Participation in the School of Applied Functional Medicine™ (SAFM) programs can qualify you to seek a certification in Applied Functional Medicine for Coaching™ (AFMC). This certification distinguishes a practitioner from his or her peers, acknowledging their advanced training in foundational functional medicine principles and their detailed, practical application in client work.


overview of SAFM certification


Certification is a two-semester credentialing program, which requires:

  • Completion of both the Core 101 and Advanced 202 semesters
    • This includes completion of all Foundational Courses, including each course’s self-test, for each respective semester (seven Foundational Courses in total.)
    • The Level 1 exam also requires completion of the Disease Begins in the Gut 101 Deep Dive Clinical course and self-test
    • The Level 2 exam also requires completion of the Cellular Metabolism Deep Dive Clinical course and self-test
  • Successful completion of both the Level 1 and Level 2 AFMC certification exams following completion of the Core 101 and the Advanced 202 Semester programs, respectively
  • Demonstrated competence via a submitted patient or client Case Study and Assessment at the end of the Advanced 202 Semester

The Core 101 and Advanced 202 Semester programs may be completed back-to-back in the same year or in different years.

Registration Fees

Fees Included in Tuition

If you are a current Core 101 or Advanced 202 semester participant, the cost of one respective certification exam window is included in your semester fee, as long as the examination is completed within a year of the Semester start date. This is true for Platinum and Sapphire program participants as well. You must notify the SAFM Admin of your intent to sit for the desired certification exam by the deadline for that window (details for upcoming exams below). Individuals wishing to complete their examination at a later date may do so with Ad hoc registration and fee.

Ad Hoc Fees

Individuals who have already completed either or both semesters are eligible to complete the associated certification processes at any point in the future for a $200 examination fee (per exam, which includes an exam review course). Again, you must notify the SAFM Admin of your intent to sit for the desired certification exam by the deadline for that window (details for upcoming exams below), as late registrations cannot be accommodated.

Exam Timing

Both Levels 1 and 2 certification exam windows are offered twice annually, once mid-year (June 30th to July 9th) and once at year-end (December 29th to January 7th).

Approximately two months before each 10-day exam window, registration will open. Students who are currently enrolled in the Core 101 and Advanced 202 semesters will automatically receive an invitation to register and participate in the appropriate certification exam once the registration window has opened. Please note that all required courses and self-tests must be completed prior to the registration deadline for an examination window.

Each time the certification window opens, you must complete the online exam within the stated ten-day period. You may only take one certification exam per open exam window. The Level 1 exam must be successfully completed before you may register for the Level 2 exam.

Examination Process


Registration for either the Level 1 or Level 2 certification exam includes:

  • Immediate continuing access membership to the SAFM site to allow you to thoroughly review course material in preparation for the exam
  • A comprehensive final review course which you may experience as often as you wish
  • The appropriate certification exam and grading (a maximum of two attempts for each certification window)

Again, please note that all required courses and self-tests must be completed prior to your registration for an examination.

Exam Format

The certification exams are:

  • Taken on-line
  • “Open book” format
  • Timed and must be submitted within a two-hour window
  • A combination of fill-in-the-blank and open-ended questions

Please note: thorough preparation and study are important. While you are indeed welcome to use reference material during the exam, you will not have time to “go and find” answers to a large number of questions within the allotted exam time.


Successful completion of a certification exam requires a minimum passing grade of 80% on that single exam. Exam grades will be communicated to each student via email within 48 business hours of exam completion.

If a passing grade is not achieved on the first two-hour attempt, each exam may be taken one additional time during the then-current examination window plus five calendar days (no extension exceptions are available, so please be sure to plan accordingly). If a passing grade is not earned on the second attempt, further attempts must be delayed until the following examination window (approximately six months later) to allow for additional study, and a separate certification exam registration and fee will be required.

This certification exam process and content is overseen and accredited by our SAFM Scientific Review Board.

Competency Case Study

Beyond successful completion of both examinations, the AFMC certification also requires you to demonstrate competence in using the knowledge you have learned by the submission and approval of an actual case study (from the practitioner’s own client or patient population). Competence must be demonstrated in the functional medicine principles from the eight included semester courses. The case must also demonstrate sound and thorough identification of interconnected dynamics in the person’s aggregate system (e.g. health history, life experiences, diet, behavioral choices, mindset/perspective, symptoms, medications, lab work, and supplements) and effective execution of recommendations, bringing resolution to the client’s primary issue/goal.

After you register for the exam, you will be emailed standard format templates for submitting your case material. You must use an actual patient/client whom you have personally supported for at least three months and who has achieved significant improvement with chronic concerns as a result of your use of functional medicine concepts and recommendations.

All cases must be submitted via email prior to the end of the respective examination window.

Upcoming Exams and Registration


Again, the exam must be taken within the examination window, so please ensure you can meet this requirement and all other examination stipulations above prior to registration.

We want to ensure you are successful in your certification!

From the registration deadline date forward, we will begin to engage the current certification class with a study plan to guide your preparation. Levels 1 and 2 certification exam review courses will also be available to support your study.

All required courses and self-tests must be completed prior to the next Exam Registration Deadline. Please plan accordingly.

Refunds and Cancellations

Certification cancellations and refunds will not be available after the posted registration deadline.

All cancellations of existing registrations must be placed via phone to the SAFM office prior to the registration deadline (508-944-1407).