So, you’ve been charting your cycles for a while now, you’ve read every article here at Natural Womanhood, you’re a fertility evangelist to your family and friends, and now you’re ready for the next level: becoming a fertility awareness method (FAM) instructor!
Okay, so reading every Natural Womanhood article isn’t strictly necessary, but becoming a FAM instructor is a fantastic way to increase your own knowledge, share what you’ve learned, and help guide single women and couples in an extremely important area of their lives. The cost and amount of time involved in becoming a certified instructor vary quite a bit depending on your specific fertility awareness method of choice, the most popular of which we will break down for you here.
Becoming a SymptoThermal Method (STM) Instructor
Couple to Couple League (CCL)
Method overview: CCL teaches the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM), which tracks cervical mucus and basal body temperature and also teaches participants how to observe changes in cervical position and firmness as an optional additional sign. CCL is definitely the cheapest and easiest method to get started in, but you will need to agree to teach with your spouse as a volunteer couple and offer your classes free of charge (note that this is unique to CCL, which is primarily a volunteer-based organization; all other methods allow certified instructors to charge fees for their services).
Cost: $60 annual membership fee, but the certification classes are free!
Training requirements: 31 online training modules with open book quizzes. Couples will then be assigned to a mentor couple who offers guidance and support.
Instructor qualifications: While CCL is developing material to encourage single women to utilize STM for health monitoring, its primary mission is for couples to help other couples learn and embrace fertility awareness. Because, as its name implies, CCL’s couple-based model relies on married couples teaching other couples, being married is one prerequisite for becoming instructors. Instructors must have taken a STM class themselves and be CCL members ($60 annual fee per couple), keep a CCL STM chart for at least six months, and accept the Principles of CCL.
Other information: More information on becoming a teaching couple can be found on the CCL website. The website also includes information on becoming a Fertility Science Institute Instructor; these instructors are paid and provide instruction and coaching on more advanced or specialized topics.
Method overview: SymptoPro also teaches the SymptoThermal Method, teaching participants to track cervical mucus and basal body temperature changes as well as how to observe changes in cervical position and firmness as an optional additional sign. SymptoPro is all online, making it relatively convenient to learn and teach.
Cost: $400 for individuals or $510 for couples, plus a $50 annual renewal fee that includes access to an online portal, ongoing support, and newsletters.
Training requirements: SymptoPro offers a self-paced at-home course that they say takes an average of 40 hours to complete. They provide a digital textbook, a trainer you can communicate with over email or video call, and quizzes and assignments. The next step is a supervised practicum in which you must meet with six clients and then take a final exam.
Instructor qualifications: Before beginning the at-home instructor training, prospective teachers must first complete a SymptoPro user class (also online), plus find a “sponsor organization” who will refer women to you or allow you to advertise to women who may be interested in learning NFP (ex. a church, OB/GYN office, midwife, mom’s group, etc.).
Other information: Visit SymptoPro’s website for more information!
Becoming a Mucus-Only Method Instructor
Billings Ovulation Method
Method overview: The Billings Ovulation Method uses cervical mucus as its sole biomarker, with particular attention paid to the sensation of mucus at the vulva, although the physical characteristics of mucus are also noted and recorded. World Organization Ovulation Method Billings (WOOMB International) has affiliates all over the world, including a United States affiliate.
Cost: $675 with a $30 renewal fee every three years for applicants in the United States. According to Bernadette Davies of WOOMB International in email correspondence to Natural Womanhood, “If someone comes from a country with a WOOMB Affiliate, they will be trained by that Affiliate and costs will vary depending on the Affiliate. If there is no Affiliate, they will be trained by WOOMB International.”
Training requirements: The remote training takes about 25 hours to complete. Participants have the option of going through the curriculum at their own pace or in a more structured format that involves unit deadlines and scheduled Zoom meetings with other trainees to discuss course content. This is followed by a supervised practicum in which you must teach three clients. After this, instructors take the final evaluation for certification.
Instructor qualifications: Instructors must use Billings Ovulation Method for their own charting for at least six months, or three months if switching from another method.
Other information: Natural Womanhood readers in the United States can visit the Billings Ovulation Method-USA website for more information, training dates, and teaching application. Outside the U.S., interested readers can visit the WOOMB International Website.
Method overview: Like the Billings Ovulation Method, the Creighton Method relies exclusively on cervical mucus observations. Creighton users start with a paper chart and have the option of utilizing app for charting (couples can share an account) if they are working with a trained instructor. Creighton utilizes a very detailed classification system, which is a deterrent to some women. Others, especially those with fertility issues they are hoping to address with a NaPro physician, find the level of detail helpful and reassuring. That being said, becoming a Creighton instructor is more involved and expensive than many of the other methods.
