Important Notice: NAHQ has published an updated version of the CPHQ exam content outline resulting from our most recent job task analysis. The new exam content will take effect on March 15, 2023. View the CPHQ Exam Update for more information on the updated exam. 

Get Ready for the CPHQ Exam

View the CPHQ Exam Update for more information on the updated CPHQ exam effective March 15, 2023.

Becoming CPHQ certified demonstrates to employers and colleagues that you know how to manage and advance healthcare quality and safety. Effective preparation for the CPHQ exam is critical to earning the credential.

The CPHQ certification incorporates the body of knowledge in the healthcare quality profession. It covers the following four domains:

woman on laptop

Organizational leadership

Includes structure, integration, regulatory, accreditation, external recognition, education, training and communication.

Performance and process improvement (PPI)

Includes identification of improvement opportunities, implementation, and evaluation.

Health data analytics

Includes design and data management; measurement and analysis.

Patient safety

Includes assessment and planning; implementation and evaluation.

To get started, review the CPHQ content outline. It will provide in-depth information on specific exam topics and help you identify areas to study. There are many ways to prepare for the CPHQ exam, including with NAHQ’s CPHQ prep products.

Save on Your Certification

NAHQ members save on CPHQ prep, certification and recertification fees. Become part of the NAHQ community.

CPHQ Resources

CPHQ exam questions are created based on information in a variety of publications and resources. You can find a list in the CPHQ Candidate Handbook or review our external CPHQ resources

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.

The National Association for Healthcare Quality is pleased to announce the following are recognized as Authorized Training Organizations (ATO): Gazelles Management Consultancy, PrimeXperts Consultancy, Training LLC, Wave Health Consultancy, and Zakaria Zaki Al-Attal, PhD, RN, CPHQ, CPPS. Recognition as an ATO assures:

  • An ATO is a NAHQ-recognized, trustworthy, and standardized resource for CPHQ certification exam preparation and education seekers.
  • An ATO provides quality education that supports CPHQ exam candidate success.
  • ATO students receive special pricing on study materials and the CPHQ exam.

NAHQ is not accepting applications for new ATO’s. Please direct questions to

For a listing of NAHQ ATO CPHQ Review Courses please visit NAHQ’s Calendar of Events.

Plan Your Time

Most candidates with healthcare quality experience have reported spending six weeks to three months in preparation. Candidates should take into account their own education and experience while planning their path to earning the CPHQ. 

Learn about applying for the exam.

Other Ways to Prepare

There are many ways to prepare for the 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.

HQCC's Position on Exam Prep

The Healthcare Quality Certification Commission (HQCC), NAHQ’s certifying arm, does not develop, administer, sponsor or endorse any type of preparatory materials, they do recommend you review the resources available to prepare for studying for the CPHQ exam.


What study materials are suggested?
  • You are not required to use study materials in preparation for the exam. However, there are a variety of available study materials, which include virtual instructor-led and online review courses, practice exams and books. View CPHQ exam prep products.
How long does it take to prepare for the exam?
  • This varies by individual depending on the level of experience in the field and study habits. Based on a recent survey of candidates, on average, candidates spend 6 weeks to 3 months preparing.
What does the exam cover?
  • The exam is built from the results of a job analysis that provides objective data to validate the relevance of exam content. This ensures that we maintain the CPHQ exam’s significance while addressing the changing, dynamic environment of healthcare quality. A job analysis is conducted every 3-5 years and surveys the full spectrum of employment settings.
  • The results of the job analysis inform the content outline for the CPHQ exam – to ensure job tasks covered in the exam are current and relevant in today’s environment.
  • The current content outline that the exam covers can be found here.