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BCIA HRV Biofeedback Certification

The Process and Benefits of Becoming Certified in HRV Biofeedback

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Heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback is a growing field, which is why professionals pursue their BCIA HRV Certification.


HRV biofeedback is a type of biofeedback that uses heart rate variability to help individuals learn to control their autonomic nervous system. This can be done through various techniques, including:


  • Slow-paced breathing or muscle contraction

  • Breathing or contracting your muscles at your unique resonance frequency

  • Mindfulness exercises


For licensed healthcare professionals, HRV biofeedback is easily integrated into your existing clinical practice, for example, psychotherapy, addiction treatment, and health psychology.

Clients can reduce stress, improve health, and enhance their performance by learning to increase parasympathetic activity. HRV biofeedback is an effective treatment for anxiety, asthma, depression, heart disease, glycemic control, hypertension, and preeclampsia. 

Although entry-level HRV Biofeedback Certification requires at least a bachelor's degree in a healthcare-related or optimal performance field, there are no educational prerequisites for technicians. Approved healthcare fields include psychology, medicine, counseling, and nursing. Performance fields include sport psychology and exercise physiology.


The Steps for Earning Your BCIA HRV Biofeedback Certification

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Visit BCIA's website and select the HRV Biofeedback Entry Level or HRV Biofeedback Certificate of Completion pages. Be sure to carefully review the prerequisites, certification requirements, and how each step will be completed. This will give you a better idea of the costs and the time it takes for completion.


Submit your Application, all Documents, and Filing Fee simultaneously, not in installments. You may take a BCIA-approved A&P or Neuroanatomy course any time before you file to take the BCIA Certification Exam. BCIA encourages you to take your A&P or Neuroanatomy course before your didactic workshop to help you better understand the new terms you will encounter.


BCIA compared these two credentials in the following table. The timeline refers to the HRV Biofeedback Entry-Level Certification.

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Didactic Training


Entry-Level and Certificate of Completion applicants must complete a BCIA-Accredited Training Program. BCIA-Approved HRV Biofeedback Training Programs are available through universities and vendors like BioSource Software. We recommend an in-person or hybrid course that includes some portion of the course in person over virtual instruction if this is a realistic option for you. Virtual courses can be a good option for many, especially if one has access to equipment and guidance from a seasoned professional. If you choose a virtual course, our $275 BCIA-accredited HRV Biofeedback Tutor is one of your most affordable options and one of the few designed by full-time university educators.


Anatomy & Physiology or Neuroanatomy


Candidates with Biofeedback background can satisfy BCIA's A&P requirement by completing a comprehensive course in Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, or Human Biology covering the organization of the human body and all 11 systems, taken from a regionally accredited academic institution or a BCIA-approved provider. Candidates should complete a course that best supports their biofeedback practice. BCIA accredits our $150 Human Physiology course to teach A&P.

Candidates with a Neurofeedback background can satisfy BCIA's Neuroanatomy requirement with BCIA-approved courses in Behavioral Neuroscience, Neuroanatomy, Neurophysiology, or Physiological Psychology. BCIA accredits our $150 Physiological Psychology course to teach Neuroanatomy.


BCIA only requires mentoring for Entry-Level applicants. BCIA requires 10 mentoring contact hours to review:

(1) 10 sessions of personal HRV biofeedback training, demonstrating self-regulation


(2) 20 sessions of patient/client treatment, using HRV biofeedback, including BVP or ECG training and respirometer
       (respiratory biofeedback) training


(3) five case studies


We encourage you to download BCIA's HRV Biofeedback Mentoring Handbook. You negotiate the price with BCIA-accredited mentors listed on BCIA's Find a Mentor page. You may select more than one mentor. 

BCIA's HRV Biofeedback Mentoring Handbook contains logs for documenting these three activities. You will submit your logs when you file your Application for HRV Biofeedback Certification





You must submit a completed BCIA Application for Certification and the required fees. BCIA charges Filing ($150)  and Certification ($300) fees. All exams are taken using an online proctoring service, and you have to pay $20 for their services. Upon final certification, no additional fees are paid until recertification occurs 4 years later.