Credentialing Excellence in Health Education

Continuing Competency

Continuing Competency


NCHEC's Definition of Continuing Competency: 
Demonstrating specified levels of knowledge, skills, or ability not only at the time of initial certification but throughout an individual’s professional career. The NCHEC recertification requirements demonstrate continued competence.  

The purpose of professional certification is to ensure a high level of competence in the health education workforce. Maintenance of this competence is supported by continued training in the knowledge and methods of the field. The need for Continuing Competency (CC) is a direct response to requirements of accreditation as well as public expectation of competency of certified individuals and the best practices of the industry.

As a result, changes to the way in which CC is measured during the process of recertification have been adopted by NCHEC’s Board of Commissioners, beginning in calendar year 2019. These changes will include a measurement of professional competency in the form of either Category I or Category II CECH during the course of a 5-year recertification period, for those whose recertification falls in 2024 and onward.

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions listed below for additional details regarding the new CC requirements, or view NCHEC's presentation "Utilizing National and International Accreditation Standards to Set Policy for Certification of the Health Education and Promotion Workforce" from the APHA 2017 Annual Meeting.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Continuing Competency


Why is this change occurring? 

NCHEC is fully committed to certifying individuals in accordance with national and international accreditation standards.  Both the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the International Accreditation Service (ISO 17024) accreditation standards now include continuing competency measurements.  NCHEC is also dedicated to meeting public expectation about the competence of practitioners in the field of health education and promotion.  For this reason, the NCHEC Board of Commissioners has voted to include a measurement of continuing competency as part of the recertification process for both CHES® and MCHES®.

When is this change occurring?

In 2019, NCHEC will adjust recertification requirements to include this definition of continuing competency. A measurement of an individual’s continued competence during his/her 5-year recertification cycle will include either 1) an assessment (Category I CECH) OR 2) an evaluation of job duties by a supervisor (Category II CECH).  This adjustment will begin with individuals whose new recertification cycle begins on April 1, 2019 and will not be complete until March 31, 2024.

Will I have to take an exam?

No.  Continuing Competency measurements will include either 1) a CE end-of-course assessment/quiz provided by a Category I Provider, OR, 2) an “assessment” of performance by a supervisor or client (worth 5 Category II CECHs). Although an exam was an option initially considered, the NCHEC Division Board for Professional Development voted to adopt an assessment format rather than an exam.

What does the performance assessment option involve?

The Category II CECH Continuing Competence Performance Assessment is a two-step process.  1) The credential holder completes a self-appraisal of his/her performance demonstrating continuing competence.  2) The assessor reviews and responds to the Continuing Competence Performance Assessment and returns it to the applicant.  The assessor may be a current supervisor/manager, past supervisor/manager, or a client.  Note: This is the first time a CHES® credential holder may submit work experience as continuing education. The performance assessment will be worth 5 full CECHs toward recertification.

How will I know when my continuing competency requirements are due?

All CHES® and MCHES® will be notified of the new continuing competency requirements, and when this requirement will become a part of his/her recertification cycle.  Program implementation date will commence with those who will begin a new recertification cycle on April 1, 2019 (ending in 2024) and continue with subsequent cycles.  CHES® and MCHES® will have 5 full years to complete and submit the new requirements.

If you have additional questions about the continuing competency requirements, email Please keep in mind that the new requirements will only be phased in beginning in 2019.

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