ISSA Vitamin Certification Assessment (2023)

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Having already earned my CPR/AED and CPT certifications through the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), I used to be desperate to discover different choices that would improve my talents and income-earning alternatives as a health skilled. As I expanded my shopper base at YouFit, the place I began working as a private coach shortly after getting my certification, I rapidly realized that few understood the fundamentals of diet. Actually, it was evident that many individuals want extra assist with determining tips on how to gas their our bodies moderately than tips on how to transfer them.

I took benefit of the partnership between ISSA and YouFit and scored a reduced fee on a specialization course: the nutritionist certification course. This certification course allowed me to realize an in-depth understanding of tips on how to put collectively an efficient diet program. Ripe with useful assets like video lectures, downloadable shopper types, and direct entry to ISSA’s resident diet knowledgeable, the course accommodates all of the instruments it is advisable not solely go the ultimate examination, but additionally develop into a extra assured and succesful well being and health coach.

This ISSA diet certification evaluate offers a complete breakdown of the course supplies — together with the Health Vitamin textbook and chapter quizzes — and covers different key parts so you may resolve whether or not to make the leap and buy the course. (Trace: It’s nicely price it.)

Key Takeaways

  • For about $650, the ISSA diet certification course is a smart funding for private trainers and well being coaches who wish to broaden their enterprise by providing a precious service to each present and potential purchasers.
  • In addition to going in-depth on scientific subjects like macronutrients, micronutrients, metabolism, digestion, and hydration, this diet program additionally addresses necessary areas like habits change, purpose setting, and motivation — all of which contribute to a shopper’s success.
  • Whereas the ultimate examination accommodates 100 multiple-choice questions and a six-part essay portion, it’s an open-book check. You should not have any hassle assembly the 70 p.c threshold to go, particularly should you make the most of the examine supplies and carry out nicely on the chapter quizzes.

ISSA Nutritionist Certification


  • Value: Begins at round $53.27 monthly
  • Course size: 10 weeks or fewer
  • Examine supplies: Digital textbook, video lectures, quizzes, Vitamin Bootcamp
  • Minimal passing rating on ultimate examination: 70 p.c

Check Price

What’s the ISSA Vitamin Certification?

One among many specializations accessible via ISSA, their diet certification course is a good way to get a leg up on the competitors and assist your purchasers crush their targets quicker. For licensed private trainers like me who wish to present the very best science-backed steerage on tips on how to keep correctly fueled, it’s laborious to go unsuitable with a program like this. It lets you work at your personal tempo as you study all the pieces from figuring out a shopper’s preferrred macronutrient consumption to assembling a well-rounded supplement stack to constructing a diet teaching enterprise.

A young man setting in a gym holding his ISSA Nutritionist certificate
Holding my ISSA Nutritionist certificates

Alongside the best way, your information will probably be examined with chapter quizzes to see your progress. Pairing the Health Vitamin textbook with video lectures offers a strong basis for studying that you could construct upon additional with the assistance of a devoted Success Coach who you may entry through e mail or by calling the ISSA help line throughout enterprise hours. Though I didn’t benefit from this useful resource, having it accessible definitely qualifies as a plus for this diet program, particularly should you wrestle with a few of the extra science-heavy topics.

By the point you full the course and go the ultimate examination, you’ll be empowered to offer your dietary experience to purchasers who wish to lose fats, gain muscle, or just enhance their total well being and wellness. In spite of everything, acquiring your cert from a corporation that earned accreditation from each the Nationwide Fee for Certifying Businesses (NCCA) and the Distance Training and Coaching Council (DETC) provides validity and added worth to you and your rising enterprise.

RELATED: How to Become a Personal Trainer

ISSA Vitamin Certification Course Highlights

Registering for the ISSA Nutritionist course is step one in changing into a more practical licensed private coach and life-style coach. You’ll instantly achieve entry to a guided examine program that features the net model of the Health Vitamin textbook, almost 20 video lectures, and devoted chapter quizzes designed to arrange you for the ultimate examination. This system is supposed to be accomplished in 10 weeks, however as a result of you may full the course at your personal tempo, you could possibly acquire your diet certification even quicker.

