Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist Certification



Harness the power of plant-based nutrition and inspire positive lifestyle changes as a Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist.


The only certification program you need to become an expert in plant-based nutrition and help others thrive with the power of plants.

This certification program features the latest scientific research on plant-based nutrition to provide you with deep knowledge of this dietary pattern. It takes a way of eating that is often misunderstood, over-complicated, and confusing and makes it digestible.

Becoming a CPBNS will equip you to better serve your existing clients, future clients, yourself, and/or your loved ones — and help you become a leader in the plant-based health and wellness space.

Become an expert in plant-based nutrition with this comprehensive certification program

This program is for you if:

Empower others to enjoy plant-based, vegan food
  • You are passionate about health and wellness and want to gain more understanding of plant-based nutrition
  • You are looking to carve out a specialty or niche for your business so you can have authority in the space
  • You want to be able to support your loved ones or existing clients who are trying to eat more plants
  • You have recognized the benefits of a plant-based way of eating and want to be able to confidently apply it to your own life

What is Plant-Based Nutrition?

Plant-based nutrition is the study of a diet that consists mostly of foods from plants. A plant-based diet primarily consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans.

A few of the many health benefits of a plant-based diet include:

  • Lower risk of chronic disease
  • Regulated blood pressure and heart rate
  • Regulated cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • More balanced gut microbiota
  • Greater blood glucose management

Another benefit of plant-based nutrition is your impact on the environment. Reducing your consumption of animal products reduces your carbon footprint.

In fact, if Americans replaced 50 percent of the animal products they eat with plant-based foods by the year 2030, the country’s diet-related greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by 35 percent.1

With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that plant-based nutrition is growing in popularity. Today, almost 40 percent of Americans try to eat more plant-based foods.

This shift means there is a great need for leaders to emerge and support people as they transition to or maintain a plant-based lifestyle.

That’s where Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialists come in.

What Does a Certified
Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist Do?

Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialists know how to use plant-based nutrition to support each person’s unique needs.

Plant-based eating is an often misunderstood way of eating. A CPBNS brings clarity and confidence to their clients.

Becoming AFPA-certified sets you apart in a rapidly growing industry. The Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist program equips you with the knowledge to coach private clients, consult with companies, work within corporations – and so much more.

From hosting podcasts to creating coaching group programs, there is no limit to what career opportunities you can explore.

Help clients eat healthy as a Plant-Based Nutritionist
Become a Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist to empower clients to enjoy more fruits and vegetables

Imagine how it would feel to:

  • Be excited to go to work every day fulfilling your life’s purpose
  • Have more control of your time and energy
  • Make an impact while traveling or spending more time with your family
  • Empower your community and loved ones with plant-based nutrition knowledge

All this is possible when you become a Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist. We’re here to help you get there.

Explore the Course Curriculum

Unit 1: Introduction to Plant-Based Nutrition Science Answer

  • Primary plant-based dietary patterns
  • The health benefits of plant-based dietary patterns
  • Interpreting the health effects of plant-based eating

Unit 2: Plant-Based Dietary Patterns Answer

  • Whole-food, plant-based diet
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescatarian
  • Flexitarian/ reducitarian
  • Lacto/ovo vegetarian
  • Ovo-vegetarian

Unit 3: Plant-Based Diets in Health & Disease Answer

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Bone health
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Weight loss and management
  • Gut health and microbiome
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Brain health

Unit 4: Plant-Based Diets Across the Lifespan Answer

  • Infants
  • Children and adolescents
  • Early adulthood
  • Middle adulthood
  • Late adulthood
  • Pregnancy
  • Lactation
  • Menopause

Unit 5: Plant-Based Functional Foods & Supplements Answer

  • Bioactive compounds
  • Phytonutrients
  • Micronutrients
  • Herbs and spices
  • Supplementation

Unit 6: Plant-Based Sports Nutrition Answer

  • Nutritional considerations and precautions for plant-based athletes
  • Differences in nutrient and energy needs between athletes and non-athletes
  • Factors that influence dietary decisions and health behaviors among athletes

Unit 7: Special Topics in Plant-Based Nutrition Answer

  • Impact on climate and environmental health
  • Eating disorders and disordered eating
  • Cultural and spiritual practices
  • Psychology of plant-based diets
  • Protein needs
  • Food access and nutrition policy
  • Hormones and pesticides

Unit 8: Plant-Based Nutrition Coaching & Education Answer

  • Tips and strategies for coaching and counseling plant-based diets, recommending foods, and choosing recipes

The Signature AFPA Framework

Comprehensive Training

The Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist (CPBNS) program delivers the most up-to-date, relevant information on plant-based nutrition.

Within the program you get:

  • Eight comprehensive, step-by-step modules that walk you through the science-based principles of plant-based nutrition.
  • Online video lectures.
  • Digital and/or physical textbooks.
  • Case studies, articles, slides, videos, and discussion forums to deepen your knowledge.

Actionable Career Support

If you’re interested in starting or expanding your career as a Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist, this program goes a step further by providing resources and support to help you create a fulfilling career using your certification, including webinars and trainings, articles and research, and bonus email courses.

Members-Only AFPA Insider Community

After you graduate, get exclusive access to the members-only Facebook group where you can connect with, network with, and get support from other AFPA graduates.

