Education & Training

Learn more about training programs in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has a new CHW certification program.

Working to highlight the important role of CHWs.


Different Pennsylvania Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) regions offer a 100-hour training program designed to provide the core competencies needed for work in community-based and inpatient settings.  This training also provides comprehensive information about accessing healthcare and other social/community resources which are specific to the region in the training location site.  

To learn more about what information sessions and training classes your region is currently holding, please visit Upcoming Info Session and Trainings. Or if you're unsure of which region you live in, visit Regions

Core modules in this traning program include:

Regions Holding CHW Info Sessions & Classes
  • Community Health Worker Introduction

  • Communication, Networking & Conflict

  • Boundaries

  • Personal Safety

  • Building and Maintaining Relationships

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

  • Health Literacy


  • Documentation

  • Chronic Disease

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Preventive Care

  • Benefits Check up

  • Becoming a Healthier You

  • Accident Prevention

  • Opioid Brief Intervention

  • Every Smoker, Every Time

Additional Modules

  • Mental Health First Aid

  • CPR/AED/First Aid

  • Mandated Reporter


The PA Certification Board (PCB) recently completed the work to create a Certified Community Health Worker (CCHW) credential available. 

A one-year grandparenting process for those who meet the Certified CHW (CCHW) requirements and wish to obtain the new certification is available in 2020 (click here for the application). The content outline and standards for the CCHW credential is available here.

PA CHW Grandparenting Application

PA CHW Certification Outlines & Standards


Advocacy is working with or on behalf of people to exercise their rights and gain access to resources.


CHWs sometimes speak up on behalf of their clients and their communities within their own agencies, with other service providers, and to support changes in public policies.  More importantly, CHWs support clients and communities in raising their own voices to create meaningful changes – including changes in public policies – that influence health and well-being. (Berthold, 2009)

CHW’s …

  1. Provide information and support for people to advocate for themselves overtime and to participate in the provision of improved services (MA)

  2. Advocate on the behalf of client s and communities, as appropriate, to assist people to attain needed care or resources in a resources in a reasonable and timely fashion (MA)

  3. Use a variety of strategies, such as role modeling, to support clients in meeting objectives depending on challenges and changing conditions. (MA)

  4. Defines, scope of practice for community health worker (MN)

  5. Identify and use 9-1-1system appropriately and ethically (MN)

  6. List personal safety strategies (MN)

  7. Create a personal safety plan (MN)

  8. Identify and recognize signs plan (MN)

  9. Identify and utilize coping strategies for managing stress and staying healthy (MN)\

  10. Define outreach and identify ways to connect with community (MN)

  11. Identify ways to connect with community (MN)

  12. Define advocacy (MN)

  13. Discuss strategy for effective advocacy work (MN)

  14. Ability to speak up for individuals for communities and withstand intimidation (TX)

  15. Ability to use language appropriately (TX)

  16. Ability to overcome barriers (TX)


Community is at the heart of change. It is what informs and drives what's meaningful, and doable. Community capacity building is helping people develop the confidence and ability to assume increasing control over decisions and resources that affect their health and wellbeing.  Community capacity building involves promoting individual and collective empowerment through education, skill development, networking, organizing, and strategic partnerships. Capacity building requires planning, cooperation, and commitment, and it may involve working to change public awareness, organizational rules, institutional practices, or public policy.