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CHES Exam Eligibility

The CHES examination is a competency-based tool used to measure possession, application and interpretation of knowledge in the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Educators delineated by A Competency-Based Framework for Health Educators 2006. The exam reflects the entry-level sub-competencies of these areas of responsibility. Consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions, the CHES examination is offered in paper-and-pencil format at college campuses throughout the United States. While there are approximately 120 testing sites currently registered, any campus with a testing service is eligible to become a testing site.

Basis for the CHES Examination

The CHES examination is based upon the following Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Educators, as delineated in A Competency-Based Framework for Health Educators 2006.

Area of Responsibility of Health Educators
% of Questions on CHES Exam
Assess individual and community needs for health education
Plan effective health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Implement health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Conduct evaluation and research related to health education
Administer health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Serve as a health education resource person
Communicate and advocate for health and health education

CHES Exam Eligibility

Eligibility to take the CHES examination is based exclusively on academic qualifications. An individual is eligible to take the examination if he/she has:

A bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher education; AND one of the following:

  • An official transcript (including course titles) that clearly shows a major in health education, e.g., Health Education, Community Health Education, Public Health Education, School Health Education, etc. Degree/major must explicitly be in a discipline of "Health Education."
  • An official transcript that reflects at least 25 semester hours or 37 quarter hours of course work with specific preparation addressing the Seven Areas of Responsibility and Competency for Health Educators

NCHEC does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of religion, gender, ethnic background or physical disability.

90-Day Eligibility Option
The 90-day option is offered to students scheduled to graduate within 90 days of an exam date. To qualify for this option, a student must be enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education, and must submit an official transcript showing a minimum of 25 semester hours relating to the Area of Responsibility along with written verification from his/her faculty advisor assuring the student will complete all degree requirements within 90 days of the exam date.

Prescreening Service (optional)
This is a separate optional service offered to individuals and should ONLY be used if you are not sure you meet the requirements for the CHES exam. Upon receipt of the
prescreen request form, fee and the applicant's official academic transcripts, NCHEC will review an applicant's credentials to determine eligibility. Deficiencies, if any, will be identified and guidance for exam qualification will be provided. This service is particularly useful to applicants whose academic preparation does not include a degree in health education, but who may have accumulated sufficient health education course work to qualify for the CHES examination. The prescreen request form requires a nonrefundable fee of $25.00 . If eligible, the fee is applied toward the exam registration fee.

Prescreen Schedule:

  • April Cycle: November 1 - February 1
  • October Cycle : May 1 - August 1

Appeal of Denial of Eligibility:

  1. If NCHEC does not approve an application for educational and/or disciplinary reasons, the applicant can initiate an appeal. Appeals must be made in writing to the Executive Director of NCHEC, including any supportive documents. The applicant is responsible for demonstrating that the appeal should be granted.
  2. Appeals will be forwarded to the appropriate Division Board staff for review. The applicant will be notified in writing via USPS mail of the subsequent decision.

Requests for Special Testing Accommodations
Applicants requesting special arrangements and other special needs due to disabilities or religious restrictions must indicate this information on the application. Supporting documentation is required such as a letter from a religious leader indicating necessity to take for the exam on Sunday if choosing a Sabbath site. All requests must be received by application final deadline.