Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board Appeals Policies & Procedures

Ethics and Professionalism

  1. To receive Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (HNCB) certification, each candidate must demonstrate minimum knowledge in areas tested by appropriate certification examination(s). In addition, HNCB certification candidates must satisfy all educational and experiential requirements established by the HNCB and must demonstrate a past and ongoing professional commitment to the profession of holistic nutrition, including active membership in the NANP.
  2. The HNCB believes that certification carries an obligation for ethical behavior and professionalism in all conduct. The exhibition of unethical or dishonest behavior or a lack of professionalism by an applicant or examinee may therefore cause the cancellation of examination scores; prevent the certification of an individual or result in the suspension or revocation of certification at any subsequent time, and may result in criminal charges or a civil lawsuit. All such determinations shall be at the sole discretion of the HNCB.
  3. Unethical and unprofessional behavior is denoted by any dishonest behavior, including but not limited to: cheating, lying, falsifying information, misrepresenting one’s educational background, certification status, or professional experience, or failure to report misconduct. Individuals exhibiting such behaviors may have their examination scores canceled, permanently barred from taking the HNCB examination, permanently banned from certification, reported to state medical boards, or prosecuted under state or federal law, including theft, fraud, and copyright statutes.
  4. Unethical behavior is defined explicitly by the HNCB to include the disclosure, publication, reproduction, or transmission of HNCB examinations, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purposes. This also extends to sharing examination information or discussing the exam while still in progress or at any time after that. Unethical behavior also includes the possession, reproduction, or disclosure of materials or information, including exam questions, answers, or specific information regarding the content of the examination, before, during, or after the test. This definition includes the recall and reconstruction of examination questions by any means explicitly, and such efforts may violate federal copyright law.
  5. All applicants and examinees must fully cooperate in any HNCB investigation into the validity, integrity, or security of the HNCB examination. The HNCB examination is copyrighted and protected by law; the HNCB will prosecute violations to the full extent provided by law and seek monetary damages for any loss of exam materials.
  6. Failure To Disclose/Improper, False, Or Misleading Representations
    1. Where a candidate or certificant fails to disclose information related to certification or recertification requested by the HNCB, or where a candidate or certificant makes an improper, false, or misleading representation to the HNCB, the HNCB may penalize or discipline the individual and issue corrective action related to such failure or improper representation. Among other penalties or disciplines, the HNCB may temporarily or permanently prevent and bar an individual from being certified or recertified or may issue any other appropriate directive(s).
    2. Where the HNCB issues a penalty, discipline, order, or other directives under this section, the candidate or certificant involved may not seek review and appeal under these procedures.


Failure To Cooperate

  1. Where a candidate or certificant fails or refuses to cooperate fully with the HNCB concerning matters arising under, or related to, these procedures, and it is determined that the lack of cooperation is without good cause, the HNCB may penalize or discipline the individual. Among other penalties or disciplines, the HNCB may temporarily or permanently prevent and bar an individual from being certified or recertified or may issue any other appropriate directive(s).
  2. Where the HNCB issues a penalty, discipline, order, or other directives under this section, the candidate or certificant involved may not seek review and appeal under these procedures.


Certification Examination(s) Actions

  1. The HNCB will notify each candidate whether they have achieved a passing or failing score on the certification examination. Where a candidate acts contrary to HNCB policies during the administration of any certification examination(s) or section, the candidate may be prevented from taking or completing the test, or other appropriate action may be issued.
  2. Where the HNCB issues a penalty, discipline, order, or other directives under this section, the candidate or certificant involved may not seek review and appeal under these procedures.


Appeals Process

Legal Process

  1. The Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (HNCB) is directed, administered, and supervised by the HNCB Board of Directors. All challenges regarding and by the HNCB are governed by the comprehensive and exclusive rules contained in these procedures. This appeal process is the only way to resolve HNCB application, eligibility, examination, and other certification or recertification challenges, complaints, or claims of irregularities.
  2. These informal procedures are not legal proceedings; instead, they are designed to operate without the assistance of attorneys. While a party may choose to be represented by an attorney at that individual’s sole expense, candidates and certificants are encouraged to communicate directly with the HNCB. If a party has retained an attorney, that attorney will be directed to communicate with the HNCB through the HNCB’s legal counsel.


The HNCB, NANP Board of Directors, NANP Ethics Committee, and any other authorized representative of the HNCB may be involved in deciding matters to be resolved under these procedures.


To protect the privacy of all individuals involved in a matter under these procedures, all material prepared by or submitted to the HNCB will be confidential. Disclosure of material prepared by or submitted to the HNCB is permitted only when explicitly deemed necessary.  As they are a part of the appeals process, applicants are not authorized to informally communicate with the HNCB, members of the NANP Board of Directors, or NANP staff as it pertains to the appeals case.

