Progress and directions in professional credentialing for health education in the United States

Health Educ Behav. 2012 Dec;39(6):681-94. doi: 10.1177/1090198112466096. Epub 2012 Nov 21.


This article provides an update on initiatives in individual certification and accreditation of academic programs in public/community health education and school health education in the United States. Although we provide some historical context, the focus primarily addresses credentialing efforts that have evolved since the Galway Consensus Conference was convened in 2008 and publication of the Galway Consensus and related manuscripts in 2009. Significant progress has been achieved in updating the health education competencies for entry and advanced levels of practice, as well as in establishing a Master Certified Health Education Specialist designation. Also discussed are contemporary initiatives to expand and improve the accreditation process of academic programs and the evolving higher education contexts in which such systems operate. We conclude by presenting lessons learned from the U.S. experience with credentialing efforts and by offering recommendations that may be applicable to future quality assurance efforts, both in the United States and abroad.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation / organization & administration*
  • Accreditation / standards
  • Education, Public Health Professional / organization & administration*
  • Education, Public Health Professional / standards
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Education / standards
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Health Promotion / standards
  • Humans
  • Professional Competence
  • United States