CHES© and MCHES©, or Certified Health Education Specialist and Masters of Certified Health Education Specialist, are national and international certifications for health educators. CHES is for entry-level health educators and MCHES is designed for specialists with at least five years of experience. These certifications are offered by the nonprofit organization National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), whose mission is to “enhance the professional practice of Health Education by promoting and sustaining a credentialed body of Health Education Specialists.”
To become certified, one must pass an examination that assesses one’s competence in the possession, application, and interpretation of Seven Areas of Responsibility:
Area I: Assess Needs, Resources, and Capacity for Health Education/Promotion
Area II: Plan Health Education/Promotion
Area III: Implement Health Education/Promotion
Area IV: Conduct Evaluation and Research Related to Health Education/Promotion
Area V: Administer and Manage Health Education/Promotion
Area VI: Serve as a Health Education/Promotion Resource Person
Area VII. Communicate, Promote, and Advocate for Health, Health Education/Promotion, and the Profession
Once certified, one must pay an annual $55 renewal fee and obtain 75 continuing education contact hours every five years for recertification.
Who is eligible?
Basic requirements to be eligible for the exam include:
- Official transcript clearly showing health education major
- Official transcript reflecting at least 25 semester hours or 37 quarter hours with specific preparation addressing the Seven Areas of Responsibility and Competency for Health Education Specialists.
Should I become certified?
This national credential lets others know that you have competencies beyond just a degree. You understand the responsibility and accountability in being a high quality health educator. Certification can be appealing to employers looking for health education experts and may be required for some careers in the field.
How can I become certified?
Exams are offered biannually in April and October. Check out the NCHEC exam overview for more information on registering for the next exam!
ACT for Youth now offers contact hours
ACT for Youth has recently become a Designated Provider of continuing education contact hours with NCHEC. This means we can now help those of you who are already certified get those 75 credit hours! Any webinar or training we offer that addresses at least one of the Areas of Responsibility will be eligible for contact hours (don’t worry – we will make it clear if a webinar or training does not qualify). If you attend and successfully complete these events, you will need to get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible to receive a special evaluation form to be completed. Once we’ve received your evaluation form, we will submit it to NCHEC for you. We are excited to be able to offer this new service to help further your career as a certified health educator!
– Divine Sebuharara, MS, CHES