A new day is on the horizon for Vera Whole Health coaches. Vera Coach Onboarding is now approved by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) for the education and training of health and wellness coaches.
As the only primary care provider onboarding approved to date, Vera’s program represents the highest industry standard for health coaches. And that’s a big deal as the industry tightens the discipline with more regulations to ensure minimum standards, education, and training needs are met.
An involved certification process
“Getting approved by the National Boards really allows us to set the industry standard and be recognized within the coaching world,” says Cheridan Bryant, Coach Operations Manager at Vera, who played an integral role in the approval process.
Vera’s rigorous training program requires 100+ hours of onboarding, including work with practice clients under the guidance of Vera instructors. Vera health coaches are immersed in proven behavioral change methods to help members reach their health and wellness goals.
Students focus on sharpening their coaching skills. Critical thinking is a key component, as is appreciative inquiry, and motivational interviewing through one-on-one mentoring and group activities.
Using the Vera framework, students get hands-on practice creating coaching plans in a clinical healthcare setting, and are required to stay current on evidence-based health and wellness topics. This allows them to gain confidence in their coaching and sets them up for success.
“Mentoring is key,” says Bryant about the program. “Somebody is there mentoring them to help them enhance their coaching skills, support their growth at Vera, and equip them with the tools they need to pass the National Boards exam.”
What does this mean for Vera Whole Health coaches?
All Vera health coaches have always had to be certified either at the time of hire or within 18 months of coming to Vera. (To even be considered for work, prospective coaches had to have some sort of formal training and submit an audio recording of a coaching session to demonstrate core coaching skills). All coaches have also had to complete our immersive four-month onboarding program upon hire. Now, they can use this training to qualify to sit for the National Coaching Boards — and achieve National Board Certification.
“What makes us unique is that we hire certified coaches, and then we further train them. For other programs, students are paying to be taught to coach. We are actually paying our coaches to enhance their coaching skills,” says Bryant.
The impact to Vera care centers and members
This NBHWC approval empowers coaches in their professional lives and gives them the credit and credibility they deserve.
Members can have confidence in their Vera health coaches, knowing that they are qualified at the National Board level. Providers can be assured that their health coaches have met stringent requirements as leaders in coaching. This builds trust with providers, knowing that the work they do with members is from the highest industry standard.
“This certification allows us to be recognized within the coaching world,” says Bryant. “It helps providers understand that coaching is an actual industry, and our coaches are at the top of it.”