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Advance Care Planning: An Introduction for Public Health and Aging Services Professionals

Advance Care Planning Course

Course Description

This course will prepare and encourage public health and aging services professionals to consider their vital role in assisting older Americans plan and document what should be done in the event they become seriously ill or lose decision-making capacity.

Three course modules cover

  • What advance care planning is and why it's needed.
  • How to initiate difficult but essential conversations and document personal values and preferences.
  • What public health and aging services professionals can do to leverage their unique position in the community to assist clients and constituents with advance care planning.
  • Where to find reliable guidance and resources.

A worksheet is included which, if completed, will encourage and enable better collaboration and cooperation between public health and aging services networks and other key community-based partners. This course is provided free of charge by CDC’s Healthy Aging Program.  

Continuing Education (CE)


CEU:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is authorized by IACET to offer 0.3 CEU's for this program.

CECH: Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 2.5 CECH in health education total Category I continuing education contact hours. Maximum advanced level continuing education contact hours available are 0. CDC provider number 98614.

For Certified Public Health Professionals (CPH)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a pre-approved provider of Certified in Public Health (CPH) recertification credits and is authorized to offer 3.0 CPH recertification credits for this program.

CDC is an approved provider of CPH Recertification Credits by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Effective October 1, 2013, the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) accepts continuing education units (CEU) for CPH recertification credits from CDC.  Please select CEU as your choice for continuing education when registering for a course on TCEOnline. Learners seeking CPH should use the guidelines provided by the NBPHE for calculating recertification credits.  For assistance please contact NBPHE at

A link to instructions on how to obtain CE is provided on the course Home and Exit pages and at the start of the Posttest. Learners will need to complete the posttest to obtain CE and a certificate of completion.



In compliance with continuing education requirements, all presenters must disclose any financial or other associations with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters as well as any use of unlabeled product(s) or product(s) under investigational use.

CDC, our planners, content experts, and their spouses/partners wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters. Planners have reviewed content to ensure there is no bias.
Content will not include any discussion of the unlabeled use of a product or a product under investigational use.

CDC did not accept commercial support for this continuing education activity.


Additional Resources

A list of resources from the course can be accessed at: [PDF-331K]

“Speak Up” Video: This brief video highlights the importance of advance care planning and provides helpful information on Health Care Decisions Day (April 16), which can be used as a catalyst in encouraging individuals to prepare advance directives. The video is sponsored by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, the Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care Association, and Carenet (Canadian Researchers at the End of Life Network).