IFM Certification Program® Application Form
Please complete the application below. If you wish to submit your application by mail or fax, please use this form.
Before you begin your application, please review the Application Information below and pay the application fee.
We are pleased that you have expressed interest in The Institute for Functional Medicine Certification Program (IFMCP). The overall goal of IFMCP is to deepen and broaden the expertise and knowledge base of clinicians in the principles and practice of Functional Medicine. The main objectives of the program for participants are:
- Use patient-centered diagnosis and apply the concepts of antecedents, triggers, and mediators in assessment and workup
- Become adept in the use of the Functional Medicine Matrix Model and systems thinking
- Achieve proficiency in the workup of patients who present with complex chronic disease
- Develop skill and competence in the treatment of patients with complex chronic disease using diet, lifestyle, nutrient, phytonutrient, mind/body, and pharmaceutical modalities
- Develop skill and competence in evaluating and planning primary and secondary preventive interventions using diet, lifestyle, nutrient, phytonutrient, mind/body, and pharmaceutical modalities
IFM’s Certification Program (IFMCP) is designed to help established clinicians develop advanced skills and competence in the treatment of patients. IFMCP does not grant any additional legal or specialty status. Clinicians can only apply their Functional Medicine education within the scope of their current healthcare licensure. A complete application must be submitted for IFM to provide feedback on an individual’s eligibility. Please note that below are the minimum eligibility requirements to apply to the certification program. Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not grant automatic acceptance into the program. Every application is evaluated on educational background, program degree, regulatory status, and clinical experience.
- Commonly eligible degree types: Acupuncturist, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Dentist, Doctor of Chiropractic, Doctor of Optometry, Doctor of Osteopathy, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, Medical Doctor, Mental Health Professionals, Naturopathic Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, Occupational Therapist, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist, Physician Assistant, Registered Dietitian, Registered Nurse
Applicants must meet both of the minimum eligibility requirements:
United States Eligibility Requirements
- Hold at least a Masters level degree in health related field from an accredited university (with exception of Bachelor level RNs and Bachelor level RDs)
- Hold a current healthcare license to practice by the appropriate authority in the state, province, or country of the applicant’s clinical practice
Naturopathic Physicians (NDs) from the United States:
IFM has determined that passing a licensing examination in one’s primary discipline is an essential factor in assuring basic competence and public safety. Since IFM has no other way to assess competence, and because it is possible for naturopathic physicians from the United States to obtain and maintain a license in one of the licensing states, we do require documentation of an active license or registration from any state recognizing the doctorate of natural or naturopathic medicine as a licensable degree. Because NDs are not licensable in all states or jurisdictions, it is acceptable to present a license or registration from a state that does recognize NDs, even if practicing in another state.
Nutrition Professionals from the United States:
IFM has determined that passing a licensing examination in one’s primary discipline is an essential factor in assuring basic competence and public safety. Since IFM has no other way to assess competence, and because it is possible for nutritionists (e.g., certified nutrition specialists, registered dietitians) to obtain and maintain a license in one of the licensing states, we do require documentation of an active license from a state recognizing your nutrition degree. Because all nutrition degrees are not licensable in all states or jurisdictions, it is acceptable to present a license from a state that does recognize your nutrition degree, even if practicing in another state.
International Eligibility Requirements
- Hold at least an Advanced Diploma or Bachelors level degree in health related field.
(International practitioners whose degrees may not have a US equivalent are also required to submit additional information about their degree, which may include but is not limited to, the length of the program, curriculum, and clinical hours)
- Hold a current healthcare license to practice by the appropriate authority in the federal district, province, or country of the applicant’s clinical practice.
(Healthcare practitioners who are not government regulated may be eligible to meet the licensure requirement by submitting membership with a regulatory body and a copy of their indemnity insurance policy)
Nutritional Therapists from Great Britain:
Because of differing regulations, naturopathic physicians or nutritional therapists from Great Britain should send a copy of their advanced diploma, documentation of registration and a current copy of your medical malpractice insurance policy.
Requirements to Become an IFM Certified Practitioner
- Completion of Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice® (AFMCP) course
- Completion of all six individual Functional Medicine Advanced Practice Modules® (APMs)
- Passing grade on one case report submitted using an IFM-provided template
- Successful completion of written examination following completion of AFMCP and APMs
Successful completion of all the above requirements within four years from an approved application entitles the candidate to the Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner designation.
Requirements to Maintain and Renew Certification
To Maintain Your Status as an IFM Certified Practitioner:
- Maintain IFM Membership annually
- Maintain active clinical healthcare practitioner license
To Renew Your Status as an IFM Certified Practitioner:
- Pass a written examination every tenth year following certification
- Provide a copy of your current healthcare practitioner license
To be approved into IFM’s Certification, you must submit:
- Completed application form.
- Copy of current/active medical or other healthcare practitioner license. Because of differing regulations, Naturopathic Physicians or Nutritional Therapists from Great Britain should send documentation of registration and a current copy of your medical malpractice insurance policy.
- Copy of degree/diploma.
