By the Division of Professional Licensure

4.01: Establishment of Continuing Education Requirement

(1) Beginning January 1, 1991, as a condition for license renewal all Certified Health Officers shall have completed no less than 12 contact hours of continuing education during the one year period between certificate renewals. Certified Health Officers applying for renewal of certification for the period beginning January 1, 1991, may begin accruing continuing education contact hours as of July 1, 1989.

(2) Any certificate holder who is unable to complete the required number of continuing education contact hours shall not have his certificate renewed until he submits evidence satisfactory to the Board of completion of all required continuing education contact hours and pays all required fees.

(3) A Certified Health Officer seeking renewal of certification shall attest under penalty of perjury to completion of 12 contact hours of continuing education during the one year period between certification renewals.

(4) Health Officers certified after January 1, 1991, may reduce the required number of continuing education contact hours directly in proportion to the quarters of time left in the certification cycle. A certification cycle consists of 12 months with three months equaling one quarter. Calculation of the remaining quarters in a certification cycle for continuing education purposes shall be exclusive of the quarter in which one receives notification of certification.


4.02: Verification of Continuing Education Requirement

(1) At the time of renewal of the certificate, the certificate holder may be required to file a form received from the Board with the renewal application listing information about all activities undertaken to fulfill continuing education requirements, including course names, dates, number of hours, signature of certificate holder, and names of institutions or programs providing the continuing education.

(2) The Board has the authority to request that the certificate holder verify the aforementioned information for a period not exceeding four years prior to the renewal of the certificate.

(3) The Certified Health Officer requested to submit evidence of qualifying courses shall submit a statement (or photocopy) which shall include the following information:

(a) name of school, institution, or organization conducting the course;
(b) location of course;
(c) title of course;
(d) dates attended;
(e) hours claimed;
(f) name or signature of authorizing individual.

(4) Institutions or programs providing continuing education programs are expected to retain in their files all materials related to presentation of programs for continuing education for a period of four years following such presentation.


4.03: Standards for Continuing Education

The following standards will assist the Certified Health Officer in selecting an appropriate program and the provider in planning and implementing continuing education programs. The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific program qualifies as acceptable continuing education is that it be a planned program of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of the Certified Health Officer.

(1) Amount

(a) 50 consecutive clock minutes is equivalent to one contact hour.
(b) One continuing education credit unit (CEU) equals ten contact hours (1.2 continuing education credits required, or 12 contact hours).

(2) Provider Standards

(a) Learner Objectives. Objectives shall be written and be the basis for determining content, learning experience, teaching methodologies, and evaluation.
(b) Subject Matter.

1. Appropriate subject matter for continuing education purposes shall include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following:

  • public health or environmental health science and practice
  • public health education
  • research in public and environmental health
  • management, administration, and supervision in public health services delivery
  • social, economic, political, and legal aspects of public health
  • health care and consumer education
  • subject matter which improves competency and is not specified on the foregoing list

2. Employee orientation or in-service presentations concerning standard operating procedures specific to the employing agency shall not be accepted for continuing education purposes.

3. Subject matter shall be described in outline form and shall include learner objectives, content, time allotment, teaching methods, faculty, and evaluation format.

(c) Methods of Obtaining Contact Hours. Workshops, lectures, and seminars are acceptable for obtaining continuing education contact hours in accordance with 241 CMR 4.03. Continuing education contact hours may also be obtained from an academic institution, self-study or correspondence course, and for teaching and/or publishing activities provided the following standards are adhered to:

1. Academic Course: The course must be within the framework of a curriculum that leads to an academic degree in public health or is relevant to public health, or any course within that curriculum that is necessary to an individual's professional growth and development.

2. Self-Study or Correspondence Course: The course should:

  1. be developed by a professional group such as an educational corporation or professional association;
  2. follow logical sequence;
  3. involve the learner by requiring active response to module materials and providing feedback;
  4. contain a test to indicate progress and verify completion of module; and
  5. supply a bibliography for continued study.

3. Teaching or Publication: Continuing education contact hours may be earned by teaching a particular course, seminar series, or workshop for the first time, delivering a paper or lecture, or publishing an article or book in the field of public health. As provided above, a course, seminar, or book may be considered for up to nine continuing education contact hours; a published article may be considered the equivalent of up to five hours; and a lecture or paper may be considered the equivalent of up to three hours.

(d) Education Methods.

1. Learning experiences and teaching methods should be appropriate to achieve the objectives of the program.

2. Principles of adult education should be used in the design of the program.

3. Time allotted for each activity should be sufficient for the learner to meet the objectives of the program.

4. Facilities and educational resources should be adequate to implement the programs.

(e) Faculty Qualifications. Faculty should possess knowledge of the principles of adult education and should provide documentation to the provider/learner illustrating competency in the content of the planned learning experience.

(f) Evaluation.

1. Provision must be made for evaluating the participant's attainment of the stated learner objectives/outcomes.

2. Participants must be given the opportunity to evaluate faculty, learning experiences, instructional methods, facilities, and educational resources used for the offering/programs.

(g) Records.

1. Records of completed programs shall be kept by the provider for a period of four years.

2. Records should include content, objectives, outline of offering, faculty qualifications, teaching methods and materials, evaluation tools and data, and a list of participants.


4.04: Specific Conditions Regarding Continuing Education Requirement

Certificate holders taking courses for the purpose of obtaining a bacclaureate or higher degree in public health, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, or the biological or sanitary sciences will be considered to have met the continuing education requirements specified in 241 CMR 4.00 provided such courses equal at least the required number of continuing education contact hours. Other academic degree programs may qualify at the discretion of the Board. These individuals must maintain transcripts of courses and hours for a period of four years prior to certificate renewal for purposes of verification.


4.05: Falsification of Credentials

The falsification of reports of continuing education courses, seminars, workshops, and completed hours by any certificate holder shall be grounds to initiate formal adjudicatory proceedings to revoke the certificate.


241 CMR 4.00: M.G.L. c. 13, § 71; c. 112, §§ 87WWW through 87YYY.