Home » FAQs » What is the difference between the two pathways for certification: (a) Work Experience (grandmothered), and (b) Training + Work Experience?

What is the difference between the two pathways for certification: (a) Work Experience (grandmothered), and (b) Training + Work Experience?

A. Work Experience (grandmothering pathway)

Because Certification will begin in 2017, the regulations sought to honor the broad experience of CHWs who have practiced in the field prior to 2017. As a result, and only for the next three years (until 2020), experienced CHWs can apply to be “grandmothered/grandfathered” as Certified CHWs.  

To apply through the Work Experience Pathway, you must demonstrate that, within the last 10 years, you have worked as a CHW for at least 4,000 hours (the equivalent of two years full time).  Work done as a volunteer (not paid) can be included in the 4,000 hours.

For hours to be valid, a supervisor or an individual familiar with your work must verify that during those hours, you worked within the CHW Scope of Practice.

Massachusetts CHW Scope of Practice

    • Providing culturally appropriate health education, information and outreach in community-based settings including but not limited to homes, schools, hospitals, clinics, shelters, local businesses and community centers;
    • Bridging or culturally mediating between individuals, families, communities and health and human services, including actively building individual and community capacity;
    • Assisting community members to access the health and human services they need;
    • Providing direct services, including but not limited to informal counseling on access to health and human services, social support, care coordination and health screenings;
    • Advocating for individual, family and community needs pertaining to access to health and human services; and
    • Additional roles as may be identified by the board that may emerge in the development of community health worker practice.

B. Training + Work Experience Pathway

CHWs applying for certification through this pathway must complete “the 80 hour CHW Core Competency Training” that is approved by the Board of Certification of CHWs.  

In addition to completing the 80 hours of training, you must demonstrate that, during the past 10 years, you worked as a CHW for at least 2,000 hours.  Work done as a volunteer (not paid) can be included in the 2,000 hours. For hours to be valid, a supervisor or an individual familiar with your work must verify that during those hours, you worked within the CHW Scope of Practice (see chart above).