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What is Certification?

Professional certification, accreditation, licensure, and registration all fall under the umbrella term credentialing. Credentialing provides formal recognition that individuals, organizations, and programs meet standardized criteria.

Credentialing is a way to maintain quality standards of knowledge and performance and offers occupational identity.

Note: Portions of this content were adapted from the National Organization for Competency Assurance Guide to Understanding Credentialing Concepts, 2005.

Core Features of Certification

  • It is voluntary.
  • There is a grandfathering process to recognize and certify existing CHWs based on work or volunteer experience.
  • Applicants who are new to the field will be required to complete a Department of Health approved training program before applying for NM state certification.
  • Everyone is expected to demonstrate proficiency in the CHW core competencies.
  • Specialist certification will be available for applicants who have training in department approved specialty tracks.
  • All applicants eligible for certification will have to pay a $44 fee to the Gemalto Cogent website and complete a background check.
  • Certificates will be valid for two (2) years. In order to be recertified, applicants will have to complete 30 hours of department approved continuing education.
  • An application fee of $45 for "generalist" certification. Specialty certification for demonstrated additional education/training will be an additional $10 per specialty area.

The Department endorses CHW trainings being offered by other entities that meet the requirements. If you would like additional information about endorsement of other training programs, or to contact us please refer to the Office of Community Health Worker Staff List.

Please see the Psychological Services document which explains why certification is important.

Frequently Asked Questions about Certification

Please take a look at our helpful Office of Community Health Workers Certification FAQ for answers to many of the most common questions we receive about certification.

Applying for Certification or Need to Renew? Please visit the Community Health Workers Application System . We are currently accepting applications for voluntary CHW certification through both the grandfathering and core competency training routes.


The Office of Community Health Workers (OCHW) appreciates your patience during this transition process of the fingerprinting service provider, for questions call: Devona Quam, Director at 505-469-7150 or email at