Membership & Chapter Management

How do I start a chapter?

If you are a new teacher coming into an existing program, contact us at for your chapter’s charter number and password. If you are starting a brand new Health Science program, you will also contact in order to request a charter number and password for your new HOSA chapter. Learn more here.

What is the difference between affiliation and registration?

Affiliation is actually joining State and National HOSA, and becoming HOSA members. This is done online through the National HOSA website.

You will login with your username and password on the national website, then you will add your membership data. Once you have added all your membership data and clicked that you are done, you can then print an invoice and mail your dues to the National HOSA office (address will be on the invoice). Registration is how you sign up to participate in a HOSA event, such as State Qualifying Events, the State Leadership Conference, and the International Leadership Conference. This is also done through the National HOSA website. in the same area where you affiliated. It also requires your charter number and password.

How do you set up your meetings?

This varies greatly depending on your classroom schedule. The most frequently used option is to have your meetings during class time. This would require student officers for each class, and works well with block scheduling. You could also have meetings during your school’s club time (if your school does this). This would allow all of your members to be present at one time and you would only need one set of officers. This meeting time is usually much shorter and you would have to be diligent to create, plan, and evaluate your chapter’s program of work.

National HOSA has resources available to assist you with establishing a chapter and being a dynamic HOSA advisor. Be sure to check out the “Establishing a HOSA Chapter” and “New Local Advisor Handbook” documents.


When do I start planning for competitive events?

Start planning in August! Begin your meetings and select your officers. New business in your first or second meeting should be HOSA competitive events. It is helpful if you already have the expense per student figured before this meeting for State Qualifying Events and State Leadership Conference.

It is useful to make copies of the Alabama Competitive Events document found under Competition Resources so the students have a hard copy they can write on as they research the events. Please note that Alabama does not offer all of the events provided at the International Leadership Conference.

How do I decide which students can enter which events?

Students can enter one event in the State Qualifying Events, as well as, the Health Care Issues Exam which is a Recognition Event. Then, providing they place well enough to qualify, they will be invited to compete at State Leadership Conference.

You have many options when assigning students to events:

  • Allow the students to research events and sign up for their top 2-3 choices. Then discuss the choices with the students to make sure they sign up for the event that plays to their strengths or will help them meet their future goals. Register them for State Qualifying Event in the agreed upon event.
  • You consider each student and the competitions that play to their strengths or career goals, and you honor them with an invitation to compete in that Qualifying Event.
How do I cover the expenses of competitive events?

In order to pay for attendance, hold fundraisers, secure sponsors, or you can have the students pay for it themselves. Sponsors are ideal, but are can be difficult to acquire. They depend on the support from your local businesses. You would be in the best position to determine if your local businesses would support your students in this way.

If you have the students pay their own expenses, you could be preventing some very deserving students from attending based on poor family finances. But, you could set up a payment plan if you start collecting in advance.

Fundraising is a little time consuming, but it worked best for me as a teacher. I gave the students several fundraising options and let them vote for the ones they felt they would be most successful doing. I tallied up the total cost (per student) to attend SLC (or Internationals) and made sure the students understood the following:

  • Profits that they personally brought in through the fundraiser went to pay their conference expenses
  • Any balance that was not covered through their personal fundraising was due by (set your date)
  • They must have clothes that meet HOSA dress code requirements prior to the conference. (You could have a professional dress day in order to see the outfits)
  • Profits from students that were not attending the conference went towards classroom HOSA supplies or fieldtrips.
Who can participate in the State Qualifying Events (SQE)?

Any of your affiliated secondary (high school), middle school, or post-secondary (collegiate) HOSA members can register to compete in the SQE. They can participate in one event, as well as, recognition events. Health Care Issue Exam is the only Recognition Event that will test during SQE.

Registration is online through the National HOSA website in the same area where you affiliated. It requires your charter number and password.

How do I carry out the State Qualifying Events at my school?
  • Obtain a proctor who is willing to supervise your online testing. The proctor cannot be affiliated with your class. Example: librarian or school counselor.
  • Have the proctor complete the proctor application and submit it to National HOSA. (This will be emailed to you)
  • Register your students on the website by the deadline, and submit your invoice and check to Alabama HOSA Business Office: P.O. Box 1440, Owasso, OK 74055
  • Choose a date for testing. Tests will ONLY be open during a specified time period.
  • Make arrangements for the students to test on the date you chose during the specified time period.
  • You may test on more than one date during that week, but competitive events should NOT be split between days. (For example: All Medical Terminology students should test at the same time, but Medical Spelling students could test the next day)
  • Make sure students entering events that do not have tests submit their work prior to the deadline.
  • Work samples or links should be submitted to STEM Premier.
  • Submission requirements are listed in the registration packet found under the resources tab on the website.
  • Within two weeks of the final day of the SQE events, the State Leadership Conference qualifiers will be posted on the website


Who can attend State Leadership Conference (SLC)?