As you make your means via the course, you’ll achieve an in-depth understanding of all the pieces from vitality techniques to fad diets to widespread vitamin deficiencies. Despite the fact that the breadth of knowledge might sound overwhelming at instances, relaxation assured that you’ll be a superior coach by spending the time, cash, and vitality on seeing this diet program via.

When you full all of the quizzes, you’ll then have the ability to take the ultimate examination, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 6 essay questions. You could earn at the least a 70 p.c total to earn a passing grade from ISSA. The check is untimed (it took me about two hours) and open-book, so that you shouldn’t have an excessive amount of hassle hitting that mark in your first try.

General, I believed the ISSA diet certification course was price it for a number of causes. First, I acquired all of the instruments I wanted to ship high-quality programming and steerage for my purchasers, together with downloadable types. Second, I had the choice to make the most of assets like the net scholar discussion board and Vitamin Academic Bootcamp for additional help. Lastly, it set me up for extra monetary success sooner or later by giving me one other avenue to earn revenue as a health skilled.

Who Ought to Get the ISSA Vitamin Certification

  • Coaches who search extra in-depth information on diet than what’s supplied in customary private coach certification packages.
  • Coaches who wish to get higher outcomes from present purchasers or be better-prepared to assist new purchasers attain their targets.
  • Entrepreneurial-minded people who wish to entice extra enterprise by offering a precious service that different trainers might not supply.
  • ISSA-certified private trainers who wish to fulfill their persevering with schooling unit (CEU) requirement and save on recertification charges.

Who Shouldn’t Get the ISSA Vitamin Certification

  • Anybody who needs to prescribe medical dietary remedy (treating medical situations with food plan), as this doesn’t fall beneath the scope of observe for a diet coach.
  • Anybody who wishes to work as a registered dietician, which requires a bachelor’s diploma from an authorised supervised scientific program, passing the Fee on Dietetic Registration (CDR) ultimate examination, and completion of CEU necessities to keep up registration.
  • Licensed private trainers who’ve a proper schooling in sports activities diet or meals science, as they’ll doubtless already be aware of a majority of the course materials content material.

RELATED: Nutritionist vs. Dietitian: What’s the Difference Between These Nutrition Experts?

How A lot Does the ISSA Vitamin Certification Value?

With none reductions, the ISSA diet certification usually prices simply north of $600. Have in mind, although, that the group repeatedly affords specials all year long which will decrease that complete. You may also get monetary savings by pairing the ISSA CPT course with a specialization just like the Nutritionist course to develop into a licensed Health Coach for lower than $1,000.

Furthermore, ISSA makes it simpler for college kids to afford their diet program by providing three fee plan choices. For those who moderately not pay in full, you may select between a six- or 12-payment setup. Not solely does that provide the flexibility to unfold out the full price, but it surely additionally comes with the good thing about being interest-free.

ISSA Vitamin Certification Course Supplies

Registering for this self-paced course provides you entry to a wealth of examine information supplies and different helpful assets you may even use after you earn your nutritionist certificates.

From video lectures that additional clarify a few of the subjects lined within the on-line textbook to quizzes that reinforce key ideas and assist put together you for the ultimate examination, let’s check out what ISSA offers college students:

Health Vitamin Textbook

That includes contributions from 9 people — together with Daniel Gastelu, ISSA Professor & Director of Dietary Sciences, and Adam Seal, a postdoctoral researcher at California Polytechnic State College’s Division of Kinesiology and Public Well being — the Health Vitamin textbook spans 19 chapters and is almost 500 pages lengthy. Revised in September 2022, it’s well-organized and pretty user-friendly, with loads of photographs, tables, and graphs that present further context.

A young man reading a digital textbook from the ISSA Nutritionist course on his computer
Studying a digital textbook from the ISSA Nutritionist course on my pc

Whereas the chapters range in size, most fall between 10 and 20 pages. Each is separated into a number of sub-topics, with some that includes as few as two (Chapter 2: Cells, Organ Techniques, and Digestion) and others being damaged down into way more sections. As an example, the chapter on protein covers 10 subjects starting from protein’s function within the physique to the way it’s digested to why athletes want it for optimum efficiency.

