CPHQ Exam Update for 2023

As the only accredited certification in healthcare quality, the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ) must undergo periodic content updates to address changes in the field and ensure the exam content outline is relevant, timely, and representative of the industry. NAHQ recently conducted a job task analysis (JTA) for the CPHQ, which is a credentialing-industry best practice for environmental scanning and validating content of educational content and certification programs. Through the iterative JTA process, we heard from professionals around the world and identified areas to update the exam content and ensure the program is representative of the work healthcare quality professionals are doing today. As a result, NAHQ has published a new exam content outline that will take effect on March 15, 2023. The main updates include:

  • A closer alignment of the exam content outline to NAHQ’s industry standard Healthcare Quality Competency Framework
  • The elimination of overlap in topics across multiple content domains
  • The addition of population health topics in a new content domain

About the Updated Exam

Effective March 15, 2023, the new exam will cover the following topics:

Health data analytics

Includes design and data management; measurement and analysis.

Patient safety

Includes assessment and planning; implementation and evaluation.

Quality Review and Accountability

Includes clinical practice guidelines, documentation, patient experience, and applying best practices from quality-related organizations.

Regulatory and Accreditation

Includes evaluating, monitoring, and improving compliance with organizational requirements and evaluating accreditation, certification, and recognition options.

Quality Leadership and Integration

Includes strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and teamwork.

Performance and process improvement (PPI)

Includes identification of improvement opportunities, implementation, and evaluation.

Population Health and Care Transitions

Includes health management strategies, analyzing, and identifying opportunities for improvement in care transitions

Updated Exam Handbooks

Read the updated candidate handbook to review exam policies and procedures.

Each question is designed to test if candidates possess the knowledge necessary to perform the task and can apply it to a job situation.

Be sure to review the candidate handbook before you start the certification process.

Taking the Updated Exam

All CPHQ exams scheduled to be taken on or after March 15, 2023, will be an updated version, based on the new exam content outline.

Preparing for the Updated Exam

NAHQ’s CPHQ exam preparation products will be revised to align the content and instruction with the updated CPHQ content outline. Information on when the revised prep products will be available is forthcoming.

CPHQ Content Update FAQs

Will there be new recertification requirements for the updated exam?

While candidates passing the updated exam will need to complete recertification, the process will not change. Please review the recertification webpage for more information.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.

What happens if I do not pass the exam?

If you do not pass the CPHQ exam and you wish to retake it, you will be required to wait the appropriate waiting period to reapply.

  • If you are located within the United States, you will need to wait 90 days from the date you did not pass.
  • If you are located outside of the United States, you will need to wait one testing window to reapply.

A new application fee is required.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.

Will the exam be longer?

No, the exam will remain 140 questions. 125 of which are scored, and 15 are for pretesting purposes. Pretest items do not count toward a candidate’s score but are included to collect statistics. All questions included in final scores have been pre-tested for quality, accuracy and fairness.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.

Can I use NAHQ’s CPHQ Prep materials that I have already purchased to prepare for the updated exam?

NAHQ recommends preparing for the updated exam using the new/refreshed prep product(s) as they align with the new CPHQ content outline.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.

What if I’ve already purchased preparation materials?

NAHQ will allow customers to transfer their subscriptions from the old version of the prep product to the new/revised version upon request. This is applicable for all the products except the HQ Solutions book and live virtual courses that have concluded.

We want to ensure candidates select and utilize the product that most closely aligns to the exam, so pre-March 2023 exam takers should use the current prep products while March 2023 (and later) exam takers should select the new prep products.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.

What edition of HQ Solutions should I use to prepare for the exam?

HQ Solutions: Resource for the Healthcare Quality Professional, Fifth Edition, aligns with the new CPHQ content outline.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.

What is different about the new/revised prep products?

NAHQ’s CPHQ prep products contain content and instruction aligned with the new CPHQ content outline.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.

Are there eligibility requirements for the updated exam?

There are no formal eligibility requirements to sit for the exam. It is recommended that candidates have at least two years of experience in the healthcare quality profession. The exam is written with the two-year healthcare quality professional in mind. Please refer to the content outline for detailed content information and tools to assess readiness.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.

Does the change mean this is a new certification?

No, the CPHQ certification remains the same. Periodic updates to certification content are a credentialing industry best practice and are required for accredited programs. The updates are intended to ensure that the exam content remains consistent with the work presently being done in healthcare quality, so though some updates were done, candidates who pass the exam are still awarded the same CPHQ credential.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.

Why is the exam content changing?

As an accredited certification program, it is required that the CPHQ go through a periodic job task analysis (JTA) to identify any needed updates to exam content.  This ensures that we maintain the CPHQ exam’s significance while addressing the changing, dynamic environment of healthcare quality. A JTA is conducted every three to five years and surveys the full spectrum of employment settings in healthcare quality. The results of the JTA inform the content outline for the CPHQ exam – to ensure job tasks covered in the exam are current and relevant in today’s environment.

Questions?

If you need additional assistance with recertifying, please reach out to NAHQ customer service at info@nahq.org or (847) 375-4720 between 8 AM-4:30 PM CT, Monday-Friday.