The IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System


What is the IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System?

The goal of the IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System is to promote quality assurance, competence and mobility in Health Promotion practice, education and training globally. The System is designed to be flexible and sensitive to different contexts while maintaining robust and validated criteria.

The System offers a voluntary process of registration of Health Promotion practitioners and accreditation of Health Promotion courses that are assessed as meeting specified competency-based criteria. The criteria for eligibility for practitioners and courses within the System build on the agreed IUHPE Core Competencies and Professional Standards.

Practitioners registered within the System receive the title 'IUHPE Registered Health Promotion Practitioner' and accredited courses benefit from being described as 'IUHPE Accredited Health Promotion Course'.


Health promotion and quality principles underpinning the System

The IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System is based on the core concepts and principles of Health Promotion outlined in the Ottawa Charter (1986) and successive WHO charters and declarations on Health Promotion (

Health Promotion is, therefore, understood to be 'the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health'. Health Promotion is viewed as a comprehensive social and political process which not only embraces action directed at strengthening the skills and capabilities of individuals, but also actions directed towards changing social, environmental and economic conditions which impact on health. Health is defined as 'a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity' and is further conceptualised as a resource for everyday life, emphasising social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.

The ethical values and principles underpinning the System include a belief in equity and social justice, respect for the autonomy and choice of both individuals and groups, and collaborative and consultative ways of working. For a full list of Ethical Principles underpinning the System click here.

The IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System is also underpinned by Quality Standards including a specific Confidentiality Policy and Conflict of interest policy.


How the IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System works

The IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System comprises a devolved model within which National Accreditation Organisations (NAOs) are approved by the IUHPE Global Accreditation Organisation to register practitioners in their catchment area.

The Global and National Organisations each have specific functions and tasks, but use the same criteria, policies and procedures.

National Accreditation Organisations (NAOs) are responsible for the registration of practitioners within their catchment area, while the key roles of the Global Accreditation Organisation are the approval of NAOs and the accreditation of full Health Promotion courses. Where there is no NAO practitioners can apply directly to the IUHPE Global Accreditation Organisation.




For more information on how the System works see IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System Handbook.



It is recognised that terminology in relation to concepts such as 'registration' and 'accreditation' may vary in translation, usage and meaning in countries globally. The following are the agreed definitions of the terms for use in the System used by the IUHPE Global Accreditation Organisation. In countries where the terms 'accreditation' or 'registration' cause difficulties implementing the System, other terms may be used which have the same meanings as the definitions below.

  • Accreditation of education and training courses is the process of evaluating full courses to determine whether they meet agreed criteria based on the IUHPE Core Competencies and Professional Standards and as outlined in the System Handbook qualification arising from such a course is recognised as the basis for initial registration of practitioners.

  • Accreditation of an Individual practitioner is described as 'registration' which confirms an individual as fit to practice on their educational attainment, work experience, continuous professional development or agreed combinations of these elements.

  • Accreditation Organisations are those with the power to make decisions about: the status, legitimacy or appropriateness of individual practitioners to practice to agreed quality standards, and regarding education and training courses meeting agreed quality standards.

 For definitions of other terms used in the System, please refer to the Glossary.


Benefits of the IUHPE Health Promotion Accreditation System

In addition to providing global recognition for Health Promotion practitioners and full Health Promotion courses, the System provides:

  • Clear, agreed guidelines and quality standards for the Health Promotion knowledge, skills and values required to practice effectively and ethically,

  • A basis for quality assurance in Health Promotion practice, education and training,

  • Accountability to the public through the registration of Health Promotion practitioners,

  • Assurance that accredited Health Promotion courses provide graduates with the knowledge and skills required for effective practice and that awards are validated based on agreed criteria,

  • Facilitation of movement of employment through the use of agreed registration procedures,

  • Greater recognition and visibility of Health Promotion and the work done by Health Promotion practitioners,

  • A reference point for employers in recruitment and selection of Health Promotion practitioners.

 For information on the background to the System, click here