Promote healthy eating as a Plant-Based Nutrition Coach

Why Choose AFPA?

At AFPA, we’re on a mission to make a global impact on health and wellness. To do so, we’re committed to providing quality certifications in health, fitness, and nutrition coaching – so that graduates like you are prepared with the knowledge and skills that set you above.


An AFPA certification backs you with industry-leading credibility that leads to more clients, higher rates, and a greater


Our courses are online and self-paced, so you can fit the training into your schedule. Move through at your own pace in 6 months or less.*


We want our programs to be as accessible as possible. We offer flexible payment plans to fit your budget.


Become a part of a community of health, nutrition, and fitness professionals. We’re leading a movement toward global health and wellness.

Whole Person Approach

We understand that each aspect of your health is interconnected. We equip you to address an individual as a whole – from health and nutrition to lifestyle and mindset.

Career Support

We’re here for you even after you become a CPBNS. We offer tools and support to help you create a career path that fits you and your needs.

130000+ students certified

29+ years of excellence in education

30+ certification programs offered

98.9% student satisfaction

You’ve got the passion. We’ve got the industry-leading credibility.
Lets’s make good things happen.

Let’s Recap.

Here’s everything you get in the Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist program:

Become a Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist online

8 Step-By-Step Modules. The CPBNS program covers eight sections of plant-based nutrition information, including scientific principles, the role of nutrition in sickness, how to develop personalized nutrition plans across age groups, and much more.

Comprehensive Materials. The certification program includes online video lectures and digital and/or physical textbooks.

Exclusive AFPA Insider Pass. Access to a growing community of health, fitness, and nutrition professionals. Inside the community, you can network, ask questions, and connect with other grads.

Applicable Career Resources. Get the tools and support you need to build a career as a Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist. Blogs, webinars, and exclusive email courses are just a few of the resources we offer.

Enroll today and start creating positive change with the power of plants.

Let Customers Speak for Us

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
Jillian K.
Intense But Great

The reading and study materials are very in depth, but I am enjoying delving into it all!

Tori G.
Top-notch preparation

Thorough, in-depth information that provides more than a foundation--it provides a true education. The material covers every aspect, most in depth, that one could imagine from a plant-based perspective. I'm confident I'll be prepared to use my knowledge to help others.

Emily H.
Very thorough and informative!

Very thorough and informative!

April L.
Excellent course

Excellent course

Sondra W.
Plant-based nutrition

I am learning to tweak my vegan diet to get more nutrients than before. I hope to help others in this regard. Some of the reading is more technical than I am use too so it’s a bit challenging. I am self-employed so carving out a time to study is challanging.


What are the requirements to enroll in this program? Answer

You must be at least eighteen years old and have a solid understanding of the English language to enroll in this program.

We also recommend (but do not require) that you:

  • Hold at least one current certification in a health, wellness, nutrition, or fitness discipline (OR) have an undergraduate degree in a health or science discipline
  • Have knowledge of health and wellness coaching strategies and practices

What is plant-based nutrition? And does this program curriculum support veganism or vegetarianism? Answer

“Plant-based” refers to a dietary pattern that primarily consists of plants (i.e. fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, whole grains, etc.). While the program does cover different types of vegetarian and vegan diets, it also considers diets that include meat and other animal products.

How does this certification program differ from the AFPA Holistic Nutritionist Certification program? Answer

The Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist program and the AFPA Holistic Nutritionist Certification program both offer a credible, comprehensive, whole-person approach to nutrition.

The major difference is that the Certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist program takes a deeper dive into plant-based diets, so it is best for those who want to specialize in plant-based nutrition. It prepares you to better support those who are specifically looking to transition to or maintain a plant-based diet. It will also allow you to gain authority and serve as a leader in the plant-based space.

How long does it take to complete this program? Answer

The program is designed to provide you with flexibility and ample time to progress at a pace that is comfortable to you. It is self-directed, self-study, and may be completed in six months or less. If you require more time, you can request a six-month extension for an additional extension fee of $75.

How do quizzes and exams work? Answer

All quizzes, exams, and assignments are online, open book, and can be completed when you’re ready.

You must score at least 85% on all quizzes and exams to pass. You may take a quiz as many times as you need to pass. You must pass the final exam on the first attempt. If you don’t, you can request a retest for a fee of $75.

How are course materials provided? Answer

Once you enroll you will receive instant access to the online learning portal. As for books, you can choose your delivery method: 100% digital, in print and delivered to your doorstep, or a combination of both.

Do I need to complete continuing education to maintain my certification? Answer

Yes, you will need to complete at least 16 continuing education credits (CECs) every two years to maintain your certification. You can learn more about renewing your certification here.

Can I earn continuing education credits for completing this certification program? Answer

Yes! A newly acquired AFPA certification has a value of 16 continuing education credits (CECs) that count toward the renewal requirements of an existing AFPA certification. To qualify for CECs, you must successfully complete the certification program.

Are payment plans available? Answer

Yes, we offer a variety of flexible payment plans and options through Affirm and PayPal Credit. You can learn more about payment plans here.

Become a plant-based expert and help others discover how this lifestyle can lead to vibrant health and well-being.

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