Credentialing Excellence in Health Education


Inaugural Outstanding Service and Leadership Award Winners Annouced

The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) announced the results of its inaugural Outstanding Service and Leadership Award in recognition of one individual and one organization displaying exemplary commitment to the advancement of the profession and of the CHES and MCHES credentials.  The NCHEC Service and Leadership Award was instituted to highlight the implementation of programs and policies that promote the role of certified health education specialists within communities, populations, and/or organizational structure.

Dr. James F. McKenzie, PhD, MCHES, was selected as the award winner in the individual category.  Dr. McKenzie has a distinguished record as a valued leader in the field of health education and promotion, with over 44 years of teaching experience, as well as many years of devotion to the development and improvement of the CHES and MCHES examinations through dedicated board service at NCHEC. He has served on NCHEC’s Division Board for Certification of Health Education Specialists (DBCHES), the NCHEC Board of Commissioners (BOC), as well as various job analysis task forces.  In addition, Dr. McKenzie was instrumental in leading the process of exam creation for NCHEC’s advanced-level credential, the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was chosen as the  award winner in the organizational category.  The MD Anderson Patient Education Department is responsible for the education of over 100,000 patients per year, utilizing documents, videos, and decision-aids that are developed by Health Education Specialists who are CHES or MCHES-certified.  CHES and MCHES are utilized in a variety of settings within MD Anderson, and the certification of its employees is strongly encouraged.  The organization covers exam fees, annual certification fees, continuing education costs, and even bestows a “certification pay” in addition to base pay for the continued maintenance of the employee’s CHES or MCHES certification.  By utilizing CHES and MCHES-certified individuals to deliver such programs, MD Anderson strengthens the message to patients and the community, and highlights the organizational belief that well-prepared, credentialed employees make a valuable difference in patient care.

The inaugural year of the award was a great success, and provided an opportunity to highlight the outstanding achievements made by Dr. McKenzie and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to others in the profession of health education and promotion.  NCHEC will be announcing the opening of nominations for the second Outstanding Service and Leadership Award later this summer. 

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Friday, March 17, 2017 | 0 comments
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2018 NCHEC Leadership Opportunities

Nominations are Now Open

NCHEC is searching for individuals to fill volunteer positions on our Board of Commissioners and Division Boards.  All positions adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Health Education Profession. The terms of these positions will begin on January 1, 2018.  NCHEC seeks individuals from a variety of practice settings on all boards: school, medical care, business/industry, academia and community.  Elections will be held in August 2017.  Consider nominating yourself or encouraging a peer to take this opportunity.  The deadline to receive nominations is June 15, 2017.  

Click HERE for the 2018 nominations form. 

Board of Commissioners (BOC): One At-Large Commissioner:  5-year term.  The Board of Commissioners is comprised of 11-13 individuals who govern in compliance with the mission and the objectives of NCHEC.   More specifically, the BOC defines the mission, participates in strategic planning, approves the annual budget and monitors financial statements, employs and evaluates the Executive Director, oversees and evaluates the credentialing program, establishes policies related to coordination and communication among the three division boards, and advocates for credentialing.  Significant experience in health education, interest or familiarity with the functioning of non-profit boards, and knowledge and interest in health education credentialing is preferred. 

Division Board for Professional Preparation and Practice (DBPPP): One Director:  5-year terms.  The DBPPP is comprised of seven individuals responsible for promoting professional preparation.  More specifically, the DBPPP works with colleges, universities and accrediting agencies to improve professional preparation programs and promote best practices in health education settings, and monitors and updates the certification application and eligibility review process.  Interest or experience with the credentialing process and with professional preparation is preferred.

Division Board for Professional Development (DBPD): One Director: 5-year term.   The DBPD is comprised of seven individuals responsible for oversight of the recertification and annual renewal procedures.  More specifically, the DBPD recommends policies and procedures related to the designation of continuing education providers, recertification and the annual renewal of CHES/MCHES; recommends fees for recertification, annual renewal and provider designation; and assures that the processes are monitored and periodically evaluated.  Interest or experience in the development or delivery of continuing education programs for health educators is preferred. 

Division Board for Certification of Health Education Specialists (DBCHES): Three Directors: 5-year term. The DBCHES is comprised of 11 individuals responsible for the credentialing examination.  More specifically, the DBCHES assures a periodic review and evaluation of certification and examination processes; recommends policies and procedures for administering the CHES and the MCHES examinations; participates in item-writing workshops and on-going online item-writing assignments, and ensures that NCHEC’s testing meets acceptable standards.  Interest or experience in item-writing and exam construction is preferred.  The MCHES credential is required to serve on this Board.   

