CHWs (108) Certification of CHWs (5)

30 June, 2019

Thanks as ever for your inputs. Special thanks to HIFA volunteers Amelia Plant (weekly reflections) and Sam Pakenham-Walsh (compilations).

We now move into the penultimate week of our first (of three) thematic discussion on CHWs and the WHO Guideline: Health policy and system support to optimize community based health worker programmes.

This week we invite you to comment on Recommendation 5 of the Guideline:


Recommendation 5

WHO suggests using competency-based formal certification for CHWs who have successfully completed pre-service training.

Certainty of the evidence – very low. Strength of the recommendation – conditional.


How does this Recommendation relate to current practice in your country/experience? Is it implementable in your country/experience?

The guideline notes that certification 'can be a pathway to greater competency of CHWs (and hence improved patient safety through better quality of care). Further, it can enhance credibility, recognition and employability of CHWs'. It notes also: 'From the perspective of citizens and communities, formal certification may protect the public from harm resulting from the provision of inappropriate care rendered by providers lacking any training but purporting to be qualified'.

'In some countries this could also be a requisite for authorization of practice, and the pathway to formal contracting, remuneration, and the availability of opportunities for career progression'

You can read details of Background, Rationale, Summary of evidence, Interpretation of evidence, and Implementations considerations in relation to Recommendation 5 on pages 43-5 of the Guideline:

We look forward especially to hear from CHW programme mamagers, trainers and community health workers themselves. You can contribute to the discussion by sending an email to:

Remember, we welcome and encourage contributions on *any* aspect of CHWs at any time.

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Community Health Workers

Access the CHW Guideline here:

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: