The 2006 Massachusetts health reform law (Chapter 58), Section 110, requested that Department of Public Health convene a statewide CHW advisory council to investigate the CHW workforce and report out recommendations. There was cross-sector support for their recommendation to create a certification process for CHWs. MACHW held statewide forums to hear from CHWs about certification, and in partnership with experts at the DPH, wrote the legislation to establish the Board of Certification of Community Health Workers.
Chapter 322, Acts of 2010, “An Act Establishing a Board of Certification of Community Health Workers,” was signed into law to take effect in 2012. The law calls for voluntary certification, rather than mandatory licensure. The goal is to create a competency-based process that recognizes and strengthens the work of CHWs and avoids barriers for effective CHWs to get certified. The Board also has the authority to approve core CHW training programs.