Continuing Education is defined as educational experiences that assist in the development or enhancement of the knowledge and skills directly related to the individual's professional occupation. NCHEC encourages CHES® and MCHES® to pursue continuing education in all of the Areas of Responsibility and Competencies for Health Education Specialists (pdf), as competence in all Areas is essential to successful health education practice. Continuing education experiences may include seminars, conferences, workshops, academic courses, satellite instruction, training programs, and directed self-study programs.
In order to maintain certification, a CHES® and a MCHES® must accumulate a minimum of 75 Continuing Education Contact Hours (CECH) over the five year certification period. CHES®/MCHES® 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.
Please Note: Continuing education credits earned as a CHES® do not carry over; however if you earned more than 75 credits in your CHES® cycle, a maximum of 15 credits are eligible to be carried over into the MCHES® certification cycle. The philosophy behind the policy is that continuing education toward recertification needs to be part of the ongoing commitment to professional development, not something done in the past. This becomes especially important as the Responsibilities, Competencies and Sub-competencies that are the basis of the certification and the continuing education requirement for recertification are updated every 5 years. The 75 credits must be earned within the current 5 year period and also at least 30 of them must be in the advanced level.
Category I (minimum of 45 hours)
Category I refers to continuing education that 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. You may choose to earn all of your CECH in Category I.
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® and MCHES® Responsibilities-related activities. Designated providers report all activities directly to NCHEC on a quarterly basis.
At the end of a Category I activity you will receive a certificate that includes a 'designated provider number' and an 'event number.' Keep this certificate as proof of your participation in the activity. There is no need to submit your certificate to NCHEC.
Category II (maximum of 30 hours)
A Category II activity is not preapproved by NCHEC.
To apply for Category II CECH, you must complete the Category II Claim Form 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.
NCHEC does not charge any continuing education fees. Individual providers of continuing education may still require payment of administrative fees to defray their expenses in completing the provider application, filing the continuing education report and maintaining attendance records following an event.