About This Training

This training module provides an introduction to the key roles and responsibilities that North Carolina local boards of health are charged with.

For all new public health governing board members, the recommended prerequisite to this training is Introduction to Public Health in North Carolina. Other trainings for boards of health are available on the page Boards of Health Training Offerings.

This training meets N.C. Local Health Department Accreditation requirements for orientation training for new board of health members and is suitable for local boards of health as well as county commissioners and consolidated human service agencies who have local public health governing authority.

In-Person Training

The online version of this training can be completed by individuals or viewed by groups. If you plan to show this content to a group, please contact Cherelle Whitfield for more information.

As an alternative to the online content, an in-person version of this training is also available. In-person trainings are led by retired North Carolina health directors or former board of health members. For more information or to schedule an in-person training session, contact Cherelle Whitfield.

Online Training

The online version of this training consists of an introduction and three lessons. Recommended browsers for viewing the lessons include the latest versions of: Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari.

Note: You must complete and submit the post-training evaluation after completing all the lessons in order to receive a certificate of completion. Google Chrome should NOT be used to complete the evaluation due to issues with certificate downloads.

Introduction and Overview

The training overview outlines the overall goal and the learning objectives for the training. It also defines some relevant terminology.

Lesson 1: Public Health Milestones, Current Challenges and the Core Functions

The first lesson provides an overview of key concepts in public health, including major accomplishments of public health, current challenges and the relationship between the work of local boards of health and the core functions and 10 Essential Services of Public Health.

Lesson 2: Legal Responsibilities and Authority

This lesson focuses on the sources of public health law in North Carolina and the legal responsibilities and authority of public health in North Carolina as distributed to local health departments, health directors and boards of health.

Lesson 3: Public Health Governing Structures, Board Member Roles and Effective Governance

The final lesson describes different possible structures for local public health governing boards and variations in authorities as well as governance strategies for serving as an effective board of health member.


Complete the evaluation to receive your certificate of completion.


This training is available to participants at no charge. Development of this course was supported through a contract to the North Carolina Institute for Public Health from the North Carolina Division of Public Health.

Logo for the NC Institute for Public Health Logo for the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health