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Become a CHES

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

What is the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc?

The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., or NCHEC (pronounced N-Check), is a nonprofit organization whose major purposes are:

  • Develop and promote standards for professional education of health educators
  • Develop and administer a national competency-based examination
  • Ensure professional development through continuing education

After more than a decade of work, committed health educators representing the health education profession established NCHEC in April 1988 . Today there are more than 7,500 individuals carrying the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) designation.

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__What is CHES?

The CHES (pronounced chez) designation signifies that an individual possesses the proper qualifications for, and has successfully passed a competency-based examination demonstrating skill and knowledge of the Seven Areas of Responsibility, upon which the credential is based.

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__What are the Seven Areas of Responsibility?

The Seven Areas of Responsibility that make up the standards of the credential are:

  1. Assess individual and community needs for health education
  2. Plan effective health education strategies, interventions, and programs
  3. Implement health education strategies, interventions, and programs
  4. Conduct evaluation and research related to health education
  5. Administer health education strategies, interventions, and programs
  6. Serve as a health education resource person
  7. Communicate and advocate for health and health education

To view a detailed list of the above responsibilities click here.

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__How does one obtain skills in and knowledge of the Areas of __Responsibility?

The foundation for obtaining experience in the Areas of Responsibility is academic training. Many professional preparation programs in health education or related degree programs at colleges and universities have designed their curricula to reflect most, if not all Seven Areas of Responsibility. Eligibility for the CHES examination is based solely on possession of a degree and academic preparation related to health education.

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__What are the qualifications to take the CHES exam?

To be eligible to take the CHES examination an individual must have a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate's degree from an accredited institution of higher education, AND

Have an official transcript that clearly shows a major in health education, e.g., Health Education, School Health Education, Public Health Education, Community Health Education, etc.

OR

Have an official transcript that reflects at least 25 semester hours (37 quarter hours) of course work addressing the Seven Areas of Responsibility.

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__ I haven't graduated yet. Must I wait until I have my degree?

No. Undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education who provide an official transcript showing a minimum of 25 semester hours relating to the Areas of Responsibility, and who will be graduating within 90 days of a testing date may sit for the CHES exam. The student candidate must also submit written verification from a faculty advisor affirming that the student will be academically qualified by the examination date.

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__ What if Iím unsure of my eligibility to take the CHES exam?

NCHEC offers a prescreen service for those individuals who are unsure of their eligibility. Exam eligibility is determined through a review of an individualís academic transcript. To request this service, the prescreen request form, a $25 nonrefundable fee and an official transcript must be submitted to NCHEC. If the applicant is found ineligible, course deficiencies will be identified and guidance for qualification will be provided. If the applicant is deemed eligible, the $25 fee is then applied toward the exam fee, and an application will be mailed. All applicants are notified in writing of their prescreen outcome.

This service is particularly useful to applicants whose academic preparation does not include a degree in health education, but may have accumulated sufficient health education course work to qualify for the CHES exam.

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__ I have a Master of Public Health (MPH).
__ Am I eligible to take the CHES exam?

No. A Master of Public Health (MPH) alone does not qualify an individual to take the CHES exam. An applicantís degree must explicitly be in a discipline of "Health Education," unless the transcript reflects at least 25 semester hours (37 quarter hours) of course work addressing the Seven Areas of Responsibility.

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__When is the CHES exam offered?

The CHES exam is offered twice a year - April and October.

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__What is the CHES exam like?

The CHES examination is a paper-and-pencil test administered by the Professional Examination Service (PES) at 120 test sites nationwide. Candidates have three hours to answer 150 multiple-choice questions based upon the Seven Areas of Responsibility.

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__How is the passing score for the CHES exam determined?

The passing score varies by the version of the exam. The passing point is determined by using a variety of statistical techniques (A modification of the Angoff method), which takes difficulty in account.

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__What are the fees for taking the CHES exam?

There are four filing deadlines. The filing deadlines and fees for both CHES exams are:

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April 26, 2008 CHES Exam
Dates
Nonstudent Fee
Student Fee
1st Registration Deadline 12/1/07
$240
$210
2nd Registration Deadline 1/2/08
$250
$210
3rd Registration Deadline 2/1/08
$280
$210
Final Registration Deadline 3/1/08
$330
$265

October 18, 2008 CHES Exam
Dates
Nonstudent Fee
Student Fee
1st Registration Deadline 6/1/08
$240
$210
2nd Registration Deadline 7/1/08
$250
$210
3rd Registration Deadline 8/1/08
$280
$210
Final Registration Deadline 9/1/08
$330
$265

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__ Is there a student rate?

Yes. For full-time (enrolled in a min. of 9 credits) students, the fee is $210 if application is filed by the third registration deadline. Any student applications filed after the third registration deadline must pay final registration fee of $330.

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__ What are the benefits of becoming a CHES?

There are several tangible benefits to becoming a CHES:

  • Establishes a national standard for practice, as opposed to state or local certifications and registries
  • Attests to an individual's knowledge and skills in areas deemed necessary to the field of practice as delineated by the profession
  • Assists employers in identifying qualified practitioners and assures employers that services are provided by professionals who have met national standards
  • Convey a sense of pride and accomplishment in the profession
  • Promotes continued professional development

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__ What are my responsibilities after certification?

The certification period for CHES is five years. During that time a CHES must accumulate 75 hours of continuing education. Each year the certification is renewed with an annual fee of $55. On the fifth year, the CHES recertifies by demonstrating completion of 75 continuing education contact hours (CECH) and paying the annual fee.

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__ How can I get involved with NCHEC?

Every year the commission seeks nominations for vacancies on the Board of Commissioners and three Division Boards. All CHES are welcome to complete the nomination form that's available in the CHES Bulletin and on the NCHEC Web site each spring. NCHEC's Marketing Committee functions on a volunteer basis. All CHES are welcome. Those interested in serving should contact the executive director.

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© 2002 The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.
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