Currently there is no legal requirements to work as a Community Health Worker in California. There are many different training institutions and community organizations as well as for profit training programs starting to offer training for Community Health Workers. These are modules or complete courses that range from a couple of hours to a couple of years.

  • Certification- ” Certification refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics of an object, person, or organization. This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment, or audit.
  • Accreditation -is a specific organization’s process of certification.
  • Credentialing- Credentialing is the process of establishing the qualifications of licensed professionals, organizational members or organizations, and assessing their background and legitimacy. Many health care institutions and provider networks conduct their own credentialing, generally through a credentialing specialist or electronic service, with review by a credentialing committee. It may include granting and reviewing specific clinical privileges, and allied health staff membership.
  • Certificate of Attendance – A written record of a person attending and completing a training, conference, workshop or a certificate course of study; usually not a degree diploma, or equivalent. Some community colleges do give unit credit for certificate courses that can be applied to further study.
One of the pushes for certification comes from the ACA change that allows for a state budget amendment that allows CMS funds to be used to cover non licensed health professionals delivering  preventive services- including but not exclusively CHW/P
CMS funding is a potentially significant  sustainable long term funding source to supporting the work of CHW/P
What we do as CHW/Promotores expands beyond the traditional medical model into community organizing, advocacy, schools ELAC parent groups, faith based and many other social justice interventions to effect change in the social determinants of health. The role as change agents that we have outside of the traditional medical model will not be funded by CMS funds
Frequently asked questions :
  1. Besides the potential to access CMS funding for the work of P/CHW in the clinical setting; what are the pros and cons of state mandated certification for all P/CHW?
  2. Does pursuing state budget amendment reinforce fee for service over the move towards global payment options like Accountable Community Organizations (ACO)?
  3. Do the benefits outweigh the barriers that certification my put in place for P/CHW who are unable or unwilling for many reasons to complete a state mandated certification process?
  4. Are there viable alternatives do we have to certification to meet the aims that certification hopes to address?
  5. Is it possible to support an “and and both” approach without leading to an unintended consequence of splitting the P/CHW workforce into those that are certified and those that are not?
  6. Would such a split divide P/CHW into paid and unpaid or poorly paid P/CHW


California Certification Advocates

  • Health TECH staff formed a working committee to seek state-wide certification for CHWs



Basics of Community Health Worker Credentialing Carl H. Rush, MRP Overview

  • Credentialing: pro and con
  • Brief description of Texas and Ohio certification systems
  • Opportunities and challenges in State credentialing of CHWs
  • Community Resources LLC Rev. 7/23/12 ( 4 pgs)


“Community Health Worker Credentialing: State Approaches.”  Miller,P. Bates, T. and Katzen, A. Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation. Harvard Law School. June 16, 2014.


ASTHO Offers Webinar on Community Health Worker Certification and Licensure
On March 3 from 3:30-5 p.m. EST, ASTHO, with support from HRSA, will host the webinar “Community Health Worker Call Series #1: Certification and Licensure.” This webinar will provide an overview of state legislative activity related to certification and licensure of community health workers, describe the Community Health Worker Core Consensus Project, and discuss the pros and cons of certification through a facilitated Q&A among panelists and participants.



MDPH Office of CHWs:

MA Board of Certification of CHWs:  Gail Hirsch; Office of Community Health Workers; Massachusetts Department of Public Health: 250 Washington St, 4th floor, Boston, MA 02108;




Promotor(a)/Community Health Worker Training and Certification Program

Beverly MacCarty

Maternal and Child Health Program Coordinator

Department of State Health Services

Office of Title V and Family Health MC1922

P.O. Box 149347

Austin TX 78714-9347

Phone: 512/776-6663

Fax: 512/776-7658

Promotor(a)/Community Health Worker Training and Certification Program


CHW Training Resources

Washington State




ARTICLE – Association of State and Territorial Health Officials – A Patchwork Quilt of State Approaches to CHW      Training – States select and adopt CHW training models that best fit the unique needs of their population and workforce. For example, some states require that training programs be approved by the state (often states with some kind of CHW statewide certification program), while other states do not have such requirements in place. Additionally, there is a distinction between training standards and certification requirements, which have been adopted by a small number of states. While the two concepts are inter-related, having completed a CHW core competency training does not necessarily mean an individual has become certified as a CHW, unless the state confirms. The state-specific examples described below reflect the diversity of state approaches to training and certification