How do I maintain and renew my IFM Certification?

To maintain certification:  

  • Maintain an active healthcare license and   
  • Hold a current IFM Membership  

To renew certification:  

  • Pass a written examination every tenth year following certification.  
  • Provide a copy of your current healthcare practitioner license. 

Why do I need to hold a healthcare license to become or maintain IFM Certified Practitioner status?

Functional medicine is not considered a standalone area of medicine and is reliant on conventional medical education and licensure to be able to see and treat patients. IFM Certification Program (IFMCP) does not grant any additional specialty or legal status, practitioners would need to incorporate functional medicine solely into their existing practice. To learn more about our specific eligibility requirements, please click here. 

What can I do with IFM Certification?

Becoming an IFM Certified Practitioner establishes you as a leader in the field. Current patient demand far exceeds the number of providers available. IFM Certified Practitioners are recognized as clinicians whose rigorous training and evaluation places them in the top tier of functional medicine practitioners. You can find more information on the benefits of becoming certified online here 

How long does it take to complete IFM’s Certification Program (IFMCP)?

On average, it takes candidates anywhere from 2 – 2.5 years to complete the program, but the program can be completed as quickly as 18 months. The only time restriction is after you apply and are accepted, you have 4 years from the time you are accepted to complete the seven required courses (6 APMs and AFMCP), the case study, and the written examination.   

I am currently in medical school, but very interested in functional medicine. Can I start taking courses now or do I have to wait until I graduate?

We have quite a few medical/healthcare students who are concurrently taking our courses as they complete their degree programs and residencies. Those students usually take our courses as their finances and schedules allow, then once they have completed their degree programs and received their license they apply for our program thereafter. Any courses they took while they were in school automatically count towards their certification and they would not need to re-take anything. 

I’m interested in becoming certified, but I am not a license healthcare professional. How do I become certified?

At this time, IFM does not have any certifications for unlicensed healthcare providers. To learn more about our eligibility requirements, please click here 

What is the process to becoming certified with IFM?

IFM’s Certification Program (IFMCP) requires completion of seven core foundational courses: Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP) and 6 Advanced Practice Modules (APMs). 

Upon completion of those seven courses, approved candidates in the program will be eligible to submit a case study and sit for a written examination to complete the certification process. You can find the full certification process and requirements online here. 

Do I have to be accepted into IFM’s Certification Program (IFMCP) before I can register for AFMCP or an APM?

No, you are welcome to start taking courses prior to being accepted into the program. Any courses you take prior to being accepted will automatically count towards certification and you will not have to retake anything once you are formally approved into IFMCP. However if your intent is to become certified, we highly recommend you apply early in the process for the following reasons: 

  • You will begin to receive full audio and video recordings from new iterations of IFM Certification Program courses you have moving forward from the date you are officially approved into the program. Please note: the benefit of receiving updated recordings is not retroactive and you will only begin to receive updated recordings after you’ve been approved. If you are not a candidate in the certification program, the course recordings will expire after one year and you will not be eligible to receive the updated recordings.   
  • If there is any obstacle to your acceptance into the program, it can be identified and remediated. 
  • Once you have applied and been accepted into IFM’s Certification Program, IFM will be able to alert you to specific news, updates, and opportunities related to the certification program. 

If you have any concern regarding your eligibility into the program, you are encouraged to apply before taking any IFM courses. You can find the requirements for applying to the program online here.