Here’s a full listing of the chapters within the newest model of the ISSA’s Health Vitamin textbook:

  1. Vitamin
  2. Cells, Organ Techniques, and Digestion
  3. Metabolism and Power Stability
  4. Carbohydrates
  5. Protein
  6. Fat
  7. Nutritional vitamins
  8. Minerals
  9. Water and Hydration
  10. The Position of the Vitamin Coach
  11. Phases of Change and Motivational Interviewing
  12. Consumer Evaluation and Objective Setting
  13. Enterprise in Vitamin Teaching
  14. Dietary Tips
  15. Product and Complement Labels and Claims
  16. Dietary supplements
  17. Navigating Profitable and Trending Diets
  18. Particular Vitamin Eventualities
  19. References

As somebody who signed up for the certification course with a strong basis of the basics of diet, I nonetheless discovered the textbook to be a precious useful resource. That being stated, a few of the earlier chapters had been fairly science-heavy and never essentially probably the most pertinent for a private coach. The chapters on cells and organ techniques and metabolism and vitality steadiness made me really feel like I had been transported straight again to highschool biology — which wasn’t precisely my cup of tea.

Nevertheless, after getting via these extra difficult chapters, I discovered a majority of the textbook to be straight relevant to my function as a private coach and health coach. Positive, a few of the data on macronutrients had some crossover from the ISSA CPT course. However the in-depth materials on micronutrients, hydration, and the psychological and enterprise points of being a diet coach definitely gave me a extra well-rounded understanding of all the points it takes to steer a shopper in the correct route.

From a training perspective, I significantly appreciated the “Product and Complement Labels and Claims” chapter for offering detailed tables of the necessities wanted to make claims like “All Pure” and “Good Supply Of” on meals labels. Since most people is basically unaware of those intricacies that may have a serious impression on their well being and wellness, that is precisely the kind of simply digestible data that we as licensed private trainers want to teach our purchasers on.

Video Lectures

To complement the textbook, ISSA additionally offers video lectures that spotlight key factors from advanced chapters. All through the 10-week guided examine plan, visible learners can brush up on their information by watching movies on subjects like widespread digestive orders, protein bioavailability, easy vs. advanced carbohydrates, and psychology and meals advertising.

In complete, there are 19 video lectures included with the ISSA diet coach certification course. Nevertheless, as a result of most of them fall beneath the two-minute mark, you definitely shouldn’t (or can’t) depend on them to provide you all the knowledge it is advisable comprehend the related chapter.


The ISSA nutritionist program challenges you to display your understanding of the course materials via a sequence of 18 open-book quizzes. Each accommodates 10 multiple-choice questions that stem straight from the textbook.

Whereas it’s necessary to acquire a excessive rating to your personal understanding, there is no such thing as a minimal threshold you need to meet. Plus, you may take the quizzes as many instances as needed. I discovered the vast majority of them to be pretty easy, requiring a mean of about half-hour or so to finish.

Talking of completion, it is possible for you to to entry and begin your ultimate examination solely after you end the entire 18 quizzes.

Nutritionist Academic Bootcamp

For those who want extra help than what the textbook and lectures present, ISSA has you lined. The Vitamin Bootcamp takes issues to the following degree with 5 weeks of direct entry to high-level specialists.

A slide showing a summary of what's included in ISSA's Nutrition Bootcamps and live office hours
A slide that summarizes ISSA’s Vitamin Bootcamps and workplace hours

Throughout the 5 hour-long video periods, ISSA Elite Coach & Senior Content material Developer Jenny Scott and Lionel College school member Dr. Alex Hoffman ship complete classes on examine abilities particularly aimed toward sure chapters. For instance, their Week 5 Vitamin Bootcamp lined test-taking ideas, particular eventualities for diet teaching, and constructing a enterprise.

For extra individualized help, the duo hosted open workplace hours for 5 dwell one-hour periods. Though I didn’t take part, different college students can profit significantly from getting direct solutions to their questions in preparation for the ISSA examination.