State Leadership Conference (SLC), it is open to students that qualified to participate through the State Qualifying Events. These students will be listed on the website.

Other students who may attend:

  • Students currently holding a state office
  • Students running for a state office
  • Students receiving recognition
  • Voting Delegates
  • Banner Parade participants
  • All HOSA Advisors
  • Chaperones/Family members of competitors (must also register in order to attend)

SLC is a privilege. Every student that qualifies is invited, but you have the final say on who you will allow to attend. As a teacher, I was more than willing to fundraise and bring any student that was well behaved, willing to work, prepare for competition, and earn the invitation. While it is a great opportunity for students, it is a large facility and you will be better able to supervise students who have demonstrated mature behavior in your classroom.

You also need to consider how many students you are comfortable supervising. You may want to recruit an additional chaperone. Some local school systems have policies dictating this number. Your director should be able to assist with that information.

Who has to register for SLC?

Any person planning to participate in any HOSA event or who plans to attend any part of a general session must register for the conference. Attendees who did not register for the conference will not be admitted into the general sessions. This includes every attendee – parents, chaperones, HOSA members who are running for office, and additional school employees.

Why do I have to stay at the conference hotel for SLC?

Alabama HOSA has to sign a contract assuring the hotel that a certain number of rooms will be booked. For this, Alabama HOSA receives a deal on the rooms and space needed to conduct the conference. This allows the registration price to remain affordable and allows us to conduct the conference in a location that is suitable for the best and brightest health science students.

Can I bring students to SLC to observe the competitions?

No spectators are NOT allowed in the competitions for several reasons. Most competition rooms are not large enough to accommodate more people. Observers could make the competitors nervous or could cause distractions that would skew the fairness of the competition itself. HOSA – Future Health Professionals does not allow observers.

Are students required to bring the guidelines to SLC?

The guidelines help keep us in line with National HOSA. Guidelines are no longer required to be presented at SLC. It is important for competitors to know the guidelines. This encourages student preparedness and equality in the competitions, but it is no longer required for them to show a copy at check-in.

International Leadership Conference (ILC) information.
  • The International Leadership Conference is open to all affiliated members and guests.
  • Each and every member and guest that plans to attend HOSA events must register.
  • Only the top three Alabama competitors from each SLC event will be allowed to compete.
  • A competitor must compete in the same event at Nationals that they placed in at State competition.
  • Up to 75% of a winning team’s members may be substituted and still qualify to compete at Nationals.
  • Encourage members who are attending to purchase the state pins (trading is huge!) The last Saturday is always a “free” day until 8 PM in order for you and your students to visit local attractions.
  • ILC information is available on the ILC webpage
  • Book rooms early, you can always cancel what you don’t need.
  • Estimate student costs to attend early in the school year so they can work towards this goal.
  • Ask your director if you can use professional development money to attend ILC.
  • CEU’s are available to advisors – refer to the ILC Guide.
  • Make sure students adhere to the dress code (all the way down to their shoes) because this is checked at all general sessions and they WILL be turned away.


Can I provide HOSA cords or stoles to my students?

HOSA does not have a set of criteria that students have to meet in order to be awarded cords/stoles. They also do not require you to offer them at all.

My suggestion is that you have this discussion with your director. Many systems will only allow students to wear cords/stoles at graduation if they are academically based and have to be earned. As a teacher, I followed this same way of thinking. I used the following requirements in order to determine which students were awarded cords and stoles (as an example):


  • Earn a minimum of 2 health science credits
  • Have a health science GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • Be an active member of HOSA
  • Competed in a HOSA competition
  • Participate in a minimum of 5 HOSA community service projects


  • Earn a minimum of 3 health science credits
  • Health science GPA of 3.5 or greater
  • Be an active member of HOSA
  • Competed in a HOSA competition
  • Scored a 90 or greater on their portfolio
  • Participate in a minimum of 7 HOSA community service projects

HOSA cords and stoles can be ordered from Awards Unlimited.

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