Online Program

Global quality assurance of health education specialists: Considerations in certification

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Kelly Wilson, PhD, MCHES, Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Linda Lysoby, MS, MCHES, CAE, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc (NCHEC), Whitehall, PA
Sungsoo Chun, PhD, MPH, School of Health Science & Welfare, Korean Institute on Alcohol Problems, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Beth Chaney, PhD, MCHES, Health Education and Behavior, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Melissa A. Rehrig, MPH, MCHES, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc, Whitehall, PA
Establishing a system of quality assurance is a critical component of ensuring a competent health education workforce. In the U.S., the voluntary Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential as conferred by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) has been in existence since 1989. In 2011, NCHEC established an advanced-level certification referred to as Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES). The first cohort of MCHES was conferred using a unique process that identified, reviewed and approved advanced-level activities and experiences of individual professionals. In 2010, the South Korean government endorsed a certification examination, the Korean Certified Health Education Specialist examination. Since 2010, there have been 4 open examination periods for National Standing as Korean Certified Health Education Specialists, and at present, there are about 6,900 certified. In the US, 819 individuals achieved the MCHES certification via the introductory, time-limited experience documentation opportunity. To ensure effective practice by certified individuals, it is critical the global health workforce establish core competencies and measure individual competency. The voluntary CHES certification has been an accepted standard for more than 20 years. The one-time, six-month opportunity in certifying advanced-level health education specialists (MCHES) provided a possible method to evaluate professional competency. The South Korean government endorsement of the certification influenced the rapid acceptance of the credential. Collectively, the lessons learned from various certification approaches across the globe can influence future efforts to ensure a competent global health education workforce. This presentation will describe processes and lessons learned from both countries' perspectives.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the evaluation of professional practice via experience documentation used by National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) in conferring the inaugural cohort of Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES). Compare the government-endorsed Korean certification with the voluntary U.S. certification in terms of funding, acceptance, and certification of best practices. Discuss lessons learned from geographically diverse certification organizations that can be used globally to ensure a competent health education workforce.

Keyword(s): Competency, Certification

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been first author on a manuscript about global certification, in addition to being integrally involved in the advanced-level certification for Master Certified Health Education Specialists.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.