Cost: The fees involved with learning Creighton total more than $4,000, which includes tuition for the full 13-month program, application fee, required texts, teaching material, and covering transportation costs for the on-site supervisor visit. Instructor education courses are offered all over the country and even internationally, and a current calendar is here.
Training requirements: Education Phase I includes an eight-day in-person immersion course followed by a six-month supervised practicum. Education Phase II is a six-day in-person course on advanced topics followed by a seven-month supervised practicum with an on-site visit and then the final exam.
Qualifications: Those eligible for a Creighton certification include RNs, medical professionals with a bachelor’s degree, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or those who have achieved the equivalent of two years college study. Applicants must already be practicing the Creighton Model, and adhere to the AAFCP Code of Ethics.
Other information: Visit the FertilityCare website for more information on upcoming training dates.
Becoming a Sympto-Hormonal Method Instructor
Method overview: FEMM is similar to Creighton as it also uses cervical mucus as its primary biomarker, but without the detailed classification of mucus observations Creighton uses (it generally just comes down to slippery or not slippery). FEMM also boasts an easy-to-use app where you can track cervical mucus and other optional biomarkers such as LH and basal body temperature. The app offers insights, creates lovely charts, helps you locate a FEMM Clinic, and you and your spouse can share one account in order to both stay in the loop on fertility. The certification is more expensive than the SymptoThermal Method options, but this cost can be offset by charging a fee for your classes.
Training requirements: The training consists of a 10 week course with an hour and a half session once a week, with one week being dedicated to teenFEMM. The sessions are online and are recorded if you are not available during the live session. Following the training, FEMM provides guidance support as you practice teaching 3-5 clients; there is then a practice teaching exam after which you will be eligible for the final exam and certification.
Instructor qualifications: There are no specific qualifications for becoming certified as a FEMM teacher.
Other information: Visit FEMM’s website for more information on certification, including training dates (these fill up fast!). Also, if you are a medical provider looking for professional training in FEMM, they offer a medical management course as well.
Method overview: What sets apart the Marquette Model from other models is tracking hormone levels through urine test strips in order to identify when ovulation likely occurred.
Cost: $1,300 total for the Core Course, the Teacher Training, and Medical Applications. “Marquette Model Lite,” an abridged, two-hour course, is $75.
Training requirements: Prospective instructors work through a self-paced online course that takes about 50 hours to complete, teach ten couples with follow-up, submit two case studies, and receive a passing grade on a group training session that is recorded and scored. There is also a “Marquette Model Lite” course (also only for medical professionals) that covers the basics of Marquette in a two-hour abridged course that equips busy healthcare professionals to introduce patients with the regular cycles to the Marquette Model within the context of a busy medical practice.
Instructor qualifications: Must be a healthcare professional such as a BSN, APRN, PA’s, medical students, or MD
Other information: Visit Marquette’s website for more information on teacher accreditation, applications, and contact information.
All of the above!
Boston Cross Check Method
Method overview: The Boston Cross Check Method educates users on at-home hormonal monitoring (like with the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor utilized in the Marquette Method) and cervical mucus observations and basal body temperature observations. According to BCC instructor Christina Valenzuela, the method “teaches couples ways to use the fertility markers…separately, or in various combinations, to suit their desired efficacy and planning needs….We also offer additional protocols with LH Tests and Proov Progesterone strips, for clients who wish to incorporate those elements.”
Cost: Stage I fee is $600/individual or$700/couple, plus $50 resources fee. Stage II fee is $1100 per individual or couple. Stage III fee is $100, due annually for renewal of certification.
Training requirements: BCC certification requires completion of 3 phases. Phase I (roughly 40 hours of self-paced coursework) and Phase II (supervised training of 4 or more couples) are instructional and together take about 12 months to complete. Phase III is continuing education and requires annual renewal.
Instructor qualifications: Applicants must themselves have taken a BCC course from a certified BCC instructor, personally use the BCC method for 6 months or more, and complete both an application form and an online interview.
Other information: For more information, check out the Boston Cross Check Method website.
The bottom line on becoming a fertility awareness method instructor
Like finding a charting method that works for you or finding an instructor, training to become a fertility awareness method instructor will depend on your personal preferences, lifestyle, marriage status, whether or not you are a medical provider, your motivation for teaching, cost, and what options are available in your area. Whichever method you choose, becoming an instructor could give women and couples in your community (and potentially all over the world, thanks to telehealth!) access to valuable information, and the valuable resource of having you as a teacher, that they might not have otherwise!
This article was updated on April 18th, 2023 to 1) reflect the availability of Creighton training programs across the country, and the ability of couples to utilize a shared account within the app, 2) reflect which website readers interested in the Billings Ovulation Method should utilize, depending on whether they live in the U.S. or internationally, and 3) include information on the Boston Cross Check Method.