American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)


Certified Nutrition and Wellness Educator (CNWE)


The American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) proudly offers a gold-standard, assessment-based certification for Nutrition and Wellness Educators that is:

  • Developed by National Nutrition and Wellness Leaders.
  • Consistent with the national standards and competencies related to nutrition and wellness education.
  • Open to educators across many disciplines and practice settings, including
    • Public K-12 education or post-secondary/higher education
    • Community-based and government nutrition and wellness education programs, such as Cooperative Extension, WIC or YMCA
    • Business and industry, such as nutrition advisors in grocery stores, fitness and wellness programs, and food service.

Who benefits from the CNWE program?

  • Educators - Validates knowledge and skills to effectively teach nutrition and wellness education to America’s children, youth, and adults.
  • Employers - Guides educator hiring and assignment to instructional roles.
  • Communities, Parents, and Students - Provides quality assurance of educator competence.

How do educators achieve the CNWE credential?

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in any major. - A transcript documenting degree completion will be submitted with certification application.
  • Pass the Nutrition and Wellness Educator (NWE) exam. - Access further details about exam content and format, preparation resources, and registration process in the NWE Candidate Information Bulletin and Study Guide.

    Testing is offered in odd months of the year at proctored computer testing centers nationwide except in instances when special arrangements have been made to offer onsite testing during conferences sponsored by AAFCS or other professional organizations.  The computer-based testing schedule and fees are printed in the Candidate Information Bulletin and Study Guide.

Click here to access the online applicant registration system for administration of the NWE exam. 


  • Meet certification fee and professional development requirements. - After achieving a Nutrition and Wellness Educator exam score of 240 (out of 300) or higher, candidates are notified of procedures for completing the certification process. In addition to submitting a completed application form and a university transcript verifying completion of a baccalaureate degree, the candidate must submit an initial certification fee according to the following fee schedule:

    - AAFCS Members: $185 initial certification fee
    - Graduating Seniors (fulltime university, college, or post-secondary students): $105 initial certification fee
    - Nonmembers of AAFCS: $285 initial certification fee

    The initial certification fee covers the cost of obtaining the certification credential and the first year of certification.  An annual renewal fee of $65 is assessed in September of each year (beginning at least 12 months following initial certification). 

    As a measure of quality assurance, maintaining the CNWE credential carries a requirement of completing a minimum of 75 professional development units (PDUs with 1 PDU equaling 1 clock hour) over a period of 3 years.  To qualify, the professional development must be related to the competencies identified as the basis for the certification. 

    Learn about qualifying professional development opportunities