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:
- Academic courses
- Satellite instruction
- Training programs
- 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.
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. They can include such activities as:
- Distance learning
- Self-study opportunities
To apply for Category II CECH, you must complete the online 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 by logging in and using the Category II Claim Form.
If you are unable to submit online, please download the writable form here.
Download this resource: Ask your employer to support your continuing education efforts.
Continuing Competency (total of 5 hours)
All CHES® and MCHES® will need 5 CC CECH during the course of their 5-year cycle. These 5 credits will be part of your 75 total CECH. The total number of continuing education credits you need will not increase.
CC credits will be available as either Category I CECH OR Category II CECH. You will not need both. A measurement of a CHES® or MCHES®’s continued competence during his/her 5-year recertification cycle will include either:
- an end-of-course learning assessment/quiz by provider of Category I CECH
- an evaluation of job duties by a supervisor or client (Category II CECH).
Read more about Continuing Competency Requirements here.
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.
How to Locate CHES® Continuing Education Courses Online
Learn more about how to locate CHES® continuing education courses online.