September 29, 2020 Update
As at the time of updating this post, on August 29, 2020, the Healthcare Quality Certification Commission (HQCC) had not updated the CPHQ exam content outline since January 1, 2018. In other words, the current CPHQ exam content outline is nearly 2 years and 9 months old.
Our last update on this issue was on January 5, 2018 – see the bottom of this post.
Before the HQCC’s last update of the exam content outline, i.e. the one that was/is effective since January 1, 2018, it was revised every two (2) years. It now appears the CPHQ exam content outline will be revised every three (3) years, with the next update only in 2021. We make this inference because it seems unlikely the HQCC will change the CPHQ exam content outline in Q4 2020. For at least the past 15 years, the HQCC/HQCB (the Healthcare Quality Certification Commission was previously called the Healthcare Quality Certification Board) has made any updates of the CPHQ exam content outline effective from the first quarter of the year, usually the month of January.
Although it is quite obvious, it might be worth mentioning the content of the CPHQ Tutor website addresses the latest CPHQ exam content outline, i.e. the one effective since January 1, 2018.
Please do not be deceived by parties purporting to have their content updated for the “2020 version” of the CPHQ exam content outline – there is no such thing. What snake oil salesmen!
If you have questions or want more information regarding anything I’ve written above, please feel free to add a comment at the bottom of this post or shoot me an email. In most instances, I’ll get back to you in less than 24 hours.
“Do your practice questions follow the 2017 CPHQ exam content outline?
Does CPHQ Tutor have up-to-date information, test questions, and prep material for the 2016 CPHQ exam content outline?”
“Is the content of CPHQ Tutor updated for 2017?”
We get a question such as the ones above once in a while.
CPHQ candidates understandably want to be sure they are preparing for the current exam content outline, also sometimes known as the CPHQ exam specifications. After all, how would practice exam questions irrelevant to the current outline help?
The short answer to any question identical or similar to the ones at the top of this post is:
The material, including the practice questions, on the CPHQ Tutor website and that used during our live training programs, is updated to reflect the most current CPHQ exam content outline. Period.
We explain why and how below.
The CPHQ content outline is revised, i.e. updated, about every two years. (August 29, 2020 update: this has probably changed to every three years, as stated in the addendum at the top of this post.)
The last revision occurred in mid-2014, but was effective only from January 1, 2015. Hence, the reference to this date in the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ)/Healthcare Quality Certification Commission (HQCC) materials, e.g. the 2016 CPHQ Exam Content Outline [93 kB, accessed November 14, 2016] and the NAHQ website – see below.
The next revision (or “update”) of the CPHQ exam content outline is expected in early 2017, i.e. approximately 2 years after the last.
Although we have heard some information about the revised content outline, no official announcement has yet been made.
Based on our experience with the NAHQ/HQCC (spanning over a decade), we expect them to announce the 2017 exam content outline only sometime in January 2017.
We know the HQCC is actively developing and testing new questions. In fact, I participated in the biennial NAHQ’s 2016 CPHQ Practice Analysis Survey only in July. We look forward to contributing further in the development of questions for the pool to be used from 2017.
Since the last revision of the exam content outline was in January 2015 and updates occur only every 2 years, you might be wondering if the 2016 (current as at the time of writing) CPHQ exam content outline the same as the 2015 one.
In a word: Yes.
And in case you are skeptical, I invite you to compare and contrast the CPHQ exam content outline used on the CPHQ Tutor membership site since January 2015, with that available from the NAHQ website. Apart from the formatting issue on the HQCC’s list on Pages 24–25 of the 2016 CPHQ Candidate Examination Handbook, I cannot find any difference in the 2 outlines. (Sidenote: I compared the two at least 10 times!)
By now, you’ve probably worked out the exam content outline does not change every calendar year.
We are aware of at least one (unfortunately, quite prominent) CPHQ exam prep service provider who makes it appear the outline is refreshed annually, which coincidentally is the same frequency in which they “update” their product.
In contrast, we develop new practice/study questions and improve existing questions in our database continuously, i.e. all year round, to address the various tasks on the latest CPHQ exam content outline, irrespective of which part of the revision cycle we’re at.
Another fallacy is that independent CPHQ exam prep providers know the coming exam content outline ahead of candidates, e.g. the 2017 outline before the end of 2016. (Some might have the false impression CPHQ exam prep providers are like iOS or Android app developers, who have early access to the operating systems before the latter are released to the general public – in reality, this doesn’t happen!)
The truth is none of us really knows the tasks on the coming exam content outline until they are announced by the NAHQ/HQCC, though there are hints dropped every now and then.
For the 2017 exam content outline, we anticipate the announcement to be in January 2017, consistent will previous announcements of this nature.
The CPHQ exam content outline in 2016 is identical to that in 2015.
Since January 2015, the content of the CPHQ Tutor website, including our practice questions, has followed the 2015/2016 CPHQ exam content outline and is therefore up-to-date, i.e. current.
- 2016 CPHQ Exam Content Outline = 2015 CPHQ Exam Content Outline (no difference)
- 2017 CPHQ Exam Content Outline = To be announced in 2017 (but you can be sure we will be the first to update our content, way before anyone else purporting to help people prepare for the exam)
In addition, yours truly continues to be an active and busy healthcare quality professional (some may say too busy, but I love challenging engagements!) and continues to contribute to the development of new questions on the actual CPHQ examination.
Finally, our highly-acclaimed CPHQ live training programs and CPHQ Tutor, as
a leading the leading online resource for anyone preparing for the CPHQ exam, will always have content that is aligned with the most current version of the CPHQ exam content outline.
Update on April 23, 2017: The current CPHQ exam content outline, available from the NAHQ website, indicates it remains unchanged, i.e. the CPHQ exam content outline of January 1, 2015 is still effective.
Update on January 5, 2018: The CPHQ exam content outline 2018, effective January 1, 2018, was announced on the NAHQ website on December 16, 2017. CPHQ exam preparation resources we provide, including those on the CPHQ Tutor website, will be updated to follow the 2018 CPHQ exam content outline by January 15, 2018. This time lag was/is necessary to afford time for updating the content, where necessary, to reflect the latest changes made to the CPHQ exam content outline. To maintain currency in our content, we refrained from making any changes before January 1, 2018.
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