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Training Materials for Community Health Worker Programs

Many programs have developed training materials and curricula to ensure community health workers (CHWs) learn the skills necessary to serve the target population. These programs have adapted materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal and state agencies, and academic institutions. Partnerships between college systems, communities, and employers are often involved in the development of the CHW training curricula.

Common components of CHW training materials address:

  • Cultural competence
  • Patient intake and assessment
  • Protocol delivery
  • Screening recommendations
  • Risk factors
  • Insurance eligibility and enrollment
  • Communication skills
  • Health promotion
  • Disease prevention and management
  • Programmatic data collection and evaluation

Some states may require legal and ethical training regarding CHW activities, as well as training designed to help CHWs understand the liabilities associated with their duties.

Resources to Learn More

Accompagnateurs Training Guide
Accompagnateurs are CHWs trained and employed to provide medical and psychosocial support for their neighbors. This pilot curriculum for accompagnateurs focuses on treatment and support for patients with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Organization(s): Partners in Health (PIH)

The Community Health Worker's Sourcebook: A Training Manual for Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke
User-friendly curriculum for CHW training to increase skills in preventing heart disease, stroke, and risk factors for these diseases.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Community Health Worker Training Programs
Provides information about the training course available to CHWs through the Institute for Public Health Innovation.
Organization(s): Institute for Public Health Innovation

Community Health Worker Training Resources
Variety of resources related to training CHWs including an iTunes-downloadable workshop held at New York University about CHWs' interventions shared lessons learned, successes, and challenges.
Organization(s): NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health

Minnesota Community Health Worker Curriculum
Minnesota's CHW training curriculum outline based on the CHWs Scope of Practice and health promotion competencies.
Organization(s): Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance
Date: 2/2015

Outreach Manual: A Guide for Farmworker Health Outreach Staff
Provides guidance on incorporating outreach workers into health services programs, including definitions of the specific services, a description on how to carry out the service, the required documentation, and a list of evaluation questions.
Organization(s): North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Rural Health and Community Care, North Carolina Farmworker Health Program
Date: Updated 7/2012

Community Health Worker Core Competency
Program overview and curriculum for an educational network for CHWs and their supervisors in Central Massachusetts. Program aimed at CHW professional preparedness.
Organization(s): Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center

Program Guides
Series of free, downloadable resources for planning, implementing, and evaluating CHW programs. There are both guides and templates of documents available, many of which are also in Spanish.
NOTE: To access all Migrant Health Promotion materials, you must create a free user account with them
Organization(s): MHP Salud

Training Curriculum for Community Health Workers
Manual for in-person and online training of CHWs.
Organization(s): Washington State Department of Health and Healthy Communities – Washington