ACE Health Coach: Complete Guide

by Jerald Dyson
ace health coach

The only health coach certification approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is regarded as the gold standard in health and fitness, is the ACE Health Coach Certification. With the new ACE Health Coach Study and training program, people can prepare to be ACE Certified Health Coach. The study and training program, which is based on behaviour-change research and lifestyle medicine principles, covers all of the fundamental competencies of health coaching in a single learning experience. You’ll discover how to use practical and effective tactics to help you transform your lifestyle and improve your health and well-being.

This research and training program is for fitness professionals and even clinicians who wish to understand and apply active listening, motivational interviewing, and client-centered goal-setting as effective strategies for assisting others in taking control of their health.

Are you considering a career as a health coach? The ACE Health Coach Certification program provides exceptional training to equip you for a successful career, persuading individuals to make healthy lifestyle choices. In this article, we will discuss all possible questions related to ACE health coach certification and its tests and how to successfully become an ACE-certified health coach.

ace health coach

What Is The Ace Certification Program?

ACE Health Coach (American Council on Exercise) is a certification program that takes a holistic approach to health and wellness rather than just food and exercise. It’s created to help your clients achieve true, long-term transformation through habit change.

The courses cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Motivational interviewing 
  • Recognizing and Managing Change
  • Understanding values
  • Goal-setting
  • Listening attentively

The ACE program is based on the Awareness-Choice-Execution (ACE) model, which reflects the behavioural change cycles. It serves as a foundation for candidates to understand how behaviour shifts in stages. Candidates learn to assess a client’s ability to adopt a new habit in this way. They can then provide techniques to match the approach to the client’s willingness to change.

The NCCA accreditation from ACE is recognized all around the world, and it qualifies people in a variety of fields. Approximately 330 programs in more than 130 organizations have been accredited by the NCCA so far.

Graduates of the ACE program are considered well-educated and skilled professionals. Having an ACE certification provides you with a competitive advantage and can help you earn more money. Eighty-five thousand certified professionals hold more than 90,000 ACE credentials, according to the most recent data.

Who Is The Ace Certification For?

This program is for anyone interested in assisting others in thriving via holistic wellness and long-term habit modification. Rather than only treating symptoms, your main goal is to get to the bottom of the problem and inspire lifestyle changes.

The ACE Health Coach program is ideal for someone who wishes to aid clients in self-motivation so that they can eventually live a healthy lifestyle without the coach’s guidance.

What Does The Ace Health Coach Certification Program Offer?

ACE’s training is highly comprehensive and prestigious, and it is considered one of the finest and most thorough health coaching programs available.

ACE has three types of programs

The ACE exam is available as part of one of three self-study packages. The Basic Program is for applicants who have extensive knowledge of health coaching principles or extensive experience in the healthcare field. Two eBooks are included in this program, as well as access to ACE Answers, their self-service resource centre.

The Plus Program, on the other hand, is designed for individuals with little to no background in healthcare or awareness of health coaching principles. Everything from the Basic Program is included, as well as hardcopy and audiobook copies of the material.

The Advantage Program, the newest course, includes everything in the Plus Program plus Health Coach Live Classes and individualized assistance.

ace health coach

Comprehensive Textbook

The huge 800+-page textbook and associated workbook are the heart of the ACE Fitness Health Coach curriculum. Fitness and industry specialists such as Dr Michael Mantell, award-winning personal trainer Jonathan Ross, registered nutritionist Natalie Digate Muth, MD, and Dr Jessica A. Matthews are among the contributors.

The textbook has 20 chapters that cover everything from coach-client interactions to motivation, behaviour modification, nutrition, legalities, and more. It’s also filled with information on how to use behavioural psychology to assist customers to create new habits and achieving their objectives. An exam material outline is also included in the ACE textbook.

ACE is committed to your success. You’ll also have access to a wealth of educational resources, such as worksheets, behaviour contracts, articles, health forms, exam prep suggestions, and even job advice, to help you achieve your goal.


ACE will send you an email with detailed instructions on which chapters to read and in what order, but you are free to study the materials as you like. It is suggested that you read one chapter per week and then study it. It’s important to note, however, that mere memory will not suffice to pass the test. You must apply what you’ve learned in class to real-life situations.

While reading the textbook, ACE advises using the workbook that comes with it. You can access the workbook’s e-version via iPad or e-reader if it’s more convenient.


The ACE Academy, which provides one-on-one access to an ACE Health Coach expert via phone or email, is one of ACE’s most useful resources. They will be able to walk you through the instructions and answer any questions you may have.

