The Kentucky Office of Community Health Workers (KOCHW) provides leadership, support and guidance to expand and elevate the community health worker (CHW) profession across Kentucky.
Community Health Worker Certification
The Kentucky Office of Community Health Workers issues official certification for community health workers who successfully demonstrate all eight core competencies through completion of qualified training or related work experience. CHWs who wish to apply for certification are encouraged to read the CHW Certification Manual and accompanying materials before beginning their application.
In 2022 legislation was passed in Kentucky regarding CHW certification. Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 309.460, 309.462 and 309.464 outline the statutory requirements regarding CHW certification, continuing education, certification renewal and the duties of the Department for Public Health.
Kentucky Administrative Regulation (KAR) 902 KAR 21:040 authorizes the Department for Public Health to promulgate administrative regulations for the certification of community health workers. This administrative regulation establishes the certification requirements for a community health worker. The regulation details the CHW Core Competencies, application process, eligibility requirements, certification renewal, renewal extensions, continuing education requirements, scope of practice, complaint procedures, and denial, suspension and revocation of a CHW certification.
- Training-based: For CHWs who have completed a CHW training program of at least 40 hours of competency based didactic instruction, not including Mental Health First Aid, and a 40 hour verifiable mentorship.
- Experience-based: For applicants with at least 2,500 hours as a CHW, or similar, during the previous three years.
- Meet eligibility requirements as outlined in the Kentucky CHW Certification Manual.
- Complete online application.
- Payment to the KOCHW (see below).
- Check email frequently for communication from the KOCHW regarding application status.
Certifiation Application Payment
- Starting January 1, 2023, all fees related to CHW certification, instructor certification, and training organization approval must be made to the Kentucky Office of Community Health Workers (KOCHW).
- The KOCHW anticipates the new online payment portal to be live in February. Should you need to make a payment prior to that date, you may pay via check to the Kentucky State Treasurer and mail to the address below.
- Kentucky Department for Public Health
Office of Community Health Workers
275 E Main St., HS2WE
Frankfort, KY 40621
Continuing Education for Certified Community Health Workers (CCHW)
All CCHWs are required to earn 10 continuing education units (CEUs) each year.
At least five of those hours must come from KOCHW-approved training. You may earn
up to five hours from independent training.
For the full list of KDPH-approved training please email
Upcoming KOCHW-Approved Training Opportunities for CCHWs
CHW Training Organization Approval
Beginning in January 2023, all organizations who wish to provide the baseline "Tier 1" training for Community Health Workers must be approved by the Kentucky Office of Community Health Workers.
All applicants must:
- Have a physical location in Kentucky.
- Have at least two (2) years of experience training Community Health Workers and/or other health care professionals or paraprofessionals.
- Not be on the Medicaid excluded provider list.
- Submit a completed application, including information on the registration/enrollment process, class cost, training methodology, course completion requirements, training evaluations, skills assessment and instructional staff.
- Submit the entire Tier 1 CHW curriculum.
- Submit payment of application fee to the KOCHW (please see payment information above).
- Complete the online application.
We strongly encourage the use of current or former CHWs as part of instructional staff. All trainers must apply for certification through the KOCHW within the first year of training organization approval.
For additional information, please review the webinar slides here: webinar slides.
Continuing Education Application for Organizations
This application is for organizations seeking continuing education credit approval for CHW training. Applications must include:
Forms must be submitted at least four weeks prior to training date. Approved training must provide a certificate of completion which includes:
- Name of the CCHW
- Name of training organization
- Title of training
- Date of training
All certificates and agendas must include the following statement:
This program has been approved by the Kentucky Department for Public Health Office of Community Health Workers to provide X number of continuing education credits.
Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers
The Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers was formed in 2016 to advocate and promote the CHW profession in Kentucky. The association views CHWs as the missing link between the healthcare provider and the client. This relationship plays a key role in improving the health of our communities.
To learn more or become a member, please visit the Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers website.