Mechanics of Credentialing for CHWs
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Elements common to other professions:
- Attainment of skill standards
- Continuing education
- Regular renewal
Distinctive elements for CHWs:
- Performance-based assessment
- Grandfathering provisions
Many elements of occupational regulation are common to most professions, including documenting the attainment of skills standards, an application process, maintenance of skills through continuing education, and a regular renewal process.
Because of the unique nature of the practice of CHWs and the expertise they gain from personal experience, their skills are often assessed through actual performance, commonly within the educational environment. Also, in part because many CHWs develop their skills as volunteers, their performance record is usually accepted as documentation of their skills. A provision for “grandfathering” for experienced practitioners is not unusual, but in the case of CHWs, the ending date for eligible experience may not be fixed, because individuals may accumulate years of volunteer experience before deciding to become certified.