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How did certification come about?

As the community health worker (CHW) profession became better understood in Massachusetts and in other states, interest in certifying CHWs grew. There was language in Massachusetts’ original health care reform law about  exploring certification for CHWs. MACHW also witnessed other states beginning to discuss certification without CHWs leading the conversation (View summary of state CHW laws). MACHW recognized this as an essential time for CHWs to convene across the Commonwealth to explore certification and have a unified voice. CHWs choose to support voluntary certification and provided input and advocacy on the legislation. Ultimately, the Massachusetts legislature passed a law in 2010 to establish a Board of Certification of CHWs (the Board). CHWs continue to provide input on regulations as members of the Board, through advocacy at Board meetings, and working with MACHW to provide guidance to the Board about implementing regulations. (View policy statement from the American Public Health Association on CHW leadership determining workforce standards).