Appeal Qualifications

  1. An appeals process is available to any individual who has applied for or received an HNCB certification and wishes to contest any adverse decision or proposed action affecting their application for certification or recertification status, with the following exceptions:
  2. The HNCB Board of Directors may refuse to further process the appeal because of inadequate cause or deem the request frivolous.
  3. The HNCB may affirm or modify the decision or take other appropriate action.
    1. An applicant may submit an appeal of an adverse HNCB certification program decision under the following circumstances:
      • An applicant may submit a request for the HNCB to review an adverse action or decision within thirty (30) days of the date of the action or decision. Such appeals must be submitted in writing and must detail the nature of the appeal and the specific facts supporting the appeal.  This written request for an appeal must include all reasons why the decision should be changed or modified and all supporting documents.
      • Grounds for an appeal are listed below and must contain the following information:
        • The identity and signature of the candidate or certificant submitting the appeal;
        • A detailed explanation of the reasons and basis for the appeal;
        • All objections, corrections, and factual information the candidate or certificant believes to be relevant to the appeal;
        • The names, addresses, emails, and telephone numbers of any persons with factual information relevant to the appeal, and a clear description of the factual information available from these persons; and,
        • Copies of all relevant documents, exhibits, or other information the candidate or certificant wants to submit to support the appeal.
    2. The existence of an eligibility requirement may not be appealed.
    3. Content of the examination, such as poor questions or incorrect answers, are subject to appeal when received as feedback within two (2) weeks of completing the exam; however, candidates may not have access to the examination or answer key as part of the appeal.


Time Frame

  1. The HNCB will only consider written requests received within thirty (30) days of the date of the adverse action. FAILURE TO FILE THE NOTICE OF APPEAL WITHIN THE THIRTY (30) DAY TIME PERIOD WILL RESULT IN DISMISSAL OF THE APPEAL.
  2. Specific requests for the extension of the “New Graduate Policy” * can only be requested if the applicant is three (3) months past the original twelve (12) month period from which they graduated. If an applicant graduated more than fifteen (15) months before, they may not request an extension to the New Graduate Policy. They must provide contact hours as part of their application process.
    1. *New Graduate Policy: Those who have newly graduated from an NANP-approved program may apply to sit for the exam without providing documentation of 500 contact hours. The candidate will be allowed two (2) years from their exam date to provide this documentation. Until such time, the candidate will be able to use the title, “Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Candidate).”
    2. A new graduate is an individual who graduated from an NANP-approved program within the twelve (12) month period of applying to sit for the exam.
  3. Any individual who does not submit a request for an appeal within the required timeframe shall waive the right to appeal.
    1. The HNCB will make every effort to follow the time requirements noted in these appeal procedures. However, the HNCB’s failure to meet a time requirement will not prohibit the handling or final resolution of any matter arising under these procedures. HNCB candidates or certificants are required to comply with all time requirements specified in this document. Unless provided otherwise, time extensions or postponements may be granted by the HNCB if a timely, written request explaining a reasonable cause is submitted.
    2. Individuals may request a time extension in cases of (1) illness, or injury, (2) family emergencies, or (3) a natural disaster is preventing a timely completion.
      1. In the case of your illness or injury, confirmation from a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, nurse, functional medicine doctor, or naturopathic doctor is required.
      2. Concerning family emergencies, you must provide verifiable documentation of the emergency. Given the vast array of family emergencies, the HNCB will provide precise guidance on what constitutes adequate documentation. Unless the emergency is critical, you should notify the HNCB in advance of your missed deadline. In cases of acute emergencies, you must inform the HNCB within one (1) week of your missed deadline.
    3. HNCB Actions
      1. Upon receipt, all review requests will be considered informally by the HNCB. The HNCB will acknowledge receipt of the request within ten (10) days. The HNCB will conduct and complete the appeal within ninety (90) days after receiving the Notice of Appeal. The HNCB, at its discretion, may extend the time for completing the appeal. The HNCB may consult legal counsel.
      2. Following a review of the candidate’s or certificant’s request for review, the HNCB may take the following actions:
        1. Informal Resolution. The HNCB will resolve and decide the appeal based on the record, including relevant and credible information presented by the candidate or certificant. The informal resolution will include the findings of the HNCB and a summary of the relevant facts upon which the decision is based and may uphold or modify the adverse action or decision or indicate other appropriate action. The HNCB will issue the informal resolution within ninety (90) days of receipt of the request, or as soon after that as is practical; or,
        2. Referral of Request. The HNCB will refer the matter to the NANP Ethics Committee or the NANP Board of Directors for resolution as an appeal. The HNCB will provide the NANP Ethics Committee or the NANP Board of Directors with all relevant materials, including the documents and materials submitted by the candidate or certificant.
        3. Appeal Rejection. If the HNCB, NANP Ethics Committee, or NANP Board of Directors determines that an appeal does not meet the appeal requirements or otherwise warrant further formal review, consistent with the requirements outlined in these procedures, the appeal will be rejected. The HNCB will notify the candidate or certificant of the rejection and the reason(s) for the rejection by email within thirty (30) days of the determination. Appeal rejection determinations are not subject to appeal.
  4. Conditions for Closing an Application Eligibility Matter. An application eligibility matter will be closed when any of the following occurs: The allowable period for filing an appeal according to these procedures has lapsed; the HNCB issues a decision, or the appeal has been withdrawn or terminated by the applicant.

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