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NCHEC and SOPHE Launch Cooperative Health Education Specialist Practice Analysis II

Comprehensive Practice Analysis Underway to Identify Changes in Roles of Health Education Professionals

WHITEHALL, Pa. June 1, 2018   The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., (NCHEC) and the Society for Public Health Education, Inc. (SOPHE) are once again co-sponsoring the health education specialist practice analysis.  This study, to be known as Health Education Specialist Practice Analysis II (HESPA II), is to reverify the entry- and advanced-level Responsibilities, Competencies and Sub-competencies that undergird the professional preparation and development of all health education specialists, as well as provide the basis for the health education profession’s certification system. HESPA II will be led by two well-known health education professionals: chair Randy Cottrell, D.Ed., MCHES® and vice chair Adam P. Knowlden, MBA, PhD, CHES®.

“This comprehensive study is undertaken every five years to identify changes in health education and promotion practice, and to inform professional preparation and continuing education programs of these changes,” said Dr. Cottrell, chair of HESPA II.  Dr. Cottrell is a professor and program coordinator of the Public Health Studies Program at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. He is also recognized within the profession for his previous work as Co-chair of the National Accreditation Implementation Task force, co-author of numerous health education textbooks, and numerous leadership positions within health education professional membership organizations. He was recently elected as SOPHE’s Trustee for Professional Preparation 2018-2020. 

Vice-chair of HESPA II is Dr. Adam Knowlden, an Assistant Professor of Health Science at The University of Alabama, who specializes in the development of behavioral prediction models and the evaluation of experimental interventions. He is a former associate editor for the peer-reviewed journal, Health Education & Behavior.

Along with the Chair and Vice Chair, project oversight will be provided by 17 Task Analysis Panel members including respectively the chief staff executives of SOPHE and NCHEC, Elaine Auld, MPH, MCHES®, and Linda Lysoby, MS, MCHES®, CAE; and James F. McKenzie, MEd, PhD, MPH, MCHES®,  co-chair of the HESPA 2015 project; and Kathleen Allison, PhD, MPH, MCHES®, coordinator of NCHEC’s Division Board for Certification of Health Education Specialists and SOPHE Trustee, 2018 Annual Meeting.

The HESPA II study effort will take place over 12-15 months. NCHEC and SOPHE will provide staff support and coordinate meetings, in collaboration with the national contractor for this effort, Castle Worldwide, Inc. Located near Research Triangle, North Carolina, Castle is a full-service certification and licensure testing company with 30 years of experience in the science of psychometrics and practice analysis. It is anticipated that a profession-wide survey will be launched in early fall of 2018. All practicing health education specialists are strongly encouraged to participate in the study.

In accordance with best practices in certification, the practice analysis study is conducted in approximately five-year intervals. The periodic practice analyses serve as the basis for the certification examinations that NCHEC uses for Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®) certification. Additionally, the results are used to guide curriculum for health education professional preparation programs at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels as well as for professional development by continuing education providers. The results of the last Health Education Specialist Practice Analysis were published in Health Education & Behavior in 2016. A summary of health educator job analysis projects is available here:


The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) is a nonprofit professional organization founded in 1950  to provide global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion and to promote the health of society. SOPHE’s 4,000 international and chapter members work in various public and private organizations to advance health edcucation theory and research, develop disease prevention and health promotion programs, and promote public policies conducive to health. For more information, visit


Established in 1988, NCHEC is the only accredited U.S. certifying agency for the health education/promotion industry. NCHEC is a highly recognized and well respected credentialing organization administering two professional credentialing programs including the CHES®, designed for entry-level health education specialists, and the MCHES®, targeted to advanced-level practitioners. For more information about NCHEC’s certification programs, visit

Posted by Jessica Wessner at 09:00

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