Preparing for the CPHQ Exam

Although the Healthcare Quality Certification Commission (HQCC) does not develop, administer, sponsor, or endorse any type of prepatory materials, they do recommend you review the resources available to prepare for studying for the CPHQ exam. Study programs should be based on individual needs, but most candidates with healthcare quality experience should plan to spend 6 weeks to 3 months in preparation. CPHQ preparation materials are offered to support a variety of learning styles including live courses; online education; practice exams; and books to help prepare those planning to sit for the CPHQ certification exam. 

Step One: Review the Exam Content Outline

  1. Each question on the exam links directly to one of the tasks listed in the content outline. In addition, each question is designed to test if the candidate possesses the knowledge necessary to perform the task and/or has the ability to apply it to a job situation. Review the four major content categories and identify areas needed for further study.

Step Two: Choose Your Study Materials*

  1. NAHQ's practice exam, review course and other resources. The HQCC is NAHQ's certifying arm. NAHQ offers both online and live preparation resources to help you prepare for the CPHQ exam.  

  2. Textbooks and other reference materials. Examination questions are written from a wide variety of publications and resources in the field. Some suggested preparation for the examination might include but are not limited to the resources listed within the CPHQ Candidate Handbook. See the US CPHQ Candidate Handbook and International CPHQ Candidate Handbook for more information.

Step Three: Register for the Exam

  1. Find more information in the CPHQ Handbook(s) for details on how to register and sit for the exam. Individuals will have 90 days to schedule and sit for the CPHQ examination within the United States and select one of the four testing windows internationally. Exam fees are non-refundable. 

Step Four: Sit for the Exam

  1. Find your nearest testing center within the United States and Internationally to sit for your CPHQ exam. 

  2. Following your CPHQ Exam, you will receive your score report. If you test in the United States, you will receive your unofficial score report immediately following your exam. If you test outside the United States, you will receive your unofficial score report via email following the close of the examination window. 

* There are many ways to prepare. Candidates should consider their own education and experience while studying for the CPHQ exam. NAHQ's resources are an optional recourse for candidates looking to prepare and using NAHQ's resources does not guarantee candidates will pass the CPHQ exam.

View NAHQ's CPHQ Prep Products

External Materials

Examination questions are written from a wide variety of publications and resources in the field. Some suggested preparation for the examination might include but should not be limited to the following resources:

  • The Janet A. Brown Healthcare Quality Handbook: A Professional Resource and Study Guide 30th Edition, Brown, Janet A. and Mellott, Susan (2018)
  • Essentials of Managed Health Care (6th ed, 2013) , edited by Peter R. Kongstvedt.
  • Facilitating with Ease, Ingrid Bens (2018)
  • Preventing Medication Errors, Institute of Medicine. (2007).
  • Understanding Patient Safety, Robert Wachter. (2017).
  • Storytelling with Data, Cole N. Knaflic (2015)
  • The Quality Toolbox, Nancy Tague. (2010).
  • Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook, Michael George, David Rowlans, Mark Price, & John Maxey. (2005).
  • The Memory Jogger™ 2, 2nd edition. Michael Brassard, (2010).
  • The Healthcare Quality Book: Vision, Strategy, and Tools (3rd ed.) Maulik S Joshi, and Elizabeth R. Ransom (2014) ISBN-13: 978-1567935905; Publisher Health Administration Press.
  • Quality Chasm Series: Patient Safety—Achieving a New Standard for Care, Institute of Medicine. (2004).
  • The Team Handbook, 3rd edition, Peter Scholtes, Brian Joiner, & Barbara Streibel. (2004).
  • The Lean Enterprises Memory Jogger, Richard L. Macinnes & Carolann Scherer (2011).
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement:
  • Institute for Safe Medication Practices: