To enhance the professional practice of Health Education by promotion and sustaining a credentialed body of Health Education Specialists. To meet this mission, NCHEC certifies health education specialists, promotes professional development, and strengthens professional preparation and practice.
After more than a decade of work, committed health educators representing the health education profession established NCHEC in April 1988. Today there are more than 9,000 individuals actively carrying the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) designation and the newly created Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).
Additional opportunities are listed on the Web site periodically.
Responsibility is academic training. Many professional
preparation programs in health education or related degree
programs at colleges and universities have designed their
curricula using the Seven Areas of Responsibility of Health
Educators. Eligibility for the CHES examination is based
solely on possession of a degree and/or academic
preparation related to health education.
Health education specialists are employed under a range of job titles such as patient educators, health education teachers, health coaches, community organizers, public health educators, and health program managers.
To view a video the CHES/MCHES video.
The MCHES continuing education requirements are similar to the CHES, as an individual will need 75 credits in five years to recertify. The 75 CECH required for recertification must include at least 45 hours of Category I CECH (NCHEC approved opportunities) and no more than 30 hours of Category II CECH (events that meet NCHEC standards but are not offered by a Designated Provider). MCHES are required to earn 30 CECH that are directly related to the advanced-level Sub-competencies from Category I and/or II for each certification cycle. For more information on the continuing education requirements view the Policies and Procedures Handbook.
Have an official transcript that clearly shows a major in health education, e.g., Health Education, School Health Education, Public Health Education, Community Health Education, etc. OR Have an official transcript that reflects at least 25 semester hours (37 quarter hours) of course work addressing the Seven Areas of Responsibility of Health Education Specialists.
More detailed information on exam scoring and a breakdown of percentages can be found here.
Over the last several years, more employers then ever have begun to submit health educator/health promotion positions descriptions as “CHES preferred.”
? April Cycle: November 1- February 1
? October Cycle: May 2- August 1
CECH are those experiences that assist in the development or enhancement of the knowledge and skills directly related to the Seven Areas of Responsibility and the individual's professional occupation. NCHEC encourages CHES to pursue training in all Seven Areas of Responsibility, as competence in all Areas is essential to successful health education practice.
CHES are encouraged to accumulate a minimum of 15 CECH per year, and to complete all continuing education requirements at least 90 days prior to recertification.
Category I is a continuing education program/activity which is preapproved by NCHEC. Of the 75 hours to be earned in a five-year period, at least 45 CECH must be earned by participating in Category I activities. All CECH can be earned through Category I activities.
CHES/MCHES who have accumulated in excess of 75 CECH at the end of the current five-year certification cycle may carry over a maximum of 15 Category I CECH into the next five- year certification cycle. Category II hours are not eligible for carry over.
Category I activities are offered by 'designated providers.' A 'designated provider' is an organization that has demonstrated its ability to meet specific NCHEC criteria for offering CHES/MCHES Responsibilities/Sub-competencies related activities. Designated providers report all activities directly to NCHEC either once a quarter or twice a year, depending on what type of provider they are.
At the end of a Category I activity you will receive a certificate that includes a designated provider number. Keep this certificate as proof of your participation in the activity.
A maximum of 30 CECH can be earned by participating in quality activities that relate to at least one of the Seven Areas of Responsibility for CHES and at least one of the advanced-level Sub-competencies for MCHES, but were not approved in advance by NCHEC.
To apply for Category II CECH, you must complete the Category II Claim Form (pdf) within 90 days following completion of an event.
Exception to the 45 Category I/30 Category II Rule:
If you live outside the continental United States you may earn all 75 CECH through activities that are not preapproved by NCHEC. Submit these using the Category II Claim Form (pdf)
Category II (non-preapproved) Activities: Due to the diversity of Category II opportunities, acceptable forms of documentation will vary. To claim CECH in Category II, CHES/MCHES will need to record not only the program information, but also how each activity relates to the Areas of Responsibility or advanced-level Sub-competency. CHES/MCHES must fill out a Category II Claim Form (pdf) within 90 days following completion of a CECH activity.
Continuing education experiences may include seminars, conferences, workshops, academic courses, authorship, professional presentations, professional service, training programs, and directed self-study programs which are at least one-hour in length.
nonprofit organizations, for profit corporations, publishers, health departments, and professional organizations. Contact the continuing education coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org if you're not sure you qualify.
Single Event Provider (SEP) : Organizations choosing this category do not plan to offer many continuing education activities that address CHES/MCHES Competencies and Sub-competencies but are seeking approval for one activity only (even if it will be offered more than once in a year)
Multiple Event Provider (MEP): Organizations choosing this category offer several continuing education activities during a two-year or four-year period which address CHES/MCHES Competencies and Sub-competencies. These organizations must show evidence of either two previous successful continuing education programs using the NCHEC Single Event Provider (SEP) application within the preceding two-year period; or current designation as a provider of continuing education for another health profession (ie: nursing, diabetes, social work, etc.)
Annual Event Provider (AEP) : Organizations choosing this category have offered annual meetings for at least five years which include a great number of sessions addressing CHES/MCHES Competencies and Sub-competencies.
Universal Provider Application : This application may be employed in conjunction with any application form used to seek continuing education approval for a single event by another health profession. This format is an alternative to NCHEC's Single Event Provider Application and will lead to the same designation