Practice examinations and weekly email courses are now available from ACE Academy to help you prepare for the certification exam. The Academy also comprises the following:

  • Lectures on video
  • Video coaching sessions with ACE in action
  • Audio coaching sessions with ACE in action
  • Checks for knowledge
  • Quizzes
  • Practice tests
  • Audiobook: The Professional’s Guide to Health and Wellness Coaching

Duration Of The Program

You have six months to prepare for the exam using ACE’s self-paced program. However, it usually takes about 80 to 100 hours of study time spread out over three to four months.

Requirements For The Program

ACE holds applicants to a high standard when it comes to admissions:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to participate.
  • You must have a current CPR/AED certification. This includes a real-time skills evaluation.
  • You must show that you have at least one of the following documents:
  • Certification from the NCCA in nutrition, fitness, healthcare, wellness, human resources, or a related subject.
  • An associate’s degree in a wellness-related discipline, such as nutrition, exercise, or healthcare, from an authorized university.
  • The National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching has approved a health coach training and education program (NBHWC).
  • Two years of documented experience coaching, leading, developing, implementing, or facilitating one or more of the following for clients: behavior or lifestyle change, exercise, wellness, nutrition, or physical activity.

After being graduated, you must keep your certification current by enrolling in coursework or specialist programs. This is a must if you want to advance in your area and keep up with new developments.

Ace Health Coach Exam

There are 150 multiple-choice questions on certification tests. One hundred twenty-five questions are scored, with 25 being experimental. The candidate’s score does not include the 25 experimental questions. Instead, they’re assessed to see if they’re statistically competent enough to be included on a future exam. ACE’s exams are kept up-to-date and relevant, thanks to this elimination process.

Simply input your zip code on ACE’s online registration form to discover a testing site near you. When your location is discovered, you’ll be presented with a list of probable exam dates and locations.

The third-party testing centre must approve the desired time and location after you register for the exam.

The exam is computer-based and can be taken at one of over 500 test centres. You must register 10 days prior to your exam date. You must register at least 15 to 30 days before the test if you want special accommodations.

You should come 10 to 15 minutes prior to the start of the testing. You may be turned away if you arrive late. Prepare to show a government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID) with a signature. Your ID must have the same first and last name as the admittance ticket that was delivered to you with your study materials.

The examining room is designed to be as quiet as possible. If you’re easily disturbed by minor noises, though, you’re allowed to wear earplugs.

The exam will take three hours to complete. For certification, candidates must receive a grade of at least 500 (on a scale of 200 to 800), which equates to properly answering around 90 questions.

After you submit the test, you’ll get your mark and pass/fail status right away. After the scores are released, candidates who pass the ACE Certification Exam will obtain their certification in four to six weeks.

ace health coach

The Test Covers The Following Four Areas:

Coaching Behavior Change (33% Of The Test)

This section includes the following topics:

  • Developing a relationship with clients
  • Assisting customers in taking charge of their own health
  • Assisting in the changing of conduct

Conducting Evaluations And Making Plans (26 Percent Of The Test)

This section includes the following topics:

  • Creating health baselines and making plan formulation easier
  • Creating personalized plans

Developing And Adjusting Individualized Plans (25% Of The Test)

This section includes the following topics:

  • Putting particular plans in place for certain clientele
  • Assessing the efficiency of a plan
  • Collaboration with clients in order to make changes to plans

Professional Conduct and Legal Obligation (16 Percent Of The Test)

This section includes the following topics:

  • Compliance with legal criteria, upholding professional standards, and risk management
  • Keeping accurate and confidential documents is essential.
  • Knowledge of how to react in high-risk and emergency situations
  • Professional competence is maintained by being up to date on research, technology, and industry norms.
  • Creating a welcoming atmosphere

Is The Ace Health Coach Certification Test Difficult?

Yes, in a nutshell. The test is considered to be one of the most challenging in the industry. On average, 65% of candidates pass, implying that one out of every three candidates would fail.

It’s critical to make full use of all study materials in order to prepare as thoroughly as possible. The practise tests will give you an idea of what to expect on the real test.

You will be forced to think during the test. Hard. Instead of rehashing information from a textbook, you’ll have to apply your knowledge to real-world problems analytically. Answers can also differ in subtle ways. You can find yourself narrowing your answer to two options and then being confused since both appear to be correct.

ace health coach

How Many Questions Are In The Ace Certification Test?

The ACE health coach certification tests consist of 150 multiple-choice questions. One hundred and twenty-five questions are reviewed, with 25 being experimental. The applicants’ grades do not include the 25 experimental questions.


ACE does, in fact, have a strong hand. Candidates are put through their paces, yet it is through this process that highly qualified, knowledgeable, and professional coaches emerge.

You’ll also reap the benefits of ACE’s status as the only health coach credential recognized by the prestigious NCCA. If you “ace” this test, you’ll be on your way to a successful career as a health coach.

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