continue with your current study plan using all print and online study materials that you purchased, including any sample tests. You can then register for the exam in your My ACE Account. If your study materials included an exam voucher, make sure to redeem the voucher and register for your exam before your voucher expires.

Do you still have questions about preparing for your exam? ACE Answers, our self-serve resource center, offers a wide range of online study tools. Get your questions answered when you access our Facebook community, live webinars, live virtual study groups, exam prep blog and more.

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