Consumer Types Library

Out there within the “Downloads” part in ISSA’s scholar portal is a set of types and handouts that may make life a lot simpler should you’re a private coach.

Right here’s what’s included:

  • Consumer Consumption Kind
  • Train Historical past Questionnaire
  • Train Bodily Exercise Readiness (PAR) Questionnaire
  • Well being Historical past Kind
  • Medical Historical past Kind
  • Three-Day Dietary Log
A screenshot of ISSA's dietary logs for clients
A portion of ISSA’s three-day dietary log

Whilst you don’t have to make the most of these types, it might prevent a ton of time from having to create your personal. As a result of YouFit offers private trainers with their very own types for gathering shopper knowledge, I didn’t use those accessible via ISSA. However anybody who’s trying to enter non-public teaching can depend on this useful resource and use the recognizable ISSA branding to deliver immediate credibility when working with a brand new shopper.

Ultimate Examination for the ISSA Nutritionist Certification

When you’ve accomplished all of the quizzes and utilized the examine supplies, you ought to be ready for the final stage of the ISSA diet certification program: the ultimate examination. 

Just like the ISSA private coach certification course, the examination for the diet course is untimed, that means you may take breaks and decide again up the place you left off. However, the construction of the ultimate examination differs in that it consists of each multiple-choice questions and essay questions, comparable to describing and explaining the function of the three macronutrients and offering the beneficial dietary allowances for every. 

I discovered it to be more difficult than the ISSA private coaching certification check, particularly with the addition of a written portion. For transparency’s sake, I scored an 86 on the multiple-choice part and acquired 92 out of a attainable 120 factors on the essay part for a cumulative rating of 81 p.c.

Anticipated Examine Time

ISSA breaks down the course into 10 weeks, with some weeks overlaying a number of chapters from the textbook. As a result of a few of the science-heavy content material may be difficult to grasp, chances are you’ll spend extra time finding out some chapters than others.

From my expertise, it took about an hour and a half of examine time per day for simply over a month for me to finish the course from begin to end. Nevertheless, health trainers who aren’t aware of the fundamental tenets of meals science may have longer.

Go Fee

Simply how tough is it to hit that 70 p.c mark on the ISSA nutritionist ultimate examination? With a go fee of 85 p.c, it’s clear that the course supplies do a more-than-adequate job of getting college students able to earn their cert. Nonetheless, it’s attention-grabbing to notice that the go fee for the ISSA CPT certification examination is barely larger at about 90 p.c.

Retest Value

Don’t fret about any monetary ramifications should you fail to go the ultimate examination in your first strive. The ISSA offers one free retest for its diet certification program. And because the examination is open-book, you must have the ability to obtain at the least a 70 p.c if it’s important to retake it.

Nevertheless, should you don’t go in your two free makes an attempt, there’s a $99 resubmission payment per subsequent try. 

ISSA Persevering with Training Necessities

For those who obtained your private coaching certification via ISSA, you need to full at the least 20 persevering with schooling models (CEUs) via workshops, seminars, different certifications, or different authorised actions each two years. Fortunately, going via their diet certification program is not going to solely maintain that 20-unit requirement, but additionally permit you to skip out on having to pay a $99 recertification payment.

Though that wasn’t the first cause I signed up for the course, I gladly welcomed this added bonus with open arms. And with my CEUs already taken care of, I can focus my efforts on getting the very best outcomes for my purchasers.

Anticipated Wage

Vitamin teaching can be a strong profession selection if you know the way to market your providers. In accordance with, as of September 11, 2023, the nationwide common wage for a diet well being coach was $43,270. Most coaches can count on to make round $21 per hour, although that determine varies by state.

Whereas that wage vary gained’t make you a millionaire, you may increase your incomes potential by establishing a powerful on-line presence. Constructing a loyal following on social media and studying tips on how to constantly reel in new purchasers through testimonials and interesting video content material might help you stand out in a crowded discipline of licensed private trainers and diet coaches.