- Copy of CV.
- Nonrefundable application fee of $250.
Please note that all application materials must be translated to English.
Once IFM has received all required application materials, the applicant’s file will be evaluated by IFM staff to ensure the criteria listed above under Eligibility are met. Following approval, the applicant will be notified via email of acceptance into the program. Please allow 4 weeks for your application to be processed.
If IFM determines that the eligibility requirements have not been met, the applicant will be notified that he/she has not been accepted into the program. To appeal a denial of eligibility for participation in the IFMCP:
- Applicant must submit a letter requesting reconsideration within 30 days of the date on the letter (or email) notifying the applicant of an adverse decision on eligibility. The request must state why the applicant believes that they do meet the eligibility requirements, or why an exception should be made in their case. The applicant should also submit any additional materials in support of the request for reconsideration (for example: letters of reference, graduate/postgraduate transcripts, CME certificates, etc.).
- The request for reconsideration of eligibility, along with the materials in the applicant’s application file, will be reviewed by IFM’s Executive Medical Education Team (EMET). The EMET may request additional information from the applicant, including a personal interview (usually by phone, before making a decision. All decisions by the EMET are final.
Once IFM has received all of the above materials, please allow 4 weeks for your appeal to be processed. You will be notified via email of the status of your appeal.
Terms and ConditionsThe individual signing and submitting the application of which these Terms and Conditions are a part (the “Applicant”) agrees as follows:
1. Use of IFM’s Service Marks. The Applicant acknowledges and agrees that “Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner”, “IFM Certified Practitioner”, and any variations thereof are trademarks of The Institute for Functional Medicine® (“IFM”) and may not be used by the Applicant unless and until the Applicant has been notified in writing and awarded a Certificate indicating successful completion of IFM’s Certification Program ( “IFMCP”). If the Applicant has been awarded such a Certificate, the Applicant may display the Certificate in the Applicant’s practice location and may inform patients that the Applicant is an “IFM Certified Practitioner.” The Applicant may not use any variations of such terms without IFM’s prior, written consent, nor may the Applicant use any such terms in a manner that states or implies that IFM endorses, guarantees, or provides any warranties regarding the Applicant or any services provided by the Applicant. The Applicant acknowledges that IFM does not endorse, guarantee, or provide any warranties regarding the Applicant or any services provided by the Applicant, and the Certificate indicates only that the Applicant has completed IFM’s approved course of study and has satisfied IFM’s other requirements for certification. Further information regarding IFM and IFMCP is available at www.functionalmedicine.org.
2. Indemnification. The Applicant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless IFM and its officers, directors, employees, faculty, parents, affiliates, agents, subsidiaries, successors–in-interest, consultants, information providers, licensors, and suppliers (the “IFM Parties”) from and against any and all claims, actions, losses, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses (including without limitation attorneys’ fees) caused by or arising from any alleged or actual acts or omissions of the Applicant or the applicant’s employees, contractors, representatives, agents or affiliates. The indemnification provided hereunder shall specifically include, but not be limited to, (a) any claim made against any of the IFM Parties arising from or with respect to the Applicant’s use of the “Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner” and “IFM Certified Practitioner” designation or any similar phrases and (b) any claim made against any of the IFM Parties by any patient of the Applicant (unless such claim is completely unrelated to the Applicant).
3. Waiver, Release, and Limitation of Liability. The Applicant hereby releases and forever waives any and all claims he or she may have against any of the IFM Parties for losses or damages the Applicant may sustain in connection with the Applicant’s application for or participation in the IFMCP, IFM’s granting or not granting a Certificate to the Applicant, and Applicant’s use of, or inability to use, the Certificate. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW AND NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED HEREIN, IN NO EVENT SHALL ANY OF THE IFM PARTIES OR ANY THIRD PARTIES BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, DAMAGES FOR PERSONAL INJURY, SICKNESS, DEATH, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, OR LOSS OF BUSINESS INFORMATION OR DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS OR REVENUES THAT MAY RESULT FROM OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE APPLICANT’S APPLICATION FOR OR PARTICIPATION IN THE IFMCP, IFM’S GRANTING OR NOT GRANTING A CERTIFICATE TO THE APPLICANT, AND APPLICANT’S USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE CERTIFICATE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, OR EVEN IF SUCH POSSIBILITY WAS REASONABLY FORESEEABLE, WHETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, CONTRACT, TORT OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY. IN NO EVENT SHALL IFM’S AGGREGATE LIABILITY TO THE APPLICANT EXCEED THE FEES ACTUALLY PAID BY THE APPLICANT TO IFM WITH REGARD TO THE APPLICANT’S PARTICIPATION IN THE IFMCP. No claims, regardless of form, arising out of, or in any way connected with the IFMCP, the Applicant’s participation therein and/or the Certificate may be brought by the Applicant more than one year after the cause of action has accrued or the Applicant’s participation in the IFMCP has been completed or terminated, whichever is earlier.
The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice, and AFMCP are marks owned by Jeffrey and Susan Bland, used under exclusive license.