Disciplinary Policy and Appeals Process

Disciplinary Policy - Updated July 25, 2014

By applying for certification or recertification, Health Education Specialists recognize the authority of NCHEC to apply the Health Education Code of Ethics to those certified. If disciplinary actions are recommended as a result of an ethics investigation, the accused will be given full due process, including an appeal.

A Certified Health Education Specialist’s (CHES®) or Master Certified Health Education Specialist's (MCHES®) certification may be suspended or revoked for reason(s) deemed appropriate by NCHEC including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Falsification of the certification application
  2. Falsification of any information requested by NCHEC
  3. Misrepresentation of certification status
  4. Cheating (or reasonable evidence of intent to cheat) on the examination
  5. The conviction or plea of guilty or plea of nolo contender to a felony in a matter related to the practice of, or qualifications for, professional activity
  6. Gross negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of professional services, or other unethical or unprofessional conduct based on demonstrable, verifiable, and serious violations of the Health Education Code of Ethics


Complaints regarding possible ethics violations of a CHES®/MCHES® must be submitted in writing to the NCHEC Executive Director. The complaint must include the accuser’s name and contact information. Individuals bringing complaints are not entitled to any relief or damages by virtue of this process, although they will receive notice of the actions taken.

  1. Complaints will undergo an administrative review of documentation by the Disciplinary Committee of the NCHEC Board of Commissioners within 30 days of receipt by NCHEC to determine if the alleged action falls within the scope of disciplinary policy and warrants investigation.
  2. The accused will be notified in writing of complaint within 14 days after the administrative review. Further, in the absence of unusual circumstances, the accused will receive the original complaint and documentation including the name of the accuser.

  3. The accused will be given an opportunity to formally and in writing admit to or refute the accusation in 30 days from letter date, thus assuring due process in the review.

  4. The investigation may require procuring additional materials and interviews with relevant people.

  5. If it is determined that there was a bona fide violation of ethics, the consequences can range from a letter of reprimand with warning, requiring the accused to complete an educational intervention on ethics, suspension, or revocation of the certification. Complainant and the certificant will be notified of the final decision of the Disciplinary Committee.
  6. Every effort will be made to reach a decision in a timely manner; however, extended time may be needed to ensure full due process.
  7. Actions taken do not constitute enforcement of the law, although referral to appropriate federal, state, or local government agencies may be made about the conduct of the certificant in appropriate situations.

  8. NCHEC will publish suspensions and revocations on the website.


CHES®/MCHES® who wish to appeal a decision regarding disciplinary action must do so in writing, stating the grounds for the appeal. This correspondence should be received by NCHEC within 30 days of NCHEC’s letter to the CHES®/MCHES® wherein the decision regarding disciplinary action is revealed, and should be addressed to the Executive Director.

The Disciplinary Committee is comprised of the BOC Past Chair who also acts as the chair of the Committee. If the BOC Past Chair is not available, the current BOC Chair will make the appointment of the chair of the Disciplinary Committee, from current BOC members. The Public Member of BOC is a member of this Committee. One member from each Division Board will be named to the Disciplinary Committee each year, during the Boards’ committee selection process. These members may not be current members of the BOC. 
The Appeal Committee is comprised of the chair of the Disciplinary Committee that heard the original case, but will not be chair of the Appeal Committee. Three Division Board members (but not in a chair or co-chair position) will be appointed by the Co-chairs of the Boards during the Boards’ committee selection process. These members will elect their Chair of the Appeal Committee.

Appeals Policy

An appeal procedure is available to any applicant (Applicant) or CHES®/MCHES® to contest any adverse decision affecting his/her CHES®/MCHES® examination eligibility or CHES®/MCHES® status. Any individual who does not file a request for an appeal within the required time limit shall waive the right to appeal.

Applicants/CHES®/MCHES® may appeal:

Adverse Decision Affected NCHEC Decision-Making Body
1. Exam Eligibility Division Board for Professional Preparation and Practice
2. Recertification Status Division Board for Professional Development
3. Suspension/Revocation of CHES Status Board of Commissioners

Applicants/CHES/MCHES cannot appeal:

  1. actions taken by NCHEC in setting a passing score
  2. established eligibility requirements
  3. individual test items
  4. test content validity


An "adverse decision" shall mean any unfavorable decision made by NCHEC regarding one's exam eligibility, CHES®/MCHES® renewal/recertification or CHES®/MCHES® status.

Procedure for Appeals

Filing the Appeal

  1. An appeal will only be considered if postmarked within thirty calendar days following the postmark date on the envelope in which the appellant was notified of the adverse decision.
  2. NCHEC strongly suggests appeals be sent by certified mail or overnight courier service (UPS, FedEx, etc.) with return receipt requested. Appeals by facsimile or e-mail are not accepted.
  3. A fee of $25 must be paid and is not refundable if the appeal is denied..
  4. An appeal must be submitted in writing (preferably typewritten) to the NCHEC Executive Director who will, in turn, submit it to the appropriate NCHEC decision-making body. The written appeal packet must contain the envelope from NCHEC showing the postmark date of the adverse decision..
  5. The appeal should identify the adverse decision being appealed and explicitly state the reasons for the appeal. The appeal shall set forth any new or additional information to be considered..
  6. The only additional information that may be submitted after the initial filing is that which is requested by the appropriate NCHEC decision-making body..

Review and Consideration

  1. The appropriate NCHEC decision-making body shall review and consider a properly filed appeal during its next regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
  2. Where it deems necessary, a division board has the authority to request from the Board of Commissioners (BOC) an opinion regarding any aspect of the applicant’s appeal.
  3. The appropriate NCHEC decision making body shall make a determination as to whether it will uphold the adverse decision or not, or order other action that it deems necessary.
  4. The NCHEC Executive Director shall notify the applicant of the appropriate NCHEC decision making body’s decision, and the reasons therefore, within fifteen business days following the date of the appropriate NCHEC decision making body’s decision.
  5. The appropriate NCHEC decision making body’s decision is final.

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