Different ISSA Certification Applications

Whether or not you wish to begin your profession as a CPT or add a specialization to your resume, ISSA affords a variety of programs that you could full from the consolation of your personal dwelling.

Along with Nutritionist, listed below are a few of their hottest health certification choices:

  • Grasp Coach
  • Elite Coach
  • Corrective Train
  • Health Coach
  • Licensed Well being Coach
  • On-line Coach
  • Bodybuilding Specialist
  • Powerlifting Teacher

Plus, there’s even a second nutrition-based program you may partake in via ISSA: the Precision Vitamin Certification.

Precision Vitamin Certification

Ought to you end up in want of much more diet instruments, there’s an alternative choice accessible, albeit at a a lot steeper value. At a value of about $1,200, the ISSA Vitamin & Health Coach certification program lets you acquire two world-class certifications due to a partnership with one of many greatest leaders within the health business: Precision Vitamin.

Partaking on this two-part course lets you earn ISSA’s top-rated private coach certification and Precision Vitamin’s Degree 1 Certification for a reasonably inexpensive value. You possibly can take each programs at your personal tempo, and every ultimate examination is open-book. In the end, although, should you’re centered extra on coaching than delivering ultra-detailed diet protocols, you’ll be secure with signing up for the usual ISSA nutritionist course.


Like ISSA, the Nationwide Academy of Sports activities Drugs (NASM) has a pathway for private trainers to develop into licensed in diet teaching. Written and reviewed by 20 main specialists, the NASM Licensed Vitamin Coach Certification (CNC) curriculum contains 24 in-depth chapters throughout three sections: Dietary Science, Habits Change Methods, and Vitamin Teaching. The course culminates in an open-book ultimate examination that accommodates 100 multiple-choice questions, which you need to end inside 90 minutes.

To earn the NASM CNC, you need to acquire a rating of at the least 70 p.c. You’re allowed to retake the check two extra instances if you don’t go initially. For those who fail all three makes an attempt, you need to contact the Member Companies group through cellphone to debate your choices. From a value perspective, NASM is barely dearer than ISSA, checking in at round $750. Nevertheless, the group additionally affords interest-free financing as an incentive.

NASM Nutrition Certification


  • Value: Begins at round $66 monthly
  • Course size: 4 to 10 weeks
  • Examine supplies: Digital studying platform, observe quizzes, downloadable PDF model of the textbook
  • Minimal passing rating on ultimate examination: 70 p.c

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In comparison with ISSA, the American Council on Train (ACE) affords a extra inexpensive possibility for diet certification. At just below $500, their Health Vitamin Specialist Program may be extra palatable when you’ve got a restricted finances. Not solely does the course embody an eBook, video lectures, and quizzes, but it surely additionally includes a podcast that goes via the small print of every stage of the habits change course of.

Identical to ISSA, ACE requires college students to attain at the least a 70 p.c on the ultimate examination to earn a passing grade. Not solely do you get to take the check at dwelling, however you might be allowed limitless retakes. Take into account that as a result of the ACE diet program is a seamless schooling course, you need to already maintain an NCCA-accredited certification to have the ability to make the declare of “specialist.” 

ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist


  • Value: Begins at round $367
  • Course size: 25 hours (round 4 weeks, relying on how typically you examine)
  • Examine supplies: Health diet handbook, video lectures, podcasts, quizzes
  • Minimal passing rating on ultimate examination: 70 p.c

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Parting Ideas on the ISSA Nutritionist Certification Program

As somebody who underwent a serious weight-loss journey, I can sympathize with those that wrestle to get their diet proper. Nevertheless, going via the method of shedding 75 kilos and discovering my calling as a private coach and health coach taught me how necessary it’s to pay attention to all the pieces you place into your physique. Constructing off that first-hand expertise by taking the ISSA nutritionist certification program sharpened my abilities and information, opened extra doorways to earn more money, and most significantly, put me in a stronger place to assist different folks obtain their very own physique and well being targets.

So, should you’re able to take your profession as a health skilled to the following degree, don’t hesitate to enroll in a specialization program that each you and your purchasers can profit from for years to return.

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