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1. Who is eligible to take the MCHES Exam?
Both current CHES and non-CHES can be eligible to sit for the MCHES exam. For CHES: active status for five (5) continuous years immediately prior to the exam. For Non-CHES: required to have a master’s degree or higher in health education or master’s degree or higher in a related discipline with at least 25 credit hours specific to health education. Additionally, must have five years of documented experience as a health education specialist. Applicants must submit two verification forms from a current or past supervisor, and a current curriculum vitae/resume.
2. What are the fees for taking the MCHES examination
Fees for the MCHES exam are based on when you file your application. The filing deadlines and fees for the MCHES exam can be found here.
3. What if I'm unsure of my eligibility to take the MCHES exam?
NCHEC offers a prescreen service for those individuals who are unsure of their eligibility. This is a separate optional service offered to non-CHES and should ONLY be used if you are not sure you meet the requirements for the MCHES exam. The prescreen service will review the academic component of eligibility. If you are found to be eligible that $25 prescreen request will be deducted from the exam registration fee and an application and instructions will be mailed to you. If ineligible, course deficiencies will be identified and guidance will be provided.
- April Cycle: November 1 - February 1
- October Cycle: May 2 - August 1
4. What is the MCHES Exam like?
The MCHES examination is a paper-and-pencil test administered at 120 test sites nationwide. Candidates have three hours to answer 165 multiple-choice (150 scored and 15 pilot tested) questions based upon the Seven Areas of Responsibility of Health Education Specialist and both the entry and advanced-level Sub-competencies.
5. Is there a study guide for the MCHES Exam?
The Health Education Specialist: Companion Guide for Professional Excellence, 7th Edition, and A Competency-Based Framework for Health Education Specialists - 2015, are revised publications that reflect the results of Health Education Practice Analysis (HESPA) -2015 and includes updated and validated Competencies and Sub-competencies at the entry-and advanced-level. The companion guide includes a supplement with 165 practice questions for the MCHES exam only. These publications can be purchased separately, together as a discounted package, or in eBook format. Click the MCHES Publications link on the Homepage.
6. If I wait to pursue sitting for the MCHES exam until after I have been CHES for 5 years, will I have to submit extra documentation at that time?
The only eligibility requirement for current CHES to sit for the MCHES examination is five continuous years active status. Submission of documentation is not a requirement for eligibility.
7. Do my CHES credits carry over if I become MCHES?
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.
8. Concerning the experience component for non-CHES and CHES with fewer than 5 years active status, does the five years of documented experience as a health education specialist have to be the immediate past five years?
The curriculum vitae/resume must clearly show that the applicant has been engaged in the Areas of Responsibility for at least five years. It is not a requirement that the health education experience be the immediate past five years. Current employment at the time of application is not necessary. Additionally, health education experience may be prior to completion of graduate degree.
9. Can a MCHES applicant’s health education experience include a part-time position?
Health Education experience can be full-time, part-time and/or intermittent. The applicant will meet the experience component of eligibility, as long as the applicant has at least five years of documented experience as a health education specialist.
10. Can volunteer experience count towards the five years of documented health education specialist?
Volunteer experience does not qualify towards the five years of experience as a health education specialist.
11. Do you have to be a CHES prior to becoming an MCHES?
No, as long as the individual meets the non-CHES eligibility requirements, CHES certification is not a pre-requisite of the MCHES certification.