Requirements for all positions include:

  • Maintaining CHES/MCHES certification (Note: DBCHES Directors must be MCHES)
  • Participating in monthly conference calls
  • Attending one face-to-face meeting (all expenses paid by NCHEC) per year –typically this meeting spans a weekend (Thursday night –Sunday noon).  DBCHES may require two face- to-face meetings per year.
  • Reading agendas, minutes and other documents and information to stay informed
  • Exercising independent judgment on decisions presented and maintaining confidentiality
  • Advocating for credentialing
  • Working on specific assignments/projects
  • Supporting the work and mission of NCHEC, protecting confidentiality, and avoiding conflict of interest
If you are interested in becoming a candidate, please contact Melissa Opp at: 888-624-3248 ext. 11 or or visit the Web site at www.nchec.orgNomination deadline is June 15, 2017.




Posted by Jessica Wessner at Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | 0 comments
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NCHEC 2016 Annual Report

The NCHEC Annual Report 2016 is now available for online viewing.  Click here to read our year-end summary. 
Posted by Jessica Wessner at Wednesday, March 8, 2017 | 0 comments
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Accreditation Guidebook: FAQs for CHES/MCHES

Accreditation is an incredibly important facet of your CHES or MCHES certification. 

Did you know?  Accreditation is a voluntary evaluation process that certain certifying organizations – like NCHEC - undergo in order to maintain standards of professional quality agreed upon by members of a National and/or International accrediting body. Accreditation provides a formal, independent assessment of competence, and publicly recognizes the quality of an organization’s personnel certification services.


We get it. Eligibility requirements are difficult, the exam is lengthy, and sign up takes time and energy, and likely involves some hurdles along the way.  So why not a different, ‘easier’ certification?  After all, as long as you have learned the material, you should be able to walk away with a paper that means something, right?

Not necessarily. While some unaccredited certification or certificate programs might offer valuable learning experiences, not all certifications are created equal.  NCHEC provides the only nationally and internationally accredited certifications for health education specialists.  Our accreditation provides professionally measured standards that ensure the ongoing validity of the CHES and MCHES certifications in the field of health education/promotion. 

Who accredits the CHES/MCHES certifications?

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has accredited the CHES certification program since 2008 and the MCHES certification program since 2013. The NCCA was developed, in order to “ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programs/organizations that assess professional competence”. The NCCA standards require demonstration of a valid and reliable process for development, implementation, maintenance and governance of certification programs.

Recently, NCHEC earned accreditation as a Personnel Certification Body by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) for the ISO/IEC 17024 Conformity Assessment - General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons.   Accreditation by IAS provides a global benchmark for personnel certification programs to ensure consistent, comparable and reliable operations worldwide. 

What does NCCA and IAS Accreditation Mean?

The NCCA and IAS both evaluate the processes and systems used by NCHEC to identify professional role and scope of practice, develop exam content, and provide proper exam administration and scoring.   Accreditation by these agencies will ensure that an organization has:

  • Employed assessment instruments that are derived from the job/practice analysis and that are consistent with generally accepted psychometric principles.
  • Awarded certification only after the knowledge and/or skill of individual applicants have been evaluated and determined to be acceptable.
  • Established, published, applied, and periodically reviewed key certification policies and procedures concerning existing and prospective certificants.
  • Demonstrated that its recertification requirements measure or enhance the continued competence of certificants.

Accreditation provides an excellent barometer of current professional workplace competencies that a CHES or MCHES will face, as well as an ongoing commitment to a certification’s continual improvement. Furthermore, the value of accreditation extends from NCHEC, to you – the certification holder, onto the employer, and then to the public.


The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)

International Accreditation Service (IAS)

Distinguishing between Quality Certification and Assessment-Based Certificate Programs

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Friday, January 20, 2017 | 0 comments
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NCHEC 2017 Conference Schedule

Spring 2017 Conferences

Will you join us?

Networking opportunities and continuing education abound at this list to conferences to be at this spring. Find out NCHEC's schedule below. 

To follow links to registration, click here.

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Friday, January 20, 2017 | 0 comments
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The NCHEC Winter 2017 Bulletin is here!

Catch up on the latest edition of NCHEC News - Winter Bulletin 2017.  

Read our 2016 winning essay contest entry, view our Leadership News, and catch articles on the value of certification, liability insurance for health professionals, as well as spotlights on the latest from employers of CHES and MCHES and other certified individuals in the field!

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Tuesday, January 17, 2017 | 0 comments
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