About AFMC Certification

The Certification Process

Step 1: Apply and become accepted to the SAFM Semester program.
Step 2: Complete the Core 101 semester requirements (approximately 320 hours).
Step 3: Receive a passing grade on Level 1 AFMC certification exam.
Step 4: Complete the Advanced 202 semester (approximately 320 hours).
Step 5: Receive a passing grade on Level 2 AFMC certification exam.
Step 6: Submit an original patient/client Case Study and Assessment.
Step 7: Receive a passing grade on Level 3 Competency Case Study.
Step 8: Re-certify every 3 years, in accordance with continuing competency requirements, to retain active status of certification.

The Certification Difference

Scientific rigor, third-party review

All content is based on professional and evidence-based sources, with progressive recommendations for exploring further published research.

Our program content and AFMC certification exams are third-party reviewed and approved by our scientific advisory board. Board members are well-known in their medical communities for both their intellectual expertise and progressive practices. The advisory board engages with SAFM regularly to share their expertise and insights and provide an annual review of the AFMC certification content.

CMEs available

The School of Applied Functional Medicine’s semester programs and exams meet the rigorous accreditation standards required for continuing medical education credits. Thus, medical professionals can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ as they complete the certification process.  Practitioners in many other modalities are able to petition to receive credit from their respective professional boards as well.

Learn more here.

In-depth curriculum

AFMC practitioners are challenged to master a wide variety of concepts in functional etiology, physiology, and biochemistry with hands-on skills to apply this knowledge.

Examples include:

  • Common, and not-so-common, causal factors of chronic disease and system imbalances.
  • Deep-dive exploration of etiology, physiology, and biochemistry in specific disease processes and body systems.
  • In-depth lab analysis through the functional medicine lens.
  • Functional medicine case mapping to analyze and connect a patient’s history, symptoms, nutrition, lab work, and lifestyle.
  • Intervention prioritization based on a unique client’s lifestyle, temperament, symptoms, causal factors, health goals, and expectations.
  • Effective, targeted, and therapeutic supplementation for supporting rapid symptom relief and root cause resolution.
  • The science of the mind-body connection and activating the placebo effect to improve patient health and wellness outcomes.
  • Extensive Case exploration with real patient cases, presenting the continuous opportunity to apply what they’ve learned by safely creating an intervention plan that adapts to a real client’s immediate and long-term needs, preferences, limitations and demands.

Immersive and intensive study

Practitioners engage in foundational courses, case review classes, regular peer-to-peer think tanks and research discussion, open coaching and Q&A engagement, independent case study analysis, experiential lab work learning opportunities, guest expert training, and other enrichment activities.

Substantial application through patient/client case studies

Beyond mastering concepts and scientific theory, AFMC certification requires practitioners to display their competency and knowledge through extensive hands-on practice with their own patients and formal submission of real-patient Case Studies for certification.

Each Case Study requires a complex patient/client case presentation and assesses the practitioner’s abilities in several arenas:

  • Accurate and thorough identification of interconnected dynamics in the person’s aggregate system (e.g. medical history, life experiences, diet, behavioral choices, mindset/perspective, symptoms, medications, labwork, supplements).
  • Creative and clear identification of bio-individuality factors and what each unique patient or client might need most (or need to avoid).
  • Ability to work accurately and thoroughly with the foundational functional medicine principles covered in all SAFM semester curricula.
  • Identification and succinct explanation of the most likely root causes of the patient’s disease challenges using all available case evidence.
  • Identify appropriate supplement recommendations in light of the root cause of the patient’s challenges and their bio-individuality.
  • Identification of appropriate and targeted recommendations to provide rapid relief while root cause resolution is explored.
  • Effective patient interaction to ensure execution of recommendations that brings resolution to the client’s primary issues via a focus on education, inspiration, and empowerment.
  • Written, professional, technical expression.

These Case Studies are reviewed by our certification team to thoroughly vet the credibility, safety, and effectiveness of the practitioner’s skills as demonstrated in the case. A passing grade is required to complete the AFMC Certification process.

Click here to learn more about The School of Applied Functional Medicine’s programs.

accredited functional medicine practitioners