This work lays the foundation for guiding curriculum development, enhancing research initiatives, and providing practical guidance for health and wellness coaches.”

— Timothy R. Cline, PhD

SAN DIEGO, CA, USA, April 25, 2024 / — The National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching proudly announces the publication of a groundbreaking journal article titled “Group Health & Wellness Coaching: Development and Validation of the Required Competencies,” authored by Ruth Q Wolever, Timothy R Cline, Jocelyn M Weiss, Suzie Carmack, Cindy Schultz, Michael Arloski, and Karen Lawson. The article is published in BMC Health Services Research.

In an era where chronic disease prevalence is on the rise globally, Health and Wellness Coaching (HWC) has emerged as a viable solution to support behavior change for patients in a clinical setting. As this approach gains momentum, particularly in healthcare settings, the delivery of group coaching has gained attention. However, until now, there have been no published competencies specifically tailored to Group Health and Wellness Coaching (GHWC).

The article, published in BMC Health Services Research, outlines the two-phase process, development and judgment, used to develop and validate GHWC competencies with robust content validity. Seven highly qualified Subject Matter Experts identified and proposed these competencies, which were subsequently validated by 78 National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches (NBC-HWCs) actively engaged in GHWC practice.

The validation study resulted in the identification of 72 competencies in the process and structure of GHWC. These competencies, available here, emphasize the importance of having both coaching skills and group facilitation skills to foster self-directed behavior change for improved health and well-being.

Ruth Q. Wolever, PhD, NBC-HWC lead author of the paper and a prominent figure in the field of health coaching at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, emphasized, “Many professionals are aware of the potential power of group approaches to support change, but few appear to truly understand that, in addition to content expertise, a specific skill set is required to facilitate a group. Our study clearly shows the importance of these skills for GHWC, and breaks down this skill set into discretely defined competencies which may even apply to other professions.”

The publication emphasizes the necessity of establishing GHWC skill standards for the safety of the public, the efficacy of interventions, and the overall advancement of the field. Particularly in healthcare settings, where group coaching services are being offered throughout the United States, consistent standards are imperative for the responsible delivery of health & wellness coaching.

“This work lays the foundation for guiding curriculum development, enhancing research initiatives, and providing practical guidance for health and wellness coaches,” commented Timothy R. Cline, PhD, NBC-HWC, one of the co-authors of the article.

The National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching, a leading 501c6 organization in the field, has been instrumental in spearheading this initiative. With over 10,500 National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coaches, the organization has been leading the development of the profession of health & wellness coaching while also ensuring that training, education and assessment standards are in place for the industry.

For further information about the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching visit

Leigh-Ann Webster
National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching
+1 858-395-5808
email us here

Originally published at

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