About NBPHE

The National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) was established in September 2005 as an independent organization, the purpose of which is to ensure that public health professionals have mastered the foundational knowledge and skills relevant to contemporary public health. This purpose will be accomplished by administering a voluntary certification exam and maintenance of certification program.

Visit the CEPH website for list of accredited schools & programs.

NBPHE member organizations:

  • American Public Health Association
  • Association of Prevention Teaching and Research
  • Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials

Donors and Financial Contributors:

  • American Legacy Foundation
  • Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
  • Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

2016

New public health professional work eligibility category was announced

2015

New Pilot Eligibility announced by NBPHE

2013

Eligibility is expanded to include public health professionals who have taken the core courses at CEPH-accredited institutions and also have either five years work experience or a relevant graduate degree.

2012

Students from all schools and programs accredited by CEPH eligible for the February 2012 and future CPH exams. The NBPHE begins offering the CPH exam twice a year.

2011

79 Academic Institutions accredited by CEPH Extend Certified in Public Health Eligibility to their Students.

2010

NBPHE successfully pilots student eligibility for Certified in Public Health Exam. 37 CEPH-accredited schools and program offered the CPH exam as a pre-graduation test for their students. Certified in Public Health Continuing Education (CPHE) offered for the first time by ASPPH, APTR, ASTHO, APHA, NACCHO

2008

The inaugural Certified in Public Health exam was administered both in the U.S. and in international locations during August 11-30, 2008.The National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) announced the award of its inaugural Certification in Public Health (CPH) to over 500 qualifying professionals.

2006

The NBPHE Liaison program was created in July 2006 to assure that all CEPH-accredited public health schools and programs were linked into the credentialing development process.

2005

ASPPH releases first competency set for MPH graduates. The first meeting of the NBPHE was held in December 2005.

2004

Eligibility requirements set at graduate-level degree in public health from a school or program accredited by CEPH, after extensive discussions among ASPPH, APHA, ASTHO, and NACCHO.

2002

In January of 2002, ASPPH’s Executive Committee approved developing an independent Board of Public Health to issue examinations and provide those that pass the exam with a public health credential.

1999

In 1999, Dr. Mohammad Ahkter, then Executive Director of APHA, and Dr. Al Sommer, Dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Chair of the Board of ASPPH, decided to jointly form the APHA/ASPPH Task Force on Public Health Workforce Credentialing. After receiving encouragement from both the APHA and ASPPH Executive Boards, the Task Force reached out to other stakeholders in the credentialing process and became the Steering Committee on Public Health Workforce Credentialing.

1995

Another study was conducted in 1995 by Dr. Bill Livingood and colleagues. Of those who participated in the survey, 45% supported a national certification effort with an additional 30% undecided on the issue. Livingood, W.C., Jr. et al: The feasibility and desirability of public health credentialing: A survey of public health leaders. AJPH. 1995; 85: 765-770.

1989

ASPPH commissioned a formal study of public health worker credentialing in 1989, which recommended that if ASPPH did decide to undertake credentialing that it should pursue it independently and in a “pro-active, reformist role.”

1980

Both ASPPH and APHA established task forces on the credentialing of public health workers in the late 1980’s, stimulated in part by the call from the U. S. Surgeon General for such an effort.


NBPHE is a proud member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) since 2014. We strive to adhere to their highest level of standards


National Board of Public Health Examiners

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