Credentialing Excellence in Health Education


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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. 

MD Anderson Photo: Bottom row left to right: Desiree Phillips, MCHES, Mekhala Garvin, CHES. 2nd row left to right: Karen Stepan, MCHES, Lenda Narcisse, CHES, Cassandra Harris, MCHES. 3rd row left to right: Jila Tanha, CHES, Jennifer Cofer, CHES, Lakeshia Brown, CHES. Back row left to right: Charnell Franklin, CHES, Jane Frank, MCHES, Kathy Jinkins, MCHES, Amaka Agbor, CHES.

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Friday, March 17, 2017
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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
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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
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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
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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
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