NAECB Certification

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National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB)


The National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) was formed in 2001 under the direction of the American Lung Association (ALA). Its mission was to develop a rigorous, standardized national credentialing process for asthma educators. The first NAECB credentialing exam was developed with input from over 50 key stakeholder groups representing numerous disciplines involved in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of asthma patients. When it was first given in 2002, nearly 100 candidates registered to take the exam.[1] Prior to this, several different certifications were conferred by educational institutions, private industry, and professional groups, but there was no national standard for certifying biomedical knowledge and competency in counseling and patient education.[2] The NAECB used the 1997 National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) Expert Panel Report v2 (EPR2) as a basis for the exam until 2009, when guidelines from the 2008 EPR3 report were adopted.[3] Retesting every 7 years was required to maintain certification until 2014 when the option to recertify by continuing education credit was instituted. Recertification by exam is still required for those whose credentials have expired and who have not completed the required continuing education. [4]

Function of the Test

NAECB Study Guide

The NAECB certification exam is an assessment tool used to measure a professional’s level of skill and knowledge regarding the pathophysiology, diagnosis, education and management of asthma patients.[5] Certification is not required for employment or obtaining a health care license, but some employers do use the credential as a basis for hiring, promotion, and pay raises. Only those who pass the exam are allowed to use the AE-C (Asthma Educator – Certified) designation.[6] In 2013, a total of 362 candidates sat for the NAECB exam; 332 of these were first-time candidates and 30 were taking the exam to renew an existing AE-C credential. The first-time candidate pass rate was 63% while all but one person taking the exam for recertification obtained a passing score.[7]

Test Administration

NAECB Flashcards

The NAECB exam is open to licensed or credentialed health care professionals involved in patient care as well as those individuals who are not licensed, but who have at least 1,000 hours of direct patient in the role of asthma educator or counselor. First time candidates may be submit an application to test online or by mail at any time; those who are recertifying are eligible at any time within a year prior to the expiration of their current credential. Fees are $295 for first-time candidates and $245 for those wishing to recertify. A limited number of partial scholarships are available to defray the cost of the exam. Once a candidate receives their Authorization to Test letter, they may schedule the exam directly by phone or online with any one of 110 AMP testing centers in the US or in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Individuals who do not pass the exam may repeat it after a 90-day waiting period. The exam can be retaken up to 3 times in a one-year period from the initial application date without reapplying by paying a $195 “repeat candidate fee.” A new application and full fee is required for retesting after the initial year of candidacy has elapsed.[8] All AMP testing centers are wheelchair-accessible. Additional ADA-compliant special accommodations are available on request for candidates with documented disabilities by filling out a “Request For Special Examination Accommodations” form at the time of application. Requests should be completed no later than 45 days prior to the desired examination date. The need for special accommodations should also be communicated to AMP when scheduling the exam.[9]

Test Format

Sections of the NAECB Test
NAECB Test Subject Areas # of Questions
The Asthma Condition 30
Assessment of an Individual with Asthma and Family 42
Asthma Management 60
Organizational Issues 18
Total 150

Test Environment

Candidates for the NAECB Exam are expected to arrive in a timely manner at the testing center. For admission, two forms of ID, one of which must be a photo ID, must be presented. Both forms must contain a name and signature. The exam takes place on computers, and there will be a practice exam beforehand to help acclimate test-takers to testing on computers. Pencils and scratch paper will be provided for use, but they will need to be turned back in before leaving the assessment center. Snacks, drinks, watches, hats, and electronics are restricted, and must be stored in a locker provided by the testing center. Breaks may be taken, but the exam timer will not be paused. A score report will be provided immediately upon completing the exam. [10]

Test Content

The National Asthma Educator Certification Board Examination is made up of 175 questions, 25 of which are unscored, pretest items. All 175 questions have to do with four major topics: The Asthma Condition; Patient and Family Assessment; Asthma Management; and Organizational Issues. The time allotted to complete the exam is three and a half hours. [11]


The test consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. Correct answers are tallied to arrive at a raw score, so candidates are encouraged to attempt to answer all questions on the exam. Raw scores are multiplied by a scaling factor designed to adjust for varying levels of difficulty among different test forms so that candidates are not disadvantaged by having taken a more difficult version of the test. The resulting scaled score is a number between zero and 99. A scaled score of 75 or better is required to pass the exam.[12] As of November 2014, 4,796 people had taken and passed the exam. The current annual pass rate is 67.7%.[13]

Recent/Future Developments

Beginning in 2013, the NAECB established a monthly $200 scholarship award to help first-time candidates defray the cost of the exam. Preference is given to candidates who can demonstrate financial need, or who work in an underserved area. Candidates must apply separately for scholarship funds, and awards must be used within 6 months of being granted.[14]


  1. ^ National Asthma Educator Certification Board History November 16, 2014
  2. ^ 2013 Annual Report: National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) November 16, 2014
  3. ^ National Asthma Educator Certification Board Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 1 November 16, 2014
  4. ^ National Asthma Educator Certification Board e-Newsletter July 2014 November 16, 2014
  5. ^ NAECB Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C) Candidate Handbook November 17, 2014
  6. ^ National Asthma Education Certification Board Get Certified November 17, 2014
  7. ^ 2013 Annual Report: National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) November 16, 2014
  8. ^ National Asthma Educator Certification Board Exam Information November 17, 2014
  9. ^ [ NAECB Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C) Candidate Handbook[ November 17, 2014
  10. ^ NAECB Handbook] 17 October 2014
  11. ^ Exam Information 17 October 2014
  12. ^ Scaled and Raw Passing Scores November 16, 2014
  13. ^ Certificant Corner November 16, 2014
  14. ^ National Asthma Educator Certification Board Newsletter February 2013 November 17, 2014