Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)

The field of health education has established a national credentialing certificate called the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). It is a voluntary credentialing process that is generally not required as a condition of employment. However, we recommend that community health educators and students obtain certification, as the CHES certificate conveys additional standards of accomplishment that may contribute to one’s prospects for getting hired.

To obtain such a certificate, the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., (NCHEC) administers a written exam several times a year at various locations throughout the country. Once certified, CHES-health educators are required to obtain continuing education credits to maintain the certification.

Credentialing & Benefits of Certification

Credentialing is an umbrella term that refers to various means used to designate that individuals have met or exceeded established standards. The body of health education has chosen certification as the method of individual credentialing for the profession. Certification is the process by which a non-governmental agency grants recognition to an individual who has met predetermined qualifications specified by the association. Typical qualifications include:

• Graduation from an accredited or approved program.
• Acceptable performance on a qualifying examination or series of examinations.

NCHEC’s voluntary professional certification program establishes a national standard for individual health education practitioners. It differs from state and local certifications in that the requirements do not vary from one locale to another. National certification benefits practitioners and the public because it:

• Establishes a national standard.
• Attests to the individual’s knowledge and skills.
• Assists employers in identifying qualified health education practitioners.
• Fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment.
• Promotes continued professional development.

For further information about the CHES process, visit the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. website.